The Story of Ghadir
By: Dr. Nadir Fazli
In The Name of Allah
It was a hot scorching day and silence now tilled the air where once the cries of war had ringed out, only hours before. Victorious hut tired, the Muslims camped near a well, on the very land the battle had taken place. They were thirsty and hungry and in need of food, water and rest. But the level of water in the well was low and the need for water was great.
A large group of people gathered near the well to get water, but it was Sanan who managed to throw his bucket in quicker than any one else followed shortly by Jahjah. When they were pulling the buckets up, they soon realised that the ropes had entangled and that only one of the buckets was full. A fight broke out to determine whose the full bucket was. Jahjah punched Sanan in the face and caused Sanan’s nose to bleed. Sanan screamed with the pain then grabbed Jahjah by the collar and cried “Oh Khazrajians (the name of one of the two Medina tribes that had made a pact with the Prophet) help me!”
A group of Khazrajians who had witnessed the argument rushed forward to help. All of a sudden Jahjah yelled “Oh Muhajirun (‘emigrants”), come and help me.” Jahjah was ‘Umars’ servant, so he was considered to him a Muhajirun. Just then the Muhajirun noticed the fighting and some of them joined in. Soon the flames of past tribal grievances, (that had been dampened with the advent of Islam), flared up once again and the two tribes stood face to face and argued.
Ju’al a poor hut Brave man was fearlessly arguing with ‘Abd Allah who was one of the wealthiest men in Medina. ‘Abd Allah, the son of Ubayy quickly seized the opportunity to get his OWfl back. You see although he acted like a Muslim, he had always held this grudge against the Prophet, so he urged the people to defend Sanan. ‘Abd Allah turned to Ju’al and very abruptly said: “You rogue, how you dare argue with me. It’s right what they say: If you a dog well. It will turn on you. Just look at us, we gave shelter to these destitutes and now they have turned on us.
Abd Allah’s insult wasn’t taken lightly by the Muhajirun and, the tight became fiercer. Eventually the conflict, with the mediation of a few of the elders from both sides ended and the Muhajirun and Ansars (“helpers”) went about their duties. ‘Abd Allah still seething could not let it go so easy. Standing with a group of Ansars he addressed those that had stayed on and said: “Oh people of Yathrib, I was against your method from the very beginning. We all know that before these rogues came to Medina, all other Arabs were humble and obeyed us. I never thought, I would live to see the day, that we were disgraced by these very same people.”
Ubayy’s son ‘Abd Allah by using the tribal prejudices, still tried to make the Ansars feel angry towards the Muhajirun. He faced them and said: “This is all your own doing! Don’t you see, first you gave these destitute shelters, then you shared your wealth with them, and then you put yourselves in danger and defended them with your lives. Your women became widows and your children orphans in wars fighting their enemies. Now this happens and they turn on you. They sit at you tables and eat your rations. If you throw them out, where would they go?”
A few of the Ansars, after listening to ‘Abd Allah realised that it was just bitterness. They knw quite well that with the coming of the Prophet, ‘Abd Allah had lost his position; most important of all he had lost his command and his leadership had gone. This is why he held a grudge against the Prophet and his followers. The ashes of this grudge were now glowing very brightly. But the people didn’t like what he was saying so they gradually dispersed. However a few of them were influenced by what he had said and stayed eagerly waiting to hear what else he had to say.
‘Abd Allah by now had lost all self-control and was verbally attacking the
Muhajirun because he thought he was influencing a few. He boldly and fearlessly continued: “Very well, now we know what to do with them, when we
return to Medina. We the noble and beloved ones of the city, will throw these wretched people out.”
At that moment, Zayd the son of Arqam, who was very young and had only stayed out of curiosity, was listening to ‘Abd Allah’s abrupt words and couldn’t endure it any more, he retaliated’ and said: “It is you who is wretched and small among your people ‘Abd Allah the Prophet not only is popular but is well loved as well.”
‘Abd Allah and the rest of the group took young Zayd’s remark to heart. They became agitated and threw him out of their group and swore that if Zayd told
anyone what ‘Abd Allah had said, they would all deny it.
It was a searing, hot afternoon and the Prophet was resting under the shade of a tree with some of his companions, (both Muhajirun and Ansars.) When the news
of the skirmish between some of his followers reached him, but because he was informed that the incident had been solved with the intervention of some elders. The Prophet showed no reaction. Customary to his character and not wanting to add fuel to the fire, He didn’t even ask what had happened. Suddenly, Zayd the son of Arqam rushed up to the Prophet in distress and repeated the unjust things
‘Abd Allah had said about the prophet and the Muhajirun.
As the Prophet wanted to pass the subject by he said: “Young man, are you imagining things. Maybe you have made a mistake?” Zayd continued, saying: “I swear to God, I am not making a mistake. I heard what he said about you, with my very own ears.
Once again the Prophet said: “Maybe you are angry with him. Maybe you’re angry over something else? I am not insinuating that you are lying, but maybe it is not as bad as you think.”
But Zayd persisted and wouldn’t give up, he kept saying: “No, it isn’t like that, I
don’t want to slander him, but I’m telling you the truth.”
Still the Prophet didn’t want to make a big thing out of the incident and the people around him, especially the Khazrajians said: “Maybe its because you are young and inexperienced that you say this. Could ‘Abd Allah have really said these absurd things?”
Zayd was so upset and choked that he was near to tears. They didn’t believe him because he was young. But because he felt that there was discord and plotting behind what ‘Abd Allah had said. He insisted that at least the Prophet
should believe him and he swore again by saying: “I swear to God, who rightfully choose you as his messenger, that whatever I say is the truth and I am afraid that the hypocrites will plot against you.”
When the Prophet saw Zayd’s insistence he ordered his servant to get his horse ready immediately and He ordered the Muslims to get ready to move. The Prophet’s orders seemed strange. The troops were resting, the weather was extremely hot and the situation for travelling wasn’t suitable at all, but the Prophet saw it fit to get the troops on the move, in order to put a stop to the problem. The people were surprised and asked each other, what has happened that the Prophet has ordered us to march at this time of day? What Zayd had said about ‘Abd Allah quickly spread through the camp? They realized that the Prophet must be very upset and that.It is why he had ordered them to break camp in such heat. Anyway, whatever the Prophet orders, they have to be carried out, so the troops got ready to move. Sa’d son of ‘Ubadah one of the Ansars was upset and worried. He quickly went to the prophet and asked him what had made him break camp at this unsuitable hour.
The Prophet replied: “Didn’t you hear what your friend has just said?” Sa’d son of Ubadah answered: “Oh Prophet! You are our true friend and helper and we don’t know anyone other than you who is our dearest friend and brother.”
The people heard this and cried out in fervor and agreement. The Prophet was worried that what ‘Abd Allah had said would create differences between the Muslims. He wanted to solve the problem so he said: “Hasn’t ‘Abd Allah proclaimed that if he returns to Medina, he who is the town’s most. Popular noble, would throw those who are humble and troublesome out?” Sa’d said angrily: “Oh Prophet of God! The loved noble of Medina is you and your followers those who are humble and troublesome are those people who have said such things.”
The Prophet didn’t think it fit to wait; he wanted to be on the road so that they couldn’t find time to discuss the subject or their differences would become intense and the possibility of what the hypocrites had wanted all along would occur.
The troops moved out. During the march, some of the Khazrajians rebuked and tainted ‘Abd Allah as to why he had said such things. But because he and his friends had previously agreed that if the matter was revealed, they would deny it. He lied, and swore that he had never said such a thing. Those who were of the same opinion also swore that what ‘Abd Allah said was the truth. They said, that
‘Abd Allah hadn’t said that and that Zayd the son of Arqam had unjustly slandered him. They wanted ‘Abd Allah to go quickly to the Prophet and explain
to him that what Zayd had said was a lie as ‘Abd Allah hadn’t said anything.
‘Abd Allah didn’t want to do this but because he was put under pressure by the insistence of the people, he agreed that at the first chance he got he would go and see the Prophet and deny Zayd’s accusation.
They were on the move all that afternoon up until nightfall. The troops expected the Prophet to let them rest but he made them press on only stopping for prayers. All the next day the troops continued marching but on the third day, because the regiment was extremely fatigued, he ordered them to stop, make camp and rest. The people were so tired that they soon relaxed without any difficulty.
When they settled ‘Abd Allah found the time to visit the Prophet. He swore that he had not said anything about the Prophet or his companions. So that the Prophet would believe him, he once again swore to the unity of God and the Prophet hood of his messenger and quoted that he would never forgive Zayd for slandering his name.
The Prophet was delegated to judge even if it was only on face value. So not taking into account the spiritual side of someone, he accepted ‘Abd Allah’s statement. After this Zayd was severely rebuked and the Khazrajians, started to criticize Zayd.
Next morning, after prayer, the caravan continued on its way. Zayd who was both upset and depressed whispered to himself: “God, you know everything; at least you know that I didn’t lie about that hypocrite and that was I said was true.
A few hours after the caravan’s departure, the state of revelation suddenly overcame the Prophet. A situation that puts the Prophet under great pressure, so much so, that his mount fell to its knees and scraped its chest the ground. This state caused sweat to drip off his blessed brow.
After the descending of the revelation and the Prophet had returned to his normal state he playfully took Zayd the son of Arqam by the ear and said: “My dear boy, what you told me was the truth. I tell you that God has sent a verse concerning what you said about the hypocrites” 1
This news spread like wildfire between the troops, which made ‘Abd Allah and his accomplices go white. Everyone was waiting to hear the news. After the troops reached a suitable place to camp the Prophet ordered them to rest and perform their afternoon prayer. After prayer, the Prophet recited this verse:
“In the name of God, the Compassionate the Merciful. When the hypocrites come to you, they say:
We bear witness that you are most surely Allah`s Apostle; and Allah knows that you are most surely His Apostle, and Allah bears witness that the hypocrites are surely liars.
They make their oaths a shelter, and thus turn away from Allah’s way;
surely evil is that which they do….
1. Commentary of Majma’ al-bayan 1/442.
They say: If we return to Medina, the mighty will surely drive out the meaner therefrom; and to Allah belongs the might and to His Apostle and to the believers, but the hypocrites do not know. ” 2
The cry of “God is great” rose from the crowd and the hypocrites plot was foiled. ‘Abd Allah was belittled and degraded. After this Zayd son of Arqam had an important place amongst both the Muhajirun and Ansar. They treated him with great respect and said: “This is the youth that because of his truthfulness God sent a verse to shame the hypocrites.”
Zayd’s belief in the rightfulness of the Prophet became tenfold and after that he accompanied the Prophet with enthusiasm and confidence. Other than the war mentioned, which was the second battle he had participated in, he also fought on the Prophet’s side in fifteen other wars against the unbelievers and Islam’s enemies. Zayd was held in high esteem by the Muslims, his special traits were truthfulness, belief and bravery.3
Many years have passed since the death of the Prophet. We didn’t see him but we have heard a lot about his Excellency. With great enthusiasm we usually seek out the Prophet’s close companions who are still alive to ask them about the events of the Prophet’s era. Those who saw him close by, were his companions, talked to him, fought in the saddle with him or accompanied him on his travels. Without a doubt have a lot to tell us youngsters.
Zayd son of Arqam was well known as one of the Prophet’s good companions. My name is Yazid son of Hayyan, because of my interest in interviewing the Prophet’s companions; I visited Zayd, with two of my friends.
He was about seventy years old and lines of age were engraved on his face. He warmly greeted us and sat closely to us. The surviving companions of the Prophet, such as Zayd, thought that their numbers weren’t great and like him, were very enthusiastic about reminiscing about the Prophet’s Days. He knew the reason of our visit and was pleased to see us. After the preliminary greetings, my friend addressed him: “Mr. Zayd, we are honored to be in the company of one of the Prophets most
2. The Holy Qur’an, chapter al-Munafiqun. Verses 1-8
3. For more information about the life of Zayd son of Arqam refer to Qamns ar-rijal written by ‘Mlamah Tustarj
faithful and respected friends. We have heard a great deal about you and know that you fought bravely in seventeen wars against the unbelievers and the enemies of Islam. You were fortunate to see him. pray with him and you must have gained a lot of information by conversing with him. So now with enthusiastic he arts, we are all ears. Please tell us what you heard and saw so that we too can use this information to strengthen our faith and enlighten our way for this world and the next.”
Zayd sighed and replied:
“My dear friends, as you can see, I am now an old man. My days are over and I’m unable to recollect all the memories of my youth. But out of all the events of that time I can reminisce only those that have stayed imprinted in my mind. I consider it my duty to convey to you all that I can remember and that I think is important to you. Now, I will tell you a few important events of my lifetime:”4
I will never forget the Ghadir event. We were returning from the last Haij (pilgrimage to Mecca) of the Prophet. They called it, the farewell Hajj. We realized from the words of the Prophet that this was the last Hajj ceremony we would perform with him. The land of Juhfah -between Mecca and Medina- was situated beside a small pond called Khum. It was here that the prophet ordered the pilgrims’ caravan to halt. It was blistering hot, but the prophet stopped to recite congregational afternoon prayer. He then ordered that a pedestal of camel’s saddles be erected, he stood on this pedestal where everyone could see him and started to speak.
His speech was so eloquent and so sweet that we all forgot the heat. The Prophet’s speech was of great importance and quite long and there were some very interesting points in His speech. I’ll tell you the most important ones:
His honour said in his statement:
“0 people! I, like yourselves am human. In the near future, ‘Izra’il the angel of death will come as a messenger from our creator and I will accept his invitation of death. Yes, I will soon leave you, but, I will leave you two worthy and priceless reminders of me.
4. Sahih Muslim 15/179.
We were all ears; this was the first time this subject had been mentioned by the Prophet. Of course, as I said before, we knew that this was the last Hajj of the Prophet, but we hadn’t heard before that he explicitly knew about his own death. Even more important, for us was to know what these two precious trusts were. The Prophet told us that these two things would, to a certain extent, fills his missing place and He will introduce them to us. We were all listening with great curiosity, when he continued:
“People! The first and greatest thing I leave with you is “Gods book”. “The book of Light”, filled with knowledge and guidance. Oh people! Take “God’s book” and keep to it.”
At this part of his speech he recommended and encouraged us to act according to the Qur’an. Then he said:
“People! My second trust I leave in your care are my household members.”
Here the Prophet paused, as if he knew the followers would oppress his relatives, and then he said three times, yes, three times.
“People! In the dealings with my relatives, I ask you to remember God. Do not be curt in regard to their status.”5
After pausing again He continued:
“I inform you, at the time you grasp onto these two reminders of me, be sure, you will never go astray. And know this that without any doubt, the Qur’an and my relatives will never be separated from one another, till the day of resurrection, when they will join me by the fountain of Kawthar.”
The Prophet quoted the recent sentences with the particular firmness and we become sure the he has got special emphasizes on those subjects, then he said:
“Yes I swear to God, in that time -the Day of Resurrection- and besides the fountain of Kawthar, I will ask both of them -Qur’an and my relatives- that after me. How were behaved with them?” 6
The words of the Prophet were full of meaning and spoken in anguish. The audience understood a lot of things from them. We had witnessed before in several important events, saw and heard what he meant about his relatives and who they were.
5. Sahih Muslim 15/180.
6. al-Mustadrak ‘ala as-sahih ayn 3/118
A year before Khum, we heard from Umm Salamah, the Prophet’s wife, thatone day when the state of revelation took the Prophet, he was in her house. He said to Umm Salamah. Tell Fatimah, Ali, al-Hasan and al–Husayn to come here immediately. When they arrived the Prophet took them under his cloak and repeated this verse that was revealed to him at that time:
“In truthfulness, God willed all wickedness and unclean illnesses to be cleaned from you and your household and you are pure and clean.”
Then the prophet said:
“Oh God! These are my household.’
Even when Umm Salamah pleaded to join them the Prophet told her that, even though you are a good and kind woman, your place is not here. Not only you, but nobody else has a place here either. 7
A while after, a lot of other Muslims including myself witnessed the Mubahilah event with the Najran Christians. On that. day the Prophet asked them to bring their wives and children to invoke God’s curse on each other. On that day our beloved Prophet had his cloak over Fatimah, ‘Ali, al-Hasan and al–Husayn’s heads and said:
“Oh God! These are the members of my household.’
Then he prayed for them and said:
“Oh God! Whoever compromises with them I will also compromise with him. and whoever wants to make warwith them, makes war with me.” 8
Any way, in our opinion, the members of the Prophets household were apparent to everyone. Afterwards, due to various events and Ali’s government, it became much clearer who the Prophet’s household were.
Let me be more explicit. The Prophet introduced the Qur’an and his household as an asylum for believers and a reminder of himself. As a rule, there should be no differences made between His household members and nobody doubts that Fatimah ‘All al-Hasan and al-Husayn are of His household. A few may think that the Prophet’s Wives should also be considered as His household, but then the question arises, that if the Prophet’s wives were considered as His household
7. Sunan at-Tirmidhj 5/35 1.
8. Qamus ar-rijal 3/520 an explanation from Nahj al-balaghah quoted by Ibn Abi al-Hadjd.
by the Qur’an and the Prophet. Then how come war broke out between ‘A’ishah one of His household and ‘All, another member of His household.
We’ll never forget the al-Jamal war. We know that ‘A’ishah, urged on by Talhah and az-Zubayr, sent troops to face the caliphate of the time, ‘All, and that civil war broke out. I heard with my own two ears that the Prophet addressed
‘Ali Fatimah a-Hasan and al-Husayn and only these four and said: “I will fight whoever are your enemies, and whoever lives with you in peace and harmony, I too will live in peace and harmony with him.” 9
More important than this is that everyone knew that some of the Prophet’s wives made Him sad and distressed him, so much so, that the at-Tahrim chapter was revealed for their rebuke and criticism.10 Therefore, how could the Prophet’s wives be the peoples shelter after Him, when they caused Him so much sadness and nor was He satisfied with them.
An important point in the Prophet’s recommendation is that, if someone is a true follower of the Qur’an, without a doubt, they would seek assistance from His relatives. Other, than having instructions and guidance from His household, certainly he would have familiarity and companionship with the Qur’an. It is impossible for someone to claim that they follow the Qur’an, when they do not follow the Prophet’s household. Nor can they ever claim friendship with the Prophet’s household when they have nothing to do with the Qur’an and its teachings.
Another important event that happened on that scorching hot day of Ghadir, was that the Prophet requested ‘Au to come to him. He took Ali’s hand and said:
“Am I not chosen by you to be your governor? Am I not your supervisor and am I not in authority?”
We all shouted as one. “Yes, that is surely true O messenger of God. You are our supervisor and are in authority.” Then the Prophet said:
“Now I claim before this congregation and whoever accepts my supervision and authority that after me, ‘Ali, who you see standing before you will be your supervisor and authority.”
9. al-Mustadrak ‘ala as-sahihayn 3/16 1
10. Ibn ‘Abbas quotes; I would very much like to ask ‘Umar -the second caliphate- as to which two women the chapter of at-Tahrim refers to. The same chapter that says: “If you both turn to Mlah, then indeed your hearts are already inclined (to this); and if you back up each other against him, then surely Allah it is Who is his Guardian, and Jibreel and the believers that do good, and the angels after that are the aiders.” (at-Tahrim verse 4) Then, once on a Hajj pilgrimage I asked him and he said: “I am surprised you ask this. it is well known who upset the prophet, his two wives Hafsah and ‘A’ishah.” (Sahih at-Tirmidhi 5/420 Tafsir al-Qur’an book chapter 66)
Then, he raised His hands in blessing and said:
“Oh God! Whoever loves Ali loves me also and whoever is Ali’s enemy will be my enemy also!”11
Before this, the Prophet in the pact of brotherhood proclaimed that the believers were each other’s brother and even ordered them, two by two, to make a brotherhood pact. This made it evident that the rank of brother was higher than that of &friend. However on that strange but memorable day of Ghadir. ‘Ali was not given the title of friend or brother, but was considered higher and was introduced as a supervisor and authority, a governor, leader and Imam to the Muslims.
Before, this day, on several different occasions the Prophet had done this. I
remember well that once I was in the Prophets presence when he said:
“Friends! I want to advise and guide you on a subject and if you unanimously and wholeheartedly accept it, you will never perish.”
We were all curious and were anxiously waiting for the rest, when He continued, saying: “I inform you that. in the first degree, your governor and superior is God and your Imam and pontiff after me is Ali the son of Abu Talib. Listen to his council and advise and encourage his leadership. The angel Gabriel has informed me that anyone who accepts this affair and accepts ‘Ali’s leadership, his belief would never perish,12
That day (Ghadjr) during, the celebrations Ali was officially elected as the Prophets’ successor. He had all the ranks of the Prophet except, of course, the Prophecy.
At the end of the speech the whole audience pledged their allegiance to Ali and congratulated him on his new title. However deep down I knew, that a lot of us, after the demise of the Prophet, due to certain events would not keep to our pledge and would go against ‘Ali. We called it, God’s test and unfortunately, a lot of us failed this vital test.
Those were dark, difficult years and I will never forget the bitter events of those days. We of course, had read in the Qur’an that if the Prophet dies, or is killed a
11. al.Mustadrak ‘ala as-sahffiayn 3/118 Tradition No. 174, 175
12. .Qamus ar-rijal 3/530 an explanation from Nahj al-balaghah quoted by Ibn Abi al-Hadjd 3/98.
group of us would return to the ignorant times of our forefathers, leaving the circle of religion.13But I never thought the blind and unfortunate waves of conspiracy would swallow us up so quickly. This, of course, is also written in the Qur’an. God warned the believers and said:
“Do the people think that as soon as they say, we believe, they would be left along and not tested.”14
Yes, we Muslims were tested in the worst possible way. The black horizon of that conspiracy showed its ugly face just before the Prophets’ death. The first sign of it was seen when the Prophet was on His sickbed and He requested from those present:
“Please bring me a pen and paper so that I can write down a few points, so that you will not be confused later.”
One of his attendants said: “The Prophet is in pain and is delirious, let Him rest. We don’t need the Prophets writing. The Qur’an is with us and Gods book is enough.”
A group of Muslims thought differently and said: “Let the Prophet write down what He has in mind.”
Even then when the demise of the Prophet was near, an argument broke out. Some of them were saying: “Bring the Prophet some paper, so He can write His last will and testament, so that we won’t go astray.” While others were saying: “The Prophets’ will isn’t necessary and the Qur’an, is sufficient.
When the argument gathered momentum, the Prophet who was very upset with their behavior said: “Leave my bedside at once and get out.”15
His companions left the room. The Prophets’ will was never written, but both groups knew what the Prophet had recommended, because, they had heard Him themselves, on several occasions. He had told them what He wanted, time and time again but now, the Prophet needed to have His recommendations officially written down.
I later heard, Ibn ‘Abbas the cousin of the Prophet and the great and learned person in Islam said about this bitter incident: “The greatest
calamity in Islam was that, on that day they stopped the Prophet of Allah to
13. The Holy Qur’an, chapter Al ‘Imran. verse 144.
14. Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, We believe, and not be tried? (The Holy Qur’an, chapter al-’Ankabut verse 2)
15. Sahih al-Bukhari with the explanation of Kirmani 16/234 Tradition No. 4130 chapter Marad an-Nabi
(p.b.u.h.). In another narrative it was quoted that the man who insulted the Prophet was ‘Umar the second caliphate. (ah.ili al-Bukhari 2/126 Tradition No. 114 Book of al-‘Jim, chapter Kitabat al-’Ilm).
write whatever he had in his mind.”16
My most sadness hearing this news was that, why did they say: “Gods book is all we need?” I was even more upset, when I heard that the person who had said this had been present at Ghadjr Khum and had heard what our God’s messenger had said with his own ears. He had said:
“I will leave you but, I will leave my household members with you.’
I don’t know why he boldly rejected the Prophets’ words and worse than that was that no one treated this problem seriously.
When the Prophet died a controversial storm brew up which swayed the Islamic sapling, and the society experienced anxiety and instability.
Even though the Prophet had recommended fellowship and kindness towards His household, and in spite of the Qur’ans’ explicit orders to the Muslims on this subject.17 After the Prophets’ demise, most of the people, especially the Islamic elders who thought they were mighty, turned a blind eye to the Prophets’ recommendations. After the Prophet, the master and head of His household ‘Ali the son of Abu Talib was made sedentary.
Unfortunately this unfortunate and tragic event happened very quickly. Many of the Muslims were deceived and they slipped and fell into this controversy unknowingly. A group of newly converted Muslims agreed to this deviation, because of grudges they held against Ali. A lot of them had friends or family that had been killed by ‘Ali in the Badr, Uhud, al–Khandaq and Hunayn wars, so they weren’t satisfied or pleased with him.
The Extortion of the leadership was a very tough and frightful test. A tempest swallowed up most and a lire burnt a lot of the first believers or the close companions of Islam, in Badr and Uhud. In this formidable storm and hard test, only a few stood as firm as mountains and never once doubted ‘Ali’s truthfulness. The rest of the Prophets’ companions were unstable and doubtful.
Although I am ashamed to admit it I myself was deceived. The reason being mainly because I was an inexperienced youth. Even though I knew ‘Ali was right, I kept quiet and didn’t help him. I loved and respected the Prophets’ family and I knew ‘Ali was the best and most suitable successor for the Prophet.
16. Sahih al-Bukhari 2/126, Tradition No. 114 Book of al-’Ilm, chapter Kitabat al-’Ilm 16/136 Tradition No.
17. Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives. (The Holy Qur’an, chapter ash- Shura verse 23)
But I didn’t respond to his modest cry for help because of my thoughtlessness and inexperience.
I sincerely regretted it after awhile and I was not the only one. Many people also regretted it but a lot of people just ignored the situation and didn’t want to believe that something terrible had happened. They just buried their heads in the sand. But I couldn’t just sit back and see this injustice continue so I decided to relay to others, everything I remembered about the Prophet. To tell people about His sermons, His teachings and things they didn’t know about Him. Talk about His great personality, His wisdom, His kindness and forgiving nature. I realized my great mistake although a little late and tried to compensate for it. Especially after all that feebleness in defending ‘All. Something unexpected happened that made me more determined than ever about my decision.
The story is like this: ‘At the same time as ‘Ali was made to live a sedentary life, I became seriously ill and was laid up in bed. One day when I was on my sickbed they told me ‘Ali is at the door and that he wanted to visit me. I was really surprised. I never expected any forgiveness on his behalf. When that great man entered the room and sat beside me I shed tears of happiness, as well as embarrassment and I sobbed: “My Mawla! (My Master, one of ‘Ali’s titles) Even though I treated you so disgracefully you still come to visit me?”
With all his generosity and forgiveness he said: “Whatever happened in the past is in the past. I have come to see you as God give a great reward to those who visit their sick brother.”
After this, I had no peace of mind, Every chance I got and in every situation that cropped up, I would tell the story of Ghadir, I wanted to explain to those who were not present what had happened. I want to do this, till my death, in the hope that I can repay my earlier feebleness and neglect.
Everything was over, ‘All’s right had been extorted and the society concerning the Prophet’s succession had taken a wrong turning. Even though you can’t undo what has been done. I, for two reasons insist on repeating the events of Ghadir, in order to keep them alive. One of these reasons is that, seeking the truth is hidden in man’s character and nature. Everyone likes to’ know the truth and what is false, eventhough the followers of the path of truth are probably few. Knowing the truth is of the utmost importance especially concerning what the Prophet had said about ‘Ali:
“Truth is with ‘Ali and ‘Ali is always with the truth. Anywhere there is truth, ‘Ali is with it.”18
A group of other Muslims and I wanted it made known that in the events after the Prophets demise, ‘All was in the right and it was clear that he been unjustly treated. Truth, itself is so valuable and that is why there is a lot of persistence in finding it. Insistence, in stating a case that is true, is the use of telling the Ghadir affair. Everyone should know that we trampled the Ghadir event under our feet and let falsehood hide it.
The other reason is that the extortion of the leadership from ‘All was the beginning of all the misery, disorganization, errors and mistakes that happened after this between ‘Ali and some of the followers. ‘Ali, at the time of his caliphate, told the bitter truth in one of his speeches. In this speech he said:
“When the Prophet left this world, a group of His companions returned to the ignorant ways and left their religion. Because of their crookedness and passing into these by-, ways they perished. They relied on dishonest and diverting thoughts. They rejected the Prophets’ orders to follow His household and cut themselves off from them and followed others. Eventhough the Prophet had told them: “I don’t want any wages or reward for suffering in my Prophecy. My only reward is that you are friends of my close friends and family.” They also rejected these words and kept away from the Prophets’ relatives.
The building of the leadership and the succession of the Prophet was torn down from its true place and built on another site. What they did, was the basis and source of all their mistakes. All of the ignorance and hardships that attacked the followers from all sides was because of what they had done. They found themselves stupefied and confused. They were drunk with neglect and unawareness. They acted as the dynasty of the pharaohs would have acted. A few of them even forgot the hereafter, being a traitor in the extortion of the leadership and showed attachment to this material world.
One group completely washed their hands of religion.”19
I realized the meaning and continuously try to justify what He said, I myself, witnessed the terrible tragedies and events, which every single one of them, wasp considered a great catastrophe for the Muslim followers.
18. a1-Mustadrak ‘ala as-sahih ayn 3/134, Tradition No. 227.
19. Nahj al-balaghah translated by Feyze al-Islam speech No. 150.
I, personally, heard the Prophet say at least a thousand times, that His followers should show kindness and affection towards His daughter. He always called her His life, the apple of His eye. He would say:
“Fatima is a part of me. Who ever displeases her, displeases me.
However they forgot these words of our Prophet and constantly harassed Fatima. I myself witnessed how badly they upset her, to the point of setting her front door alight. Even though ‘Ali was the son-in-law, cousin and successor to the Prophet, they tied a rope around his neck, dragged him to the mosque and forced him to pledge his allegiance.20 And in order to protect Islam he agreed.21 After twenty-three years, the people regretted what they had done. They went to ‘Ali to seek his forgiveness and after a great deal of insistence, pledged allegiance to him. They asked him to accept the leadership, and he, once again for the
protection of the Islamic society gave into them. Again, a few of them started three big wars against him.
All of these unfortunate events and tragedies that the Islamic followers were caught up in only took root because they didn’t allow the Prophet to write His will. A will He had often repeated verbally. The same will in which the Prophet had said:
“If you don’t want to err after me and go astray, you must understand both the
Qur’an and my family.”
Another catastrophe that I remember well, which was the offspring of the extortion of the leadership, was laying the ground for Muawiyah’s rule, when he didn’t even believe in an Islamic government. The result of such an event gave people like ‘Amr ibn al-’As important positions. I will never forget, Mu’awiyah and ‘Amr ibn al-’As were present in one of the wars. Suddenly the Prophet realised that these two were sat together. He gave them a sharp glance. The next day he saw them together again and stared at them for a long time. When, on the third day He once again saw them together He said with great discomfort to His friends: “Anytime you see those two together, make sure they are split up, as they never do any good when they are with each other.”
20. ietter No. 28 Nahj al-balaghah.
21. Hadrat ‘Ali in letter No. 62, which is in the Nahj al-balaghah in explanation of the as -Saqgah event said: “… I never pledged allegiance to Abu- Bakr until I saw that the people were losing faith and Muhammad’s religion was in danger. I was afraid that 41, I didn’t help by giving my allegiance although under force and not wanting to, Islam, that was in great danger of perishing, would completely die out and this catastrophe would have been harder to bear than the unworthy Government over you.
‘Ali was right, these two men were plotting and when Mu’awiyah and ‘Amr ibn al-’As united there was the tragic Siffin war followed by the controversy of Khawarij. The tragic incident that led to the martyrdom of ‘Ali. After that, Mu’awiyah and ‘Amr ibn al-’As executed their devilish plots to isolate Imam Hasan. When Imam al-Hasan was also martyred they incited Banu Umayyah to fire arrows into his dead body and prohibited his family and followers from burying him near his grandfather, Gods Prophet. 22
Still they continued in their evil ways, crime after crime. I will never be able to forget those painful scenes, especially the heart rendering event of Imam al- Husayn. They brought his pure and radiant head to Ibn Ziyad and that arrogant, callous person hit our beloved Imam on the lips and teeth with a bamboo stick. I was present in that assembly and was extremely distressed to see such behaviors. I turned to Ibn Ziyad and said: “Ibn Ziyad, you should be ashamed of yourself. I swear on Gods greatness that I, on several occasions witnessed the Prophet kissing His grandson on those very lips.” Then I lost control and sobbed miserably. Without the slightest remorse, Ibn Ziyad shouted: “You old decrepit
man! If it weren’t for your age, I would have ordered them to behead you!”23
Yes, all of these errors and mistakes were horn from the leadership’s extortion and this is why I have decided, that any chance I get I will explain what happened in the last years of the Prophets life, especially Ghadir and the bitter happenings after the Prophets demise.
I am old now. I have lost all my beloved ones and I feel as if I haven’t much time left in this world. But I am happy because I think I have been able to compensate my weakness, to some extent by defending ‘Ali, by telling the true story of what really happened. Also it is important that you repeat this story for others. So that they can be aware of how much ‘Ali was oppressed.
22. al-Kamil fi at-tarikh 3/460, in the history of events of the Solar year of 49 of course in Shiite documents the main cause for stopping them Burying Imam al-Hasan near the Prophet(p.b.u.h) was ‘Aishah. (Bihar al-Anwar
44/154 and 157
23. Qamus ar-rijal 3/531 quoted by at-Tabari 5/456