By: Seyyed Ali Shahbaz
“O Messenger! Deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people; surely Allah will not guide the unbelieving people.” (Holy Qur’an 5:67)
We are on the threshold of the Greatest-ever Eid or Day of Rejoicing that marks the anniversary of the Most Important Event that occurred 23 years after God had sent Archangel Gabriel for the first time to the Cave of Hera on Mount Noor near Mecca to order Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) to publicly declare his mission as the Last and Greatest Messenger to all mankind with the universal message of Islam.
It is the day on which Gabriel descended for the umpteenth time to the Prophet whom God has called “Mercy unto the creation”, but this time with an express commandment on which depend the outcome of the entire 23-year mission of Islam, but with words of reassurance of Divine protection from enemy plots.
Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) was God’s Appointee on Planet Earth for the guidance of human societies. He was not the representative of the Arabs, since no community or nation can elect, select, designate, or nominate a Prophet.
As a matter of fact, those chosen by the people as leaders of societies are neither the representatives of God nor do they possess spiritual powers, let alone the legitimacy to rule. Such leaders, irrespective of the bombastic titles used for them, including the stolen epithets of ‘Khalifat ar-Rasoul’ (Vicegerent of the Prophet) or ‘Amir al-Momineen’ (Commander of the Faithful), are nothing but usurpers, since their authority lacks both Divine Revelation and the Prophet’s explicit instructions – even if they were to harp on the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith.
Now that the Seal of Messengers was about to leave the mortal world for his heavenly abode and no Prophet was to come after him, it was essential that a Divinely-designated Vicegerent ought to succeed him in order to safeguard the letter and spirit of the Heavenly Scripture and the Shari’ah from any distortion.
Thus Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), who was returning to Medina after his Farewell Hajj Pilgrimage, halted at the Ghadeer or pond in the wilderness of Khom near Juhfa, in obedience to the express Divine commandment, and ordered that all those pilgrims who had gone before or were trailing behind should immediately assemble at this place, to hear the Grand Proclamation.
On the 18th of Zil’Hijja, he mounted a makeshift pulpit of camel saddles and after a sermon that made the whole 120,000 strong gathering acknowledge that he was superior to all of them, he lifted his dear cousin and son-in-law, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) to declare those immortal words:
“Man Kunto Mowlahu fa haza Aliyun Mowlahu”
(For whomever I am the Master (authority), this Ali is his Master (authority)”
This is indeed a firm proof of Divine Justice. The 10-year old boy who 23 years ago was present on Mount Noor outside Cave Hera when his 40-year old first cousin was formally appointed as the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messenger, was now being officially appointed as Vicegerent after over two decades of explicit references to him by Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) as the “Wasi”, “Vizier”, and “Khalifa”.
The Prophet took oaths of allegiance to the Imam from the huge gathering which had to stay three days at Ghadeer-Khom to complete the formalities of Ba’yat. He also instructed the Muslims to address Imam Ali (AS) from now on as “Amir al-Momineen” – a title which he had earlier also specified by telling his companions that during his Me’raj or Ascension to highest point in the heavens he saw in the celestial realms the phrase “Ali Amir al-Momineen” written under “Muhammad Rasoul-Allah”.
The words of the Prophet are clear, and any dissent or dispute regarding their meaning or the position of Imam Ali (AS), is nothing but devilish tendencies. For the successor of the Prophet should also be as pure and pristine as the Prophet, since it is against the principle of Divine Justice to allow persons who had spent the greater part of their life in idol-worship and all other unprincipled ways to be leaders of mankind.
Ghadeer is therefore the greatest ever Eid for the true believers, especially in view of Ayah 3 of Surah al-Ma’edah that was revealed after the Prophet’s historic proclamation:
“Today I have perfected your faith for you, completed My favours upon you and chosen Islam as your religion.”
Praised be Allah Almighty, Who never leaves humanity stumbling in the dark.