By: Seyyed Ali Shahbaz
“Peace on you, O the Vicegerent of the Testamentary Legatees of the past; Peace on you, O the Depository of the evident revelations; Peace on you, O the Possessor of sure knowledge; Peace on you, O the Treasury of the Messenger’s knowledge!
Today is the 20th of Zi’l-Hijjah, and without the least doubt we still basking in the blessings of the Greatest Eid of Islam, that is, the 18th of this sacred month on which in the year 10 AH, following the express Divine Commandment Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) halted at the Ghadeer (pond) of the wilderness of Khomm, the huge caravan of Hajj pilgrims returning from Mecca, to proclaim his dearest cousin and son-in-law Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) as Vicegerent.
“Amir al-Momineen” or the One and Only Commander of the Faithful was indeed the Greatest of all Testamentary Legatees (‘Awsia’ – the plural of ‘Wasi’) that preceded him since the Father of mankind, Adam, named his son Seth as the ‘Wasi’ to succeed him, but the person saluted as “Vicegerent” in the above passage is not the First Infallible Heir of the Seal of all Prophets.
He is in fact Prophet Muhammad’s (SAWA) 7th Infallible Successor whose birthday is celebrated on this particular day.
He is Imam Musa al-Kazem (AS), who lived at a crucial juncture of history when the tyrant Haroun Rashid ruled Muslims, and like all usurpers before him (after him as well) shamelessly used the stolen title of ‘Commander of the Faithful’ for himself when neither he nor all other imposters could be called real Muslims, let alone being leaders of “Momineen” or True Believers in the Sight of God.
Born in Abwa, between the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, in the year 128 AH, he was the son and successor of the Reviver of the Prophet’s genuine Sunnah and Seerah (Practice and Behaviour), Imam Ja’far as-Sadeq (AS).
Like his illustrious ancestors, the Testamentary Legatees of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) and Imam Ali (AS), he strove to enlighten hearts, minds, and souls of the Muslims with the rays of the resplendent light of Eid al-Ghadeer which the rulers were trying to prevent from reaching the people.
As part of his efforts, Imam Kazem (AS) highly recommended the offering of at least a two-raka’at prayer at the mosque in Ghadeer-Khomm that was built at the spot where Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) had mounted a makeshift pulpit of camel saddles to deliver his famous sermon and announce to the 120,000 gathering of Hajj pilgrims God’s order to appoint Imam Ali (AS) as Vicegerent.
The 7th Imam, quoting his father, grandfather, and forefathers, used to say that prayer in this place has great rewards.
Over the past millennium and three centuries, the mosque at Ghadeer-Khomm used to be thronged by Hajj pilgrims coming to nearby Juhfa for donning the Ehraam or the special seamless pilgrim garb.
In the 19th century, following a flash flood, the Sunni Muslim Ottoman rulers had renovated it and provided facilities to Muslims, until it was desecrated and destroyed by the heretical Wahhabi cult of the Saudis when they occupied the Land of Divine Revelation in 1925 through British help.
Imam Musa al- Kazem (AS), during the 35 years of his imamate that coincided with the reigns of four Pharaohs of the usurper Abbasid regime – Mansour Dawaniqi, Mahdi al-Abbasi, Hadi al-Abbasi, and Haroun – displayed such remarkable patience in controlling his emotions that he is known till this day as “Kazem” (shortened form of “Kazem al-Ghayz” or Restrainer of Anger).
If his God-given knowledge was a byword amongst the people, his wisdom exceeded that of Prophet Solomon, and so dedicated was he in worship that he acquired the epithet “Abd Saleh” (most pious servant of God).
In addition, he has been immortalized as “Bab al-Hawa’ej” (Gateway of Boons), a title by which he is addressed universally by one and all from all over the world, who reverently bow towards his holy shrine in Kazemayn, the northeastern suburb of Baghdad, where no traces remain of the magnificent palaces built by his assassin, Haroun.
Once Haroun, in trying to show off to Imam Kazem (AS) his palace, asked him about the owner of such a majestic building to which the Imam without being the least impressed replied: “this is the home of a corrupt person, it is about such people that God says in the Qur’an (7:146)”:
“Soon I shall turn away from My signs those who are unduly arrogant in the earth: [even] though they should see every sign, they will not believe in it, and if they see the way of rectitude they will not take it as [their] way, and if they see the way of error they will take it as [their] way. That is because they deny Our signs and are oblivious to them.”