The event of Ghadir Khumm

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The event of Ghadir Khumm
Also called Eid Al-Ghadeer
Observed by Muslims
Type Islam
Significance Appointment of Ali as the successor of Muhammad, according to Shia Muslims
Observances Prayers, gift-giving, festive meals, as well as reciting the Du'a Nudba
Date 18 Dhu al-Hijjah
2017 date 9 September[1][2]

The event of Ghadir Khumm (Arabic and Persian: واقعه غدیر خم) took place in February 632. It was where, among other things, the Islamic prophet Muhammad announced that "to whomsoever I am Mawla, Ali is also their Mawla." Shia Muslims believe this to be the appointment of Ali as Muhammad's successor. Most Muslims accept the historicity of the event, but not all believe that this constituted an appointment of Ali as the successor to the Prophet, the day's anniversary in the Islamic Calendar (18 Dhu al-Hijjah) is celebrated by Muslims (primarily Shias) as Eid al-Ghadeer.

Farewell pilgrimage[edit]

Ten years after the migration and on the last days of Dhu al-Qi'dah (coinciding with February 632), Muhammad moved from Medina to Mecca accompanied by thousands of his followers, he only once attended Hajj rituals, a few months before he died. Since this Hajj took place in the last year of his life, he made his farewells to people. Ali was in Yemen, preaching Islam, when he was informed about Muhammad's Hajj, so he moved towards Mecca together with some people and joined Muhammad before rituals began. When the rituals of Hajj were finished, Muhammad left Mecca for Medina together with other Muslims.[3][4]

Revelation of the verse of announcement[edit]

On Thursday the 18th of Dhu al-Hijjah (19 March), the Muslims arrived at Ghadir Khumm, the following verse of the Quran was revealed at the historic occasion:

O Messenger! proclaim the (message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His mission. And Allah will defend thee from men (who mean mischief), for Allah guideth not those who reject Faith (5:67).[5]

According to the verse, Muhammad was obliged to proclaim an important message, the verse clearly denotes the importance of the message, by saying that if he does not announce it, then he has not performed his mission. After revelation of the verse, Muhammad ordered the caravan to stop, and ordered those who had passed Ghadir Khumm to return, and for them to wait there until the arrival of those who were still on their way.[6][7] Sunni Muslims, however, believe neither the verse was revealed at Ghadir Khumm nor it was about anyone's appointment as successor, rather it was God's command to Prophet Muhammad to proclaim every message of Islam without fearing anyone.[8]

Ghadir Sermon[edit]

Works related to The Last Sermon of Muhammad by Shia Accounts at Wikisource
Works related to The Last Sermon of Muhammad by Sunni Accounts at Wikisource

It was very hot. About one hundred ten thousand people were there. By the order of Muhammad a rostrum of camel saddles was made, after performing the Zuhr prayer, Muhammad made the long speech now known as the Ghadir Sermon (Arabic: خطبة الغدير). He recited numerous verses from the Quran, and reminded the people of their deeds, and warned them about the future. However, he spoke its most well-known sentence when he raised Ali's hand and said, "whomever I am his master, this Ali is his master (Mawla)."[9][10] When Abu Bakr & Umar heard this, they said to Ali: "O son of Abu Talib, you have become the master of every male and every female believer, morning and evening, congratulations." [11][12][13]

Revelation of the verse of Ikmal al-Din[edit]

According to Shia scholar Sheikh Abdul Hosein Amini's work Al-Ghadir, immediately after Muhammad had finished his speech, the following verse of the Quran was revealed:[14][15][16]

This day have those who reject faith given up all hope of your religion: yet fear them not but fear Me, this day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion (5:3).

Sunni Muslims believe this verse was revealed during the Farewell Pilgrimage of the Prophet Muhammad on the Day of Arafah, the ninth day of Dhul Hijja.[17]

Oath of allegiance[edit]

Only then, Muhammad left the rostrum, and gave the order for the establishment of a tent in which Ali would sit to receive the allegiance oath of Muslims. Thousands of people, group by group, including women, went to him and saluted and congratulated him as Amir al-Mu'minin, commander of the faithful. Umar ibn Al-Khattab was the first to offer congratulations.[3][18][19]

Narrators of the event[edit]

The event of Ghadir Khumm has been revealed in both Shia and Sunni sources. However, Sunnis disagree with the Shia interpretation of this Hadith. Narrators of the Hadith of Ghadir Khum are many, including:

This Hadith is considered to be Hasan by many scholars, and some consider it Sahih. Furthermore, all Shia Hadith scholars, and some great Sunni scholars, consider this Hadith to be Mutawatir. Shia scholar Sheikh Abdul Hosein Amini collected all the references for the event of Ghadir Khum from Sunni sources and issued them together with all other reasons for this event in eleven volumes in of his book Al-Ghadir.[19]

Eid al-Ghadeer[edit]

Shias celebrate the occasion of Muhammad appointing Ali as his successor.[26] Fasting, doing Ghusl (ritual bath), reciting the Du'a Nudba and giving food to believers is among recommended practice of Eid al-Ghadeer. It is a public holiday in Telangana, India.


After the death of Muhammad, a gathering at Saqifah elected Abu Bakr, rather than Ali, to be the successor of Muhammad as the first Rashidun Caliph, this choice was disputed by some Muslims, who believed that Ali had been appointed as successor. This dispute led to the schism between Sunnis and Shias.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Special security measures in Najaf ahead of Eid Al-Ghadir". 17 September 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  2. ^ "Iran Public Holidays 2016 and 2017". Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Al-Shaykh Al-Mufid, Muhammad. Irshad. Qom: Maktaba Basirati. p. 91. 
  4. ^ Shaykh Tabarsi, Ahmad ibn Ali. al-Ihtijaj. 1. Mashhad: Nashr al-Murtaza. p. 56. 
  5. ^ "Yusuf Ali Translation". 
  6. ^ Al-Shahrastani (1984). Kitab al–Milal wa al-Nihal. London: Kegan Paul. pp. 139–140. 
  7. ^ Tafsir ibn Abi Hatim Vol. 4 Pg. 1172 Hadith no. 6609
  8. ^ "Tafsir Ibn Kathir Online". 
  9. ^ Veccia Vaglieri, Laura. "G̲h̲adīr K̲h̲umm". Encyclopædia of Islam, Second Edition. Brill Online. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Dakake, Maria Massi (2007). The charismatic community : Shiʻite identity in early Islam. Albany: State University of New York Press. pp. 34–37. ISBN 0791480348. 
  11. ^ Tahir-ul-Qadri, Dr Muhammad (2005). The Ghadir Declaration. Tehreek-e-Minhaj-ul-Quran. p. 26. ISBN 9693205138. 
  12. ^ Dhahabi, Shams al-Din. Siyar A'lam Al-Nubala'i. Dar Al-Hadith. pp. 623–624. 
  13. ^ Al-Manaaw, Abdur Raoof. Fayd Al-Qadeer. Dar al-Hadith. p. 217. 
  14. ^ al-Bahrani, Seyyed Hashim. Al-Burhan Fi Tafsir al-Quran. 1. pp. 434–437. 
  15. ^ Makarem Shirazi, Naser. Tafsir Nemooneh. 4. pp. 263–271. 
  16. ^ Sobhani, Ja'far. Al-Iman va al-Kofr fi al-Ketab va al-Sunnah. 1. p. 244. 
  17. ^ "Tafsir Ibn Kathir Online". 
  18. ^ Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ahmad. Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal. 4. Beirut: Dar al-Ihya al-Torath al-Arabia. p. 281. 
  19. ^ a b Amini, Abdul Hosein. Al-Ghadir. 1. Qom: Dar al-Kotob al-Islamia. pp. 9–30. 
  20. ^ Muhib al-Din al-Tabari, Ahmad ibn Abdullah. Zakhayer al-Oqba. Cairo: Maktabat al-Qodsi. p. 67. 
  21. ^ ibn Oqde, Ahmad ibn Muhammad. al-Vilaya. Qom: Dalil-e Ma. pp. 150–152. 
  22. ^ ibn Maqazeli, Ali ibn Muhammad. Manaqib. Beirut: Dar al-Adhwa. p. 69. 
  23. ^ Himaway al Juwayni, Ibrahim b Muhammad. Fara'id al-Simtayn. Beirut: Mahmudi. p. 315. 
  24. ^ Ibn al-Jazari, Muhammad. Asna al-Matalib. Isfahan: Maktabat al-Imam Amir al-Mu'menin. p. 48. 
  25. ^ Ibn 'Abd al-Barr, Yusuf ibn Abdallah. The Comprehensive Compilation of the Names of the Prophet's Companions (Arabic: الاستعياب في معرفة الاصحاب). 3. Beirut: Dar al-jil. p. 1099. 
  26. ^ Amir-Moezzi, Mohammad Ali (2014). "Ghadīr Khumm". In Fleet, Kate; Krämer, Gudrun; Matringe, Denis; Nawas, John; Rowson, Everett. Encyclopaedia of Islam (Third ed.). 

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