Jul 28 2021
The significance of Ghadir event lies in determining the best rule and regulation for governing society.
One issue is about Ghadir itself. In some narrations, it has been said that Eid al-Ghadir is the eid of Allah the Great and that it enjoys a status which is higher than all other Eids. What is the reason for this? Well, in the Holy Quran there are ayahs which can only be matched with the issue of Ghadir, not with any other issue.
There is a well-known ayah which says, “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” [The Holy Quran, 5: 3]. This ayah is at the beginning of Sura Al-Maeda and it is not compatible with any issue other than the issue of Ghadir in terms of weight, significance and value.
Only such an issue can match the sentence “This day have those who reject faith given up all hope of your religion.” Those who have questioned the content of these ayahs and those who make certain comments in rejecting this issue – the opponents of Ghadir and those who do not believe in it – have interpreted this ayah in certain ways, but this part of the ayah cannot be interpreted otherwise. Today is a day that the enemies – kufar – have become disappointed with your religion. What has been added to the religion that has disappointed the enemy? How significant are the religious rules that have appeared in this ayah and in the beginning of Sura Al-Maeda both before and after this part of the ayah?
This part of the ayah does not refer to daily prayers, zakat and jihad, nor does it refer to any peripheral rule: “This day have those who reject faith given up all hope of your religion.” So, there is another issue involved, one that is not related to the religious rules that have appeared in the Sura. What is that issue?
It is the issue of the leadership of the Islamic community. It is the issue of government and imamate in the Islamic community. Of course, it was possible that Muslims would not obey this edict and actually they did not do so! For several centuries, the Bani Umayyad, the Bani Abbasid and other such groups lived like kings and ruled over the people in the name of imamate, caliphate and the like. However, this does not harm the philosophy of Ghadir.
The event of determining Ghadir is the event of determining a rule and regulation. A certain regulation was introduced in Islam. In the last months of his life, the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) issued a regulation. What is that regulation? The regulation of imamate, the regulation of Wilayat. Since long before the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.), human societies had government. Humanity has experienced all sorts of governments, but Islam does not believe in such systems, in such kinds of power and in such governments. It believes in imamate. This is the regulation of Islam and Ghadir announced this regulation.
And it is clear who it refers to. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) is a person whose personality and status as God’s representative of Quranic concepts and teachings cannot be blemished by anyone living either in those times or afterwards. Well, they used to curse him, but they even curse God and the Holy Prophet- I seek Allah’s protection. Cursing someone is not a good reason for rejecting them. When everyone thinks, when everyone abandons their biased feelings, they can not cause the least amount of damage to this enlightened and sacred body. The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) chose that person as the embodiment of imamate. This became a regulation.
Until the end of the world, whenever Muslims want to be guided by God so that they implement Islam and achieve the Islamic community, this will be the rule and the regulation: they should revive imamate. Of course, they can never get close to any of the criteria and standards that the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) announced. They cannot even get close to lesser degrees. If we want to compare our greatest scholarly, spiritual, mystic and philosophical personalities with the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.), they are like a faint ray of light that one sees at the bottom of a well. Now, compare this with the sun. Of course, they are the same and they have the same radius, but what is the distance? How different they are from each other?
If we want to compare our best personalities – for example, a personality like our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) who is truly a complete, great, magnificent, and comprehensive personality and who is an outstanding and unique person in every area – with the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.), this comparison will be like what I said. You should compare sunlight with the ray of light that is seen at the bottom of a well or in the corner of a storeroom which comes from the sun itself. This is how distant and different they are from one another.
Such distances exist, but this is the regulation: the regulation of imamate. The regulation of government, power and ruling in the Islamic community was determined by Ghadir. This is the significance of Ghadir. The significance of Ghadir is not confined to the appointment of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). Of course, this appointment is important, but what is more important is that the rule and the regulation was specified. It became clear that in the Islamic community, the monarchic government is meaningless. It became clear that individual and aristocratic government, the government of gold and power, the government of showing arrogance to people, the government of bullying, greed and accumulation of wealth for oneself and the government of lustfulness are meaningless. It became clear that Islam is like this. This regulation was issued in Ghadir.
When this regulation was issued, then “This day have those who reject faith given up all hope of your religion.” When it was issued, the enemies lost all hope of changing the path of religion. This is because the path of religion changes only when the main point and the main nucleus change. If the nucleus of power, management and leadership changes, then everything will change. Of course in reality, certain changes take place. Certain individuals from Bani Umayyad and Bani Abbasid seized power in the name of Islam, so did Hajjaj ibn Yusuf, but they could not disrupt the regulation.
Today, if some people in the world of Islam – those who are familiar with Islamic teachings – refer to the Holy Quran and if they look at the regulations that exist in the Holy Quran about worshipping the Truth, about one’s lifestyle, and the orientation that those nations who worship the Truth adopt, it will not be possible in any way that they reach a conclusion other than the imamate of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) and what follows this imamate.
This is our claim and we can prove it completely. If anyone in the world of Islam – including intellectuals, thinkers, philosophers and those who have had other beliefs since the first day – chooses the Quran, Quranic values and Quranic regulations for the life of human societies as the main standard, they will not reach any conclusion except that a person like Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) should rule over Islamic societies. This is the path. The path is the path of imamate. This was related to Ghadir.
Well, when Ghadir is of such significance, then it becomes clear what the other holy ayah means: “Oh Messenger, deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord. And if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message” [The Holy Quran, 5: 67]. It says that if you do not announce this edict to the people, you have not fulfilled your mission. It was 23 years then that the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) had been working hard. All those efforts in Makka, in Madina, those wars, those self-sacrificing acts, that strictness about himself and the great guidance that that great personality provided for humans were accomplished during those 23 years. So, what was that event and duty without which, all those efforts would not exist: “And if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message.”
This edict could not be related to some peripheral religious rules, rather it was something beyond that. What was it? It was imamate. Who is the first Imam? The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) himself. Imam Sadiq (greetings be upon him) said in Mina, “God’s Messenger was the first Imam. Ali ibn Abi Talib was Imam after him” [Kafi, Vol. 4, page 466]. And they were followed by the other Imams (a.s.). After putting Abraham the Messenger to all those tests, and after he passed through all those difficult stages – he was thrown in the fire in his youth and after that he went to Babylon and other areas and went through a lot of trouble – Allah the Exalted said to him when he had become old, “I will make you an Imam to the nations” [The Holy Quran, 2: 124].
He said to him that He wants to make him an Imam. This is what imamate means. This is an ideology, an Islamic ideology which is based on firm principles and irrefutable arguments. We invite the entire world of Islam and all thinkers to this: the unity that the world of Islam needs today can be easily understood by contemplating on Quranic ayahs and truths provided that thinkers and experts pursue such issues.
Ghadir event is a source of unity for the Islamic Ummah
I call all Muslims throughout the world to reflect on these realities. We do not at all insist that in a unified Islamic Ummah certain Islamic denominations should accept the beliefs of other Islamic denominations. No, this is not what we mean by unity. Unity means that different Islamic denominations should highlight what they have in common and do not use their differences to cause fratricide, war, and enmity among Muslims. That is what we mean by unity.
But all Muslims should study what has been written by contemporary Shia researchers and great Shia scholars. Their works have been praised by the ulama, intellectuals, and prominent figures of the entire world of Islam. This is a reasonable request. They should not confine themselves to their own sources. They should not deprive themselves of the works produced by the scholars of other Islamic denominations. Allamah Amini’s “Al-Ghadir” and the books written by the late Seyyed Sharaf al-Din are a collection of religious realities. Ghadir is an important historical event. In many of his books, Allamah Amini cited tens of Sunni sources that narrate Ghadir the way Shia do. Ghadir has not just been narrated in our books. Some people may disagree about the meaning of mawla, but Ghadir was a historical event that established a criterion [for leadership]. It is obvious to all Muslims and Muslim rulers that the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was a peak of perfection.
The late Allamah Amini – the author of the book “Al-Ghadir” – and Shahid Motahhari believed that Ghadir is a source of unity for the Islamic Ummah. Some people should not assume that Ghadir is a source of discord. That is not the case. Today Shia Muslims are being accused more than the past. Shia Islam is rooted in a correct, healthy, and pure belief in divine revelations. That is the meaning of Shia Islam. Shia Islam means being committed to the values and Quranic criteria. Some people may talk nonsense and accuse Shia Islam of something that has nothing to do with it. They may say that Shia Islam is a fake sect. They may claim that Shia Islam is political in nature and that it has been added to Islam later on. Ghadir invalidates all these claims.
Some people try to show that this great Islamic movement and its followers are outside the scope of Islam. What do they gain out of this? Today policies are being adopted to promote this idea. Why? Because thanks to the spirit of Wilayat, Shia Islam has managed to achieve something that was a dream for all Muslims. In the past, all benevolent, committed, and sympathetic Muslims wished that Islam would one day gain power and would restore its original unity and authority. Muslim intellectuals of the past few centuries lived out their lives, wishing to see such a day. Today Shia Islam has fulfilled this dream – the dream of Islamic rule, grandeur, and dignity. This achievement has been made thanks to the spirit of Wilayat. The enemy can see this. It wants to scatter the supporters of Shia Islam and Wilayat. As a result, today more accusations are levelled against Shia Islam than ever before. Throughout history, there have been some twisted individuals who have talked against Shia Islam, levelled accusations against it, and spread lies about it. But today these accusations are far more than ever before, and this state of affairs is due to the policies adopted by the arrogant powers. Why do they not understand this?
We should all try to understand this. Shia Muslims should try to understand this. We should know that the policies of the arrogant powers are aimed at separating Shia Muslims form non-Shia Muslims. We should know that their policies are aimed at dividing Muslim denominations and pitching them against one another. We should not help them achieve this goal. We should prevent the enemy from achieving this goal. Both Shia and non-Shia Muslims are responsible in this regard. Today it is Shia Muslims in Islamic Iran who have raised the flag of Islamic power and glory, and the arrogant powers feel powerless. All Muslims should know this. This is a fact. The plots that have been hatched by the enemies – America being the most important, and England being the evilest among them – against the Islamic Republic during the past 30 years are all due to the fact that they are terrified. They are terrified of the Islamic movement and Islamic Awakening. The areas that are populated by Muslims are the most strategic areas in the world. They know that they will have no control over these areas when Muslims wake up to the realities, pay attention, and feel independent and powerful. They know that they will lose control of these strategic areas when Muslims feel their Islamic identity. They are afraid of this. They hatch plots because they are afraid. They use various means to achieve their goal. Today the leaders of arrogant policies – namely, America, the Zionists, and other arrogant powers of the world – are using all their power in order to isolate the Iranian nation and the Islamic Republic. So far, they have not achieved this goal. And by Allah’s grace, they will not be able to do so in the future either.