Ghadir Khum, In Authentic Sunni Books

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The Farewell Pilgrimage

Ten years after the migration, the Messenger of Allah ordered to his close followers to call all the people in different places to join him in his last pilgrimage. On this pilgrimage he taught them how to perform the pilgrimage in a correct and unified form.

This was first time that the Muslims with this magnitude gathered in one place in the presence of their leader, the Messenger of Allah. On his way to Mecca, more than seventy thousand people followed Prophet (PBUH&HF).

On the fourth day of Dhul-Hajjah more than one hundred thousand Muslims had entered Mecca.

Revelation of Verse 5:67

On the 18th of Dhul-Hajjah, after completing his last pilgrimage (Hajjatul-Widaa), Prophet was leaving Mecca toward Medina, where he and the crowd of people reached to a place called Ghadir Khum (which is close to today's Juhfah). It was a place where people from different provinces should say Good bye to each other and take different routes for their home. In this

place, the following verse was revealed : "O Apostle! Deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord; and if you don't do it, you have not delivered His message (at all); and

Allah will protect you from the people ..." (Quran 5:67).

Some of Sunni references confirming that the revelation of the above verse of Quran was right before the speech of Prophet in Ghadir Khum:

(1) Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Razi, under commentary of verse 5:67,

v12, pp 49-50, narrated on the authorities of Ibn Abbas, al-Bara Ibn

Azib, and Muhammad Ibn Ali.

(2) Asbab al-Nuzool, by al-Wahidi, p50, narrated on the authorities of

Atiyyah and Abu Sa'id al Khudri.

(3) Nuzul al-Quran, by al-Hafiz Abu Nu'aym narrated on the authorities

Abu Sa'id Khudri and Abu Rafi.

(4) al-Fusool al Muhimmah, by Ibn Sabbagh al-Maliki al-Makki, p24

(5) Durr al-Manthur, by al-Hafiz al-Suyuti, under commentary of verse 5:67

(6) Fathul Qadir, by al-Shawkani, under commentary of verse 5:67

(7) Fathul Bayan, by Hasan Khan, under commentary of verse 5:67

(8) Shaykh Muhi al-Din al-Nawawi, under commentary of verse 5:67

(9) al-Sirah al-Halabiyah, by Noor al-Din al-Halabi, v3, p301

(10) Umdatul Qari fi Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, by al-Ayni

(11) Tafsir al-Nisaboori, v6, p194

The last sentence in the above verse indicates that the Prophet (PBUH&HF) was mindful of the reaction of his people in delivering that message but Allah informs him not to worry, for He will protect His Messenger from people.

The Speech; Upon receiving the verse, the Prophet (PBUH&HF) stopped on that place (the pond of Khum) which was extremely hot. Then he sent for all people who have been ahead in the way, to come back and waited until all pilgrims who fell behind, arrived and gathered. He ordered Salman (ra) to use rocks and camel toolings to make a pulpit (minbar) so he could make his announcement. It was around noon time in the first of the Fall, and due to the extreme heat in that valley, people were wrapping their robes around their feet and legs, and were sitting around the pulpit, on the hot rocks.

On this day the Messenger of Allah spent approximately five ours in this place; three hours of which he was on the pulpit. He recited nearly one hundred verses from The Glorious Quran, and for seventy three times reminded and warned people of their deeds and future. Then he gave them along speech. The following is a part of his speech which has been widely narrated by the Sunni traditionists:

The Messenger of Allah declared: "It seems the time approached when I shall be called away (by Allah) and I shall answer that call. I am leaving for you two precious things and if you adhere both of them,you will never go astray after me. They are the Book of Allah and my progeny, that is my Ahlul-Bayt. The two shall never separate from each other until they come to me by the Pool (of Paradise)."

Then the Messenger of Allah continued: "Do I not have more right over

the believers than what they have over themselves?" People cried and

answered: "Yes, O' Messenger of God." Then Prophet (pbuh) held up the

hand of Ali and said: "Whoever I am his leader (Mawla), Ali is his

leader (Mawla). O' God, love those who love him, and be hostile to

those who are hostile to him."

Some of the Sunni references:

(1) Sahih Tirmidhi, v2, p298, v5, p63

(2) Sunan Ibn Maja, v1, pp 12,43

(3) Khasa'is, by al-Nisa'i, pp 4,21

(4) al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v2, p129, v3, pp 109-110,116,371

(5) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v1, pp 84,118,119,152,330, v4, pp 281,368,370,

372,378, v5, pp 35,347,358,361,366,419 (from 40 chains of narrators)

(6) Fada'il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Hanbal, v2, pp 563,572

(7) Majma' al-Zawa'id, by al-Haythami, v9, p103 (from several transmitters)

(8) Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Razi, v12, pp 49-50

(9) Tafsir al-Durr al-Manthur, by al-Hafiz Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, v3, p19

(10) Tarikh al-Khulafa, by al-Suyuti, pp 169,173

(11) al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah, by Ibn Kathir, v3, p213, v5, p208

(12) Usdul Ghabah, by Ibn Athir, v4, p114

(13) Mushkil al-Athar, by al-Tahawi, v2, pp 307-308

(14) Habib al-Siyar, by Mir Khand, v1, part 3, p144

(15) Sawaiq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, p26

(16) al-Isabah, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, v2, p509; v1, part1, p319,

v2, part1, p57, v3, part1, p29, v4, part 1, pp 14,16,143

(17) Tabarani, who narrated from companions such as Ibn Umar, Malik Ibn

al-Hawirath, Habashi Ibn Junadah, Jari, Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas,

Anas Ibn Malik, Ibn Abbas, Amarah,Buraydah,...

(18) Tarikh, by al-Khatib Baghdadi, v8, p290

(19) Hilyatul Awliya', by al-Hafiz Abu Nu'aym, v4, p23, v5, pp26-27

(20) al-Istiab, by Ibn Abd al-Barr, Chapter of word "ayn" (Ali), v2, p462

(21) Kanzul Ummal, by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, v6, pp 154,397

(22) al-Mirqat, v5, p568

(23) al-Riyad al-Nadirah, by al-Muhib al-Tabari, v2, p172

(24) Dhaka'ir al-Uqba, by al-Muhib al-Tabari, p68

(25) Faydh al-Qadir, by al-Manawi, v6, p217

(26) Yanabi' al-Mawaddah, by al-Qudoozi al-Hanafi, p297

... And many more..

Revelation of Verse 5:3

Immediately after the Prophet (PBUH&HF) finished his speech, the following

verse of Holy Quran was revealed:

"Today I have perfected your religion and completed my bounty upon

you, and I was satisfied that Islam be your religion." (Quran 5:3)

Some of Sunni references which mentioned the revelation of the above

verse of Quran in Ghadir Khum after the speech of the Prophet:

(1) al-Durr al-Manthur, by al-Hafiz Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, v3, p19

(2) Tarikh, by Khatib al-Baghdadi, v8, pp 290,596 from Abu Hurayra

(3) Manaqaib, by Ibn Maghazali, p19

(4) History of Damascus, Ibn Asakir, v2, p75

(5) al-Itqan, by al-Suyuti, v1, p13

(6) Manaqib, by Khawarazmi al-Hanfi, p80

(7) al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah, by Ibn Kathir, v3, p213

(8) Yanabi' al-Mawaddah, by al-Qudoozi al-Hanafi, p115

(9) Nuzul al-Quran, by al-Hafiz Abu Nu'aym narrated on the authority

Abu Sa'id Khudri.

The above verse clearly indicates that Islam without clearing up matter of leadership after Prophet was not complete, and completion of religion was due to announcement of Prophet's immediate successor.

Oath of Allegiance: After his speech, the Messenger of Allah asked every body to give the oath of allegiance to Ali (as) and congratulate him. Among those who gave him the oath were Umar, Abu Bakr, and Uthman. It is narrated that Umar and

Abu Bakr said:

"Well done Ibn Abi Talib! Today you became the leader (Mawla) of all

believing men and women."

Sunni references:

(1) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v4, p281

(2) Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Razi, v12, pp 49-50

(3) Mishkat al-Masabih, by al-Khatib al-Tabrizi, p557

(4) Habib al-Siyar, by Mir Khand, v1, part3, p144

(5) Kitabul Wilayah, by Ibn Jarir al-Tabari

(6) al-Musannaf, by Ibn Abi Shaybah

(7) al-Musnad, by Abu Ya'ala

(8) Hadith al-Wilayah, by Ahmad Ibn `Uqdah

(9) Tarikh, by Khatib al-Baghdadi, v8, pp 290,596 from Abu Hurayra

The Number of People in Ghadir Khum

It was Allah's will that an increased popularity is associated with this tradition via the tongs of narrators and over the times. So that there is a standing proof for the guiding Imam (peace be upon him). Allah ordered His Prophet (PBUH&HF) to notify people at a time of crowded populous so that all become the narrators of the tradition, while they exceeded a hundred


Narrated by Zaid Ibn Arqam: Abu al-Tufail said: "I heard it from the Messenger of Allah, and there was no one (there) unless he saw him with his eyes and heard him with his ears."

Sunni reference:

(1) al-Khasa'is, by al-Nisa'i, p21;

(2) al-Dhahabi said it is sahih (authentic), as said in:

(3) History of Ibn Kathir, v5, p208

It is also narrated that:

"The Messenger of Allah called at the height of his voice."

Sunni reference: Manaqib al-Khawarizmi, by al-Khawarizmi, p94

"There were with the Messenger (pbuh) from the companions, Arabs,residents around Mecca and Medina one hundred and twenty thousand(120,000) and they are those who were present in the Farewell Pilgrimage and heard this speech."

Sunni reference: Manaqib, by Ibn al-Jawzi

Revelation of Verse 70:1-3: Some Sunni commentators further claim that the first three verse of the chapter of al-Ma'arij (70:1-3) was revealed when a dispute arose after

Prophet reached Medina. It is recorded that:

On the day of Ghadir the Messenger of Allah summoned the people toward

Ali and said: "Ali is the MAWLA of whom I am MAWLA." The news spread

quickly all over urban and rural areas. When Harith Ibn Nu'man al-

Fahri (or Nadhr Ibn Harith according to another tradition) came to

know of it, he rode his camel and came to Medina and went to the

Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) and said to him: "You commanded us to

testify that there is no deity but Allah and that you are the

Messenger of Allah. We obeyed you. You ordered us to perform the

prayers five times a day and we obeyed. You ordered us to observe

fasts during the month of Ramadhan and we obeyed. Then you commanded

us to offer pilgrimage to Mecca and we obeyed. But you are not

satisfied with all this and you raised your cousin by your hand and

imposed him upon us as our master by saying `Ali is the MAWLA of whom

I am MAWLA.' Is this imposition from Allah or from You?" The Prophet

(PBUH&HF) said : "By Allah who is the only deity! This is from Allah,

the Mighty and the Glorious."

On hearing this Harith turned back and proceeded towards his she-camel

saying: "O Allah! If what Muhammad said is correct then fling on us a

stone from the sky and subject us to severe pain and torture."

He had not reached his she-camel when Allah, who is above all defects

flung at him a stone which struck him on his head, penetrated his body

and passed out through his lower body and left him dead. It was on

this occasion that Allah, the exalted, caused to descend the following


"A questioner questioned about the punishment to fall. For the

disbelievers there is nothing to avert it, from Allah the Lord of

the Ascent." (70:1-3)

Sunni references:

(1) Tafsir al-Tha'labi, by Is'haq al-Tha'labi, commentary of verse 70:1-3

from two chain of narrators.

(2) Noor al-Absar, by Shablanji, p4

(3) al-Fusool al-Muhimmah, by Ibn Sabbagh al-Maliki al-Makki, p25

(4) al-Sirah al-Halabiyah, by Noor al-Din al-Halabi, v2, p214

(5) Arjah al-Matalib

(6) Nazhat al-Mujalis from al-Qurtubi

The events that Imam Ali (as) reminded the Tradition: Imam Ali (as), in person, reminded others who witnessed the event of Ghadir

and the tradition of the Messenger of Allah; these are some of the events:

- On the day of Shura (Election Day for Uthman)

- During the days of Uthman's rule

- The Day of Rahbah (year 35) where 24 companions stood up and swore that

they attended and heard the tradition of the Prophet (pbuh) first hand,

twelve of whom were the warriors of Badr.

- The Day of Jamal (the War of Camel, year 36) where he reminded Talha.

- The Day of the Riders where 9 witnesses testified.

About the Battle of Camel, al-Hakim and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and others

recorded that:

We were in the camp of Ali on the day of Battle of Camel, where Ali sent for Talha to talk to him (before the beginning of war). Talha came forward, and Ali told him: I adjure you by Allah! Didn't you hear the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) when he said: `Whoever I am his MAWLA, this Ali is his MAWLA. O God, love whoever loves him, and be hostile to whoever is hostile to him'?" Talha replied: "Yes." Ali said: "Then why do you want to fight me?"

Sunni reference:

- al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, pp 169,371

- Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, on the authority of Ilyas al-Dhabbi

- Muruj al-Dhahab, by al-Mas'udi, v4, p321

- Majma' al-Zawa'id, by al-Haythami, v9, p107

Ahmad Ibn Hanbal recorded in his Musnad that:

Abu Tufayl narrated that He (Ali) gathered the people in the plain of Rahbah (on year 35 AH) and adjured in the name of Allah every Muslim male present there who had heard the proclamation of al-Ghadir from the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) to stand up and testify what they had heard from the Messenger on the Day of Ghadir. Thereupon thirty (30) men stood up and gave evidence that the Prophet grasped Ali's hand and said to the audience: "He (Ali) has superior authority over those who believe me to have superiority over their lives. O Allah! Love him who loves him and hate him who hates him." Abu Tufayl says that it was in a state of great mental agitation that he left the plain of Rahbah, for the Muslim masses had not complied with the tradition. He therefore called on Zaid Ibn Arqam and told him what he heard from Ali. Zaid told him not to entertain any doubt about it for he himself had heard the Messenger of Allah uttering those words.

Sunni reference: Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v4, p370


Abd al-Rahman Ibn Abu Laylah said: I witnessed Ali administering an

oath to the people in the plain of Rahbah. Ali said: "I adjure those

of you in the name of Allah who heard the Messenger of Allah on the

day of Ghadir saying `Ali is the Mawla of whom I am Mawla' to stand

up and to testify. He who was not an eyewitness doesn't need to stand

up." Thereupon twelve (12) such companions who had participated in

the Battle of Badr stood up. The occasion is still fresh in my memory.

Sunni references:

- Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v1, p119, see also v5, p366

- Khasa'is, by al-Nisa'i, pp 21,103, narrated similar to above on the

authority of three others: Umayah Ibn Sa'd, Zaid Ibn yathigh, and

Sa'id Ibn Wahab.

It is also recorded that:

When Ali said to Anas: "Why don't you stand up and testify what you

heard from the Messenger of Allah on the day of Ghadir?" He answered,

"O Amir al-Mumineen! I have grown old and do not remember." Thereupon

Ali said: "May Allah mark you with a white spot (of leprosy; Alphosis)

unconcealable with your turban, if you are intentionally withholding

the truth." And before Anas got up from his place he bore a large

white spot on his face, Thereafter Anas used to say, "I am under the

curse of the righteous servant of Allah."

Sunni references:

(1) al-Ma'arif, by Ibn Qutaybah, p14, in the account of Anas among disabled


(2) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v1, p199, where he testifies to the above

anecdote, as he says : "All stood up except three persons who came

under the curse of Ali."

(3) Hilyatul Awliya', by Abu Nu'aym, v5, p27

A more detailed speech of Prophet at the Pond of Khum: Messenger of Allah said:

"Praise belongs to Allah. We ask Him for help, and we believe in Him,and to Him we trust. We seek refuge to Him from the evil of our souls and the sins of our deeds. Verily there is no guide for the one whom Allah leaves in stray, and there is non who leads astray the one whom Allah has guided."

"O People! Know that Gabriel came down to me several times bringing me an order from the Lord, the Merciful, that I should stop at this place

and inform you. Behold! It is as if the time approached when I shall be called away (by Allah) and I shall answer that call."

"O Folk! Don't you witness that there is no deity but Allah, Muhammad is His servant and His Apostle, Paradise is truth, Hell is truth, death is truth, resurrection is truth, and that the Hour shall

certainly arrive, and Allah shall raise people from the graves?"

People replied: "Yes, we believe in them."

He continued: "O People! Do you hear my voice (clearly)?" They said: "Yes". The Prophet said: "Behold! I am leaving among you two precious and weighty Symbols that if you adhere to both of them, you shall never go astray after me. Each of these two surpasses the other in its grandeur."

A person asked: "O Messenger of Allah, what are those two precious things?"

The Prophet replied: "One of them is the Book of Allah and the other

one is my select progeny (Itrat), that is family (Ahlul-Bayt). Beware

of how you behave them when I am gone from amongst you, for Allah, the

Merciful, has informed me that these two (i.e., Quran and Ahlul-Bayt)

shall never separate from each other until they reach me in Heaven at

the Pool (of al-Kawthar). I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my

Ahlul-Bayt. I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my Ahlul-Bayt.

Once more! I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my Ahlul-Bayt."

"Behold! I am your predecessor at the Pool (of Paradise) and I shall

be a witness against you. Thus be careful how you treat these two

precious things after me. Do not precede these two for you will

perish, and do not stay away from them for you will perish."

"O People! Don't you know that I have more authority upon you than

yourself?" People cried and said: "Yes, O Messenger of Allah." Then

prophet repeated: "O Folk! Do I not have more right over the believers

than what they have over themselves?" People said again "Yes, O

Messenger of Allah." Then Prophet said: "O People! Surely God is my

Master, and I am the master of all believers." Then he grasped the

hand of Ali and raised it and said:

"WHOEVER I AM HIS MASTER, ALI IS HIS MASTER (repeating three times). O

God! Love those who love him. Be hostile to those who are hostile to

him. Help those who help him. Forsake those who forsake him. And keep

the truth with him wherever he turns (i.e., make him the axis of the


"Ali, the son of Abu Talib, is my brother, my executor (Wasi), and my

successor (Caliph), and the leader (Imam) after me. His position to me

is the same as the position of Haroon (Aaron) to Moses, except that

there shall be no prophet after me. He is your master after Allah and

His Messenger."

"O Folk! Verily Allah has appointed him to be your Imam and ruler.

Obedience of him is obligatory for all Immigrants (Muhajirin) and

Helpers (Ansar) and those who follow them in virtue, and on the

dwellers of the cities and the nomads, the Arabs and the non-Arabs,

the freeman and the slave, the young and the old, the great and the

small, the white and the black."

"His commands should be obeyed, and his word is binding and his order

is obligatory on everyone who believes in one God. Cursed is the man

who disobeys him, and blessed is the one who follows him, and he who

believes in him is a true believer. His WILAYAH (belief in his

mastery) has been made obligatory by Allah, the Powerful, the


O Folk! Study the Quran. Reflect on its clear verses and do not

presume the meaning of the ambiguous verses. For, by Allah, nobody can

properly explain them to you its warnings and its meanings except me

and this man (i.e., Ali) whose hand I am lifting up in front of


"O People! This is the last time that I shall stand in this assembly.

Therefore listen to me and obey and submit to the command of Lord.

Verily Allah, He is your Lord and God. After Him, His prophet,

Muhammad who is addressing you, is your master. Then after me, this

Ali is your master and your leader (Imam) according to Allah's

command. Then after him leadership will continue through some selected

individuals in my descendants till the day you meet Allah and His


"Behold! Certainly you shall meet your Lord and He will ask you about

your deeds. Beware! Do not become infidels after me by striking the

necks of one another. Lo! It is incumbent upon those who are present

to inform what I said to those who are absent for perhaps the informed

one might comprehend it (understand it) better than some of the

present audience. Behold! Haven't I conveyed the Message of Allah to

you? Behold! Haven't I conveyed the Message of Allah to you?" People

replied: "Yes." The Prophet said: "O God! Bear witness."


- A'alam al-Wara, pp 132-133

- Tadhkirat al-Khawas al-Ummah, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi al-Hanafi, pp 28-33

- al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, by Noor al-Din al-Halabi, v3, p273

The Meaning Wali, Mawla, and Wilayah: No Muslim scholar could ever cast any doubt in the documentation of the tradition of Ghadir Khum, for it has been narrated with as much as 150 authentic chains of transmitters by the Sunnis alone. A Mutawatir report is a report which has been narrated unbrokenly and independently by so many people so that no doubt can be entertained about their authenticity. Even the students of Ibn Taymiyyah such as al-Dhahabi and Ibn Kathir who have proven their enmity toward the Shia, emphasized that the tradition of Ghadir Khum is Mutawatir and Sahih (authentic) (See al-Bidayah wan Nihayah). However some people did try to interpret the tradition in a different way. They particularly tried

to translate the words WALI (master/guardian), MAWLA (master/leader), and WILAYAH (mastery/leadership/guardianship) as friend and friendship.

Some suggested that what really the Prophet (PBUH&HF) wanted to say was:

"Whoever I am his friend, Ali is his friend."

There was no doubt that Imam Ali (as) had a very high status in comparison with all other people. He was the first male who embraced Islam (Sahih Tirmidhi, v5, p642; Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal v4, p317; Mustadrak by al- Hakim, v3, pp 111,136; Sirah Ibn Hisham, p345; Tabaqat by Ibn Sa'd, v3, p71,72; al-Istiab by Ibn Abd al-Bar, v3, p30). He received the title of

the "brother" of Prophet (Sahih Tirmidhi v5, p363; Sirah Ibn Hisham, p504; Tahdhib v4, p251). He was the one for whom Prophet said: "Loving Ali is believing, hating Ali is hypocrisy." (Sahih Muslim, v1, p48; Sahih Tirmidhi, v5, p643; Sunan Ibn Majah, v1, p142; Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal v1, pp 84,95,128). Thus it does not seem to be logical for the Prophet

(PBUH&HF) to keep more than a hundred thousand people in such unbeatable heat, and keep them waiting in such condition until those who have left

behind reach the place, and then all to tell them was that "Ali is the friend of believers!"

Also, as we quoted: Umar and Abu Bakr congratulated Ali

by saying: "Congratulations O son of Abu Talib! Today you became the MAWLA

of all believing men and women." If, here, the word MAWLA means friend

then why the congratulations? Was Ali the enemy of all believers before

that time, so that Umar said that this day you BECAME the friend of them?!

In fact, every WALI is a friend, but the reverse is not always true. This

is why the Arabs use "Wali al-Amr" for the rulers, meaning the master of

the affairs. Thus, logically speaking, the word MAWLA can not be

interpreted as friend, and we should rather use its other more-frequently-

used meanings which are Leader and Guardian.

Perhaps one would ask why Prophet didn't use other words to further explain

his intention. In fact, people asked him the same question, and the

following Sunni documentations are the answers of the Prophet (PBUH&HF):

1. When the Messenger of Allah (s) was asked about the meaning

of "whomever I am his MAWLA then Ali is his MAWLA". He said:

"Allah is my MAWLA more deserving of me (my obedience) than

myself, I do not dispute him. I am the MAWLA of the believers,

more deserving in them than themselves, they do not dispute me.

Therefore, whomever I was his MAWLA, more deserving in him

than himself (and) does not dispute me, then Ali is MAWLA,

more deserving in him than himself, he does not dispute him."

Sunni references:

- Shamsul Akhbar, by al-Qurashi, Ali Ibn Hamid, p38

- Salwat al-'Arifin, by al-Muwaffaq billah, al-Husain Ibn Isma'il al


2. During the reign of Uthman, Ali protested by reminding people the

following tradition. Also, he reminded it again during the war of


When the Messenger of Allah spoke of (Tradition of Ghadir)...,

Salman stood up and said: "O' Messenger of Allah! What does WALAA

mean? and how?" Prophet replied: "The same way that I am your WALI

(Wala-un ka wala'i). Whomever (considered me) I was more deserving in

him than himself, then Ali is more deserving in him than himself."

Sunni reference: Fara'id al-Samtain, by Hamawaini (Abu Is'haq Ibrahim Ibn

Sa'd al-Din Ibn al-Hamawiyia), section 58.

3. Ali Ibn Abi Talib was asked about the saying of the Messenger

of Allah "Whomever I am his MAWLA then Ali is his MAWLA". He said:

"He erected me chief ['alaman]. To the time I am up there, whomever

contradicts me then he is lost (misguided in religion)."

Sunni reference: Zain al-Fata, by al-Hafiz al-'Asimi

4. On the commentary of Verse: "And stop them, they are to be asked

(Quran 37:24)", al-Daylami narrated that Abu Sa'id al-Khudri said: The

Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) said: "And stop them, they will be asked

of WILAYAH of Ali."

Also, al-Hafiz al-Wahidi commented on the above verse saying:

"This WILAYAH that the Prophet (pbuh) affirmed to Ali, will be asked

about on the Day of Judgment. It is said that WILAYAH is what Allah

meant in the verse 37:24 of Quran where He said: "And stop them, they

are to be asked [37:24]". This means that they will be asked about the

WILAYAH of Ali (ra). The meaning is: They will be asked if they truly

accepted him as their WALI as they were instructed by the Prophet

(pbuh)? or did they loose and ignore it?"

Sunni references:

- al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Ch. 11, subheading 1,

p229 quoted from al-Wahidi; also quoted from al-Daylami on the authority

of Abi Sa'id al-Khudri.

- Fara'id al-Samtain, by Hamawaini (Abu Is'haq Ibrahim Ibn Sa'd al-Din Ibn

al-Hamawiyia), section 14

- Nudhum Durar al-Samtain, by Jaml al-Din al-Zarandi

- al-Rashfah, by al-Hadhrami, p24

Countless scholars of Quran, Arabic grammar, and literature have

interpreted the word MAWLA as Awla which means "having more authority."

The following Sunni specialists all confirmed the above meaning:

1. al-Wahidi (d. 468), in "al-Wasit"

2. al-Akhfash Nahwi (d. 215), in "Nihayat al-Uqul"

3. al-Tha'labi (d. 427), in "al-Kashf wal Bayan"

4. Ibn Qutaybah (d. 276), in "al-Qurtayan", v2, p164

5. al-Kalbi (d. 146, quoted in "Tafsir al-Kabir", by al-Razi, v29, p227)

6. al-Farra' (as quoted in "Ruhul Ma'ani", by al-Alusi, v27, p178)

7. al-Nasafi (d. 701), in his "Tafsir", v4, p229

8. al-Tabari (d. 310), in "Tafsir al-Tabari", v9, p117

9. al-Bukhari (d. 215), in "Sahih al-Bukhari", v7, p271

10. al-Zamakhshari (d. 538), in "Tafsir al-Kashshaf", v2, p435

11. Qazi Nasiruddin al-Baydawi (d. 692), in "tafsir al-Baydawi", v2, p497

12. al-Khazin al-Baghdadi (d. 741), in his "Tafsir", v4, p229

13. Muhib al-Din al-Afandi, in "Tanzil al-Ayat"

14. Mu'ammar Ibn Muthanna al-Basri (as quoted in "Sharh al-Mawaqif", by

al-Sharif al-Jurjani, v3, p271)

15. Abul Abbas Tha'lab (as quoted in "Sharh al-Sab'ah al-Mu'allaqah", by


16. Ibn Abbas, in his "Tafsir" written on the margin of Durr al-Manthur,

v5, p355

17. Abu al-Saud al-Hanafi (d. 972), in his "Tafsir"

18. and many more such as Yahya Ibn Zaid Kufi (d. 207), Abu Ubaida Basri

(d. 210), Abu Zaid Ibn Aus Basri (d. 125), Abu Bakr Anbari (d. 328),

Abul Hasan Rummani (d. 384), Sa'd al-Din Taftazani (d. 791), Shaba

Uddin Khafaji (d. 1069), Hamzawi Maliki (d. 1303), Husain Ibn Mas'd

(d. 510), Abu Baqa Ukbari (d. 616), Ibn Hajar al-Haythmai (d. 974),

Sharif Jurjani (d. 618), Abdul Abbas Mubarrad (d. 285), Abu Nasr Farabi

(d. 393) and, Abu Zakariya Khateeb Tarizi (d. 502),...

Thus the word WALI or MAWLA in the tradition of Ghadir Khum does not mean a simple friend, rather it means master and guardian who has more authority over believers than what they have over themselves as Prophet himself mentioned by saying "Don't I have more authority (Awla) on believers than what they have over themselves?". At least 64 Sunni traditionists have

quoted this preceding question of the Prophet, among them are al-Tirmidhi, al- Nisa'i, Ibn Majah, Ahmad In Hanbal. Therefore, the opinion of the above Sunni scholars accords with what Prophet (PBUH&HF) said by using the word Awla before the word MAWLA. In fact, when a word has more than one meaning,

the best way to find out its true connotation is to look at the association (qarinah) and the context. The word Awla (having more authority) used by the Prophet gives a good association for the word MAWLA.

Also the prayer of Prophet after his declaration in which he said:

"O' God, love those who love him, and be hostile to those who are hostile to him. Help those who help him, and forsake those who forsake him", shows that Ali (as) on that day was entrusted with a responsibility (rulership) which, by its nature, would make some people his enemy, and in carrying out that responsibility he would need some helpers and supporters.

Are helpers ever needed to carry on a "friendship"?

Moreover, The declaration of Prophet (PBUH&HF) that "It seems the time is approached when I will be called away (by Allah) and I will answer that

call" clearly shows that he was making arrangements for the leadership of Muslims after his death.

Also when at the end of his speech, the Prophet (PBUH&HF) said twice:

"Behold! Haven't I conveyed the message of Allah?" or "It is incumbent upon every one who is present to inform the absent for they may understand it better than those who are present" (Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English, traditions 5.688, 7.458, and 9.539) shows that the Prophet was conveying a very important message which was going to be transferred to all coming

generations. This matter could not have been a simple friendship.

"ONLY Allah is your WALI, and His Messenger and those among

believers who keep alive prayer AND pay Zakat while they are in the

state of bowing." (Quran 5:55)

The above verse clearly suggests that NOT all the believers are our WALI

with the special meaning of WALI in this verse which is "master" and

"leader". Again, here it is clear that WALI does not mean just friend,

because all the

believers are friends of each other. The above verse mentions that only

three things are your special WALI: Allah, Prophet Muhammad, and Imam Ali

for he was the only one at the time of Prophet who paid Zakat while he was

in the state bowing (ruku'). Muslim scholars are unanimous in reporting

this event. Here are just some of the Sunni references which mentioned the

revelation of the above verse of Quran in the honor of Imam Ali:

(1) Tafsir al-Kabir, by Ahmad Ibn Muhammad al-Tha'labi, under Verse 5:55

(2) Tafsir al-Kabir, by Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, v6, pp 186,288-289

(3) Tafsir Jamiul Hukam al-Quran, by Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Qurtubi, v6, p219

(4) Tafsir al-Khazin, v2, p68

(5) Tafsir al-Durr al-Manthur, by al-Suyuti, v2, pp 293-294

(6) Tafsir al-Kashshaf, by al-Zamakhshari, Egypt 1373, v1, pp 505,649

(7) Asbab al-Nuzool, by Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, Egypt 1382, v1, p73 on the

authority of Ibn Abbas

(8) Asbab al-Nuzool, by al-Wahidi

(9) Sharh al-Tjrid, by Allama Qushji

(10) Ahkam al-Quran, al-Jassas, v2, pp 542-543

(11) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v5, p38

(12) Kanzul Ummal, by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, v6, p391

(13) al-Awsat, by Tabarani, narrated from Ammar Yasir

(14) Ibn Mardawayh, on the authority of Ibn Abbas

The chains (asnad) of narrations of Ghadir Khum:

The importance of the tradition of Ghadir Khum in history is reflected in its widespread documentation and mentioned by the multitude of personalities over the centuries. Although, some trivialized, only listed the occurrence among the historical events without giving it a thought, or discussed the matter in a mixture of emotional judgments, none could deny the authenticity of these narrations. The essence of what the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) delivered on the day of Ghadir was not disputed among any, even if they disagreed on its interpretation, for reasons obvious to the alert.

Sunni Traditionists who mentioned the Tradition of Ghadir Khum

Let us look at the lists of some of the Sunni traditions, commentators, and historians who have documented the tradition of Ghadir Khum in

chronological order:

1. Mohammed Ibn Idris al-Shafi'i (Imam al-Shafi'i, d. 204) per

"al-Nihayah" by Ibn al-Athir

2. Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (Imam al-Hanbali, d. 241), in "Masnad" and "al-Manaqib"

3. Ibn Majah (d. 273), in "Sunan Ibn Majah"

4. al-Tirmidhi (d. 279), in "Sahih al-Tirmidhi"

5. al-Nisa'i (d. 303), in "al-Khasa'is"

6. Abu-Ya'la al-Mousilli (d. 307), in "al-Masnad"

7. al-Baghawi (d. 317), in "al-Sunan"

8. al-Doolabi (d. 320), in "al-Kuna wal Asmaa"

9. al-Tahawi (d. 321), in "Mushkil al-Athar"

10. al-Hakim (d. 405), in "al-Mustadrak"

11. Ibn al-Maghazili al-Shafi'i (d. 483), in "al-Manaqib"

12. Muhammad al-Ghazzali (d. 505), in "Sirrul `Alamayn"

13. Ibn Mindah al-Asbahani (d. 512), in his book

14. al-Khatib al-Khawarizmi (d. 568), in "al-Manaqib" and "Maqtal al-Imam


15. Abul Faraj Ibn al-Jawzi (d. 597), in "Manaqib"

16. al-Ganji al-Shafi'i (d. 658), in "Kifayat al-Talib"

17. Muhib al-Din al-Tabari (d. 694), in "al-Riyadh al-Nadhirah" and

"Dhakha'ir al-'Aqabi"

18. al-Hamawainy (d. 722), in "Fara'id al-Samdtin"

19. al-Dhahabi (d. 748), in "al-Talkhis"

20. al-Khatib al-Tabrizi (d. 8th century), in "Mishkat al-Masabih"

21. al-Haythami (d. 807), in "Majma' al-Zawa'id"

22. al-Jazri (d. 830), in "Asna al-Matalib"

23. Abul Abbas al-Qastalani (d. 923), in "al-Mawahib al-Ladaniya"

24. al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (d. 975), in "Kanz al-Ummal"

25. Abdul Haqq al-Dihlawi, in "Sharh al-Mishkat"

26. al-Hurawi al-Qari (d. 1014), in "al-Muraqat fi Sharh al-Mishkat"

27. Taj al-Din al-Manawi (d. 1031), in "Kunooz al-Haqa'iq fi Hadith

Khair al-Khala'iq" and "Faidh al-Qadir"

28. al-Shaikhani al-Qadiri, in "al-Siratul Sawi fi Manaqib Aal al-Nabi"

29. Ba Kathir al-Makki (d. 1047), in "Wasilatul Amal fi Manaqib al-Aal"

30. Abu-Abdullah al-Zarqani al-Maliki (d. 1122), in "Sharh al-Mawahib"

31. Ibn Hamzah al-Dimashqi al-Hanafi, in "al-Bayan wal Taarif"

... and many others.

Sunni Commentators of Quran who mentioned Ghadir Khum:

The following Sunni commentators mentioned that one or some or all of

the mentioned verses of Quran (such as [5:67] which was about the Allah's

order to Prophet for announcement of appointment of Ali, [5:3] which was

about completeness of religion, and [70:1] which was about the curse of

a person who became angry at the Prophet for this announcement) were

reported to have been revealed in the event of Ghadir Khum:

1. Ibn Jarir al-Tabari (d. 310), in "Tafsir al-Bayan"

2. al-Jassas (d. 370), in "Ahkam al-Quran"

3. al-Hafiz Abu Nu'aym (d. 430), in "Asbab al-Nuzool"

4. al-Tha'labi (d. 427 or 437), in "Tafsir al-Tha'labi"

5. al-Wahidi (d. 468), in "Asbab al-Nuzool"

6. al-Qurtubi (d. 568), in "Tafsir Jamiul Hukam al-Quran"

7. al-Fakhr al-Razi (d. 606), in "al-Tafsir al-Kabir"

8. al-Khazin Baghdadi (d. 741), in "Tafsir al-Khazin"

9. al-Nisaboori (8th century), in "Tafsir al-Nisaboori"

10. Ibn Kathir (d. 774), in his "Tafsir" (complete version) under the verse

5:3 (It is ommitted in coincise version!) narrated from Ibn Mardawayh.

11. al-Hafiz Jalaluddin al-Suyuti (d. 910), in his "Tafsir"

12. al-Khatib al-Sharbini, in his "Tafsir"

13. Abu al-Saud al-Hanafi (d. 972), in his "Tafsir"

14. al-Aloosi al-Baghdadi (d. 1270), in his "Tafsir

Sunni Historians who mentioned the Tradition of Ghadir Khum:

1. Ibn Qutaybah (d. 276), in "Ma'arif" and "Imamah wal Siyasah"

2. al-Baladhuri (d. 279), in "Ansab al-ashraf"

3. Ibn Zawlaq al-Laithi al-Misri (d. 287), in his book

4. Ibn Jarir al-Tabari (d. 310), in an exclussive book "Kitabul Wilayah"

5. al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (d. 463), in "Tarikh Baghdad"

6. Ibn Abd al-Bar (d. 463), in "al-Isti'ab"

7. al-Shahristani (d. 548), in "al-Milal wal Nihal"

8. Ibn 'Asakir (d. 571), in "Tarikh Ibn 'Asakir" and "Yaqoot al-Hamawi"

9. Ibn al-Athir (d. 630), in "Usd al-Ghabah"

10. Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi (d. 654), in "Tadhkirat Khawas al-Ummah"

11. Ibn Abi al-Hadid (d. 656), in "Sharh Nahjul Balagha"

12. Ibn Khalkan (d. 681), in "Tarikh Ibn Khalkan"

13. Abul Fida (d. 732), in his "Tarikh"

14. al-Dhahabi (d. 748) , in "Tadhkirat al-Huffadh"

15. al-Yafi'i (d. 768), in "Miraat al-Jinan"

16. Ibn al-Shaikh al-Balawi, in "Alef Baa"

17. Ibn Kathir (d. 774), in "al-Bidayah wal Nihayah"

18. Ibn Khaldoon (d. 808), in "al-Muqaddimah"

19. al-Nuwairi (d. ~833), in "Nihayat al-Irab fi Finoon al-Adab"

20. al-Maqrizi (d. 845), in "al-Khitat"

21. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (d. 852), in "al-Isabah" and "Tahdhib al-Tahdhib"

22. Ibn al-Sabbagh al-Maliki (d. 855), in "al-Fusool al-Muhimmah"

23. Mir Khand (d. 903), in "Habib al-Siyar"

24. Jalalulddin al-Suyuti (d. 910), in "Tarikh al-Khulafa"

25. Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, (d. 974), in "al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah"

26. al-Hafiz Ahmad Ibn Muhammad al-'Asimi, in "Zain al-Fata"

27. al-Qirmani al-Dimashqi (d. 1019), in "Akhbar al-Duwal"

28. Noor al-Din al-Halabi (d. 1044), in "al-Sirah al-Halabiyah"

... and many others.

The Tradition of Ghadir Khum is parallel (mutawatir):

The Tradition of Ghadir is narrated in parallel (mutawatir) and is

proven by the Sunnis to be from numerous chain of transmitters:

1. Ahmad Ibn Hanbal narrated it from 40 chains;

2. Ibn Jarir al-Tabari in more than 70 chains;

3. Abu Sa'id al-Sijistani from 120 chains;

4. Abu Bakir al-Jaabi from 125 chains;

5. al-Amir Muhammad al-Yamani (2nd century) had 150 chains;

6. al-Dhahabi has written a complete book on its chains and passed a

verdict that it is Mutawatir;

7. Abul Abbas Ibn `Uqdah has narrated it through 150 chains.

The Tradition of Ghadir Khum is authentic (Sahih:

1. al-Hafiz Abu Isa al-Tirmidhi (d. 279, the author of Sahih Tirmidhi)

wrote: "This is an acceptable (Hasan) and authentic (Sahih) tradition."

(Sahih Tirmidhi, v2, p298)

2. Muhammad Ibn Abdillah al-Hakim (d. 405) wrote: "This tradition is

authentic (Sahih) with the criteria of two shaykhs, al-Bukhari and

Muslim." (al-Mustadrak ala al-Sahihain, v3, pp 108-110)

3. al-Hafiz Ahmad Ibn Muhammad al-Tahawi (d. 321) wrote: "This Hadith is

authentic (Sahih) according to the chains of narrators (asnad) and no

one has said anything contrary to its narrators." (Mushkil al-Athar, v2,

pp 307-308)

4. al-Hafiz Ahmad Ibn Muhammad al-'Asimi wrote: "This tradition is accepted

by Ummah and it is in conformity with the principles." (Zain al-Fata)

Likewise the following Sunni scholars in (chronological order) and many

more pointed that the tradition of Ghadir Khum is authentic (Sahih) with no


5. al-Mahamili al-Baghdadi, in "Amali"

6. Ibn Abd al-Bar (d. 463), in "al-Isti'ab"

7. Ibn al-Maghazili al-Shafi'i (d. 483), in "al-Manaqib"

8. Muhammad al-Ghazzali (d. 505), in "Sirrul `Alamayn"

9. Abul Faraj Ibn al-Jawzi (d. 597), in "Manaqib"

10. Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi (d. 654), in "Tadhkirat Khawas al-Ummah"

11. Ibn Abi al-Hadid (d. 656), in "Sharh Nahjul Balagha"

12. al-Ganji al-Shafi'i (d. 658), in "Kifayat al-Talib"

13. Ibn Kathir (d. 774), in his "Tarikh"

14. `Ala al-Din al-Simnani, in "Al-'Urwatul Wuthqa"

15. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (d. 852), in "Tahdhib al-Tahdhib"

16. Jalalulddin al-Suyuti (d. 910), in several of his books

17. Abul Abbas al-Qastalani (d. 923), in "al-Mawahib al-Ladaniya"

18. Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, (d. 974), in "al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah"

19. Abdul Haqq al-Dihlawi, in "Sharh al-Mishkat"

The Companions who narrated the Tradition of Ghadir Khum:

At least 110 companions of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) narrated the tradition of Ghadir Khum. but i will just mention the name of the 2 caliphs with their references.

Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Qahafah al-Taymi (the First Caliph, d. 13):

* Ibn 'Uqdah, in "Hadith al-Wilayah";

* Abu Bakr Ju'abi, in "Nakhb al-Manaqib";

* al-Mansour al-Razi, in "al-Ghadir"

* Shams al-Din al-Jazri al-Shafi'i, in "Asna al-Matalib", p3.

'Umar Ibn al-Khattab (d. 23):

* Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, in "al-Manaqib";

* Muhib al-Din al-Tabari, in "al-Riyadh al-Nadhirah", v2, p161 & p244;

* al-Hafiz Ibn al-Maghazili al-Shafi'i, in "al-Manaqib":

Two narrations, one via Abu Hurairah, Umar Ibn al-Khattab said:

"The Messenger of Allah (s) said: Whomever I was his mawla then

Ali is his mawla."

* al-Khatib al-Khawarizmi, in "Maqtal al-Imam al-Sibt";

* Ibn Kathir, in "al-Bidayah wal Nihayah", v7, p349;

* Shams al-Din al-Jazri, in "Asna al-Matalib", p3;


so you see my brothers and sisters ,amongst all these companions the name of abubakr bin qahafa and umar bin khattab is also mentioned as those who narrated this tradition and they themselves were those who opposed this narration by their deeds.

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Thanks for sharing this information. I would love to hear what our Sunni brothers have to say about the event of Ghadeer. How do they interprete this event?

Thanks for your clarifications!

Take care!

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