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WHY CELEBRATE EID E ZAHRA (SA) Al-Sayed ibn Tawoos writes in the book, 'Zawaa'id al-Fawaa'id' that Ibn Abi Alaa Al-Hamadani al-Waasiti and Yahya ibn Mohammad bin Huwaij Al-Baghdadi said: We were quarreling about ibn Al-Khattab (Omar) and we became uncertain about him, so we travelled to Ahmad bin Isaac al-Qummi (Imam Hassan Al-Askari's companion) in Qum. We knocked on his door, and a young Iraqi girl opened. We asked to see Ahmad bin Isaac, to which she replied, "He is busy with his festival (eid), for it is a day of celebration" I said, "Praise be to Allah! The Shia festivals are four; Al-Fitr, Al-Ad'ha, Al-Ghadeer and Jomaa". She said, "Ahmad bin Isaac narrates from his master Abul Hassan, Ali bin Mohammad Al-Askari, that this day is a day of Eid, and it is in fact the most blessed of Eids for Ahlul Bayt and their followers" We then told her to inform him of our presence and seek permission for us to enter. Ahmad bin Isaac came to greet us dressed in a loincloth and perfumed with musk. We criticized his action, to which he replied, "Don’t worry, for I have just done ritual ghusl for Day of Eid”. We said, “Is it a day of Eid?” He replied in the affirmative. It was the 9th of Rabi al-Awwal. He invited us in and when we were seated he said, “I went to visit my Master Abu al-Hassan in Samarra on the same day as this, 9th Rabi al-Awwal. He instructed all his servants to wear new clothes, and he was burning scented wood an incense pot. I said to him, “May our fathers and mothers be a sacrifice for you! O son of the Messenger of Allah! has a day of celebration been renewed for Ahlul Bayt today?” He said, “Is there a more sacred day for Ahlul bayt than this day, 9th Rabi Al-Awwal? My father narrated to me that, on this day Huthaifa bin Al-Yamani went to visit my grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (saw) . Huthaifa said, “I saw Ameerul Moumineen and his children eating with the Prophet (saw). The Prophet (saw) was looking at their faces, smiling and saying to Al-Hassan and Al-Hussain, ‘Eat! Eat! enjoy the blessings and felicities of this day!, for it is the day that Allah will destroy His enemy, and the enemy of your grandfather; It is the day Allah will accept the deeds of your followers and lovers; It is the day the Divine words of Allah will be realized, ‘See, yonder are their dwellings empty and in ruins because they did wrong’ (27:52) It is the day the pharaoh of Ahlul bayt will be annihilated, their oppressor and the usurper of their rights; It is the day Allah will proceed to what they have done of deeds, and He will render them as scattered floating dust’. I said, “O Messenger of Allah! Is there from amongst your nation and companions, he who will violate these sanctities?” The Prophet said, “Yes Huthaifa, A tyrant from amongst the hypocrites. He will rule over them in a swaggering dictatorial manner and use deceit amongst my Ummah. He will bar the people from following the path of Allah and distort His Book and change my Sunnah. He will usurp my children’s inheritance and appoint himself as an authority. He will have the audacity to attack his Imam after me and will seize the people’s wealth in a way not prescribed and will squander it disobediently. He will belie me and belie my brother and vizier. His will enviously appropriate my daughter’s rights. She will invoke God, and He will answer her prayers on a day like this”. Huthaifa said, “O Messenger of Allah, invoke Allah to destroy him in your life time” The Messenger of Allah said, “Huthaifa, I loathe challenging the decree of Allah, although I have asked Allah to give virtue to the day on which he perishes over all days, so that it becomes a practice observed by my loved ones and followers of my Ahlul bayt. Whereupon Allah, the Exalted, revealed to me saying, “O Mohammad! You and your Ahlul Bayt will be afflicted with worldly calamities and adversities, also the oppression of the hypocrites and usurpers from amongst My servants whom you counseled, only to be betrayed by them. You were sincere towards them, yet they deceived you; you showed them kindness and they drove you away.. I will, by My power and might, open 1000 doors of hellfire from the lowest pits of hell and cast therein those who usurp the rights of your brother Ali. I will make an example of that hypocrite on the Day of Judgment, and like the pharaohs of all the prophets and the enemies of the religion, I will gather them and their companions in the Hellfire and therein they will abide eternally. O Mohammad! Your vicegerent and companion will suffer much affliction from this pharaoh and usurper who will have the audacity to alter My words. He will associate with me a partner and avert people from My path. He will erect himself as the Golden Cow of your ummah and disbelieve in me. I have commanded My angels in the seven heavens, your Shia and adorers to celebrate the day I annihilated him on. And I have ordered My angels to praise Me and seek forgiveness for your Shia and adorers. O Mohammad! And I have asked the Honorable Scribes (Al-Kiraam Al-Kaatibeen) to lift the Pen on that day and not to write any of my creations errors in honor of you and your vicegerent. O Mohammad! I have made that day a day of eid for you and your Ahlul Bayt and their followers and Shia. I vow by My Glory and Magnificence that I will favor the one who celebrates that day with the rewards of the (angels) surrounding (the throne), and I will give him permission to intercede for close kin, and I will increase his wealth. And I will free, every year, on that day, thousands of your Shia, adorers and followers from the fires of hell and recompense their striving, forgive their sins and accept their deeds. Huthaifa said, “the Prophet then stood and entered the house of Um Salama, and I left with no doubts in my mind about the second (omar). And I saw him after the death of the Prophet facilitate evil, disbelieve and apostatize, embark on the seat of authority (caliphate), manipulate the Quran, burn the House of Revelation (Fatima’s), innovate in the sunnah, reject the testimony of Ameerul Moumineen, belie Fatima - the daughter of the Messenger, usurp Fadak from her, satisfy the Jews, Christians and Majoos, and annoyed the apple of the Moustafa’s eye – never ever satisfying her. He changed the traditions and lay the groundwork for the killing of Ameerul Moumineen. He manifested injustice, prohibited what Allah had made permissible and made permissible what Allah had prohibited, slapped the face of Al-Zakiyya (Fatima), and oppressively and offensively ascended the pulpit of the Prophet, slandered Ameerul moumineen and opposed and nullified his opinion”. Huthaifa said, “Allah answered the prayers of my master (Imam Ali) in relation to this hypocrite, and he was killed at the hands of (Abu Lulu) he who killed him, may Allah have mercy on his soul”. Huthaifa continues, “I visited Ameerul Moumineen to pass on my felicities when that munafiq was killed and he said, ‘O Huthaifa, do you remember that day when you visited the Messenger of Allah when his grandchildren and I were eating with him and he pointed out to you the excellence of this day’” I said, “Yes, dear brother of the Messenger of Allah” He then said, “By Allah! Today is that day – the day Allah satisfied the children of the Messenger, and I am aware of many names for this day” I asked, “O Prince of the Faithful, I would love to hear from you the names for this day – 9th rabi al-awwal” The Imam said, “It is the day of respite, the day of relief from distress and agony, it is a second Ghadir, it is the removal of burden, it is the day of favoritism and the lifting of the pen, the day of hady (gift) and aqiqa, the day of blessing, the day of vengeance. It is the Great Eid of Allah and the day supplications are answered, the day of great standing, the day of turning back, the day of provision, the day erected walls are demolished, the day of regret for the oppressors, the day of victory for the Shia, the day worries are expelled, the day of triumph, the day of submission the day of power, the day of pardon, the day of jubilance for the Shia, the day of reflection, the day of great charity, the second Fitr, the day of Allah’s path, the day of contentment, the day of Eid for Ahlul Bayt, the day of victory for Bani Israel, the day Allah accepted the deeds of the Shia, the day of providing sadaqah, the day of asking for an increase, the day the hypocrite is killed, the day of reckoning, the day of Ahlul Bayt’s cheerfulness, the day that is witnessed, the day the oppressor will bite his hands, the day misguidance will be demolished, the day of accomplishment, the day of witnessing, the day of pardon for the faithful, the day of (ALMUSTATAAB), the day the authority of the munafiq departs, the day of settlement, the day the faithful relaxes, the day of Mubahila, the day of boasting, the day of thankfulness, the day victory for the oppressed, the day of visitation, the day of love, the day innovations are exposed, the day of piety, the day of exhortation, the day of worship, the day of Islam…” Huthaifa said, “I got up and left Ameerul Moumineen, saying to myself, ‘If I do not succeed in achieving rewards for deeds other than those rewarded for this day, I would be satisfied” Mohammad bin Abi Al-alaa and Yahya bin jareeh said, “Each of us got up and kissed the forehead of Isaac and said, ‘Praised be the Lord for not taking our souls before honoring us with this blessed day – and we left his place and celebrated that day, and it is the Eid of the Shia” ( REF : Beharul Anwar v95 pg 351)
A question that the general Muslims often pose to the Shias – Why do Shias celebrate Ghadeer? What is so significant about the event that merits such pomp and splendor? 18th Zilhajj is the great day which the Shias consider as Eid-e-Ghadeer and celebrate by creating an atmosphere of extreme elation. Some people begin their preparations well in advance for this joyous occasion. The effort and hard work of innumerable researchers and scholars are devoted to this event. An Objection An objection is often raised as to why so much physical and mental effort is lavished on this event. If similar effort and hard work is instead invested in ironing out flaws related to education and society, it will be more beneficial for Muslims. After all, which social problem has been solved by the annual celebration of Ghadeer? What good has it done to the community by persistently confirming the successorship and absolute mastership of Ameerul Momineen Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.)? Is it not better that we find a remedy to the various problems plaguing Muslims and let bygones be bygones? VISIT SERATONLINE.COM This is not a new objection. The enemies of the Shia Isna Ashariah have made an issue out of this for several generations. Not surprisingly, the enemies have raised the objection keeping in mind the Shiite ideology. In this regard, they have learnt the tricks from the enemies of Islam because when the enemies of Islam and the Majestic Quran raise objections against Islam, they use similar tactics. For example, they say that why do we spend so much effort and wealth on religious customs such as prayers, fasting, recitation of Quran, etc. instead of spending it on economic growth and advancement of the community. Honestly speaking, by visiting the House of Allah every year and by persistently establishing the veracity of Quran and Islam, which of the ever-increasing problems and tribulations of the community has been resolved? Two points need to be understood well to review this objection: 1. No act should be looked at only from its materialistic perspective. It means that if a thing is useful, then it’s being useful is not just materialistic. 2. An event or incident cannot be rendered insignificant due to its being historic. As far as the first point is concerned, it should be known that knowledge and understanding are very critical for human growth. Even today, well-known universities teach the philosophies of Aristotle and Plato notwithstanding the advancements in science and technology. We see intellectuals achieving success by deriving benefit from the views of these individuals. All parents invite their children towards truth and consider lying detestable and command their children to stay away from it. Is such an upbringing not useful for human beings? Is its benefit materialistic? A copy of the Holy Quran is available with every Muslim family as a mark of it being divine and Muslims recite it regularly whereas all Muslims are well aware that recitation alone is not sufficient and it must be accompanied by pondering and contemplation. But it is a fact that the mere recitation of the Holy Quran guides us, brings us closer to Allah and solves our problems related to the world and the Hereafter. Similarly, there is one more fact, which is related to the past and its extraordinary importance has been proven even in times to come. This is ‘Maad’ i.e. the Day of Resurrection and Accounting along with details are realities discussed in the Holy Quran. It carries so much importance that it draws our attention immediately. All of us endeavour to perform actions so that we are saved from the fire of Hell. Recitation of the verses concerning Maad and the traditions of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) leave a profound impact on our activities, making us more focused. No Muslim can deny this despite the fact that the belief in Maad has no materialistic benefit and has not solved any long-standing problem afflicting the Muslim community. The same applies for Islamic beliefs in Tauheed and Prophethood. It is evident from these examples that the importance of an Islamic belief cannot be benchmarked against its materialistic impact on Islamic society. Similarly, an event cannot be termed insignificant merely because it is historic. There is much to learn from the early history of Islam. The manner of revelation of Quranic verses, cause of descent of certain verses, ethics of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) are all rooted in history. By ignoring history, we stand to forfeit the wonderful benefits of all these events. After all, Hajj is nothing but a series of rituals to commemorate historical events related to Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) and his family hundreds of years before the advent of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Can any Muslim deny the importance of Hajj and Ziyaarat? Millions are invested both by the pilgrims visiting the shrines in Makkah and Madinah and the caretakers of these shrines. Governments in many countries, including India, subsidize the Hajj. All this money and effort is invested only to commemorate an historic event that preceded Islam by hundreds of years. Which problem of the Muslim society has been resolved by Hajj? Wouldn’t it be more advisable to invest this time, effort and money in areas that have a tangible impact on Muslim society? The answer to such baseless objections is that we should stop benchmarking the importance of an event by its impact on tangibles and materialistic gains. It has been noted several times in the Noble Quran and the Sunnah that Islam focuses on the afterlife and all our actions must be performed for the Hereafter regardless of whether we see any tangible benefits in the world. The Celebration of Ghadeer Whatever Shias accomplish or narrate pertaining to Ghadeer is based on this very philosophy. The Shias consider Ghadeer to be significant and regard it as esteemed and blessed because although Ghadeer is rooted in history, it has given Islam the critical belief of Imamate and Mastership, which is among the pillars of religion. Did the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) not introduce Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) at Ghadeer-e-Khummm as the Imam and the Master after him and did he not say �” “Ali b. Abi Talib is my brother, successor and the Imam after me… he enjoys mastership over your selves after Allah and His Messenger.” (Khutbah al-Ghadeer, 71; Al-Ehtejaaj, vol. 1, pg. 66; Behaarul Anwaar, vol. 37, pg. 201) Undoubtedly, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) made this declaration on the day of Ghadeer. Ghadeer-e-Khumm is an event, the celebration of which instills the Mastership and love of Ameerul Momineen Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) in the hearts and minds of people. Just as the Prophethood of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is definite and conclusive, similarly, the incident of Ghadeer is also certain and irrefutable, the origin and source of which can be found in the books of history. Does this reality and the special arrangement by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) not merit a special mention and an extraordinary commemoration? On divine command, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) appointed Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) as his successor and made his obedience obligatory upon every Arab, non-Arab, young, old, white and black. On the day of Ghadeer, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) enforced the order and command of Ali (a.s.). He considered his enemies accursed and regarded his lovers as successful and having achieved salvation. Ameerul Momineen Ali (a.s.) is a successor of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) even in the exegesis of the Holy Quran and is also a bearer of the Prophet’s knowledge. He is the leader of guidance and Allah’s wrath and curse is upon his enemy. These were some of the attributes of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) which Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) had described to the people at length in the Sermon of Ghadeer. Therefore, isn’t striving to achieve the recognition and knowledge about Ali (a.s.) and bringing people closer to his recognition equivalent to firmly establishing the foundation of belief in Islam and Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)? Once he is recognized and it is known that Ameerul Momineen Ali (a.s.) is the Imam and Master from the side of Allah, then shouldn’t the day when the last Prophet (s.a.w.a.) introduced him and completed his mission of guidance be celebrated with utmost pomp and splendour? The Sermon of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) regarding the celebration of Ghadeer There are many traditions that have been narrated by the infallible Ahle Bait (a.s.) regarding the celebration of Ghadeer. Kindly pay attention to the excerpt from the Ghadeer Sermon of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.): ‘… May Allah have mercy on you! After the sermon, all of you should go to your respective houses and make arrangements for facilities and luxuries for your families, do good to your brothers and thank Allah for whatever good He has done to you. Offer gifts to each other out of the bounties of Allah just as Allah, the Almighty, has bestowed favors upon you and consider the reward of the goodness of this day to be on par with the past and future Eids. Doing good on this day, augurs well for an increase in wealth and affluence and a long life. On this day, manifesting love and compassion for each other will be the cause of Allah’s Grace and Kindness. On this day, spending on your family and brothers and greeting each other with delight is highly recommended.” (Misbaah al-Mutahajjid by Sayyed Ibn Taawoos (r.a.), p. 757) The aforementioned sermon also amply disproves the argument of those who believe that there are no material benefits of celebrating Eid-e-Ghadeer. What can be a greater material benefit than long life with wealth and affluence along with the acquisition of divine pleasure? Accordingly, it is evident that celebrating Ghadeer is neither a foolish act nor can it be considered to be futile and fruitless. If, God forbid, we consider it to be futile and fruitless then, it will be tantamount to rendering as fruitless and futile Allah’s choice and Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) admonition to the Muslims. Indeed, we celebrate Ghadeer under the light of the traditions of Ahle Bait (a.s.). This celebration, even if apparently devoid of any materialistic aspect, is certainly a means to attaining proximity to Allah, His Messenger (s.a.w.a.) and the Ahle Bait (a.s.).
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