Wednesday, 14 August 2013

18th Dhul Hajja, Eid Ghadeer in Shia Islam

Topic 27:


In the year of farewell Hajj (10 Hijri) just after Hajj, when Prophet Mohammed was returning back to Madina, on his way to Madina, some distance away at Juhfa, Archangel Gabriel (Jibril) bought down the Divine orders to Prophet Mohammed so as to declare the following revelation of Holy Qur'an to people:

[Qur'an 5: 67] Ya ayyuhar Rasulo balligh maa unzila ilayka mir Rabbik, wa inl lam taf'al fama ballaghta risaalatahu. wa Allahu ya'simuka minan naas, innal Allaha la yahdil qaumal kaafiriin.

O Messenger, announce that which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message. And Allah will protect you from the people. Indeed, Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.

After its revelation caravan entered the valley of Ghadeer Khum near Madina, Ghadeer Khum literally mean an oasis in archaic Arabic, thus the name. Here, afternoon prayers were offered. Prophet Mohammed asked people to make a pulpit near the oasis. A pulpit was made using saddles of camels and people swept the ground using date palm leaves, all arrangements were made. Prophet Mohammed delivered a heart touching speech and finally made Ali to stand beside him. He asked people: Do you know this man? They replied in boost: He is Ali son of Abu Talib. Prophet Mohammed began saying thus:

Allahu Maulaya wa anaa Maulatul Mo'min wa man kuntu Maulahu fahaza Aliyyun Maulahu!

that is: Allah is my Maula (Patron), I am Maula of all faithful and to whom so ever I am Maula then Ali is their Maula!

He prayed in favour of Ali (as) and his supporters and stepped down from pulpit. Instantly, Umar son of Khattab (the later second Caliph) got up and congratulated Ali and said: Greetings O son of Abu Talib, this day you have been made commander of faithfuls (Amirul Mo'mineen). Umar Khattab and all others present there paid their oaths of allegiance at hands of Ali son of Abu Talib. Oath ceremony is reported to have continued for around three consecutive days.

Salman Farsi (Persian) a loyal companion of Prophet Mohammed and a staunch supporter of Ali is reported to have added the statements of wilayah (divinely appointed leadership) of Ali in the next Azaan (call for the prayers), which to this day forms a convention in Shia Azaan. People instantly objected to this and reported it to Prophet Mohammed. Prophet Mohammed told them that just then he had exactly preached what Salman had announced in call for prayers, he asked them didn't they remember? These people silently went away.

Points to be remembered: Allah asked Prophet Mohammed that if he didn't declared what was revealed it would imply he didn't convey any message of messengership of whole 23 years. It should be understood that now, if some one doesn't believe in this declaration it would imply the person didn't believed in any message from 23 years.

Just after this event got over Gabriel bought Divine orders to declare the momentous revelation of Holy Qur'an, it forms the part of following verse:

[Qur'an 5:3] Alyauma akmaltu lakum diinakum wa atmamtu alaykum ni'mati wa raditu lakumul Islama diina

This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.

The day coincided with Solar Equinox (20th March), which is celebrated as Eid Nawroz (Ghadeer according to Solar calender).

Eid Ghadeer is core of Shia Islam, all Shia Muslims celebrate Eid Ghadeer with greatest enthusiasm; greetings, gifts are exchanged. 

Shia Muslims fast on day of Eid Ghadeer, ceremonial bath is taken, best clothes are worn, itr (scent) is applied. Sweets are eaten when possible. Houses are decorated with lights and festivities,  candles are also lighted.

Special prayers are offered, fraternity is established by holding the next persons' hands inside mosque, oaths are taken to help the next persons when in need, prayers are said in their favour. People hug each other. Oath of allegiance is oft repeated in favour of Imam Ali; Prophet Mohammed, Imam Ali and all other infallibles are remembered.

Social gathering are arranged for religious lectures, eulogy ceremonies. Lavish family and social feast, dinner and lunch parties are arranged. Shia Islam preaches to spend this day in celebration, any sorrows are tried to be neglected on this day. Celebrative processions are undertaken. Eid Ghadeer is considered most auspicious day in Shia Islam.

Oh Allah! Peace and Salutation be upon Mohammed and House-hold of Mohammed.

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