This is the English translation of the speech of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) in Ghadir Khum. It is well written and documented with lots of references.
O Allah! Send your blessings to the head of your Messengers and the Last of your Prophets Muhammad (s), and his ahlul-bayt.
The Farewell Pilgrimage:
Ten years after the Immigration, the Messenger of Allah ordered to his close followers to call all the people in all places to join him for last pilgrimage and he was planning to start the trip on the 25th of Dhul- Gha'dah, whoever from villages or cities is willing and can come, could join his caravan.
On that day Prophet made his ablution, and performed prayer, and then He and His family started moving out of town. He was the first one who came out of town. On the way people from different back ground and tribes joined him. On this pilgrimage he taught them how to do 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 this trip more than seventy thousand people followed Prophet (S.A.W.). On the fourth day of Dhul-Hajjah more than one hundred thousand Muslims had entered Makkah, and they could remember the same Prophet who was ignored, was attacked, and was hurt in the same city.
Revelation of Verse (Quran 5:67):
On the 18th of Dhul-Hajjah, after completing his last pilgrimage (Hajjatul-Wedaa), Prophet was leaving Makkah 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) Asbab al-Nuzool, by al-Wahidi, p50, narrated on the authorities of Atiyyah and Abu Sa'id al Khudri.
(2) Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Din Mohammad Ibn Umar al-Razi, Egypt (1357/1938), v12, pp 49-50, narrated on the authorities of Ibn Abbas, al-Bara Ibn Azib, and Muhammad Ibn Ali.
(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
(12) and many more such as Ibn Mardawayh, etc...
The last sentence in the above verse indicates that the Prophet (s) was afraid 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.
Upon receiving the verse, the Prophet (S.A.W.) 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. It was 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 a long speech. The following is the least thing which has been narrated by numerous 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 Symbols and if you stick both of them, you will not go astray after me. They are the Book of Allah and my Ahlul-Bayt. They 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."
(1) Sahih Tirmidhi, v2, p298, v5, p63
(2) Sunan Ibn Maja, v1, pp 12,43
(3) 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!!
(4) Fada'il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Hanbal, v2, pp 563,572
(5) al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v2, p129, v3, pp 109-110,116,371
(6) Khasa'is, by al-Nisa'i, pp 4,21
(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) 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) Mushkil al-Athar, by al-Tahawi, v2, pp 307-308
(13) Habib al-Siyar, by Mir Khand, v1, Part 3, p144
(14) Sawaiq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, p26
(15) 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
(16) 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,...
(17) Tarikh, by al-Khatib Baghdadi, v8, p290
(18) Hilyatul Awliya', by Abu Nu'aym, v4, p23, v5, pp26-27
(19) al-Istiab, by Ibn Abd al-Barr, Chapter of word "ayn" (Ali), v2, P462
(20) Kanzul Ummal, by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, v6, pp 154,397
(21) al-Mirqat, v5, p568
(22) al-Riyad al-Nadirah, by al-Muhib al-Tabari, v2, p172
(23) Dhaka'ir al-Uqba, by al-Muhib al-Tabari, p68
(24) Fayd al-Qadir, by al-Manawi, v6, p217
(25) Usdul Ghabah, by Ibn Athir, v4, p114
(26) Yanabi' al-Mawaddah, by al-Qudoozi al-Hanafi, p297
A more detailed speech of Prophet at the Ghadir Khum:
First the Messenger of Allah praised Almighty and then addressed People:
"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."
"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."
"O people! Behold! It is as if the time approached when I shall be called away (by Allah) and I shall answer that call. Behold! I am leaving among you two precious and weighty Symbols that if you stick to both of them, you shall never go astray after me. Each of these two surpasses the other in its grandeur. 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 they (i.e., Quran and Ahlul-Bayt) shall never separate from each other until they reach me in Heaven at the fountain (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."
"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. O God! Love those who love him. Be hostile to those who are hostile to him. Hate those who hate him. Help those who help him. And keep the truth with him wherever he turns." (repeating this paragraph three times).
"Ali, the son of Abu Talib, is my brother, my agent (Wasi), and my successor (Caliph), and the leader (Imam) after me. His position to me is like that of Haroon (Aaron) to Moses, except that there is to 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 (believe in his mastery) has been made obligatory by Allah, the Powerful, the Exalted."
"O Folk! Speculate on the Quran and understand its verses. Go over its clear verses and do not go to the ambiguous ones. 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 myself."
"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 Prophet."
"Time has come back to its original state which it had when Allah created the Heavens and the Earth. The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (i.e., twelve Imams). Four of them (i.e., Imam Ali, Hasan, Husain, and al-Mahdi) are sacred (i.e., will rise for power), three out of these four are consecutive (i.e., the rising of Ali, Hasan, and Husain). Do not sin against your souls in their periods (by disobeying them. See Quran 9:36). Postponement of a sacred month (i.e., delay in accepting their leadership) is only an excess of disbelief whereby those who disbelieve are misled; they permit what God has forbidden, and forbid what God has allowed."
"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."
(Note: The last two paragraphs are reproduction of the speech of Prophet as recorded in Sirah Ibn Hisham at the end of "Chapter of Farewell Pilgrimage", and also Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English, traditions 5.688, 7.458, and 9.539. See also verse 9:36 of Quran).
Revelation of Verse (Quran 5:3):
After the Prophet (S.A.W.) finished his long speech, the following verse was revealed:
"Today I have completed your religion and my bounty upon you, and I was satisfied that Islam be your religion." (Quran 5:3) Some references which mentioned the revelation of the above verse of Quran in Ghadir Khum:
(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) Tafsir 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) Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Complete version), v2, pp 14-15 (It is ommitted in coincise version narrated from Ibn Mardawayh.
(9) Yanabi' al-Mawaddah, by al-Qudoozi al-Hanafi, p115
(10) 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 succession and 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! This morning you became the leader (Mawla) of all believing men and women."
(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 (S.A.W.) to notify people at a time of crowded populous so that all become the narrators of the tradition, while they exceeded a hundred thousand.
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."
(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."
Reference: Manaqib al-Khawarizmi, by al-Khawarizmi, p94
"There were with the Messenger (PBUH) from the companions, Arabs, residents around Makkah and Medina one hundred and twenty thousand (120,000) and they are those who were present in the Farewell Pilgrimage and heard this speech."
Reference: Manaqib, by Ibn al-Jawzi
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): 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): he reminded Talha.
- The Day of the Riders: 9 witnesses.
About the Battle of Camel, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and al-Hakim both narrated 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 starting the war). Talha came forward, and Ali told him: I adjure you by Allah! Didn't you hear the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) 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?"
- al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, p169
- Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, on the authority of Ilyas al-Dhabbi
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 he (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 Zayd Ibn
Arqam and told him what he heard from Ali. Zayd asked him not to entertain any doubt about it for he himself had heard the Messenger of Allah uttering the tradition.
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 give evidence. He who is not an eyewitness need not 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.
- 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 recorded also:
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."
(1) al-Ma'arif, by Ibn Qutaybah, p14, in the account of Anas among disabled persons.
(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