The Ghadeer Khumm Event – As Understood by Ahlelbayt, Sahaba & Ahlus-Sunnah.


The Ghadeer Khumm Event – As Understood by Ahlelbayt, Sahaba and Ahlus-Sunnah.

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

Ghadeer Khumm was a resting place, where Prophet Mohammad(SAWS) stopped with the people returning with him to Madinah after completing the Farewell Hajj at Makkah. During their stay, the Prophet(SAWS) addressed some complains raised against Ali(RA), so the Prophet(SAWS) reminded people of caring for his household in general after his death and he (saw) tied Ali’s love to his own by saying “Whoever takes me as a beloved friend(Mawla), the he must love `Ali and take him as a beloved friend(Mawla).” The Shias used this event as the basis for their extremist views concerning Ali(RA) on the one hand, and they relied on it with regard to his entitlement to the Caliphate on the other hand. They gave this incident more importance than any other incident during the era of the Prophet(SAWS). They even have a yearly celebration called `Eid-e-Ghadeer.

In this article we have focused on addressing the various aspects of Ghadeer Khumm event along with the refutation of the arguments raised by Shiites. This article has been divided in the following sections:

(I) – Ghadeer Khumm was not a gathering place of Hujjaj.

(II) – A brief discussion on the meaning of the word “Mawla” and its implications.

(III) – The most probable and improbable meanings of the word “Mawla” in the context of Hadeeth al-Ghadeer.

(IV) – Explanation of the authentic Expression of Hadeeth al-Ghadeer.

(V) – What prompted Prophet Muhammad(SAWS) to say “Man Kuntu Mawla…” and when did the first time he say this?

(VI) – The event of Ghadeer was linked with the criticism and negativity of soldiers towards their commander –Ali – after the expedition of Yemen.

(VII) – Which was the best location for appointment of a Leader; Ghadeer Khumm or Makkah?

(VIII) – Islam being perfected/completed before the event of Ghadeer is a clear proof that Ghadeer event is not a proof for divine appointment of Ali(RA).

(IX) – The Verse of Tableegh(5:67) was NOT revealed on the day of Ghadeer.

(X) – The Hadeeth al-Ghadeer cannot be used to form belief(Aqeedah) since it is not a clear evidence as per testimonies of Esteemed Shia Scholars.

(XI) – Ahlelbayt and Sahaba never understood Ghadeer declaration to be an appointment of Prophet’s Successor; so does Ahlus-Sunnah.

(XII) – Sahaba didn’t use hadeeth al-Ghadeer during the appointment of Caliphs, but rather they used it only as a defence of Ali(RA) when he needed to be defended, as a beloved friend.

(XIII) – Sunni perspective in comparison with Shi’ee perspective of Hadeeth al-Ghadeer : Which one is reasonable?

(XIV) – Munkar(denounced) interpolation of the words “AFTER ME(Ba’di/بعدي)” in Hadeeth al-Ghadeer.

(XV) – Some logical points to ponder.

 

(I) – Ghadeer Khumm was not a gathering place of Hujjaj.

Ghadeer Khumm is a place at Al-Juhfah between Makkah and Madeenah, and it is close to the town of Raabigh which is 15 km far from it. Ghadeer Khumm is at a distance of 250 km approximately from Makkah. It was a watering place serving as a pit-stop on the way to Madinah, where the Muslims would rest for awhile.

Shia Ayatullah Nasir Makarim al-Shirazi wrote in the fourth volume of his book “al-Amthal fi Tafsir Kitab Allah”:

This area (Ghadir) was in fact a gathering place that was located in between FOUR paths from where the PILGRIMS OF HAJJ departed from and headed towards their homelands. The northern path leads to Madinah, another one to Iraq and the western path leads to Egypt and the southern part leads to Yemen. There is no doubt that at this location (Ghadir) the most imporant of all important matters of this journey (of Hajj) must have occured and it was upon the Muslims to meet their final obligation or the last stage of the successful mission that the Prophet had undertaken […] (Source:al-Amthal fi Tafsir Kitab Allah, vol 4).

A simple look at this [Map] is enough to discard the fallacy and deceit of these Shi’ee claims that Ghadeer was a gathering place of the Hujjaj. People from different regions gather for Hajj at Makkah and then return to their destinations from Makkah not from a place 250 km away from Makkah. Those who say that Ghadeer Khumm was the point where the pilgrims part ways are not correct; the gathering point of the pilgrims is Makkah, so the place where the pilgrims part ways could not be as far as 250 km away. The people of Makkah stay in Makkah, the people of Ta’if return to Ta’if, the people of Yemen return to Yemen, the Arab tribes return to their original places and so on; when they have finished their hajj, each returns to his own land.

Is there any rationale as to why the Muslims from Makkah, Taif, Yemen, etc. would travel towards Ghadir Khumm on the way back to their home cities in the completely opposite direction?

Does it make logical sense that the people of Makkah would find any need to pass through Ghadir Khumm on their “return trip” to Makkah after Hajj? Are they not already in Makkah, their home city? The Makkan Muslims would have ended their Hajj in Makkah, and the Muslims of Madinah would have left for their home city, stopping at Ghadir Khumm without the company of the Makkan Muslims whom they had left behind in Makkah. The same can be said of the People of Taif, of Bahrain, of Al-Yamamah(Najd), of Najraan, of Oman, of Yemen[such as the districts of San’aa, Ma’rib, Al-Jund, Hamdhaan, Zama, Zabeed, Jarsh, Hadramaut, As-Sakaasik and As-Sukoon, etc], of Jeddah and the towns near the shore, etc. Indeed, all of these major Muslim cities were not included in the speech at Ghadir Khumm, and this is very odd; Had the Prophet(SAWS) wanted to nominate Ali (ra) as Caliph, then surely he would have done this in front of all the Muslims from Makkah, Taif, Bahrain, Al-Yamamah, Najraan, Oman, Yemen[San’aa, Ma’rib, Al-Jund, Hamdhaan, Zama, Zabeed, Jarsh, Hadramaut, As-Sakaasik and As-Sukoon, etc], Jeddah and the towns near the shore, etc.

In fact, the Shia polemicists have been acutely aware of this fact and it is for this reason that they insist to the masses that Ghadir Khumm was the place where all the Muslims gathered before parting for home and that therefore the Ghadir Khumm address was to all the Muslims. This “fact” is only believable to the ignorant masses that do not care to take out a Map and really find out where Ghadir Khumm is. Once a person takes out a Map, it becomes quite clear how bogus the Shia claims are; in fact, only a fraction of the Muslims were present at Ghadir Khumm (i.e. those heading towards Madinah).

Ghadir Khumm was not in any way a “major gathering point”, it was simply a resting place, probably one out of many, for the people travelling north to Madinah. Usually a resting place would be along the way, NOT IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION! But according to the Shia geniuses, they went all the way up North(250 KM) just to travel back.

Zamakhshari in his geography book “al-Jibal wal-Amkinah wal-Miyah” states the number of “waters” or resting places having water, between Makkah and Yanbu`, {check this map} to see what we mean:

He lists as resting places between the two:

al-`Udhaybah, al-Usayfir, al-Tuwi, al-Buhayr, al-Ratqah, Qubab, al-Turayf, al-Nabi`, al-Shubaykah, al-Juhfah, Ghadir Khum, al-As`adanah, al-Turayfah etc…

These were mainly resting places for travellers, they weren’t “major gathering points”, not at all.

Ironically, we read that it wasn’t very “major” in Shia book Bihar al-Anwar on the chapter of Hujjat-ul-Wada`, The narration says:

وقفل إلى المدينة وهو معه والمسلمون حتى انتهى إلى الموضع المعروف بغدير خم وليس بموضع إذ ذاك يصلح للمنزل لعدم الماء فيه والمرعى

[And he (saw) left to Madinah (after Hajj) and he (`Ali) was with him and the (rest of) the Muslims, until he reached a location known as Ghadeer Khum, and it wasn’t back in those times a suitable location for resting, as it had no water or grass (to feed the camels).]

So if it wasn’t such a great location for resting, then how can it be a “Major gathering point”?

Moreover, the Shias exaggerate as to how many people were present at Ghadir Khumm, often giving numbers in the hundreds of thousands. As we have shown above, only the Muslims heading towards Madinah were present at Ghadir Khumm, which means that the Makkans were not present, nor were any of the people of Taif, Yemen, etc. In fact, the Shias often quote that 100,000 people were present at Ghadir Khumm but this is likely an over-exaggeration, and rather this is the number of people present in Mecca for the Hajj from all of the cities, not only those who were returning to Madinah (which was only a fraction of that number). Whatever the case, no matter what number the Shias use, this can only be a fraction of the Muslims because it would not include the Muslims living in Mecca, Taif, Yemen, etc.

Hence, the people that went back with the Prophet(SAWS) after his farewell pilgrimage were the people of Madinah and those who would be using the road of Madinah to go to their dwellings. These are the ones that the Prophet(SAWS) addressed when he said: {“Man Kuntu Mawla..”}.

If the message of Ghadir (so called appointment of `Ali Ibn Abi Talib(RA) as the successor of the Prophet) was a message to ALL Muslims then the Prophet(SAWS) could have simply addressed everyone in Makkah, during his farewell sermon!

It is based on the distance from Makkah to Ghadir Khumm that we ascertain that it is much more believable that the Prophet(SAWS) was addressing a specific group of Muslims rather than addressing the general masses of the Muslims.

 

Shia Argument #1:

Ghadeer Khumm was a gathering point for the people of Shaam(Syria), people of Egypt and people of Iraq; including people of Madinah.

Response:

Those desperate Shias who raise this argument out of ignorance, aren’t aware that the lands of al-Shaam (Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon), Egypt and Iraq were opened during the era of `Umar ibn al-Khattab(RA); several years after the death of Prophet Mohammad(SAWS). In other words Ghadir Khumm was no major gathering point for Syrians or Egyptians or `Iraqis since the number of Muslims from these places was very few(if their existence is assumed), most inhabitants of those regions were not Muslim. Whereas, those Muslims who didn’t attend the Ghadeer event, were the majority of Muslims, such as the Muslims of Makkah, Taif, Bahrain, Al-Yamamah, Najraan, Oman, Yemen with districts such as[San’aa, Ma’rib, Al-Jund, Hamdhaan, Zama, Zabeed, Jarsh, Hadramaut, As-Sakaasik and As-Sukoon], etc, these areas had significant number of Muslims, because Prophet Mohammad(SAWS) had appointed his Governors over these regions.

 

Shia Argument #2:

“Why did Prophet (S) stop all those companions from proceeding, confining them in midday heat in such a sun­baked plain? Why did he make sure to call back whoever advanced, and wait for whoever lagged behind? Would the Prophet(S) stop in the middle of a desert just to claim Ali is his friend or ally.

Response:

They stopped in the desert at an oasis in order to rest and drink and replenish, since they were tired on that hot day. During their stay, they prayed a congregation prayer, then the Prophet(SAWS) addressed some complains raised against `Ali(RA), so the Prophet(SAWS) reminded people of caring for his household in general after his death and he(saw) tied `Ali’s love to his own by saying “Whoever takes me as a beloved friend, then he must take Ali as a beloved friend.”

As for the claim that Prophet(SAWS) made sure to call back whoever advanced and waited for whoever lagged behind, then it is not true. Even if it is ASSUMED to be true, it still supports the Sunni perspective, because those who advanced and called back were people of Madinah, who were on their route to Madinah, and those whom he(S) waited for, were again people of Madinah coming on that route. Prophet(SAWS) neither called the people of Makkah who remained in Makkah, nor those people who travelled in opposite  direction such as people of Yemen, Taif, etc.

 

(II) – A brief discussion on the meaning of the word “Mawla” and its implications.

The Shias claim that the word “Mawla” means “Master.” It is based on this meaning of the word that they claim that the Prophet(SAWS) nominated Ali(RA) as his successor. In fact, the word “Mawla”–like many other Arabic words–has multiple possible meanings. One only needs to open up an Arabic dictionary to see the various definitions of the word “Mawla.”

The expert Arab linguist Abu al-Hasan `Ali bin al-Hasan who was known as Kuraa`i al-Namli, this man lived in the third century and he writes in his book of language al-Muntakhab, page 404, under the title “Baab-ul-Mawla”:

المولى: المالك, و المعتق, و المعتق, و الولي في الدين, و ابن العم, و الجار, و الحليف, و الصهر
[The Mawla means: The owner (of a slave), the one who frees a slave, the freed slave, the one who is close to you because of you share his religion, the cousin, the neighbor, the ally, and the husband of your daughter.]

The renowned Arab linguist Muhammad ibn Mandhour, he writes in his book volume 15 page 405, under the section of “Wali”:

الوَلْيُ : القُرْبُ ، والدُّنُوُّ
[Al-Walyu: Means the closeness and the nearness]

Then he says:
والمَوْلَى : المالِكُ ، والعَبْدُ ، والمُعْتِقُ ، والمُعْتَقُ ، والصاحِبُ ، والقريبُ كابنِ العَمِّ ونحوِه ، والجارُ ، والحَليفُ ، والابنُ ، والعَمُّ ، والنَّزيلُ ، والشَّريكُ ، وابنُ الأُخْتِ ، والوَلِيُّ ، والرَّبُّ ، والناصِرُ ، والمُنْعِمُ والمُنْعَمُ عليه ، والمُحِبُّ ، والتابعُ ، والصِّهْر
[And the Mawla: The owner (of a slave), the slave, the one who frees a slave, the freed slave, the companion, the near one such as the paternal-cousin and the like, the neighbor, the ally, the son, the paternal-uncle, the guest (in the house), the partner, the son of one’s sister, the close one, the lord, the supporter, the one who blesses and the one who is blessed, the beloved, the follower, and the husband of one’s daughter.].

If the Shias are still hesitant in accepting this fact that the word “Mawla” has got different meanings too, then we would like to present them the famous Shia translations of the Quranic verses wherein the word Mawla, was clearly translated as “Friend”.

(a). the Day when no friend(Urdu: Dost) shall be of the least avail to his friend. (Quran 44:41). [Shia Translation: Kalam Allah by Maulana Farman Ali]

(b). The day on which a friend(Urdu: Dost) shall not avail (his) friend aught, nor shall they be helped, (Quran 44:41)[Shia Translation: Tafseer Namoona, vol 12, Translation by Maulana Syed Zafar Hussain Najafi. ]

(c). The day on which a friend(Urdu: Dost) shall not avail (his) friend aught, nor shall they be helped, (Quran 44:41)[Shia Translation: Anwaar Al-Najaf fi Israr Al-Mushaf by Allama Hussain Baksh. ]

(d). The day on which a friend(Urdu: Dost) shall not avail (his) friend aught, nor shall they be helped, [Shia Translation: Quran e Majeed Mutarjim by Maulana Maqbool Ahmed Dehlvi.]

(e). (when wrong will be distinguished from right). On this day friends will be of no benefit to one another, nor will they receive any help. [Quran, 44:41 Shia Translator Muhammad Sarwar, He also translated the Shia book of Hadeeth Al-Kafi in English]

(f). So on this day no ransom will be accepted from you nor from the disbelievers. Your dwelling will be fire. It will be your friend(Mawla) and a terrible end”. [Quran, 57:15 Shia Translator Muhammad Sarwar]

[Note: The reason Mawla in hadeeth al-Ghadeer cannot mean Master/Leader is because, there cannot be two leaders over the Muslim Ummah at the same time.]

Nevertheless, we have an interesting admission by a Shia Scholar – Syed Husain Mohammad Jafri, who writes:

The bone of contention between the Sunnis and the Shi’is is not, however, and never has been, the authenticity of the event of Ghadir Khum, nor the declaration of the Prophet in favour of Ali; the real disagreement is in the meaning of the word mawla used by the Prophet. The Shi’a unequivocally take the word in the meaning of leader, master, and patron, and therefore the explicitly nominated successor of the Prophet. The Sunnis, on the other hand, interpret the word mawla in the meaning of a friend, or the nearest kin and confidant. No doubt the richness of meaning of many an Arabic word and the resulting ambiguity does render both the interpretations equally valid. (The Origins and Early Development of Shi’a Islam, page 21).

The Scientific rule says:

الدليل إن تطرق إليه الإحتمال بطل به الإستدلال
Which means that if the proof that is used can be understood and explained in different ways then it is useless as an argument, because it is not explicit and clear.

Hence, there is no evidence in the hadith of Ghadeer for the idea of Imamate or Caliphate. If the Prophet(SAWS) had been referring to caliphate, he would not have used a word that may have all of these meanings. The Prophet(SAWS) was the most eloquent of the Arabs, and he would have said clearly, ” Ali is my successor after me,” or ” ‘Ali is the ruler after me,” or “If I die, then listen to and obey ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.” However, the Prophet(SAWS) did not say any of these decisive words that could have put an end to the dispute if any arose. [Haqbat min al tareekh page 185].

Anyone with the slightest understanding of Arabic knows that the Arabs at the time and at the head of them the Prophet(SAWS) would NOT use the word “Mawla” to refer to leaders, instead if one were to gather ALL narrations in which the Prophet(SAWS) talks about political leaders, he refers to them as one of several terms: “Imam, Ameer, Khalifah, Ulil-Amr, Sultan.” These are VERY clear terms that no one can argue with and they are the ones mainly used to talk about leadership. As for those who are familiar with the language of the Arabs they know for a fact the word Mawla and Muwalat are almost always used in two meanings: To talk about a person who is your servant OR to talk about an ally or beloved companion, close friend and supporter.

Ali ibn al-Atheer al-Jazari said in al-Nihaayah: “The word Mawla is frequently mentioned in the Hadith, and this is a name that is applied to many. It may refer to a lord, to an owner, to a master, to a benefactor, to one who frees a slave, to a supporter, to one who loves another, to a follower, to a neighbour, to a cousin (son of paternal uncle), to an ally, to an in-law, to a slave, to a freed slave, to one to whom one has done a favour. Most of these meanings are referred to in various Hadith, so it is to be understood in the manner implied by the context of the Hadith in which it is mentioned.” [al-Nihaayah fi Ghareeb al-hadeeth, vol 5, page 228]

Shia scholar al-`Allamah al-Mutahhari said concerning the meaning of “Mawla”:

[The words, Wala, Walayat, Wilayat, Waly, Mawla, Awla and the like have been derived from the same root, viz. Waly. The various forms of this root-word and its derivatives are the most oft-recurring words in the Holy Qur’an. It is said that they have been used 124 times in the form of a noun and 112 times in the form of a verb … The original meaning of this root-word as mentioned by Raghib in his lexicon “Mufradatul Qur’an” is one thing taking place by the side of another in such a way that there is no distance between them i.e. if two things are placed side by side in such a manner that there is no other thing between them the root-word ‘Waly’ is used … That is why this root-word is naturally used for nearness and proximity also, both physical and figurative. And again for this very reason it has been used in the sense of friendship, love, patronage, guardianship, control etc., because all these conceptions involve some sort of contact and proximity … A number of meanings have been given for this root word and its derivatives. For example, some 27 meanings of the word Mawla have been given. It is obvious that originally it was not coined for all of them and could not have more than one original meaning. Other meanings are to be obtained from contextual indications.] (Source: Master and Mastership, p. 1).

Even the Shia scholar has clearly mentioned that basically, the word meant nearness, and the other meanings are to be obtained from contextual indications. Hence, if Shias want to prove that Mawla here indicates Mastership, then Shias have to prove this from the contextual indications. However, ironically all the reliable contextual indications prove that the Prophet(SAWS) didn’t meant to declare Ali to be the Master.

Let us examine the Hadith of Ghadeer:

من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه، اللهم! وال من والاه، وعاد من عاداه

“Whomsoever’s Mawla I am, this Ali is also his Mawla. O Allah, befriend whosoever befriends him and be the enemy of whosoever is hostile to him.”

It is clear that “Mawla” here refers to love and close relation, not Caliphate and Imamah. Because the root word of Waal(وال) which is always translated here as ‘to befriend’ is the same as the root word of Mawla(مولاه). That is, the root word for both words, Waal and Mawla is Waly(ولي).[See Mujam Tahtheeb Al-Lugha by al-Azhari, 4/3956]. And Muwalat (love) is the opposite of Mu`adat (enmity). This definition of the word “Mawla” makes most sense due to the context, because the Prophet(SAWS) immediately says “O Allah, befriend whosoever befriends him and be the enemy of whosoever is hostile to him.”

Had it been an indication for any sort of Leadership then Prophet(SAWS) would have said “O Allah love those who FOLLOW him or OBEY him, and be the enemy of those who don’t FOLLOW him or DISOBEY him”, As to what is mentioned in Quran: (3:31) Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah, then FOLLOW me (i.e.Muhammad), Allah will LOVE you). So similarly even in this case Prophet(saw) would have asked Allah to love the people who would FOLLOW or OBEY the appointed Leader, but here we don’t find any mention of obedience or command to follow, but just to love Ali(ra). This is because it was simply related to love & friendship and not Leadership.

Interestingly, whenever Prophet(Saw) discussed about Leadership, He explicitly commanded to “Obey the Rulers..” He didn’t command us to “Love them”. This again adds weight to the fact that the above expression of Hadeeth al-Ghadeer was not about Leadership but about Love and Friendship.

The Shias may refuse to believe that Mawla here means “beloved friend” but the reality is that it cannot be translated in any other way when we take into account that the very second addition is about befriending, not about being ruled or anything like that.

Imam ash-Shafa’i(rah) said concerning the hadith: What is meant by that is the concept of love for the sake of Islam, as Allah says:{that is because Allah is the Mawla of those who believe, and the disbelievers have no Mawla (Qur’an 47: 11)}. So the hadith does not say that ‘Ali should be the caliph after the death of the Messenger of Allah, it indicates that ‘Ali is one of the close friends of Allah, to whom love and support is due for the sake of Allah. [Haqbat min al tareekh page 187] .

Al-Teebi said:

قَالَ الطِّيبِيُّ : لا يَسْتَقِيمُ أَنْ تُحْمَلَ الْوِلايَةُ عَلَى الإِمَامَةِ الَّتِي هِيَ التَّصَرُّفُ فِي أُمُورِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ لأَنَّ الْمُتَصَرِّفَ الْمُسْتَقِلَّ فِي حَيَاتِهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ هُوَ هُوَ لا غَيْرُهُ فَيَجِبُ أَنْ يُحْمَلَ عَلَى الْمَحَبَّةِ ووَلاءِ الإِسْلامِ وَنَحْوِهِمَا )

It is incorrect to interpret the mawla as referring to the imam who conducts the affairs of the believers, because the only person who was in charge of the Muslims’ affairs during the lifetime of the Prophet(SAWS ) was the Prophet himself and no one else, so the word mawla must be interpreted as referring to love, the bonds of Islam and so on.” [See Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi Sharh al-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth 3713]

The strongest point which shows that the term “Mawla” cannot mean Master/Leader is because, leader of the Muslims in the time of the Prophet(SAWS) was himself, he was the one in charge and he was the chief of the believers, no one was his partner nor did he share authority with another man. Nobody will  accept this, even the Shia do not believe that there can be two leaders at once, which is why they believe that when one of `Ali’s children is the leader in authority the other one has no authority and has to remain silent.

Lastly, Ali(RA) himself didn’t understand the term Mawla to mean “Caliph/Ruler”:

ن رياح بن الحرث، قال: جاء رهط إلى علي رضي الله عنه بالرحبة، فقالوا: السلام عليك يا مولانا! قال: كيف أكون مولاكم وأنتم قوم عرب؟ قالوا: سمعنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يوم غد ير خم يقول: من كنت مولاه فإن هذا مولاه. قال رياح: فلما مضوا تبعتهم، فسألت: من هؤلاء؟ قالوا: نفر من الأنصار، فيهم أبو أيوب الأنصاري رضي الله عنه.

Riyah al-Harith said: “Some people came to ‘Ali in ar-Rahbah and said: ‘Peace be upon you, O our Mawla.’ He said: ‘How can I be your Mawla when you are Arabs?‘ They said: ‘We heard the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) say on the day of Ghadeer Khumm: “If I am a person’s mawla, ‘Ali is also his mawla.'”” Riyah said: “When they left, I followed and asked: ‘Who are these people?’ They said: ‘Some of the Ansar, among whom was Abu Ayyoob al-Ansari.'” [Musnad Ahmad vol 5, page 419).

Comment: The most important thing we learn from this hadith is that, during his Caliphate Ameer al-Momineen’Ali ibn Abi Talib(RA) himself did not understand the word ‘mawla’ as referring to imamate and rulership. It may be noted that ‘Ali(RA) found it strange that they called him ‘our mawla’. If Ali(RA) thought it was synonymous with ‘Ameer'(ruler) or ‘Imam’, why would he find it strange that the people were calling him by this title?

 

Shia Argument #1:

We read in a hadeeth from Sa‘d bin Abi Waqas where he says that he heard Allāh’s Messenger describe THREE qualities of ‘Ali and if he would have possessed anyone of them, it would have been dearer to him than red camels, and one of those three things were that prophet said to Ali Whomsoever I am his mawla, Ali is also his mawla”.

[al-hilali and khan 9:71] The believers, men and women, are Auliya’ (helpers, supporters, FRIENDS, protectors) of one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma’rûf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); they perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give the Zakat, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have His Mercy on them. Surely Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.

This means that, going by Sunni logic, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was really not announcing anything new. He was only repeating what Allah had already revealed about all Muslims. So, the hadith was no unique merit for Imam Ali (as).

Sa’d claims that he was not the mawla of the believers like Ali, and even wished to be like him. If “mawla” in that hadith really means “friend”, the only implication is that Sa’d was an infidel. Every Muslim is a friend of all the others as the Qur’an claims. But since Sa’d considered himself a Muslim, it is then clear that “mawla” means “master”

Response:

The merit Sa’d bin Abi Waqas was referring to in this narration was that, Ali ibn abi Talib’s love and friendship is tied directly to that of the Prophet(SAWS), which was a big deal . This is because Prophet(SAWS) NEVER tied friendship & love of Sa’d bin Abi Waqas with his friendship & love. This was the merit which Sa’d wished for, while talking about the virtues of Ali(RA). So claiming that Sa’d was an infidel if he meant Mawla as friend, is preposterous.

Secondly, Prophet(saw) announcing friendship for Ali(ra) doesn’t appears to be weird. Quran doesn’t say that believers can’t possess grudge against each other. Nor does anyone become an infidel if he doesn’t consider some of his Muslims brethren to be his beloved friends or if he bears hatred for his Muslims brothers. This is even established from Quran:{ “If two parties amongst the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them: but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other, then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the Command of Allah; but if it complies, then make peace between them with justice, and be fair: for Allah loves those who are fair (and just). The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: so make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers.(Quran 49:9)}.

We find here that Allah himself considers the ones who quarrel with each others as believers, and in many of such cases where people quarrel with each other, they could start developing a kind of grudge, so it becomes necessary to make peace and reconciliation between them, and that is done by asking both parties to befriend each other, it’s quite obvious and understandable. It doesn’t mean that if any of the believers possess grudge towards his fellow Muslim then that believer becomes an infidel, as the arguer thinks.

Interestingly, we don’t even find Ali(RA) calling the people of Shaam, who fought him at Siffin as infidel, he considered them as Muslims, it is a well known fact.[See, Sunan Bayhaqi, vol 8 page 173 ; Also Shia books such as: Wasail Shia, 15/83 ; Nahjul balagha tahqeeq subhi saleh, page 179]. Also Prophet(SAWS) prophesied that Hassan ibn Ali(RA) would make peace between these two groups of Muslims.[See, Sahih al-Bukhari #3629].

Infact, the context in which Prophet(Saws) used the word “Mawla” for Ali(ra) was when he(saw), found people hating Ali(ra), such as Buraidah, etc. Prophet(Saws) didn’t call Buraidah an infidel, nor did he call the rest of the army returning from Yemen, who bore grudge against Ali(ra) as infidel. There is no authentic account for any such words used by Prophet(SAWS) in the books of Ahlus-sunnah.

Therefore meaning as love, friendship and closeness is what seems to be the closest to the truth based on the context, since Rasul-Allah (saw) said right after it “O Allah befriend whomever befriends him and be an enemy to whoever is his enemy.” And Muwalat (Love/Friendship) opposes Mu`adat (Hatred/Enmity).

 

Shia Argument #2:

Ahmad bin Hanbal writes in his Musnad, 30/430, narration 18479
18479 – حَدَّثَنَا عَفَّانُ، حَدَّثَنَا حَمَّادُ بْنُ سَلَمَةَ، أَخْبَرَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ زَيْدٍ، عَنْ عَدِيِّ بْنِ ثَابِتٍ، عَنِ الْبَرَاءِ بْنِ عَازِبٍ، قَالَ: كُنَّا مَعَ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي سَفَرٍ، فَنَزَلْنَا بِغَدِيرِ خُمٍّ، فَنُودِيَ فِينَا: الصَّلَاةُ جَامِعَةٌ، وَكُسِحَ لِرَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ تَحْتَ شَجَرَتَيْنِ، فَصَلَّى الظُّهْرَ، وَأَخَذَ بِيَدِ عَلِيٍّ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ، فَقَالَ: ” أَلَسْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ أَنِّي أَوْلَى بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ؟ ” قَالُوا: بَلَى، قَالَ: ” أَلَسْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ أَنِّي أَوْلَى بِكُلِّ مُؤْمِنٍ مِنْ نَفْسِهِ؟ ” قَالُوا: بَلَى، قَالَ: فَأَخَذَ بِيَدِ عَلِيٍّ، فَقَالَ: ” مَنْ كُنْتُ مَوْلَاهُ، فَعَلِيٌّ مَوْلَاهُ، اللهُمَّ وَالِ مَنْ وَالَاهُ، وَعَادِ مَنْ عَادَاهُ ” قَالَ: فَلَقِيَهُ عُمَرُ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ، فَقَالَ: ” لَهُ هَنِيئًا يَا ابْنَ أَبِي طَالِبٍ، أَصْبَحْتَ وَأَمْسَيْتَ مَوْلَى كُلِّ مُؤْمِنٍ، وَمُؤْمِنَةٍ “
Bara bin Azib said that we were with the Holy Prophet when we reached Ghadeer; so call for salat was given; and Prophet offered the prayer of Zuhur; and then hold the hand of Ali asws; and said : “Am I not having more authority that Momins over their lives?” We said “Yes” He said “Whosoever I am Mola of, Ali is his Mola; O Allah! be friend to His friend; and be enemy to His enemy” Then Umar said “Congratulations o Ali ibn Abi Talib! Today You become the Mola of Faithful Men and Women”

If mawla means ‘friend’ then why the congratulations? And was ‘Ali ‘enemy’ of all believing men and women before that time, so that ‘Umar said that ‘today you became friend of them all?

Response:

This narration is weak and unreliable due to the narrator Ali ibn Zaid. He has been weakened by Jurjani, Bayhaqi, al-Razi, Ibn Hibban, Abu Zur’a, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Nasai, Juzjani, Ibn Hajr, Darqutni, Muhammad ibn Saad, Ibn Khuzaima, and Yahya ibn Ma’een.

As for the argument that why did Umar(RA) congratulate Ali(RA) in this weak & unreliable report and said that Ali(RA) became Mawla(beloved friend) of all believers on that day. Then, the answer is that, on that day loving Ali(RA) and taking him as a friend was made necessary for all the believers. Whereas, in the case of believers in general, there wasn’t any such compulsion for loving or befriending them.

As we know there were people who were criticizing Ali(RA), but then the Prophet(SAWS) declared that Ali was the beloved friend of the Muslims, and so the people went to Ali(RA) to say kind words to him and congratulate him on this honour. It had nothing to do with leadership, Imamah, or Caliphate.

Anyways, if Shias still disagree with our explanation then we remind them that the hadeeth based on which they are speculating, is weak, therefore any argument made using its text is invalid in the first place.

 

Shia Argument #3:

Did Prophet(saws) call anyone other than Ali with the term ‘Mawla’ ?

Response:

Yes, Prophet(SAWS) did use the term “Mawla” for others too. Here are two examples:

(i). We read:

وقال لزيد: أنت أخونا ومولانا

Prophet(saws) said to Zaid, “You are our brother and our Mawla.” [Sahih al-Bukhari #2699]

(ii). We read:

الَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ قُرَيْشٌ وَالأَنْصَارُ وَمُزَيْنَةُ وَجُهَيْنَةُ وَأَسْلَمُ وَغِفَارُ وَأَشْجَعُ مَوَالِيَّ لَيْسَ لَهُمْ مَوْلًى دُونَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ

Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said: Quraish, Ansar, Muzaina, Juhaina and Ghifar, they are my Mawaali(plural of Mawla) and there is no Mawla of theirs besides Allah and His Messenger. [Sahih Muslim #2520].

We see that Prophet(SAWS) used this term for different people. Therefore, as explained before, the term “Mawla” has a plethora of meanings and it must be understood according to the context it is applied in.

 

(III) – The most probable and improbable meanings of the word “Mawla” in the context of Hadeeth al-Ghadeer.

(a)-Mawla means a close-friend, the word itself implies closeness in all of its meanings whether describing a bond between relatives or the relation of a slave to his master, so Prophet(SAW) could be simply telling them that whoever considers him(saw) as a beloved friend or Wali, then he must also be like that with `Ali. Similarly to what we call the pious believers, we say they’re “Awliya of Allah” the singular of which is Wali, meaning close friends of Allah.

(b)Mawla means a beloved person, similar to the above Prophet(SAWS) could be ordering them to love `Ali just as they loved him, and thus the feelings of hatred they had for him would disappear, this is why Buraydah said: “After hearing these words, `Ali became the most beloved of people to me.”

(c)-Mawla may mean al-Wala’-fil-Deen, meaning the obligatory love and closeness that a believer must have towards another, or the love and closeness between those who share the same faith and religion, this is similar to the Qur’anic verse {The believing men and the believing women are Awliya’ to one another}, so whoever is of this faith and has this type of love towards the Prophet(SAWS) must also have it towards `Ali as declared in the Qur’an.

(d)-Mawla may mean the master of a servant, and since the Prophet(SAWS) had freed slaves, and they became Mawali of banu Hashim, and `Ali is also from Bani Hashim, so whoever the Prophet(saw) is his Mawla then `Ali must also be his Mawla since both are from Banu Hashim. This is similar to saying: “`Ali is my close relative.” and thus they should refrain from having a bad relationship with him.

(e)-Mawla means ally, and the ally in the language of the Arabs is the one who joins you and is strengthened by your strength and gets more power when you’re powerful, this is the blessing which the Muslims received by embracing this faith and following this Prophet(SAWS), such as the saying of `Umar: “We are people whom Allah strengthened with this religion, so if we seek strength by any other means He shall disgrace us.” Thus the Prophet(SAWS) is telling them that whoever considers himself his ally, must also be `Ali’s ally.

(f)-Mawla means supporter, the support in religion, like protecting and guarding and supporting one another as believers, such as the saying of Allah {Allah is the Mawla(supporter) of those who believed while the disbelievers have no Mawla} and {But if you cooperate against him – then indeed Allah is his Mawla(supporter), and Gabriel and the righteous of the believers and the angels, moreover, are his assistants.} And so the Prophet(SAWS) informed them that whomever claims to have Walayah towards him must also have Walayah for `Ali since they are all believers and must all support each-other in their religion.

(g)-Mawla here can be in the meaning of Awla, or that Prophet is nearer to the believers and closer to the believers than themselves, meaning he is more worthy of being loved by the believers than their own selves, and by doing so Prophet(saw) would have granted `Ali a higher form of love than what is usually asked of the believers among each other.

(h)-Mawla means the Master of a slave, and this was an interpretation adopted by some of the extremists of the Rafidah in the past, that this text means that we are all slaves for Muhammad(saw) and `Ali, and this is not an acceptable opinion and produces many corrupt rulings of jurisprudence in case we are all slaves of the same person, such annulling marriages and cancelling inheritance and obligatory charity.

(i)-Mawla as for leadership or authority, this explanation which is adopted by most of the Shias today is also corrupt, since `Ali(RA) can’t be a leader alongside the Prophet(SAWS), nor can he have a share in his authority as all authority belongs to him alone, so those who claim that the meaning is “Whomever I am his leader, `Ali is also his leader” have missed the mark.

Another reason as to why Mawla means love and friendship not leadership is because, in the Hadeeth of Ghadeer Prophet(Saws) made loving Ali(RA) obligatory, where as when it came to the narrations of Leadership then Prophet(SAWS) did not make love for them obligatory but rather, he mentioned that a leader could be hated or loved based on his actions.

We read , [Sahih MuslimChapter : Justification for hating the Amirs for violating the laws of the Shari’ah.]

 It has been narrated on the authority of ‘Auf b. Malik that the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said: The best of your rulers are those whom you love and who love you, who invoke God’s blessings upon you and you invoke His blessings upon them. And the worst of your rulers are those whom you hate and who hate you and whom you curse and who curse you. It was asked (by those present): Shouldn’t we overthrow them with the help of the sword? He said: No, as long as they establish prayer among you. If you then find anything detestable in them. You should hate their administration, but do not withdraw yourselves from their obedience. [Sahih muslim Book 020, Number 4573].

Hence, the Shias go out of their way to assert that the Hadeeth stating Ali(RA) as being the Mawla/Wali means ‘Master or Leader.’ As we discussed above, this term has a plethora of meanings and it must be understood according to the context it is applied. In Hadith al-Ghadir, Mawla never meant leadership as that opposes a plethora of narrations and the Seerah of `Ali who openly said in Sahih al-Bukhari to his uncle that he is unsure who the leader will be after the Messenger’s (saw) passing.

While Ahlul-Sunnah understood Muwalat as friendship and support and love, and this is the correct and popular meaning of Muwalat. The Shia insist on translating the word “Mawla” as political leader, even though this type of expression is almost never used for political leadership by the Arabs of the time; they refer to political leaders as: “Ameer, Imaam, Khalifah”.

 

(IV) – Explanation of the authentic Expression of Hadeeth al-Ghadeer.

Before starting the explanation we would like to clarify to the readers that, there are several versions of hadeeth al-Ghadeer, many of those are weak and unreliable expressions, having faulty interpolations, which contradict the authentic expressions, however the Shi’ites, use those expressions from Sunni books which are weak versions in order to support their views and beliefs. In this section we will be explaining the expressions from AUTHENTIC version of Hadeeth al-Ghadeer.

(a)Alastu Awla bil-Mu’mineen min Anfusihim?” They replied: “Bala(Yes)” He said: “(b)Man Kuntu Mawlaahu `Aliyun Mawlaahu, (c)Allahumma Waali man Waalaah wa `Aadi man `Aadaah.

Appropriate Translation: (a) Am I not closer to the believers more than their own selves? They replied: “Yes” He said: (b)Whomsoever’s beloved Friend I am, this Ali is also his beloved Friend. (c) O Allah, befriend whosoever befriends him and be the enemy of whosoever is hostile to him.”

The Prophet(SAWS) mentioned that he was closer to the believers or worthy of the believers, so that they would listen to him and befriend Ali(RA) as was his wish. The Muslims under Ali’s command hated him, so the Prophet(SAWS) was using his influence to cause them to love Ali and take him as a beloved friend.

Inappropriate Shia Translation: (a)Do I not have more authority on the believers more than their own selves? They replied: “Yes” He said: (b)Whomsoever’s Mawla I am, this Ali is also his Mawla. (c) O Allah, befriend whosoever befriends him and be the enemy of whosoever is hostile to him.”

[Note: In our explanation we will be using the translation of the term “Awla” as ” more authority” for arguments sake, since it’s an inappropriate translation but the Shias translate it as authority, even though the appropriate meaning of “Awla” is more deserving/worthy or closer/nearer. The meaning of the term “Awla” will be discussed with examples from Quran after the explanation of the above expression.]

Imami Shia claim that since the Prophet(SAWS) established authority for himself in the green part (a), then he has automatically established it for `Ali as well in blue part (b).

This is incorrect, tying what is said in part (a) with what is being said in part (b) is not accurate linguistically. The part (a) is known in Arabic as “Istifhaam Taqreeree”, which in English means that the speaker poses a question to a person, in which he requires him to answer by either confirming or denying in order to achieve a purpose such as condemning the person or reproaching him or anything else.

An example from the Qur’an would be: {Did We not expand thy breast for thee?} And the purpose of this Istifhaam Taqreeree is for the Prophet(SAWS) to remember Allah’s blessing upon him and be thankful.

Another example of this would be if you invited me to your house as an honored guest and I complained that your wife did not serve me nor honor my stay, then you tell me: “Am I not the owner of this house?” I reply: “Yes.” Then you say: “Whomever I’ve honored, my wife has (also) honored.”

If I have established the ownership of the house to my self in the above example, it doesn’t mean that I have established it for my wife as well in the next part and the same applies to Hadith al-Ghadeer.

In Hadith al-Ghadeer, it is actually part (c) which gives context and explains part (b), and the former part states that the Muwaalaat in the Hadith is none other than Walaayah or love and closeness and friendship and support, this opposes enmity which the Hadith says “And be the enemy of his enemy”.

This is supported by the words of the linguists, such as in Lisan al-`Arab we read:

قال أَبو زيد طالتْ عُدَواؤهُمْ أَي تباعُدُهم وتَفَرُّقُهم والعَدُوُّ ضِدُّ الصَّدِيق

[abu Zayd said: “Taalat `Udaa’uhum” meaning they became distant and separated, and the enemy is the opposite of the friend.]

It also says:

و الوَليُّ : الصَّدِيق والنَّصِير

[And the Wali: (means) the friend and the supporter.]

In al-Mukhassas by ibn Sayyidah we also read:

العدوّ ضد الصديق

[The enemy is what opposes the friend.]

We also read the same in Fiqh-ul-Lughah by al-Tha`alibi.

As for Taj-ul-`Arous by al-Zubaydi, we read:

الولى له معان كثيرة فمنها ( المحب ) وهو ضد العدو اسم من والاه إذا أحبه ( و ) منها ( الصديق و ) منها ( النصير ) من والاه إذا نصره

[Al-Wali has many meanings, from them the lover and he is what opposes the enemy, the name of which is “Walahu” meaning he loved him, and from them is the friend and the supporter, from it “Walahu” meaning he supported him]

In other words, since Prophet(SAWS) used Muwalat in part (b) and explained it in the context of part (c) its meaning becomes that of love and friendship and support and closeness which oppose enmity and hatred and separation.

The Prophet(SAWS) mentioned that he had authority over the believers so that they would listen to him and befriend Ali(RA) as was his wish. The Muslims under Ali’s command during expedition of Yemen started hating him, so the Prophet(SAWS) was using his influence to cause them to love Ali(RA) and take him as a beloved friend.

Meaning of the term “Awla” :

As for the term “Awla” then, this word is present in the Holy Quran.

(i). We read in Surah al-Ahzab

لنَّبِيُّ أَوْلَىٰ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَأَزْوَاجُهُ أُمَّهَاتُهُمْ وَأُولُو الْأَرْحَامِ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلَىٰ بِبَعْضٍ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ إِلَّا أَن تَفْعَلُوا إِلَىٰ أَوْلِيَائِكُم مَّعْرُوفًا كَانَ ذَٰلِكَ فِي الْكِتَابِ مَسْطُورًا

The Prophet is closer to the Believers than their own selves, and his wives are their mothers. Blood-relations among each other have closer personal ties, in the Decree of Allah. Than (the Brotherhood of) Believers and Muhajirs: nevertheless do ye what is just to your closest friends: such is the writing in the Decree (of Allah). [Quran 33:6]

(ii). We read in Surah Maryam

ثُمَّ لَنَحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِالَّذِينَ هُمْ أَوْلَىٰ بِهَا صِلِيًّا

Again We do certainly know best those who deserve most to be burned therein.[Quran 19:70]

(iii). We read in Surah al-Anfal

وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِن بَعْدُ وَهَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا مَعَكُمْ فَأُولَٰئِكَ مِنكُمْ وَأُولُو الْأَرْحَامِ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلَىٰ بِبَعْضٍ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

And (as for) those who believed afterwards and fled and struggled hard along with you, they are of you; and the possessors of relationships are nearer to each other in the ordinance of Allah; surely Allah knows all things. [Quran 8:75]

(iv). We read in Surah Ale- Imran
إِنَّ أَوْلَى النَّاسِ بِإِبْرَاهِيمَ لَلَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ
The nearest of the people to Ibrahim are those who followed him. [Quran 3:68]

Shia Scholar Majlisi says in its explanation
أي أخصهم به و أقربهم منه
It means the most deserving and nearest to him. [Mir’aat ul Uqool, Vol. 2, p. 216]

Similarly, we read in Shia book Nahjul Balagha by Sharif al-Razi:
وَقَالَ ع إِنَّ أَوْلَى النَّاسِ بِالْأَنْبِيَاءِ أَعْلَمُهُمْ بِمَا جَاءُوا بِهِ ثُمَّ تَلَا إِنَّ أَوْلَى النَّاسِ بِإِبْراهِيمَ لَلَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ وَهذَا النَّبِيُّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا الْآيَةَ ثُمَّ قَالَ إِنَّ وَلِيَّ مُحَمَّدٍ مَنْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ وَإِنْ بَعُدَتْ لُحْمَتُهُ وَإِنَّ عَدُوَّ مُحَمَّدٍ مَنْ عَصَى اللَّهَ وَإِنْ قَرُبَتْ قَرَابَتُهُ
Imam Ali said : The persons most attached to the prophets are those who know most what the prophets have brought. Verily, of men nearest to Abraham are surely those who followed him and this (Our) Prophet (Mohammad) and those who believe (Quraan, 3:68). The friend of Mohammad is he who obeys Allah, even though he may have no blood relationship, and the enemy of Mohammad is he who disobeys Allah even though he may have near kinship.
(Nahjul Balagha, p. 621622, English translation by Sayyid Ali Reza).

Look at the translation done by the Shia translator of Nahjul Balagha. He has translated the word ‘awla’ as nearest, and the word ‘wali’ as friend. Now the question is, how can someone be declared the leader of the nation by a word which is commonly used in the meaning of friendship? The Prophet was the most eloquent of the Arabs, and he would have said clearly, ” Ali is my successor after me,” or ” ‘Ali is the ruler after me,” or “If I die, then listen to and obey ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.” However, the Prophet did not say any of these decisive words that could have put an end to the dispute if any arose.

If the Prophet(SAWS) intended to declare Ali(RA) as the leader of the entire nation, the words he used would have been clear, just like the kings use clear words when they nominate someone as their successors. Not such words which can be easily interpreted as something else.

 

Shia Argument :

The expression of hadeeth:

{“O Allah, love those who love him, and be the enemy of those who are enemies to him”}

Such an expression can be used for leaders too. Truly such a reward and loss can ONLY be attached to LEADERSHIP in Islam and not FRIENDSHIP since the former is obligatory and latter is recommended, the first one is the basis of Islam while the second one is just the string of the fabric and above all, the leadership requires obedience which leads directly to Allah while the friendship requires respect which only leads to rewards of Allah.

Response:

Had it been an indication for any sort of Leadership then Prophet(SAWS) would have said “O Allah love those who FOLLOW him or OBEY him, and be the enemy of those who don’t FOLLOW him or DISOBEY him”, As to what is mentioned in Quran: (3:31) Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah, then FOLLOW me (i.e.Muhammad), Allah will LOVE you). So similarly even in this case Prophet(SAWS) would have asked Allah to love the people who would FOLLOW or OBEY the appointed Leader, but here we don’t find any mention of obedience or command to follow, but just to love Ali(RA). This is because it was simply related to love & friendship and not Leadership.

One might argue that loving Leader itself demands obedience, however this is farfetched, because in Islamic concept of Leadership, Love is conditional but obedience is a must. We find Prophet(SAWS) preaching on another occasion that, a leader could be hated or loved depending on his actions, but a leader is to be obeyed[Refer: Sahih Muslim Book 020, Number 4573].

Interestingly, whenever Prophet(SAWS) discussed about Leadership, He explicitly commanded to “Obey the Rulers..” He didn’t command to “Love them”. This again adds weight to the fact that the above expression of Hadeeth al-Ghadeer was not about Leadership but about Love and Friendship.

Moreover, how could Prophet(SAWS) demand obedience for Ali(ra), while He himself was the Leader, as there cannot be two leaders who are being obeyed at the same time.

As for the claim, that such loss that Allah becomes the enemy, can only be attached to Leadership, then this is refuted by the narrations where we find that Allah declares war against those who show enmity towards pious worshippers of Allah. It isn’t specific to Leaders, rather its general about the pious worshippers of Allah.

Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said, “Allah said, ‘I will declare war against him who shows enmity to a pious worshipper of Mine. [Sahih al-Bukhari #6502]

Similarly we read in Shia hadeeth:

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) said:  “Allah (S.w.T.) says: One who hurts My believing servant has declared war against Me, and one who respects a believer has secured himself from My wrath.”(al-Kafi vol. 2, page. 350).

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) also said: “Whoever humiliates my friend has openly waged war against me.” (al-Kāfi vol. 2, page. 352).

These reports show that the loss which the arguer believes to be attached with Leadership is a myth, rather this loss is attached with pious individuals regardless of their social status, and Surely Ali(RA) was one of those pious servants of Allah, that is why such a loss was mentioned against his enemies.

 

(V) – What prompted Prophet Muhammad(SAWS) to say “Man Kuntu Mawla…” and when did the first time he say this?

It is impossible to discuss the Hadith of Ghadir Khumm without first understanding the specific context in which the Prophet(SAWS) said what he said. This is a general rule of thumb pertaining to the Islamic canon as a whole. A Hadith must be understood with reference to the instance and occasion of the topic it records. What was the occasion on which it was said? What was the background in which it was said? Who were the addressees? If one does not address these questions in interpreting a Hadith, on many occasions one fails to get to the right interpretation. It is essential that the Hadith of Ghadir Khumm “Whomsoever’s Mawla I am, this Ali is also his Mawla…” be understood by keeping in consideration this principle.

A very important fact which may shock a lot of Shias is that, Prophet(SAWS) had used this same expression of “Whomsoever’s Mawla I am, this Ali is also his Mawla”, in Makkah, this was sometime BEFORE the event that occurred at the location of Ghadeer, and He(SAWS) said this wording after a soldier named Buraydah under the commandership of Ali(RA), developed hatred and negative feelings towards Ali(RA), and to remove these feelings Prophet(SAWS) used this wording.

Buraida(ra) narrated: “I invaded Yemen with Ali and I saw coldness from his part; so when I came (back) to the Messenger of Allah and mentioned Ali and criticized him, I saw the face of the Messenger of Allah change and he said: ‘O Buraida, am I not closer to the believers than they are to themselves?’ I said: ‘Yes, O Messenger of Allah.’ He (then) said: ‘Whomsoever’s Mawla I am, this Ali is also his Mawla.’” (Musnad Ahmad [v5 / p347 / #22995 ; Silsila As-Sahihah, vol 4, page 336, Albani said: Chain is Sahih on the conditions of Shaikhain]

As we can see from the context, this is not a declaration of succession, but rather, the Prophet(SAWS) is affirming to Buraydah that `Ali is on the side of the believers. Not only is the usage of the word “Mawla” unclear for a declaration of succession, but the context does not fit such a declaration, since it is only logical that such an appointment is to be made in front of masses, not in secrecy to a single man. Also the biggest problem with `Ali and these soldiers was not one of authority, since they all obeyed him and followed his orders, the issue was that of hatred for `Ali’s person, so it would not make sense to remind them of his authority at this point or his leadership rather it makes sense to encourage loving him and being close to him.

In another hadeeth of the same event, after the Prophet(SAWS) said what he said to Buraydah; Buraydah stated:

فما كان من الناس أحد بعد قول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أحبّ إليّ من عليٍّ

[“After the Prophet(SAWS) said this, none of the people were more beloved to me than `Ali.”] [Musnad Ahmad, vol. 5, p. 350, # 23017]

Hence, we find that Prophet(SAWS) used the expression “Whomsoever’s Mawla I am, this Ali is also his Mawla” before the supposed declaration of Ali’s leadership at Ghadeer, and it was said, when a person started to dislike & criticize Ali(RA). This is why Prophet(SAWS) used such an expression that would make that person, take Ali(RA) as his beloved, and this is what happened. After Prophet(SAWS) used that expression, Buraydah(RA) didn’t say that he recognized Ali(RA) as the rightful Caliph or Leader, but rather Buraydah(RA) took Ali(RA) as his beloved.

Infact, Buraidah(RA) never claimed that Ali(RA) was appointed as a Caliph by Prophet(SAWS), and he gave his allegiance to Abubakr(RA). However Buraidah would openly declare his love for Ali(RA).

Therefore, the hatred and criticism of some soldiers towards Ali(RA) prompted Prophet(SAWS) to say “Whomsoever’s Mawla I am, this Ali is also his Mawla”, and this was one of the most important reasons for the occurrence of event of Ghadeer Khumm, and in the same context the hadeeth of Ghadeer MUST be understood, because the change in location will not change meaning of the expression “Whomsoever’s Mawla I am, this Ali is also his Mawla”.

Had it been that Prophet(SAWS) used that expression because he wanted to make Buraydah(RA) realize that Ali(RA) is his Successor, then that wouldn’t have effected Buraydah who was complaining against him, since a Caliph/Imam is open for criticism, as per hadeeth of Prophet(SAWS) himself. Only Messengers of God and Prophets are immune to criticism, however Amirs/Caliphs/Imams aren’t, this is even backed by the Quranic verse [4:59] which mentions the possibility of disputing with those in authority. Infact we read in Shia book Nahjul Balagha Sermon 215, when Ali(RA) became the fourth Caliph of Muslims, he encouraged people to point out his errors, Ali(RA) said: [Therefore, do not abstain from saying a truth or pointing out a matter of justice because I do not regard myself above erring .] So Buraidah would have thought that, fine Ali is the successor, but I can still complain about him.

But since the expression “Whosoever I am Mawla, Ali is also his Mawla” had nothing to do with leadership, as it was regarding loving and befriending Ali(RA), thus Buraidah started loving Ali(RA), after Prophet(SAWS) used this expression.

Important Point:

We read in an authentic report:

Messenger of Allah(SAWS) said during the Farewell Pilgrimage: If an Ethiopian slave is appointed over you who rules according to the Book of Allah, then listen to him and obey.”‘[Sunan an-Nasa’i #4192 ; Sahih]

Even though Prophet(SAWS) had used the expression of Whomsoever’s Mawla I am, this Ali is also his Mawla” infront of Buraidah, but later when Prophet(SAWS) gave the farewell sermon to the people and mentioned about Leadership in particular, He didn’t mention anything about Ali(RA) nor any divine appointment. Rather, Prophet(SAWS) mentioned the condition based on which the leader –(even if an Ethiopian slave)- deserved to be obeyed was, ruling according to Quran. Prophet(SAWS) didn’t say obey the one whom Allah appoints or anything like that. This again proves that the expression “Whomsoever’s Mawla I am, this Ali is also his Mawla” had nothing to do with leadership or divine appointment.

 

(VI) – The event of Ghadeer was linked with the criticism and negativity of soldiers towards their commander –Ali – after the expedition of Yemen.

The background behind the event of Ghadeer was that a few months before this event, the Prophet (SAWS) had dispatched Ali(RA) alongside 300 men to Yemen on an expedition.

Shaykh Mufid, the classical Shia scholar, under the section entitled “The Prophet’s Farewell Pilgrimage and the Declaration at Ghadir Khumm”, writes:

The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, had sent him (Ali), peace be upon him, to Yemen to collect the fifth share (khums) of their gold and silder and collect the breastplates and other things…Then the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, decided to go on the pilgrimage and to carry out the duties which God, the Exalted, had decreed…He, may God bless him and his family, set out with them with five days remaining in (the month of) Dhu al-Qa’da. He had written to the Commander of the Faithful (Ali), peace be upon him, about going on the pilgrimage from Yemen…

Meanwhile, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, set out with the soldiers who had accompanied him to Yemen. He had with him the breastplates which he had collected from the people of Najran. When the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, was nearing Mecca on the road from Medina, the Commander of the Faithful (Ali), peace be upon him, was nearing it on the road from Yemen. He (Ali) went ahead of the army to meet the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, and he left one of their number in charge of them. He came up to the Prophet as the latter was looking down over Mecca. He (Ali) greeted him (the Prophet) and informed him (the Prophet) of what he (Ali) had done and what he (Ali) had collected [in Khums] and that he had hurried ahead of the army to meet him. The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, was pleased at that and delighted to meet him…The Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, said farewell to him (the Prophet) and returned to his army. He (Ali) met them nearby and found that they had put on the breastplates which they had had with them. He (Ali) denounced them for that.“Shame on you!” he (Ali) said to the man whom he had appointed as his deputy over them. “Whatever made you give them breastplates before we hand them over to the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family? I did not give you permission to do that.”“They asked me to let them deck themselves out and enter into the state of consecration in them, and then they would give them back to me,” he replied.

The Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, took them off the people and put them back in the sacks. They were discontented with him because of that. When they came to Mecca, their complaints against the Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, became numerous. The Apostle of God ordered the call to be given among the people: “Stop your tongues (speaking) against Ali ibn Abi Talib, peace be upon him. He is one who is harsh in the interests of God, the Mighty and High, not one who deceives in His religion…” When the Apostle of God carried out his rituals of the pilgrimage, he made Ali his partner in the sacrifice of animals. Then he began his journey back to Medina. (Ali) and the Muslims went with him. He came to a place known as Ghadir Khumm…(Kitab al-Irshad, by Shaykh Mufid, pages.119 ; 120 ; 121 ; 122 ; 123).

Shaykh Mufid, the classical Shia scholar, wrote:

(Earlier) the Commander of the Faithful had chosen a slave-girl from among the prisoners. Now Khalid sent Buraida to the Prophet. He said: “Get to (the Prophet) before the army does. Tell him what Ali has done in choosing a slave-girl for himself from the Khums and bring him dishonor…” Buraida went to the Prophet. He (Buraida) had with him the letter from Khalid with which he had been sent. He began to read it. The face of the Prophet began to change. “Apostle of Allah,” said Buraida, “if you permitted the people (to act) like this, their booty would disappear.” “Woe upon you, Buraida,” the Prophet told him. “You have committed an act of hypocrisy. Ali ibn Abi Talib is allowed to have what is allowed to me from their booty…Buraida, I warn you that if you hate Ali, Allah will hate you.”Buraida reported: “I wanted the earth to split open for me so that I could be swallowed into it. Then I said: “I seek refuge in Allah from the anger of Allah and the anger of the Apostle of Allah. Apostle of Allah, forgive me. I will never hate Ali and I will only speak good of him.”The Prophet forgave him.(Kitab al-Irshad, by Shaykh Mufid, pp.111-112)

As for accounts about this event mentioned in Sunni sources then we read:

‘The Prophet sent ‘Ali to Khalid ibn al-Waleed in Yemen to work out the one-fifth of the booty and take it. When he had worked out the one-fifth of the booty, there was a slave woman among the one-fifth who was the best of the female captives and had ended up being counted as part of the one-fifth. Then ‘Ali came out with his head covered, and he had done ghusl. They asked him about that, and he told them that the slave woman who had been among the prisoners had become his, and he had been intimate with her. Some of them objected to that, and Buraydah ibn al-Husayb brought the letter of Khalid to the Prophet. Buraydah was one of those who did not like ‘Ali, and he confirmed the contents of Khalid’ s letter, which referred to what ‘Ali had done. The Prophet said: ‘Do not hate him, for he has more right to the one-fifth than that.'” [Majmua az-Zawaid, vol 9, page 127]

Narrated Buraida: The Prophet sent Ali to Khalid to bring the Khumus (of the booty) and I hated Ali, and Ali had taken a bath (after a sexual act with a slave-girl from the Khumus). I said to Khalid, “Don’t you see this (i.e. Ali)?” When we reached the Prophet, I mentioned that to him. He (the Prophet) said, “O Buraida! Do you hate Ali?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “Do you hate him, for he deserves more than that from the Khums.” [Sahih Bukhari ,volume 5, Book 59 Number 637].

When the Farewell Pilgrimage took place, ‘Ali returned from Yemen to join the hajj and brought the sacrificial animals with him. He appointed one of his companions to be in charge of the troops, and he hastened to meet the Messenger in Makkah. That man gave the troops some garments that ‘Ali had, and when the army drew close to Makkah, ‘Ali went out to meet them and saw them wearing those suits. He said to his deputy: “Woe to you, what is this?” He said: “I clothed them like this today so that they would look good when they came to the people.” ‘Ali said: “Woe to you, take them off before you meet the Messenger ” So the deputy took away the suits and put them with the rest of the garments, and the army started to complain about what Ali had done to them. When the people complained about ‘Ali the Messenger of Allah stood up to address them. [Al-Bidayah wa an-nihayah vol 5, page 95 ; Seerah Al-Nabawiyyah, ibn Hisham, vol 4, page 259]

Imam Ibn Katheer said: “There was a lot of talk and complaining about ‘Ali from that army, because he had prevented them from using the charity camels and had taken back the suits that his deputy had let them have. And Allah knows best.” When the Messenger was on his way back to Madinah after finishing his hajj rituals, he passed by Ghadeer Khumm. There he addressed the people and defended ‘Ali , confirming his high status and pointing out his virtues so as to remove whatever negative feelings the people might have developed about him. [Al-Bidayah wa an-nihayah vol 5, page 95]

It was when the criticisms towards `Ali became plenty, due to his preventing the soliders from using the camels, his taking back of the clothing that they were given by his deputy, and `his taking of the Slave-girl as Khums. It was then, that the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) rebuked them and while returning to Al-Madinah, he passed by Ghadeer Khum, he stood amongst the people to clear `Ali and raise his status, and showed his merit, to remove from the hearts of the people what had become of them.

Noteworthy is the point that, the Prophet(SAWS) did not give this speech(of Ghadeer) when he was in Makkah during the Farewell Pilgrimage on the day of ‘Arafah – The day when the verse of Ikmal al-Din(perfection of the religion) was revealed. On the day of Arafah, the Prophet(SAWS) gave the farewell sermon to the people and he never mentioned this topic at all. After he finished his farewell sermon, he said “Did I convey the message” and the people said “Yes” then he said “O Allah be my witness. But Prophet(Saws) delayed this matter until he was on his way back to Madinah. This indicates that this matter was not regarding appointment of Leader for the Muslim Nation, rather it was only in concern with the people of Madinah. As discussed in the earlier section, there were only the people of Madinah with Prophet(SAWS) on his way back to Madinah at Ghadeer and these are the people whom the Prophet(SAWS) addressed.

The Shi’ee claim that the Prophet(SAWS) appointed Ali(ra) in front of all the Muslims is highly unlikely due to the fact that the Prophet(SAWS) did not address this point in his Farewell Sermon at all.

Therefore, on the way back to Madina after the most important events had occurred, such as the perfection of religion at Arafah and after the important Farewell Sermon at Makkah; Prophet(saw) stopped at an un-important location of Ghadeer, when most people who attended Hajj weren’t present and there he(saws) addressed people for befriending and loving Ali(ra) and reminded the people about, taking care of his family members(Ahlulbayt) and being responsible towards them after him.

 

Shia Argument #1:

Some have claimed that the Prophet (saw) said these words at Ghadeer because from amongst the companions, some were displeased with Imam Alee (a.s) since he took a slave girl for himself. This particular incident took place in 9/10 A.H which was well over a year before the incident of Ghadeer Khumm. Both incidents took place at different times and locations, and has nothing to do with the declaration of Ghadeer Khum.

Response:

In fact, both events (what happened in Yemen and Ghadir Khumm) occurred in the final year of the Prophet’s life. According to the classical Shia scholar, Shaykh Mufid, the expedition in Yemen was coming to an end in the last five days of Dhu al-Qa’dah (the 11th Islamic month) and the event of Ghadir Khumm occurred right thereafter in Dhu al-Hijjah (the 12th Islamic month).

What Shia propagandists deceptively claim is that, the expedition of Yemen took place in Rabi’ al-Thani (the 4th Islamic month) or Jumada al-Awwal (the 5th Islamic month), whereas Ghadir Khumm took place in the 12th month; this is a horrible half-truth. The Yemen campaign lasted many months and into the 11th month! So whereas the Yemen expedition may have started a few months back, it definitely did not end before the last five days of the 11th month, after which Ali(RA) and his soldiers immediately joined the Prophet(SAWS) in Mecca to do Hajj. Esteemed Shia Shaykh Mufid, in his epic book “Kitab al-Irshad page #119 & #120” mentions the dispute in Yemen (between Ali and his soldiers) in the same heading as the section entitled “The Prophet’s Farewell Pilgramage and the Declaration at Ghadir Khumm”!

 

Shia Argument #2:

Why did Prophet(SAWS) give a general sermon to all those returning with him(i.e People of Madinah)? He should have given this sermon only to the soldiers who were criticizing Ali(RA).

Response:

The reason Prophet(SAWS) gave a general sermon to people of Madinah who were returning with him, because the news about incident that occurred between Ali(RA) and his soldiers had spread among the people of Madinah, and he didn’t know the perspective of each individual over this incident. Hence Prophet(SAWS) felt the need to defend Ali(RA) infront of the people of Madinah in general. That’s why Prophet(SAWS) didn’t just stop by condemning some of those soldiers who criticized Ali(RA), but he went a step further to remove the negativity towards Ali(RA) from the hearts of those people, by tying his love with the love of Ali(RA).

Secondly, the other reason as to why the people of Madinah in general were addressed is because Prophet(SAWS) realized that some people criticized Ali(RA)- a member of his household- for taking his right from Khums, therefore Prophet(SAWS) felt that as a precautionary measure, he needs to remind the people of Madinah in general, about the importance of taking care of his Ahlulbayt(household) and to be responsible towards them after him, as they were the ones among whom his family would be living. Because his relatives due to relation with him, were prohibited from accepting Sadaqa(charity), and if some Muslims criticize them for taking a share from Khums, which was their right given by Allah in Quran, then that would create a big problem for his Ahlulbayt, especially those who were not financially strong, since they weren’t even eligible to receive charity. This is the reason, Prophet(saw) at Ghadeer Khum dedicated a sermon where he addressed the people of Madinah[not just the soldiers who were criticizing Ali] in general to love Ali(RA) and also to take care and to be responsible towards his family. So this Sermon was a rectification and correction for some people, where as a reminder for the people of Madinah in general.

 

(VII) – Which was the best location for appointment of a Leader; Ghadeer Khumm or Makkah?

As the reader knows, when anyone wishes to make a public speech in which he declares a matter of great importance, if he has any wisdom in him, he would select the best timing, the best location and the best choice of words.

We all know that during the farewell pilgrimage, the Muslims came in enormous numbers, from every corner of the Arabian peninsula, they were all gathered in one spot at mount `Arafah in a very special occasion and a very unique time. As far as timing and place, there is no better time nor was there a better place in the last couple of years of the life of Messenger of Allah(SAWS). He(saws) then stood up in front of them all and gave one of the strongest sermons in the history of humankind, a sermon that remains engraved in the heart of every believer to this very day, the sermon of farewell.

If an appointment were to be made, that was certainly the best time to make it. Yet, the leaders of the Imami sect claim that the appointment was made at a different time and place, when most believers had left and gone back to their lands in Ta’if and Yemen and Bahrayn* and the people of Makkah remained in Makkah while others took the sea route to Jeddah and the towns near the shore. Rasul-Allah(SAWS) only returned with a much smaller number to Madinah.

If the sermon of Ghadeer was appointment of leader over Muslim nation then, this sermon would have occurred in Makkah on the day of Arafah, when Muslims from various parts of Arabia were present. And certainly, BEFORE the verse of perfection of religion was revealed not days after its revelation.

 

Shia Argument:

When Prophet(SAWS) came to know about the criticism of soldiers in Makkah, why didn’t Prophet(SAWS) give this sermon in Makkah.?

Response:

Even though Prophet(SAWS) did address some soldiers who criticized Ali(RA) in Makkah itself by condemning them, but Prophet(SAWS) felt the need to defend Ali(RA) infront of the people of Madinah in general (along with those soldiers whom he may not have condemned in specific), since the news about the incident that occurred between Ali(RA) and his soldiers had spread among the people of Madinah, and he didn’t know the perspective of each individual over this incident. That’s why Prophet(SAWS) didn’t just stop by condemning those soldiers who criticized Ali(RA), but he went a step further to remove the negativity towards Ali(R) from the hearts of those people, by tying his love with love of Ali. And for this cause he chose the location of Ghadeer, where only the people of Madinah were present.

We read:

In the speech given in Ghadeer Khumm, the Prophet wanted to confirm the good character of ‘Ali , raise his status and point out his virtues, so as to remove the ideas harboured by some of those companions who had been with him in Yemen, who had developed reservations about some of his conduct. The Messenger of Allah did not want to do that during hajj, because even though this incident had become widely known, it remained limited to the people of Madinah. On the other hand, he did not delay it until he reached Madinah, lest the hypocrites take advantage of this incident in order to plot against the Muslims. [Adhwa ala Darasat al-Nabawiyyah, by Salih al shaami, page 113, 114] .

If Prophet(saws) had announced this at Makkah, then foolish people who came decades later and never witnessed that event, would have misunderstood it, so in order to avoid the confusion, and in order to not give the deviants an excuse for their deviancy, Prophet(SAWS) went and announced it after he left Makkah, in an un-important location of Ghadeer, when most people weren’t present, and this occurred AFTER the completion of the religion.

 

(VIII) – Islam being perfected/completed before the event of Ghadeer is a clear proof that Ghadeer event is not a proof for divine appointment of Ali(RA).

The Quranic verse 5:3 (“this day I have perfected your religion…”) which is known as verse of Ikmal al-Deen(perfection/completion of the religion) was revealed at the end of the Farewell Sermon on top of Mount Arafat, days BEFORE the event of Ghadeer. This fact is reported in authentic reports present in books of Ahlus-sunnah.

It was, after all, the Farewell Sermon of the Prophet (SAWS) and it is therefore natural to assume that this was the appropriate place for the religion to be sealed. In fact, it is for this very reason that we deny that Ghadir Khumm could possibly be in relation to any divine appointment of Ali(RA) or the Imamah of Ali(RA). The verse “This day I have perfected your religion…” had already been revealed and nothing else could be added to the faith after this.

Following are the authentic traditions which establish the fact that verse of perfection of religion(Ikmal al-Deen) was revealed at Arafah:

(a). Narrated Tariq bin Shihab: A Jew said to `Umar, “O Chief of the Believers, if this verse: ‘This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favors upon you, and have chosen for you, Islam as your religion.’ (5.3) had been revealed upon us, we would have taken that day as an `Id (festival) day.” `Umar said, “I know definitely on what day this Verse was revealed; it was revealed on the day of `Arafat, on a Friday.”(Sahih al-Bukhari #7268).

(b).Ibn Abbas recited: This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion (5:3). And a Jew was with him who said: ‘If this Ayah was revealed to us then we would have taken that day as a day of celebration.’ So Ibn ‘Abbas said: ‘Indeed it was revealed on two ‘Eids: On Friday, and on the Day of ‘Arafah.” (Sunan Tirmidi, Book 47, Hadith 3318 ; Sahih).

Imam Suyuti says in al-Durr al-Manthur
وأخرج البزار بسند صحيح عن ابن عباس قال : نزلت هذه الآية على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو بعرفة { اليوم أكملت لكم دينكم } .
Bazzar has narrated through a saheeh sanad from Ibn Abbas that he said : This verse ‘ ‘ was revealed on the Prophet(SAWS) when he was in Arafat. [Al-Durr al-Manthur, Vol. 3, p. 323].

(c). We read in Tafseer ibn Katheer:

Ibn Jarir recorded that Harun bin `Antarah said that his father said, “When the Ayah, (This day, I have perfected your religion for you…) was revealed, during the great day of Hajj(the Day of `Arafah, the ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah) ` Umar cried. The Prophet said, `What makes you cry’ He said, `What made me cry is that our religion is being perfected for us. Now it is perfect, nothing is perfect , but it is bound to deteriorate. ‘The Prophet said, You have said the truth.”. [Tafseer Ibn Katheer].

(d). Similarly, we even read in Shia hadeeth that the verse of perfection of religion was revealed on Arafah. We read in Shia book Al Kafi:

يوم الجمعة بعرفة ، أنزل الله عز وجل ” اليوم أكملت لكم دينكم وأتممت عليكم نعمتي

Narrated Abu Jafar(as): Friday on Arafah, Allah had revealed: “Today I have completed your religion for you”( al-Kafi, vol 1, page 290).

[Note: Even though we believe that the Shia reports are manipulated and corrupted due to which they aren’t a binding proof upon Sunnis, however we are using a portion of Shia report, in order to refute those Shias who believe in the fabricated reports that the verse of perfection of religion was not revealed on Arafah but was revealed on Ghadeer.]

By consensus of reliable and popular Muslim scholars, the verse of {Today I have completed your religion for you} was announced at `Arafah, after the Prophet(saw) delivered his farewell sermon and after the rituals of Hajj were made clear for all believers, then Allah announced the completion of this religion. If this religion was already complete, does it make any sense that the (supposed) most important part of the religion “Imamah of `Ali” was left out and was abandoned and neglected until Ghadeer?

 

Shia Argument #1:

A narration from Abu Huraira states that the verse of perfection of religion was revealed in Ghadeer. The narration is as following:

It is narrated from Abu Hurairah that he said : whoever fasts the day of the eighteenths of dhil-hijjah it’s like he fasted sixty months, and this is the day of Ghadeer Khum when Rasool Allah(saw) took the hand of Ali and said : Haven’t I more right over the believers? They answered : Indeed, O Messenger of Allah. He said : whoever i’m his mawla, then Ali is his Mawla. Omar ibn khattab said: Congratulations, O son of Abu Talib, as you have become my Mawla and the Mawla of all Muslims. On this, Allah revealed, today i have completed for you your religion. And whoever fasts on the 27th of Rajab, fasts of sixty months is written for him. And this was the first day on which Jibrael (as) came with revelation.

Response:

This report is Munkar(denounced) and unreliable, hence discarded. It even contradicts several authentic reports we mentioned above.

The problem in this narration is the Tafarrud of the narrator Shahr bin Hawshab.

We read in Taqreeb al-tah’dheeb:
شهر بن حوشب الأشعري الشامي مولى أسماء بنت يزيد بن السكن صدوق كثير الإرسال والأوهام
Shahr ibn Hawshab al-ash’ari al-shami, the slave of Asma bint Yazeed ibn al-sakan. He is Saduq, and he commits lot of Irsal and he has lot of illusions. [Taqreeb al-tah’dheeb Vol. 1, p. 269]

Moreover, we read in Ibn Rajab’s Sharh of Ilal al-tirmidhi
وقد ذكر الترمذي أن هؤلاء وأمثالهم ممن تكلم فيه من قبل حفظه وكثرة خطئه لا يحتج بحديث أحد منهم إنما انفرد
Tirmidhi has mentioned that these and the similar people who are criticized due to bad memory, or excessive mistakes, can’t be taken as proof in hadith when they are alone. [Sharh Ilal al-Tirmidhi, Vol. 1, p. 148]

Similarly Ibn Qayyim says in Hadi al-Arwah
وشهرين حوشب ضعفه مشهور والحديث منكر يخالف الأحاديث الصحيحة … قال الدولابي شهر بن حوشب لا يشبه حديثه الناس وقال ابن عون بن حوشب شهرا تركوه وقال النسائي وابن عدي ليس بالقوي وقال أبو حاتم لا يحتج به وتركه شعبة ويحيى بن سعيد وهذان من أعلم الناس بالحديث ورواته وعلله وأن كان غير هؤلاء قد وثقه وحسن حديثه فلا ريب أنه إذا انفرد بما يخالف ما رواه الثقات لم يقبل
Shahb ibn Hawshab’s weakness is famous, and his narration opposes saheeh narrations … Dawlabi said that his hadith is not like the narration of the people. Ibn Awn said that he has been left. Nasai and Ibn Adi said that he is not strong. Abu Hatim said that he can’t be used as a proof. Shu’ba and Yahya ibn Sa’eed left him, and they are from the most knowledgeable people about hadeeth, and its narrators, and its ilal. And even though others have authenticated him as well, and declared his narrations as Hassan, still there is no doubt that when he is alone in what the Thiqat (pl.) narrate, then it will not be accepted. [Hadi al-Arwah, Vol. 1, p. 106]

Verdict of Scholars regarding the report of Abu Huraira:

(a). Ibn Katheer says regarding this narration in his book ‘al-Bidayah wal-Nihaya’
فأما الحديث الذي رواه ضمرة عن ابن شوذب ، عن مطر الوراق ، عن شهر بن حوشب ، عن أبي هريرة قال : لما أخذ رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بيد علي قال : ” من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه ” . فأنزل الله عز وجل : ” اليوم أكملت لكم دينكم ” ( المائدة : 3 ) . قال أبو هريرة : وهو يوم غدير خم ، من صام يوم ثمان عشرة من ذي الحجة كتب له صيام ستين شهرا . فإنه حديث منكر جدا ، بل كذب ; لمخالفته لما ثبت في ” الصحيحين ” عن أمير المؤمنين عمر بن الخطاب أن هذه الآية نزلت في يوم الجمعة يوم عرفة ورسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم واقف بها كما قدمنا
As far as the hadeeth is concerned which is narrated by Ibn Shawzab from Matar al-Waraaq from Shahr ibn Shawzab from Abu Hurairah that when the Messenger of Allah (S) took the hand of Ali and said : “Whoever considers me his Mawla, then Ali is his Mawla” , so Allah revealed the verse “Today I have completed your religion for you” (al-Maidah : Verse 3) and Abu Hurairah said : This was the day of Ghadeer Khumm, whoever fasts on the 18th of Dhil-Hijjah then Allah will write down the reward of fasts equal to sixty months for him”, then this hadeeth is extremely munkar, rather it is fabrication, because it opposes what is proven in Sahihayn from Ameer ul Momineen Umar ibn al-Khattab that he said : This verse was revealed on the day of Jumah, the day of Arafat, and the Prophet(SAWS) was standing there as we mentioned earlier.[ al-Bidayah wal-Nihaya, Vol. 5, p. 233]

(b). Similarly, Imam Alusi narrates from Dhahabi that he said:
وعن الذهبي أن «من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه» متواتر يتيقن أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قاله ، وأما اللهم وال من والاه ، فزيادة قوية الإسناد ، وأما صيام ثماني عشرة ذي الحجة فليس بصحيح ولا والله نزلت تلك الآية إلا يوم عرفة قبل غدير خم بأيام
Dhahabi said the statement ‘Whosoever considers me his Mawla, then I am his Mawla’ is mutawatir, making it sure that the Prophet (S) said it. As far as the part ‘Allah befriend him whosoever considers him as his friend’ then this addition has also strong chains of transmissions. And as far as the part regarding the fast on the 18th of Dhil Hijjah, then it is NOT Sahih, and by Allah, this verse was revealed on the day of Arafat, days before the event of Ghadeer Khum. [Tafsir Ruh al-Ma’ani, Vol. 5, p. 69].

(c). Similarly, Imam Suyuti says in al-Durr al-Manthur
وأخرج ابن مردويه والخطيب وابن عساكر بسند ضعيف عن أبي هريرة قال : لما كان يوم غدير خم وهو يوم ثماني عشر من ذي الحجة قال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم : ” من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه
فانزل الله اليوم أكملت لكم دينكم ”
Ibn Mardawiyah and Khateeb and Ibn Asakir have narrated through weak chains of transmissions from Abu Hurairah that he said : “When it was the day of Ghadeer Khum, and it was the 18th of Dhil Hijjah, the Prophet (S) said ‘Whosoever considers me his friend, then Ali is his friend’ so Allah revealed the verse ‘Today I have accomplished your religion for you’. [Al-Durr al-Manthur, Vol. 3, p. 19].

(d). Similarly, Allamah Alusi says in his Tafsir:
وروى ضمرة بإسناده عن أبي هريرة قال : لما أخذ رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يد علي كرم الله تعالى وجهه قال : من كنت مولاه ، فأنزل الله تعالى { اليوم أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ } [ المائدة : 3 ] ثم قال أبو هريرة : وهو يوم غدير خم ، ومن صام يوم ثماني عشرة من ذي الحجة كتب الله تعالى له صيام ستين شهراً ، وهو حديث منكر جداً
Zamurrah has narrated through his sanad from Abu Hurairah that when the Messenger of Allah (S) took the hand of Ali and said : “Whoever considers me his Mawla, then Ali is his Mawla” , so Allah revealed the verse “Today I have completed your religion for you” (al-Maidah : Verse 3) and Abu Hurairah said : This was the day of Ghadeer Khumm, whoever fasts on the 18th of Dhil-Hijjah then Allah will write down the reward of fasts equal to sixty months for him”. This hadeeth is extremely munkar. [Tafsir Ruh al-Ma’ani, Vol. 5, p. 69].

 

Shia Argument #2:

A narration from Abu Sa’eed Khudri states that the verse of perfection of religion was revealed in Ghadeer.

“Abu Sa’eed Khudri(ra) has narrated that upon research over the day of Ghadir Khum, Prophet(Sallahu alaihi wa sallam) commanded some people to clean the area under the tree and the thorns were brushed off from the area under the tree. Then he called Ali(ra) and took both his hands and pushed them up into the air, so much so that people could see the whiteness of the Prophet’s(Sallahu alaihi wa sallam) armpit. Then he said: “Whomsoever’s Mawla I am, Ali is (also) his Mawla.” Even then the people were not mutafarriq when the ayah was revealed: “{ This day, those who disbelieved have given up all hope of your religion, so fear them not, but fear Me. This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.”} Then the Prophet(sallahu alaihi wa sallam) said:”Allah’s deen being perfected, Allah’s favor being fulfilled and upon my Prophethood and upon the wilayat of Ali, upon Allah being pleased with us”. (Shiaiyat ka Muqaddima, Pg 171, Reference arjah al mutaalib Pg 80, Abu Na’eem wa Abu Bakr Mardooyah anhu wa an abi huraira, wa suyuti fi dur al manthoor wal daylami (Sah) wa Abu na’eem feema nazal minal qur’aan fee Ali).

Response:

Hafiz Ad-Dhahabi(rahimahullah) has graded it mawdoo (Fabricated). (See Al muntaqa min minhaaj us sunnah Pg 425).

It is said, that there is not a single sanad/chain of narration for this particular narration in any books of the Ahlussunnah wal jama’ah and nor has there been any knowledge of the isnaad of Abu Na’eem wa ibn mardooyah.

This narration was not even found in dur manthoor (Vol 2, Pg 398) and nor does it exist in Daylami, therefore, this chainless narration is mawdoo (Fabricated). Hence discarded

Hafiz Ibn Taymiyah(rahimahullah) has requested for the chain of this narration centuries ago (See Minhaaj us sunnah an nabawiyyah, Vol 4 Pg 15).

 

(IX) – The Verse of Tableegh(5:67) was NOT revealed on the day of Ghadeer.

یٰۤاَیُّهَا الرَّسُوۡلُ بَلِّغْ مَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ اِلَیۡكَ مِنۡ رَّبِّكَ ؕ وَ اِنۡ لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهٗ ؕ وَاللہُ یَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ ؕ اِنَّ اللہَ لَا یَۡدِی الْقَوْمَ الْکٰفِرِیۡنَ

O Messenger! deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people; surely Allah will not guide the unbelieving people. (Quran 5:67)

 This verse is called Ayat al-Tableegh (the Verse of Conveyance) on account of the word balligh (the imperative form of the verb ballagha i.e. to convey) in it.

There is an oft-repeated claim of the Shia, namely that this verse (5:67) was revealed in regards to Ali’s nomination to Caliph; in other words, the Prophet(SAWS) should not worry about the awful reaction of the Sahabah to the declaration of Ali’s Imamah/Caliphate.  This claim is absolutely wrong and incorrect. In fact, verse 5:67 could not have been revealed in regards to Ali’s nomination at Ghadeer, namely because of the following reasons:

(i). As is well known, the incident of Ghadir Khumm occurred near the Prophet’s death when all of Arabia had already been subdued by the Muslims under the guidance of the Prophet; this included the Christians in Najran and the Jews in Yemen. What is there for the Prophet to fear from proclamation when his followers have increased a hundred-fold? It would not make sense for this verse to have been revealed at the time of the Prophet’s peak of power. Rather, this verse was revealed at a much earlier stage of the Prophetic era when Islam was still struggling for its survival, surrounded by many enemies.

(ii). As per AUTHENTIC reports, The verse of Ikmal al-deen(perfection of religion) was revealed on the day of ‘Arafah, some days BEFORE the event of Ghadeer. If an important part of religion(fundamental part of religion-Usool-e-Deen-as per Shias) was not conveyed yet, then it would not make sense that Allah(swt) would reveal the verse about the completion/perfection of religion before this important part of religion is conveyed. The fact that, verse about the completion/perfection of religion[5:3] was revealed at ‘Arafah before the Ghadeer event, proves that the verse of Tableegh[5:67] was revealed much before the revelation of this verse and much before the event of Ghadeer.

(iii). Before the revelation of verse about completion of religion, Prophet(SAWS) delivered the Farewell Sermon to all the people who participated in the Farewell Hajj. After delivering the Farewell Sermon Prophet(SAWS) asked the people three times, Haven’t I conveyed Allah’s Message? the people replied in affirmative, then Prophet(SAWS) asked Allah(swt) to be the witness three times. Then Prophet(SAWS) said: It is incumbent upon those who are present to convey it (this message of mine) to those who are absent. [Refer: Sahih al-Bukhari #7078 and Sunan Abi Dawud #3334]

Now, the question which rises is that, if supposedly an important part of religion was not conveyed by Prophet(SAWS) and he feared conveying it, then why would Prophet(SAWS) ask the people, Haven’t he conveyed the message and make Allah, witness for it? Obviously, Prophet(SAWS) believed that he has indeed delivered the Message of Allah(swt), thus made the people and Allah(swt) a witness for it. This shows that the verse [5:67] was revealed much before this event.

(iv). The verse 5:67 could not possibly have been revealed in regards to Ali’s nomination, because it was directed towards the People of the Book (i.e. Jews and Christians). The Shia take the verse out of context, without considering the verses that comes right before it and the verse that comes right after it. Let us take a look:

And the Jews say: The hand of Allah is tied up! Their hands shall be shackled and they shall be cursed for what they say. Nay, both His hands are spread out, He expends as He pleases; and what has been revealed to you from your Lord will certainly make many of them increase in inordinacy and unbelief; and We have put enmity and hatred among them till the day of resurrection; whenever they kindle a fire for war Allah puts it out, and they strive to make mischief in the land; and Allah does not love the mischief-makers. (5:64)

If only the People of the Book had believed and been righteous, We should indeed have blotted out their iniquities and admitted them to gardens of bliss.(5:65).

And if they had kept up the Taurat and the Injeel and that which was revealed to them from their Lord, they would certainly have eaten from above them and from beneath their feet there is a party of them keeping to the moderate course, and (as for) most of them, evil is that which they do. (5:66).

O Messenger! deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people; surely Allah will not guide the unbelieving people.(5:67).

Say: O People of the Book! you follow no good till you keep up the Taurat and the Injeel and(now) that which is revealed to you from your Lord(Quran) ; and surely that which has been revealed to you from your Lord shall make many of them increase in inordinacy and unbelief; grieve not therefore for the unbelieving people.(5:68).

So we see that the verse before and after is talking about the People of the Book, and it is in this context that the verse 5:67 was revealed, reassuring the Prophet(SAWS) that he should not fear the Jews or the Christians and that he (SAWS) should clearly deliver the Message of Islam which will be made supreme over Judaism and Christianity. The Prophet(SAWS) is told in verse 5:67 that he should not fear these men who mean mischief, and in the very next verse (5:68) Allah says, “that which has been revealed to you from Lord will only increase them in inordinacy and disbelief.” It is exceedingly clear that we are talking about the same group of people, namely the disbelievers from amongst the People of the Book who mean to make mischief and who become obstinate in inordinacy and disbelief. This is quite apparent that this was in no way an address to the Sahaba, rather it was regarding People of the Book(Jews and Christians).

(v). In (5:67) Allah(swt) commands Prophet(SAWS) to, {“deliver that has been revealed from Lord“} and in the next verse(5:68) Allah mentions about the People of the Book(Jews and Christians) by saying {…that which has been revealed to you from your Lord(Quran) shall make many of them increase in inordinacy and unbelief}.

The reference to the wording {“which has been revealed from Lord“} is Quran. Like we read in other Chapters of Quran, example: {Surely We have revealed it– an Arabic Quran— that you may understand.(12:2)}.

Therefore the verse of Tableegh is not talking about making a declaration(i.e Ghadeer), rather it is talking about delivering the Quran, which was revealed from Allah. And we know that the Hadeeth al-Ghadeer is NOT Quran.

This is supported by the following verse which mentions about the People of the book(Jews and Christians), “that which has been revealed to you from your Lord shall make many of them increase in inordinacy and unbelief“. Obviously, this cannot be the declaration of Ghadeer which would increase People of the book(Jews & Christians) in inordinacy and unbelief. People of the book(Jews and Christians) had nothing to do with the Ghadeer declaration, they had no concern with it, nor did they witness this event. Therefore, undoubtedly its the mention about Quran.

This is further strengthened by the explanation reported from Ibn Abbas(RA) which we read in Tafseer Ibn Katheer for this verse(5:67) :

علي بن أبي طلحة عن ابن عباس: { وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ } يعني: إن كتمت آية مما أنزل إليك من ربك، لم تبلغ رسالته

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas commented on the Ayah, {And if you do not , then you have not conveyed His Message} “It means, if you hide only one Ayah(verse) that was revealed to you from your Lord, then you have not conveyed His Message. ”[Tafseer ibn Katheer].

So since we know that Ghadeer Declaration or Hadeeth al-Ghadeer is neither Ayah(verse) of Quran nor is it considered Quran, we can certainly say that, the verse of Tableegh(5:67) was not revealed regarding conveying the Ghadeer declaration.

(vi). Narrated ‘Aishah: “The Prophet(SAWS) was being guarded until this Ayah was revealed: {‘Allah will protect you from mankind.}‘ So the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) stuck his head out from the room and said: ‘O you people! Go away, for Allah shall protect me.'”[Jami` at-Tirmidhi ,Book 47, Hadith #3320. Grade: Hasan(good).

This reliable report shows that, the context of revelation was not as what Shiites claim, nor was it revealed at an Oasis called Ghadeer Khumm.

(vii). Imam Fakhr uddin al-Razi mentions that various people have claimed that the verse was revealed on different occassions. He lists ten possibilities of when the verse could have been revealed, he then says:

واعلم أن هذه الروايات وإن كثرت إلا أن الأولى حمله على أنه تعالى آمنه من مكر اليهود والنصارى ، وأمره بإظهار التبليغ من غير مبالاة منه بهم ، وذلك لأن ما قبل هذه الآية بكثير وما بعدها بكثير لما كان كلاماً مع اليهود والنصارى امتنع إلقاء هذه الآية الواحدة في البين على وجه تكون أجنبية عما قبلها وما بعدها .

You should know that even with these narrations being numerous, it is more fit to explain the verse as Allah assuring him (the Prophet) of protection against the cunning schemes of the Jews and Christans and ordered him to announce the proclamation without having fear of them. This is because the context before this verse and after this verse is addressing the Jews and Christians; it would not be possible to throw a verse in the middle (of other verses) making it foreign to what is before it and after it. (Source: Mafatih al-Ghayb, by Fakhr uddin al-Razi, volume 6, page 113)

In other words, Imam al-Razi did mention ten possibilities but he stated that the only strong opinion was that the verse was revealed about the Jews and Christians and this is why he mentioned this possibility first.

(viii). Ibn Katheer quoted several weak and unreliable reports about certain verses of Quran being revealed specifically for Ali(RA), then he said:

هذا لا يصح بوجه من الوجوه لضعف اسانيده ولم ينزل في علي شىء من القرآن بخصوصيته

This is not correct from any way, because of the weakness of its asnad(chains), and nothing is revealed in Quran about Ali(RA) specifically. [Al bidaya wa al nihaya vol 7, page 357].

This fact stated by Imam Ibn Katheer, rejects the possibility that, the verse of Tableegh(5:67) was revealed at Ghadeer regarding making an announcement about Ali(RA).

 

Shia Argument #1:

This report shows that the verse[5:67] was revealed at Ghadir about Ali ibn Abi Talib.

أخبرنا أبو سعيد محمد بن علي الصفار قال: أخبرنا الحسن بن أحمد المخلدي قال: أخبرنا محمد بن حمدون بن خالد قال: حدثنا محمد بن إبراهيم الخلوتي قال: حدثنا الحسن بن حماد سجادة قال: حدثنا علي بن عابس عن الأعمش وأبي حجاب عن عطية عن أبي سعيد الخدري قال: نزلت هذه الآية (يا أَيُّها الرَسولُ بَلِّغ ما أُنزِلَ إِلَيكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ) يوم غدير خم في علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه

Abu Sa‘id Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al-Saffar informed us> al-Hasan ibn Ahmad al-Makhladi> Muhammad ibn Hamdun ibn Khalid> Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Halwani> al-Hasan ibn Hammad Sijjadah> ‘Ali ibn ‘Abis> al-A‘mash> Abu’l-Hajjab> ‘Atiyyah> Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri who said: “This verse (O Messenger! Make known that which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord…) was revealed on the day of ‘Ghadir Khumm’ about ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib(RA). [Asbab Al Nuzul by Imam Wahidi al Naysaburi]

Response:

This report is weak and unreliable. Scrutinizing the chain of this report reveals the following flaws:

(i).‘Ali ibn ‘Abis: This narrator lived in Kufah during the latter half of the second century AH. There is consensus amongst the rijal critics that he was an unreliable transmitter. (Tahdhib al-Kamal vol. 20 p. 502-504).

His unreliability stems from the fact that the material transmitted by him was for the greater part uncorroborated or contradictory to more reliable versions. In the case of this particular narration he has transmitted a hadith of which no trace can be found anywhere else. Since his own reliability is already seriously questionable, we cannot by any objective standards place confidence in the lone narration of one such as he. Ibn Hibban sums up the reason for dismissing him as a hadith transmitter in the following words: “Mistakes of his in transmitting hadith were so serious that he deserved to be abandoned (as a narrator).” Abu Zur‘ah ar-Razi states: “He is munkar al-hadith (meaning that he uncorroborated material, or material which contradicts more reliable versions); he transmits uncorroborated ahadith on the authority of reliable narrators.” (Kitab al-Majruhin vol. 2 p. 176)

(ii).‘Atiyyah al-‘Awfi: ‘Atiyyah al-‘Awfi appears in the isnaad as the person who narrates from Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri(RA). Scholars of hadeeth almost agreed upon Atiyyah Awfi’s weakness. He was also a Mudallis on the top of that, a Shia. Imam Ahmed said: “Hushaim used to declare his hadith to be weak” . Imam Ahmed said: “Atiyya was weak in hadith”. Nasai said: Weak. Abu Zur’ah said: Layyin. Abu Hatim said: “weak, his Hadith to be written. And Abu Nadhra is better than him, according to me.” Similarly Ibn Adi declared him to be weak and said that his should be written. Ibn Hibban mention him in his book “Al-Majroohin”, and said, “his hadith should not be written except with ta’ajjub”. As-Saaji said: “he is not hujjah”. [See “Tahdheeb” of Ibn Hajar (7/201)].

He was also deemed unreliable due to the habit termed tadlis ash-shuyukh by the muhaddithin. His practise of this habit is explained by Ibn Hibban in his Kitab al-Majruhin in the following words:

He heard some ahadith from Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri. When Abu Sa‘id died he sat with (the Shia mufassir) al-Kalbi and listened to his stories. Thus when al-Kalbi used to say “RasoolAllah(saw) said…” he used to memorise it. He now gave al-Kalbi the kunyah “Abu Sa‘id” and started narrating from him. When it was asked “Who narrated this to you?” he used to say, “Abu Sa‘id”. The people would think that he meant Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri, when in reality it was al-Kalbi. It is therefore not allowed to use him as an authority or to write his ahadith, except if it is in the sense of amazement. (Kitab al-Majruhin vol. 2 p. 176).

Therefore, This narration has no credibility at all. It must be kept in mind that usually Shiites quote the above narrration from different books such as Ibn Abi Hatim’s, Tafseer Dar al-Manthur of Imam Suyuti, Imam al-Shawkani in Fath Al Qadir, etc. However the chain of narrators in all these books have, these two unreliable narrators common in all of them.

 

Shia Argument #2:

As-Suyuti in his book ad-Durr al-Manthur. (vol. 2 p. 298) states:

Ibn Mardawayh recorded from Ibn Mas‘ud that he said: In the time of Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam we used to read: “O messenger, convey what has been revealed to you from your Lord that ‘Ali is the Master of the Believers; If you do not do so, you would not have conveyed His message. And Allah protects you from the people…

Response:

It was originally documented in the tafsir of Abu Bakr Ibn Mardawayh (died 410 AH), but his tafsir is no longer extant. It has been preserved, albeit without isnad(chain), by as-Suyuti in his book ad-Durr al-Manthur

This narration, has come down to us stripped of its chain of narration. The chain of narration is usually regarded as the chief indicator of authenticity. Infact, a narration without chain is like a body without head, and is useless.

Al-Imam ash-Shafi‘i said: “The one who accepts the knowledge from somebody without the sanad(chain of transmission) is like a person carrying a bundle of wood with a snake in it and he does not know. It may bite him (anytime).”[al-Bayhaqi, al-Madkhal ila as-Sunan al-Kubra, p. 211.].

However, in this case, Isnad(chain) is not the only indicator. In the absence of the isnad, which would have pinpointed the exact person responsible for this blatant forgery, we still have the significant fact that this narration assails the sanctity of the Qur’an.

This narration contains an addition to the wording of the verse which is not to be found amongst any of the qira’at (variant readings) of the Qur’an, neither the mutawatir readings nor the shadhdh ones. In fact, it can be found nowhere except in a single, lone narration preserved without isnad in a work of the fifth century. The work of Ibn Mardawayh is in no way free from narrations by the extremists of the Shi‘ah. We have earlier seen, in the case of ‘Atiyyah al-‘Awfi, how Shî’ah narrations crept into Sunni compilations as early as in the days of the Tabi‘in.

Classical Shî’ah works like the tafsirs of ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim al-Qummi and Furat ibn Ibrahim al-Kufi, the Kitab al-Qira’at of Ahmad ibn Muhammad as-Sayyari, al-Ihtijaj by Ahmad ibn ‘Ali at-Tabarsi, the book al-Manaqib by Ibn Shahrashub and the book Kashf al-Yaqin by Ibn Tawus all contain narrations which state that the name of ‘Ali radiyallahu ‘anhu was mentioned in this verse, but “they” (meaning the Sahabah) removed it from there. (Mulla Husayn Nuri Tabarsi, Fasl al-Khitab fi Ithbat Tahrif Kitab Rabb al-Arbab, cited by Ihsan Ilahi Zahir, ash-Shi‘ah wal-Qur’an pp. 215-217)

It is therefore not at all inconceivable that this narration found its way into the tafsir of Ibn Mardawayh through an isnaad going back to its Shi’ah originator. And certainly, it is a Fabricated narration and hence discarded.

 

Shia Argument #3:

Al-Qunduzi records that the verse[5:67] was revealed at Ghadeer about Ali:

الحديث السادس والخمسون : عن البراء بن عازب ( ر ) في قوله تعالي : يا أيها الرسول بلغ ما أنزل إليك من ربك : أي بلغ من فضائل علي ، نزلت في غدير خم ، فخطب رسول الله (ص) قال : من كنت مولاه فهذا علي مولاه . فقال عمر ( ر ) : بخ بخ لك يا علي ، أصبحت مولاي ومولى كل مؤمن ومؤمنة ، رواه أبو نعيم . وذكره أيضا الثعلي في كتابه.

(Yanabi al-Muwaddah).

Response:

Here is the chain for this report  from al-Tha`labi in his Khashaf al-Bayan:

أبو القاسم يعقوب بن أحمد السري، أبو بكر بن محمد بن عبد اللّه بن محمد، أبو مسلم إبراهيم ابن عبد اللّه الكعبي، الحجاج بن منهال، حماد عن علي بن زيد عن عدي بن ثابت عن البراء

This narration is weak and unreliable due to the narrator Ali ibn Zaid. He has been weakened by Jurjani, Bayhaqi, al-Razi, Ibn Hibban, Abu Zur’a, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Nasai, Juzjani, Ibn Hajr, Darqutni, Muhammad ibn Saad, Ibn Khuzaima, and Yahya ibn Ma’een.

To conclude the matter, no reliable Sunni source says that the verse was revealed at Ghadir Khumm. And the weak and unreliable reports quoted by Shias, contradict the context of verses of Quran, History, Logic, as well as the reliable reports which mention this verse being revealed at another occassion.

Lastly, we would like to repeat the verdict of Imam Ibn Katheer.

Ibn Katheer said:

هذا لا يصح بوجه من الوجوه لضعف اسانيده ولم ينزل في علي شىء من القرآن بخصوصيته

This is not correct from any way, because of the weakness of its asnad(chains), and nothing is revealed in Quran about Ali(RA) specifically. [Al bidaya wa al nihaya vol 7, page 357].

 

(X) – The Hadeeth al-Ghadeer cannot be used to form belief(Aqeedah) since it is not a clear evidence as per testimonies of Esteemed Shia Scholars.

Islam is a religion of evidence, the Muslims must not invent matters in their own religion, everything they do should be based on some sort of proof, the strongest of proofs are usually Qur’anic texts and authentic prophetic sayings (Hadith). The majority of Muslims otherwise known as Ahlul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah always followed the strongest and most reliable of proofs, whereas deviant sects may cling to weak evidence such as twisting the meaning of a certain verse or Hadeeth or believing in unreliable narrations.

The scholars of Islam have defined the ‘Shari’ah Meaning’ of Aqeedah(belief) as:

(‘At Tas’deeq ul Jazam al Mu’tabbit lil Waqih an Daleel al Qati’i’)‘The decisive belief which conforms with reality and which is obtained through definite evidences’. [Imam al Jurjaani: At Ta’reefaat] [Source: Al-Taqrib Ila Qawati’ al Adilla Fi Usul al Aqeedah wa Radd ala al  Mubta’deen, page 10 ]

Defining what is Qat`i(Certain) evidence and what is Dhanni(Speculative) evidence:

Qat`i evidence: is solid clear proof, when one sees it he shall acquire certainty, meaning the knowledge we gain from this piece of evidence is certain. Denying these types of evidence would take one out of Islam. For example the following verse is considered Qat`i evidence that Allah is “One”:

{Say: He is Allah, the One!} [112:1]

If a Muslim were to say “No, Allah is Two!” he becomes a Kafir.

Dhanni evidence: is a weaker form of evidence, it means probable or speculative evidence, evidence that can accept more than one interpretation, it can be understood in more than one way. A practical example of this would be the following:

If you spot a man standing next to the dead body of another person, and there are some blood stains on his clothes, you’d assume that he was the killer. However, it could be that he just came at the wrong time while the real killer had already made his escape, and that he got some blood on his clothes while trying to help the dying man, it does not necessarily mean that he killed him.

Another example from a Fiqhi perspective is the following Hadith:

The Prophet(SAWS) said: “No one touches the Qur’an except who is pure.”

This narration is authentic, but how do we understand its implications?

Some scholars used this as proof that the woman on her period cannot touch the Qur’an because she is in a state of impurity. However, this is only a speculative analogy and a speculative evidence, it could be that by “pure” Allah meant the believers, because the Prophet(saws) said in another narration “The (touch of a) believer does not cause impurity.” So it could simply mean that Allah is forbidding non-Muslims from touching the Qur’an and that this has nothing to do with Muslim women on period.

This makes the narration above a Dhanni(speculative) evidence for forbidding women from touching the Qur’an while on period.

IF that narration were to say: “No one touches the Qur’an while on their periods.” Then it would have been a Qat`i(Certain) evidence for forbidding the women from this.

There are many different branches of Hukum Shari’ah, two of which are concerned with beliefs:

Al Ahkam al I’tiqaadiah( Rules concerning the beliefs). These beliefs must be based on sources which are considered free of all doubt regarding the text and the meaning.(i.e Qata’i Thabut wa Qata’i Dalalah). This includes: the Qur’an and the Ahadith Mutawatir.

Al Ahkam al Ikhbariah(Rules concerning information): Any form of information based on indefinite text with both definite or indefinite meaning; Or, definite text with indefinite meaning. This information because it is Dhanni(speculative), by nature does not yield certainty of knowledge, therefore cannot be taken as an article of Aqeedah which must be free of doubt. [Source: Al-Taqrib Ila Qawati’ al Adilla Fi Usul al Aqeedah wa Radd ala al Mubta’deen, page 12 ] .

Decisiveness of any proof has two aspects:

  1. Proof must be decisively established[Qata’iyy ath-Thabut]. For example, Qur’an and Mutawatir tradition which carry no possibility of being incorrect or weak or lie. Opposite to it is Dhanniyy ath-Thubut which carries the possibility of being a mistake or lie. Like weak narrations, etc.
  2. It must be conclusive on the topic being discussed, that is, it must not have a valid possibility which may invalidate the argument taken from it. [Qata’iyy ad-Dalalah]. The evidence of Wudhu being a command of Shari’ah, and the proofs that lying on the Prophet[SAWS] is a greater sin than lying on any other. Opposite to it is [Dhanniyy ad-Dalalah] for example proof for wiping the feet. The evidence from Shi’a side is the verse of Qur’an but, even though it is decisively established, it is not conclusive on the topic, as it carries different possibilities due to difference in recitation and other issues. So Sunnis prefer other evidence which is Qat’iyy ath-Thabut as well as Qat’iyy ad-Dalalah, that is, the famous traditions on washing the feet.

Keeping these important and basic principles of forming an Aqeedah(belief) in mind, the evidence for the Imamah of Ali(RA) must be decisive in both aspects. However, the Hadeeth of Ghadeer which even though is Qat’iyy ath-Thubut[Decisively established], but it is definitely NOT Qati’yy ad-Dalalah rather it is Dhanniyy ad-Dalalah.

If some Shias out of ignorance object at our claim that, Hadeeth al-Ghadeer is definitely not Qati’yy ad-Dalalah, then we would like to inform those Shias that as per testimonies of Esteemed Shia scholars, there is NO CLEAR evidence for the Imamah of Ali(RA).

(i). Esteemed Shia Scholar – Sheikh Sharif Murtada said:

إنّا لا ندّعي علم الضرورة في النص، لا لأنفسنا ولا على مخالفينا، وما نعرف أحداً من أصحابنا صرّح بادعاء ذلك

Surely we don’t claim (existence of ) necessary knowledge regarding clear indication (in Imamah), not upon us, neither upon our opponents, and we don’t know anyone from our companions to claim this clearly. [“Shafi fil Imamah” vol 2, page 98]

In his other book “Rasail” (1/339), Sharif Murtada discussed some well known Shia proofs for Imamate – like hadith of Ghadir Khum and Hadith of Tabuk. Ironically he added them to CONCEALED PROOFS FOR IMAMAH.

Sharif Murtada stated:

وأما النص الخفي: فهو الذي ليس في صريحة لفظه النص بالامامة، وإنما ذلك في فحواه ومعناه، كخبر الغدير، وخبر تبوك

As for hidden text: that is the one in which text there is NO CLEAR indication to Imamah, but only in content and meaning, LIKE REPORT OF GHADIR AND REPORT OF TABUK. [“Rasail” vol 1, page 339]

So, here we have one of the top Shia Scholar – known as Alam ul Huda – who testifies that NEITHER HADITH OF GHADIR, NOR  HADITH OF MANZILAH CONTAIN CLEAR INDICATION ON IMAMAH. He is very clear that he didn’t know any from his companions (meaning other known Shias) who ever claimed that there existed clear Nass on the Imamate.

(ii). Shia Scholar Muhaqiq al-Hilli, who was quoted by Ayatullah Ridha Ustadi in “Rasail al-Muhaqiq al-Hilli” p 399;400 :

الوجه الثاني : على إمامته فيجب أن يكون إماما.
أما النص عليه فقسمان جلي وخفي أما الجلي فما نقلته الشيعة خلفا عن سلف إلى النبي عليه السلام من نصه عليه بالامامة نصا لا يحتمل التأويل ….
وأما الخفي فقوله عليه السلام : (من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه اللهم وال من والاه وعاد من عاداه وانصر من نصره واخذل من خذله وأدر الحق معه كيف ما دار.
وقوله عليه السلام : أنت مني بمنزلة هارون من موسى.

Second thing: Regarding his Imamah and that he has to be an Imam. What is regarding nass upon him, there are two types: clear and hidden. As for regarding clear one  – they are proofs been narrated by later shias from their pious ancestors, till messenger (alaihi salam), from his indications, that couldn’t be interpreted (in other way)……

As for HIDDEN proofs that is saying of alaihi salam: “To whom ever I am mawla, Ali is his mawla. O Allah befriend with the one who will befriend with him, and be enemy with the one who is his enemy. And give a victory to the one who will support him, and humiliate to the one who will humiliate him, and make truth with him, where ever he will be”.

And his saying – alayhi salam – “You are for me like Haroon to Moses”. [“Rasail al-Muhaqiq al-Hilli” p 399;400]

(iii). The Shia grand Marji’i al-Sayyed Muhammad Sa’eed al-Tabatabaei al-Hakeem in his book “al-‘Aqaed” on page 391 He says:

ولنا في الواقع الإسلامي أعظم العبر، إذ لا ريب في أن أمير المؤمنين (صلوات الله عليه) قد بلغ القمَّة في العلم والعدل، ولكن حيث لم يبتن تولّيه الخلافة على النص والعصمة بنظر كثير من الأمة، فقد تعرض (عليه السلام) نتيجة اجتهاد بعض رعيته والمحيطين به، واختلافهم معه في الرأي، لأزمات
“And we take great wisdom from the Islamic reality, there is no doubt that Ameer al-Mumineen ‘Ali (as) has reached the peak in his knowledge and justice, but because the textual evidence for his Imamah was not clear to a great portion of this nation, he (as) had to endure a big crisis and he faced many problems that weakened his position because of the Ijtihad of some of his followers and those that surrounded him. [“al-‘Aqaed” page 391]

Therefore, since the Hadeeth Al-Ghadeer is not a clear proof for the Imamah(divine leadership) of Ali(RA) as per the testimonies of Shia Scholars, Shias cannot use it to form Aqeedah(belief), as it is not a Qati’yy(Certain) evidence but rather a Dhanni(Speculative) evidence.

If the Prophet(SAWS) had been referring to divine appointment for Caliphate/Imamate, then he would not have made the declaration in the words which according to the testimonies of Shia Scholars themselves, were UNCLEAR. The Prophet(SAWS) was the most eloquent of the Arabs, and he would have said clearly, ” Ali is my successor after me,” or ” ‘Ali is the ruler after me,” or “If I die, then listen to and obey ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.” However, the Prophet(SAWS) did not say any of these decisive and clear words that could have put an end to the dispute if any arose, this proves that the declaration of Ghadeer was not about divinely appointed Caliph or Imam.

A Perfect Example:

For the benefit of the Readers, let us present an example which shows that in which kind of clear form a Prophet appoints a Leader. The example is from the passage in the Quran, 2:247, which talks about the Children of Israel after the time of Sayyiduna Musa(AS). This reads: “Their prophet said ‘God has now appointed Talut to be your king’…”

Since the Shi’is claim that Ali(RA), was appointed as leader by the Prophet, we should have a look at the language of this verse. For a king is one type of leader, and this verse is a beautiful example of how prophets make appointments of leaders.

Notice the undisputable clarity of the statement here, ‘God has now appointed Talut to be your king‘., transliterating the Arabic “Inn’ Allaha qad b’atha lakum Taluta malikan”.

Now suppose this prophet had said, instead of the beautifully clear statement in the Quran, something like “Man kuntu mawlahu, fa Talut mawlahu” *(which is adapted from the famous statement at Ghadir Khumm). In that case, the Israelities could have said, justly “Thanks for that, O Prophet! But what does that have to do with kingship or any type of leadership?” You see, this just wouldn’t be clear enough for the task at hand, and so the Prophet, expressed himself in a way that left no doubt about the meaning, as reported in the Quran. For ‘malik’ is decisively clear in a way that ‘mawla’ just isn’t.

Thankfully, the Quran gives us a clear example, in 2:247 of the kind of language used when people make explicit appointments of leaders, (whether kings or not). Just a few words of this kind, and nobody could ever have doubted that Ali(RA) was the designated leader of the Muslims.

Now we ask, can any Shia show us a passage in the Quran, of the level of clarity of 2:247, in which the leadership of the Muslim Umma is delegated to Ali(RA)?

Can any Shia give us a passage in a sound (sahih) hadith from books of Ahlus-Sunnah, of the level of clarity of 2:247, in which the leadership of the Umma is delegated to Ali(RA)?

Certainly not! And this has been testified by the Esteemed Shia Scholars.

 

(XI) – Ahlelbayt and Sahaba never understood Ghadeer declaration to be an appointment of Prophet’s Successor; so does Ahlus-Sunnah.

To understand the context and real message of a Hadith all similar ahaadith must be analysed and ahaadith on related topics should also be analysed. So, all the similar or related Ahaadith from all the available Hadith collections must be brought together under the same category for related topics dealing with the same issue.

Abdullah ibn Mubarak said:

قال ابن المبارك: “إذا أردتَ أن يصحَّ لك الحديث، فاضرب بعضه ببعض”

If you want to check a hadeeth then study it by comparing it with other hadeeths. [Jami‘ li Akhlaq al-Rawi wa Adab al-Sami, vol 2, page 295]

So, let us check the Hadeeth al-Ghadeer by comparing it with other authentic hadeeth, where we clearly find that Ahlelbayt and Sahaba never understood Ghadeer declaration to be an appointment of Prophet’s Successor, which nullifies the arguments of deviant groups that emerged decades later claiming Ghadeer was an appointment of Prophet’s Successor.

Examples from Ahlelbayt: 

(i). Ali ibn Abi Talib(RA)

Ali(RA) never understood Ghadeer declaration to be his appointment as the Successor of Prophet(SAWS). Here are few examples from authentic reports which clearly shows that Ali(RA) didn’t believe that Prophet(SAWS) had appointed his Successor.

(a). Ali bin Abu Talib came out of the house of Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) during his fatal illness. The people asked, “O Abu Hasan (i.e. `Ali)! How is the health of Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) this morning?” `Ali replied, “He has recovered with the Grace of Allah.” `Abbas bin `Abdul Muttalib held him by the hand and said to him, “In three days you, by Allah, will be ruled (by somebody else ), And by Allah, I feel that Allah’s Apostle will die from this ailment of his, for I know how the faces of the offspring of `Abdul Muttalib look at the time of their death. So let us go to Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) and ask him who will take over the Caliphate. If it is given to us we will know as to it, and if it is given to somebody else, we will inform him so that he may tell the new ruler to take care of us.” `Ali said, “By Allah, if we asked Allah’s Apostle for it (i.e. the Caliphate) and he denied it us, the people will never give it to us after that. And by Allah, I will not ask Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) for it.”[ Sahih al-Bukhari# 4447].

Comment: Ali ibn abi Talib(RA) did not know who the one in authority would be, after Prophet(SAWS), and this occurred during the final illness of Prophhet(SAWS) much after the Event of Ghadeer.

(b). Authentic Hadith of `Ali ibn abi Talib from Tareekh al-Tabari, when the six men gathered after the passing of `Umar to elect a successor, each man spoke, when it was `Ali’s turn he said:
لَوْ عَهِدَ إِلَيْنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ  عَهْدًا لأَنْفَذْنَا عَهْدَهُ، وَلَوْ قَالَ لَنَا قَوْلا لَجَادَلْنَا عَلَيْهِ حَتَّى نَمُوتَ، لَنْ يُسْرِعَ أَحَدٌ قَبْلِي، إِلَى دَعْوَةِ حَقٍّ
[…If the messenger(SAWS) had promised us anything (with regards to leadership) we would have fulfilled his wish, and we would have argued about it until we die, no one will beat me to call people to the truth…] [Tareekh al-Tabari 4/428]

(c).

وعن عمرو بن سفيان قال: لما ظهر علي يوم الجمل قال: أيها الناس إن رسول الله لم يعهد إلينا في هذه الإمارة شيئًا حتى رأينا من الرأي أن نستخلف أبا بكر فأقام واستقام حتى مضى سبيله، ثم إن أبا بكر رأى من الرأي أن يستخلف عمر فأقام واستقام حتى ضرب الدين بجرانه ثم إن أقوامًا طلبوا الدنيا فكانت أمور يقضي الله فيها
Amro bin Sufiyan said: When Ali came on the day of Jamal he said: “O people, the Apostle of Allah(SAWS) did not promise us anything regarding this Imarah (Caliphate/Succession) until we saw in our own opinion that we must appoint Abu Bakr and he took a straight path then he left us, Then Abu Bakr saw it in his opinion to appoint Umar who in turn walked a straight path then he left us, Then came people who were after the Duniyah (life’s pleasures) and many things happened in which only Allah is the judge” [Source: Ahmad and al Bayhaqi and al Mubarakpoori with good chain].

(d). We read:

قيل لعلي ألا تستخلف قال ما استخلف رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فأستخلف عليكم وإن يرد الله تبارك وتعالى بالناس خيرا فسيجمعهم على خيرهم كما جمعهم بعد نبيهم على خيرهم

They said to `Ali: Will you not appoint a successor? He said: The Prophet(SAWS) did not appoint a successor so that I may do so, If Allah wishes that something good happens to you then he will make you all gather around the best (Man) among you just like he made them gather around the best Man (i.e Abu Bakr) after their prophet PBUH. [Al Haythami in Mujama’a al Zawa’ed, he said: “All narrators are that of the SAHIH except Ismail bin Abi al Harith and he is Trustworthy.”]

(e). We read:

قيل لعلي ألا تستخلف قال لا ولكن أترككم إلى ما ترككم إليه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم
الراوي: علي المحدث: الهيثمي – المصدر: مجمع الزوائد – الصفحة أو الرقم: 5/200
خلاصة حكم المحدث: رجاله ثقات

They said to caliph Ali: Will you not appoint a successor? he said: No, but I leave you as the apostle of Allah left you. [Haythami in Mujama’a al Zawa’ed ; Rank: All narrators are trustworthy.]

Some reports from one of the most sacred book of Shias:

(f). Ali says according to what Shias narrate in Nahjul Balagha when addressing Talhah and al-Zubayr may Allah be pleased with them all: [By Allah, I had no liking for the Caliphate nor any interest in government, but you yourselves invited me to it and prepared me for it. (Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 205)]

Comment: Can anyone say after this that there’s a divine text, while `Ali says that he has no desire for Khilaafah? Or that they pushed him into accepting it? If there was an appointment he wouldn’t have refused, but what can one do when the Shias decided that whoever rejects “Imaamah” has disbelieved?!

(g). Ali also mentioned the matter of successorship and leadership in Nahjul Balagha, he said: We are happy with the destiny ordained by Allah and have submitted to the command of Allah… I looked at my affairs and found that my obedience (meaning to past Caliphs) preceded my allegiance, while my pledge was binding me towards (the obedience of) another (meaning another man who was in charge). [Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 37]

Comment: Thus, Allah’s command which `Ali had submitted to was that Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with them both was the successor, so where then is Allah’s supposed command concerning `Ali’s successorship!?

(ii). Al-Abbas bin `Abdul Muttalib(RA)

Al-Abbas too never understood Ghadeer declaration to be Ali’s appointment as the Successor of Prophet(SAWS). Here are few examples from authentic reports which clearly shows that Abbas(RA) didn’t believe that Prophet(SAWS) had appointed his Successor.

(a). Ali bin Abu Talib came out of the house of Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) during his fatal illness. The people asked, “O Abu Hasan (i.e. `Ali)! How is the health of Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) this morning?” `Ali replied, “He has recovered with the Grace of Allah.” `Abbas bin `Abdul Muttalib held him by the hand and said to him, “In three days you, by Allah, will be ruled (by somebody else ), And by Allah, I feel that Allah’s Apostle will die from this ailment of his, for I know how the faces of the offspring of `Abdul Muttalib look at the time of their death. So let us go to Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) and ask him who will take over the Caliphate. If it is given to us we will know as to it, and if it is given to somebody else, we will inform him so that he may tell the new ruler to take care of us.” `Ali said, “By Allah, if we asked Allah’s Apostle for it (i.e. the Caliphate) and he denied it us, the people will never give it to us after that. And by Allah, I will not ask Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) for it.”[ Sahih al-Bukhari# 4447]

(b).   We read in Tareekh al-Madinah:
قَالَ الْعَبَّاسُ (لعلي) : لَمْ أَرْفَعْكَ فِي شَيْءٍ إِلا رَجَعْتَ إِلَيَّ مُسْتَأْخِرًا بِمَا أَكْرَهُ ، أَشَرْتُ عَلَيْكَ عِنْدَ وَفَاةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنْ تَسْأَلَهُ فِيمَنْ هَذَا الأَمْرُ فَأَبَيْتَ ، وَأَشَرْتُ عَلَيْكَ بَعْدَ وَفَاتِهِ أَنْ تُعَاجِلَ الأَمْرَ فَأَبَيْتَ ، وَأَشَرْتُ عَلَيْكَ حِينَ سَمَّاكَ عُمَرُ فِي الشُّورَى أَنْ لا تَدْخُلَ مَعَهُمْ فَأَبَيْتَ
al-`Abbas told `Ali: I never sent you to do anything except you come back when it is too late with bad news, I advised you during the sickness of Rasul-Allah (saw) that you should ask him who would be in authority but you refused, I also advised you after his death to attend to this matter with haste but you refused, I also advised you to not participate in the consultation when `Umar named you but you refused. [Tareekh al-Madinah] .

Comment: The beloved uncle of Prophet- Abbas(RA) did not know who the one in authority would be, after Prophet(SAWS), and this occurred during the final illness of Prophhet(SAWS) much after the Event of Ghadeer.

(iii) Abdullah ibn Abbas(RA)

It is related from Ka’b ibn Malik, who was one of the three to whom Allah turned that Ibn ‘Abbas informed him that:`Ali bin Abu Talib came out of the house of Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) during his fatal illness. The people asked, “O Abu Hasan (i.e. `Ali)! How is the health of Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) this morning?” `Ali replied, “He has recovered with the Grace of Allah.” `Abbas bin `Abdul Muttalib held him by the hand and said to him, “In three days you, by Allah, will be ruled (by somebody else ), And by Allah, I feel that Allah’s Apostle will die from this ailment of his, for I know how the faces of the offspring of `Abdul Muttalib look at the time of their death. So let us go to Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) and ask him who will take over the Caliphate. If it is given to us we will know as to it, and if it is given to somebody else, we will inform him so that he may tell the new ruler to take care of us.” `Ali said, “By Allah, if we asked Allah’s Apostle for it (i.e. the Caliphate) and he denied it us, the people will never give it to us after that. And by Allah, I will not ask Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) for it.”[ Sahih al-Bukhari #4447]

Comment: Abdullah ibn Abbas(RA) narrated this incident without objecting to it, or claiming that Ali(RA) was already appointed a Caliph during Ghadeer event. This proves that even Abdullah ibn Abbas(RA) agreed with Abbas and Ali that Prophet(SAWS) didn’t appoint his successor neither during Ghadeer, nor after that.

(iv). Mother of Believers- Sayyida Ayesha(RA) :

(a). Narrated Al-Aswad: In the presence of `Aisha some people mentioned that the Prophet (SAWS) had appointed `Ali by will as his successor. `Aisha said, “When did he appoint him by will? Verily when he died he was resting against my chest (or said: in my lap) and he asked for a wash-basin and then collapsed while in that state, and I could not even perceive that he had died, so when did he appoint him by will?” [ Sahih al-Bukhari #2741 ]

Comment: The other Member of Ahlulbayt, who rejected the view that Ali(RA) was appointed as the Successor of Prophet(SAWS) at Ghadeer or after that, was Sayyida Ayesha(RA). She had no idea about Ali(ra) being appointed as Prophet’s Successor at anytime. In this report we find that, some people influenced by the ideology of Abdullah Ibn Saba, claimed that Ali(ra) was appointed by Prophet(saws) as his successor by his will, hence Ayesha(ra) rejected this corrupt and baseless view of the Saba’ees.

(b). Ibn abi Mulaykah said: I heard `A’ishah when she was asked about who Rasul-Allah (saw) would have appointed as successor (in leadership) if he had decided to do so? She replied: “Abu Bakr.” they asked: “Then who?” She said: “`Umar.” They asked: “Who after `Umar?” She said: “Abu `Ubaydah bin al-Jarrah.” She never went beyond this. [Sahih Muslim #2385].

Comment: It is apparent from this report that the beloved wife of Prophet -Ayesha(RA) didn’t have any idea about Prophet(SAWS) appointing Ali(RA) as his Successor at Ghadeer.

(v). al-Ḥasan bin al-Ḥasan bin al-Ḥasan bin ‘Alī – the great grandson of Ali(RA) :

We read:

قَالَ : فَقَالَ لَهُ الرَّافِضِيُّ : أَلَمْ يَقُلْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلّى الله عليه وسلم لِعَلِيٍّ : ” مَنْ كُنْتُ مَوْلاهُ فَعَلِيٌّ مَوْلاهُ ” ؟ فَقَالَ : أَمَا وَاللَّهِ أَنْ لَوْ يَعْنِي بِذَلِكَ الإِمْرَةَ وَالسُّلْطَانَ ، لأَفْصَحَ لَهُمْ بِذَلِكَ كَمَا أَفْصَحَ لَهُمْ بِالصَّلاةِ ، وَالزَّكَاةِ ، وَصِيَامِ رَمَضَانَ ، وَحَجِّ الْبَيْتِ ، وَلَقَالَ لَهُمْ : أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ هَذَا وَلِيُّكُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِي ، فَإِنَّ أَنْصَحَ النَّاسِ كَانَ لِلنَّاسِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ , وَلَوْ كَانَ الأَمْرُ كَمَا تَقُولُونَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ اخْتَارَا عَلِيًّا لِهَذَا الأَمْرِ وَالْقِيَامِ بَعْدَ النَّبِيِّ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ ، إِنْ كَانَ لأَعْظَمَ النَّاسِ فِي ذَلِكَ خِطْأَةً وَجُرْمًا ، إِذْ تَرَكَ مَا أَمَرَهُ بِهِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنْ يَقُومَ فِيهِ ، كَمَا أَمَرَهُ ، أَوْ يَعْذِرَ فِيهِ إِلَى النَّاسِ ” .

The Rafidhi (a person who rejects the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar) said to him (Al Hasan ibn Hasan), “Did not the Messenger of Allah say to Ali: ‘If i am Mawla of someone, Ali is his Mawla?’” He (Al Hasan) replied, “By Allah, if he meant by that Amirate and rulership, he would have been more explicit to you in expressing that, just as he was explicit to you about the Salah, Zakat and Hajj to the House. He would have said to you, ‘Oh people! This is your leader after me.’ The Messenger of Allah gave the best good counsel to the people (i.e. clear in meaning). “If it is like what you say, that Ali was chosen for this after the Prophet (pbuh), then he would be the most flawed from all the people, because he didn’t do as the Prophet (pbuh) commanded””(Source: Source: Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d. Vol. 7, Pg. # 314; Chain is Good) Similar is present in Ibn `Asakir (volume 4, page 166) and (awaasim min qawaasim page 115).

Comment: Hence lastly, we have from Ahlelbayt al-Ḥasan bin al-Ḥasan bin al-Ḥasan bin ‘Alī – the great grandson of Ali(RA) – who rejected the view that Ghadeer declaration was an appoint of Prophet’s Successor.

Examples from Sahaba:

(vi). Umar bin al-Khattab(RA)

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يُوسُفَ، أَخْبَرَنَا سُفْيَانُ، عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَ قِيلَ لِعُمَرَ أَلاَ تَسْتَخْلِفُ قَالَ إِنْ أَسْتَخْلِفْ فَقَدِ اسْتَخْلَفَ مَنْ هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِنِّي أَبُو بَكْرٍ، وَإِنْ أَتْرُكْ فَقَدْ تَرَكَ مَنْ هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَأَثْنَوْا عَلَيْهِ فَقَالَ رَاغِبٌ رَاهِبٌ، وَدِدْتُ أَنِّي نَجَوْتُ مِنْهَا كَفَافًا لاَ لِي وَلاَ عَلَىَّ لاَ أَتَحَمَّلُهَا حَيًّا وَمَيِّتًا‏.‏

Narrated `Abdullah bin `Umar: It was said to `Umar, “Will you appoint your successor?” `Umar said, “If I appoint a Caliph (as my successor) it is true that somebody who was better than I (i.e., Abu Bakr) did so, and if I leave the matter undecided, it is true that somebody who was better than I (i.e., Allah’s Messenger (SAWS)) did so.” On this, the people praised him. `Umar said, “People are of two kinds: Either one who is keen to take over the Caliphate or one who is afraid of assuming such a responsibility. I wish I could be free from its responsibility in that I would receive neither reward nor retribution I won’t bear the burden of the caliphate in my death as I do in my life.” [Sahih al-Bukhari #7218]

Comment: Umar(RA) never understood Ghadeer declaration to be Ali’s appointment as the Successor of Prophet(SAWS). Rather he believed that Prophet(SAWS) didn’t appoint his successor.

(vii). Abdullah ibn Umar(RA)

(a). We read
عن عبد الله بن عمر قال يكون في هذه الأمة اثنا عشر خليفة أبو بكر الصديق أصبتم اسمه عمر الفاروق قرن من حديد أصبتم اسمه و عثمان بن عفان ذو النورين أوتي كفلين من الأجر قتل مظلوما أصبتم اسمه
الراوي: عقبة بن أوس السدوسي المحدث: الألباني – المصدر: تخريج كتاب السنة – الصفحة أو الرقم: 1154
خلاصة حكم المحدث: إسناده صحيح
Uqbah bin Aws al Sadusi narrated: Ibn Umar said: In this nation there shall be twelve Caliphs, Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq, you got his name right, Omar Al-Farouq as an iron horn you got his name right, Othman who is Zhu Nourain (the one with two lights) has been given two portions of mercy for he was innocently killed, you got his name right.[Takhreej Kitab al Sunnah #1154 by Sheikh al Albani ; Hadith Grading: Chain SAHIH].

Comment: Here we find that Abdullah ibn Umar(RA) counted Abubakr(RA) as the first rightful Caliph, which implies that even he didn’t believe Ghadeer event to be an appointment of Prophet’s successor.

(b). We read in [Sahih al-Bukhari #7218] that Abdullah ibn Umar(RA) narrated a hadeeth where Umar(RA) said Prophet(SAWS) didn’t appoint his successor, without making any objection to it, or claiming that Ali(RA) was already appointed a Caliph during Ghadeer event. This proves that even Abdullah ibn Umar agreed with Umar that Prophet(SAWS) didn’t appoint his successor.

(viii). Safinah ibn Farrukh(RA)

حَدَّثَنَا سَوَّارُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْوَارِثِ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ جُمْهَانَ، عَنْ سَفِينَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ خِلاَفَةُ النُّبُوَّةِ ثَلاَثُونَ سَنَةً ثُمَّ يُؤْتِي اللَّهُ الْمُلْكَ – أَوْ مُلْكَهُ – مَنْ يَشَاءُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ سَعِيدٌ قَالَ لِي سَفِينَةُ أَمْسِكْ عَلَيْكَ أَبَا بَكْرٍ سَنَتَيْنِ وَعُمَرَ عَشْرًا وَعُثْمَانَ اثْنَتَىْ عَشْرَةَ وَعَلِيٌّ كَذَا ‏.‏ قَالَ سَعِيدٌ قُلْتُ لِسَفِينَةَ إِنَّ هَؤُلاَءِ يَزْعُمُونَ أَنَّ عَلِيًّا عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ لَمْ يَكُنْ بِخَلِيفَةٍ ‏.‏ قَالَ كَذَبَتْ أَسْتَاهُ بَنِي الزَّرْقَاءِ يَعْنِي بَنِي مَرْوَانَ

Narrated Safinah: The Prophet (SAWS) said: The Caliphate upon the Prophetic methodology will last thirty years; then Allah will give the Kingdom of His Kingdom to anyone He wills. Sa’eed told that Safinah said to him: Calculate Abu Bakr’s caliphate as two years, ‘Umar’s as ten, ‘Uthman’s as twelve and ‘Ali so and so. Sa’eed said: I said to Safinah: They conceive that ‘Ali was not a caliph. He replied: ‘Bani Az-Zarqa’ told a lie. Meaning the Bani Marwan.[Sunan Abi Dawud #4646 ; Grade: Hasan Sahih (Al-Albani)].

Comment: We see that Safinah(RA) or Mihran – as was his actual name – believed that the Caliphate of first four Caliphs, that is Abu Bakr(RA), Umar(RA), Uthman(RA) and Ali(RA) was the Caliphate on the Prophetic methodology, as it was Prophesied by the Messenger of Allah(SAWS).  If he believed that Prophet(SAWS) had appointed Ali(RA) as his successor, then undoubtedly Safinah(RA) wouldn’t have counted the Caliphate of the first three Caliphs among the Caliphate upon the Prophetic methodology.

(ix). Abdullah bin Abi `Aufa(RA)

Narrated Talha: I asked `Abdullah bin Abi `Aufa, “Did the Prophet (SAWS) make a will (to appoint his successor or bequeath wealth)?” He replied, “No.” I said, “How is it prescribed then for the people to make wills, and they are ordered to do so while the Prophet (SAWS) did not make any will?” He said, “He made a will wherein he recommended the Muslims to adhere to Allah’s Book.”[Sahih al-Bukhari #5022 ].

(x). Abdullah ibn Masood(RA) & All the Sahaba of Prophet(SAWS)

أَخْبَرَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ الْقَطِيعِيُّ، ثنا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ حَنْبَلٍ، حَدَّثَنِي أَبِي، وَأَحْمَدُ بْنُ مَنِيعٍ، قَالا: ثنا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ عَيَّاشٍ، ثنا عَاصِمٌ، عَنْ زِرٍّ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، قَالَ: ” مَا رَأَى الْمُسْلِمُونَ حَسَنًا فَهُوَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ حَسَنٌ، وَمَا رَآهُ الْمُسْلِمُونَ سَيِّئًا فَهُوَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ سَيِّءٌ، وَقَدْ رَأَى الصَّحَابَةُ جَمِيعًا أَنْ يَسْتَخْلِفُوا أَبَا بَكْرٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ

Abdullah ibn Masood(RA) said: “What the Muslims saw as good was good for Allah, and what the Muslims saw as bad was bad for Allah, and all the companions saw that they should make Abu Bakr the successor.[Mustadrak al-Hakim vol 3, page 78-79].

Comment: Sahaba didn’t understand Ghadeer event to be an appoint of Prophet’s Successor, hence they made Abubakr(RA) the Successor of Prophet(SAWS). The occurrence of Saqifa incident, where Ansar and Muhajireen gathered to appoint a successor of Prophet(SAWS), itself is a proof that they didn’t believe Ghadeer event to be an appointment of Prophet’s successor. Regarding this appointment Ali(RA) stated:

إنما الشورى للمهاجرين والأنصار ، فإن اجتمعوا على رجل وسموه إماماً كان ذلك لله رضى

Verily shura (consultation) is only the right of the Muhajireen and the Ansar. So if they decide upon a man and declare him their Imam(leader), then it would be deemed to mean Allah’s pleasure. (Nahjul-Balaghah, Letter #6).

Moreover, the strong Ansar in their homeland giving up their claim of appointing a Successor from among them, and eventually accepting a Man from a weak and small tribe of Bani Taym from Quraysh(i.e Abubakr), is another solid evidence that they had no idea about Ghadeer event being an appointment of Prophet’s Successor.

Sufyan(Thawri) said: If anyone thinks that ‘Ali(RA) was more deserving for the Caliphate than both of them, he imputed error to Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, the Muhajirun (Immigrants), and the Ansar (Helpers) Allah be pleased with all of them. I think that with this (belief) none of his action will rise to the heaven. [Sunan Abi Dawud #4630]

Important Note:

This fact that Prophet(SAWS) didn’t appoint any Successor is Mutawatir bi’l-ma’na. Narrations that reach the level of Tawatur with the common meaning found in all of them, even though they differ in wording or incident. This is called Mutawatir bi’l-ma’na (conceptual Mutawatir). For example, one report says that Zaid gave a book, the other says, he gave a pen, the third says, he gave money. Now, collectively all the reports indicate that Zaid gave, however they differ as to what he gave. Therefore, tawatur will be considered in that Zaid gave. Examples of this kind of Mutawatir are numerous in the Hadith. (See Imam Suyuti’s Tadrib al-Rawi, 460-461).

Therefore, the odd Shia interpretation of Hadeeth al-Ghadeer, claiming that Prophet(SAWS) appointed his successor goes against a Mutawatir fact(100% authentic) that Prophet(SAWS) didn’t appoint his successor, thus it is outright rejected.

 

Shia Argument #1:

Immediately after the Prophet’s speech, Hassan b. Thabit, the Companion and poet of the Messenger of Allah [s], asked for his permission to compose a few verses of poetry about Imam ‘Ali [a] for the audience. The Prophet [s] said: “Say with the blessings of Allah”. Hassan stood up and said: “O’ people of Quraysh. I follow with my words what preceded and witnessed by the Messenger of Allah [s]. He then composed the following verses at the scene:

He calls them, (on) the day of Ghadir, their Prophet
In Khumm so hear (and heed) the Messenger’s call,
He said: “Who is your guide and leader? (mawlakum wa waliyyukum)”
They said, and there was no apparent blindness (clearly):
“Your God, our guide, and you are our leader
And you won’t find from among us, in this, any disobedient,”
He said to him: “Stand up O’ Ali, for I am
pleased to announce you Imam and guide after me (min ba’di imam(an) wa hadiy(an)),
So whomever I was his leader (mawla), then this is his leader (mawla)
So be to him supporters in truth and followers,”
There he prayed: “Allah! Be a friend and guide to his follower
And be, to the one who is Ali’s enemy, an enemy”

Response:

This is a fabricated report, hence discarded. These words attributed to Hassaan ibn Thabit(RA) have no Sanad(chain)) of transmission in the Sunni books. There is one chain though in the book of Muhammad ibn Imran al-Mirzabani, but he was a Mu`tazili, not a Sunni.

Sources:

  1. Siyyar Alam al-Nubala 16/448
    2. Al-Wafi bil-Wafiyat 2/33
    3. Mizan al-Aitdal 3/672

Secondly, even that chain of transmission has some serious problems. Narrator Abu Harun al-`Abdi is Matrook ul-Hadith(abandoned), meaning he is so bad that the scholars abandoned narrating from him altogether.

Thirdly, Hassaan ibn Thabit(RA) rendered allegiance to Abu Bakr, and wasn’t among the three people who (according to Shia narrations) didn’t consider Abu Bakr(RA) to be eligible for caliphate.

 

Shia Argument #2:

Abu Bakr Muhammad b. `Abdallah b. al-Muhibb al-Maqdasi narrated it to us orally, that al-Shaykha Umm Muhammad Zaynab bint Ahmad b. `Abd al-Rahim al-Maqdasiya informed us from Abi al-Muzaffar Muhammad b. Fityan b. al-Muthanna that Abu Musa Muhammad b. Abi Bakr al-Hafiz informed us that my father’s paternal aunt’s son al-Qadi Abu al-Qasim `Abd al-Wahid b. Muhammad b. `Abd al-Wahid al-Madani informed us by making me recite it to him, that Zafar b. Da`i al-`Alawi in Astarabad informed us that my father and Abu Ahmad b. Matraf al-Matrafi informed us: the two of them said that Abu Sa`id al-Idrisi narrated to us: in (giving us) permission (ijazah) for what he had discovered of the history of Astarabad, that Muhammad b. Muhammad b. al-Hasan Abu al-`Abbas al-Rashidi a descendant of Harun al-Rashid in Samarqand narrated to me and we have not written it but from him, that Abu al-Hasan Muhammad b. Ja`far al-Halwani narrated to us, that `Ali b. Muhammad b. Ja`far al-Ahwazi, the freedman (mawla) of al-Rashid, narrated to us that Bakr b. Ahmad al-Qasri narrated to us that Fatima and Zaynab and Umm Kulthum the daughters of Musa b. Ja`far narrated to us; they said: Fatima bt. Ja`far b. Muhammad al-Sadiq narrated to us that Fatima bt. Muhammad b. `Ali narrated to me, that Fatima bt. `Ali b. al-Husayn narrated to me, that Fatima and Sakina the daughters of al-Husayn b. `Ali narrated to me from Umm Kulthum bt. Fatima the daughter of the Prophet, from Fatima the daughter of the Messenger of Allah,, who said:

“Have you forgotten the statement of the Messenger of Allah(saws), on the day of Ghadir Khumm: Of whomsoever I am Mawla, `Ali is his Mawla? And his statement, : Your station in relation to me is that of Harun’s in relation to Musa, peace be upon them both?. [Source: Asna al-Matalib fi manaqib `Ali b. Abi Talib by Ibn al-Jazari, pp. 3-4]

Response:

This report is again a fabricated one, hence discarded. It has several flaws , such as narrator Bakr b. Ahmad al-Qasri, is Majhool(anonymous).

 

(XII) – Sahaba didn’t use hadeeth al-Ghadeer during the appointment of Caliphs, but rather they used it only as a defence of Ali(RA) when he needed to be defended, as a beloved friend.

Ghadeer was an event that took place in the year 10 AH, the words “Man Kuntu Mawlahu” were not heard when Abu Bakr usurped the Caliphate (according to the Shias). They were not heard when Abu Bakr was on his deathbed and appointed `Umar as a successor. They were not heard when `Umar was on his deathbed and included `Ali with five other candidates to Khilafah. They were not heard when `Uthman was killed and the Khawarij were looking for a new Caliph. These words were not heard on these important events related to the selection and appointment of leaders over the Muslim nation. But these words were only heard when Ali(RA) was criticized, so as a defence of Ali(RA) these wordings heard.

Even `Ali ibn abi Talib(RA) himself, when Abu Bakr(RA) received the Khilafah he didn’t go to him and tell him “The Prophet(SAWS) appointed me by saying Man Kuntu Mawlahu”.

He gave him Bay`ah and gave Bay`ah to those after him, then when Mu`awiyah(RA) and the Khawarij fought against `Ali (RA), he reminded them that they must love him and be loyal to him, it is then that he mentioned it, it is narrated from him:

سمعتُ عليَّ بنَ أبي طالبٍ يقولُ على منبرِ الكوفةِ إنِّي منشِدٌ اللَّهَ رجُلًا ولا أنشُدُ إلَّا أصحابَ محمَّدٍ صلَّى اللَّهُ عليهِ وسلَّمَ مَن سمِعَ رسولَ اللَّهِ صلَّى اللَّهُ عليهِ وسلَّمَ يقولُ يومَ غديرِ خُمٍّ من كنتُ مولاهُ فعليٌّ مولاهُ اللَّهمَّ والِ من والاهُ وعادِ من عاداهُ فقامَ ستَّةٌ من جانبِ المنبرِ , وستة من الجانِبِ الآخرِ , فشهِدوا أنَّهم سمِعوا رسولَ اللَّهِ صلَّى اللَّهُ عليهِ وسلَّمَ يقولُ ذلكَ

[I heard `Ali ibn abi Talib say on the Mimbar of Kufa, By Allah I ask you, O companions of Muhammad(SAWS), whomever of you heard the messenger (saw) of Allah say on the day of Ghadir Khum “Man Kuntu Mawlahu `Aliyun Mawlahu etc…]

So twelve men stood and they affirmed this, the point was that his opponents have no right in fighting him or hating him, they are ordered to love and befriend him.

To understand the context and real message of Hadith all similar Ahaadith must be analysed and Ahaadith on related topics should also be analysed. So, all the similar or related Ahaadith from all the available Hadith collections must be brought together under the same category for related topics dealing with the same issue.

Abdullah ibn Mubarak said:

قال ابن المبارك: “إذا أردتَ أن يصحَّ لك الحديث، فاضرب بعضه ببعض”

If you want to check a hadeeth then study it by comparing it with other hadeeths. [Jami‘ li Akhlaq al-Rawi wa Adab al-Sami, vol 2, page 295]

Let us present before the readers, the multiple examples wherein Sahaba and Ahlelbayt used the Hadeeth al-Ghadeer, as defence of Ali(RA) when he was being criticized, and to show their love towards Ali(RA), which again proves that Hadeeth al-Ghadeer had nothing to do with leadership after Prophet(SAWS).

(i). Example #1: Buraydah(RA) used the hadeeth al-Ghadeer when he found people criticizing Ali(RA), in the similar way Prophet(SAWS) used it on Ghadeer.

أنه مرَّ على مجلسٍ وهم يتناولون من عليٍّ فوقف عليهم فقال إنه قد كان في نفسي على عليٍّ شيءٌ وكان خالدُ بنُ الوليدِ كذلك فبعثَني رسولُ اللهِ صلَّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّمَ في سرِيَّةٍ عليها عليٌّ وأصبْنا سبيًا قال فأخذ عليٌّ جاريةً من الخُمسِ لنفسِه فقال خالدُ بنُ الوليدِ دونَك قال فلما قدِمْنا على النبيِّ صلَّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّمَ جعلتُ أُحدِّثُه بما كان ثمَّ قلتُ إنَّ عليًّا أخذ جاريةً من الخُمُسِ قال وكنتُ رجلًا مِكبابًا قال فرفعتُ رأسي فإذا وجهُ رسولِ اللهِ صلَّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّمَ تغيَّر فقال من كنتُ مولاهُ فعليٌّ مولاه
Buraidah bin al-Husayb al-Aslami(RA) narrates that when he passed by some folks criticizing `Ali (RA) he stood and said to them: “I had some resentment towards `Ali in my heart, and so did Khalid ibn al-Waleed, so the Prophet (SAWS) sent me in an army and `Ali was our leader, (after the battle) there were captives, so `Ali chose a maid form the Khums for himself from among the captives and Khalid was upset. When we came to the Prophet (SAWS) I told him what `Ali did and complained, when I raised my head I saw signs of anger on the face of the Prophet (SAWS) and he said: “I am the Mawla of whomever `Ali is his Mawla.” [Silsila as-Saheehah vol 4, page 336 ; al-Albani said the chain of this narration is authentic according to Muslim and Bukhari].

Comment: This incident most likely occurred much after the Ghadeer event, since in this report Buraidah(RA) tells those people who criticized Ali(RA) the whole scenario right from the begining that they were sent under the command of Ali, and what all happened, etc. This is clearly the case of later time, since those people had no idea about it, that is why Buraidah had to explain the whole issue, whereas people who criticized Ali before the Ghadeer event, as well as the people of Madinah were well aware of whole scenario. Therefore, we find that Buraidah(RA) used the hadeeth al-Ghadeer later, when he found some people criticizing Ali(RA). But we don’t find Buraidah using this hadeeth during appointment of Caliphs.

(ii). Example #2: Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas(RA) used Hadeeth al-Ghadeer to explain, why he wouldn’t insult Ali(RA). He used this merit of Ali(RA) in the similar way Prophet(SAWS) used it on Ghadeer.

Amir b. Sa’d b. Abi Waqqas reported on the authority of his father that Muawiya b. Abi Sufyan appointed Sa’d as the Governor and said: What prevents you from abusing Abu Turab (Hadrat ‘Ali), whereupon be said: It is because of three things which I remember Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) having said about him that I would not abuse him and even if I find one of those three things for me, it would be more dear to me than the red camels. I heard Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) say about ‘Ali as he left him behind in one of his campaigns (that was Tabuk). ‘Ali said to him: Allah’s Messenger, you leave me behind along with women and children. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said to him: Aren’t you satisfied with being unto me what Aaron was unto Moses but with this exception that there is no prophethood after me. And I (also) heard him say on the Day of Khaibar: I would certainly give this standard to a person who loves Allah and his Messenger, and Allah and his Messenger love him too. He (the narrator) said: We had been anxiously waiting for it, when he (the Holy Prophet) said: Call ‘Ali. He was called and his eyes were inflamed. He applied saliva to his eyes and handed over the standard to him, and Allah gave him victory. (The third occasion is this) when the (following) verse was revealed: “Let us summon our children and your children.” Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) called ‘Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain and said: O Allah, they are my family. [Sahih Muslim Book 31, Hadith 5915]

Comment: Imam Al-Nawawi said:  “It might have been that Sa’d was among a group who used to insult Ali[RA], and So the inquiry of Mu’awiya[RA], according to this understanding would be: What prevented you, O Sa’d, from insulting Ali, when everyone around you was doing it.”

So we find that Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas(RA) says that there are three qualities of Ali(RA) which prevents him from abusing Ali(ra), and he lists those three qualities. In another version of this same hadeeth we find that Sa’d(RA) mentions four qualities, and one of them is hadeeth al-Ghadeer.

أخرج سفيان بن عيينة… عن سعد بن أبي وقاص رضي الله عنه (في مناقب علي رضي الله عنه)،  إن له لمناقب أربع: لأن يكون لي واحدة منهن أحب إلي من كذا وكذا،  ذكر حمر النعم.

قوله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم: لأعطين الراية. وقوله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم: بمنزلة هارون بن موسى. وقوله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم: من كنت مولاه،  ونسي سفيان الرابعة.

“Sufyān bin ‘Uyaynah  relates it from Sa‘d bin Abī Waqās(RA) that of the four qualities of ‘Alī (RA) if I possessed anyone of them, I would have held it dearer than such and such, even the red camels. (first quality) he was blessed with the flag (on the occasion of the battle of Khaybar; (second quality is) the Prophet’s saying about him (that they are related) as Hārūn and Mūsā (were related); (third quality is) the Prophet’s saying about him that one who has me as his Mawla (has ‘Alī as his Mawla). (The sub-narrator) Sufyān bin ‘Uyaynah did not remember the fourth quality.[Ibn Abī ‘Āsim related it in as-Sunnah (page 607, #1385);  Ahmad bin Hambal related it in Fadā’il-us-sahāhah vol 2, page 643 #1093).]

Comment: Obviously Sa’d by wishing to have anyone of those qualities wasn’t wishing to become Successor of Prophet(SAWS), especially by the hadeeth of Ghadeer, since we know Sa’d as one of the candidate for the position of third Caliph chosen by Umar(RA), but Sa’d ibn Abi Waqas withdrew his candidature in favor of Abdur Rahman ibn Awf[Refer Sahih al-Bukhari #3700]. Therefore, what he meant was the merits which signified Ali(RA) as Wali(friend) of Allah and a beloved of Prophet(SAWS). This is why he never used this report during the appointment of Caliphs, but rather he used it to explain, what prevented him from abusing Ali. If Sa’d had understood event of Ghadeer to mean that Ali(RA) was appointed as Caliph, then he would have atleast given up his candidature of third Caliph in favour of Ali(RA) not Abdur Rahman ibn Awf(RA).

(iii). Example #3: Ali ibn Abi Talib(RA) used hadeeth al-Ghadeer when he found people speaking badly about him during his Caliphate. He used this merit in the similar way Prophet(SAWS) used it on Ghadeer.

حدثنا شريك عن أبي إسحاق عن سعيد بن وهب عن زيد بن يثيع قال : بلغ عليا أن أناسا يقولون فيه ؛ قال : فصعد المنبر فقال : أنشد الله رجلا ولا أنشده إلا من أصحاب محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم سمع من النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم شيئا إلا قام ، فقام مما يليه ستة ، ومما يلي سعد بن وهب ستة فقالوا : نشهد أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه ، اللهم وال من والاه وعاد من عاداه

Zaid bin Yathee’that he said: Ali was told that people were talking about him(badly), so he climbed the pulpit and said: May Allah beseech a man, and I don’t beseech except the companions of Mohammad(SAWS), those who heard the Prophet(SAWS) who heard saying something, for him to stand up. So six people stood up, and after Sa’ad bin Wahb six people said: We swear that the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him said: Man kuntu mawlah fa Aliyun Mawlah(Whosoever I am Mawla of, Ali is his Mawla), Allahuma wali man walaah wa aadi man aadah. [Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah , Chapter of the Merits of Ali, Hadeeth #28)

Comment: The authentic narrations of Ghadeer Khum, when attributed to `Ali, are Mutawatir to him since he uttered those words in the area of Al-Rahabah near the outskirts of Al-Kufa. Due to the large amount of people around, the narration was documented and then spread near and far, and through a large number of his students.

Even though most narrations are not clear in what was the reason that `Ali spoke those words, we do find this vague narration from Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah (Hadith #28 of the Chapter of the Merits of `Ali) that suggests that this was done when `Ali was told that people “Yaquloon Feeh,” which roughly translates into: they spoke about him. Which most likely shows that they spoke badly about him, due to which Ali(RA), in order to defend himself besought the companions of Prophet(SAWS) to testify that they heard the hadeeth al-Ghadeer from Prophet(SAWS). It must be known that, the opponents of Ali(RA) during his Caliphate didn’t deny Ali(RA) being a Caliph of Muslims. But some of them like the Khawarij whom he fought at Al-Nahrawan, hated him and criticized him.

Fitr bin Khalifa testified that this event(at Al-Rahabah) occurred only a hundred days before the death of Ali. [See Saheeh Ibn Hibban #7057]. In other words, this event occurred way after the battles of Siffeen and Al-Nahrawan, which puts to rest the idea that Ali was attempting to prove his legitimacy by quoting the narration of the Prophet (SAWS), since Al-Nahrawan occurred in the year 39 AH, and Ali died in Ramadhan, 40 AH. Unless `Ali was not aware of how to prioritize quoting the Prophet(SAWS), we can safely say that he did not understand the Hadith al-Ghadeer to be an appointment of successor-ship.

Interestingly, Ali(RA) never besought companions of Prophet(SAWS) in this fashion, neither when Abubakr(RA) was appointed as the first Caliph(successor), nor when Umar(RA) was appointed as second Caliph, nor when Uthman(RA) was appointed as the third Caliph. He only did when people who came after , who were unaware about merits of Ali(RA) were speaking badly about him, due which he besought the companions of Prophet(SAWS) who knew his merits.

(iv). Example #4: Ali(RA) used Hadeeth al-Ghadeer on the day of battle of Jamal, so that Talhah(RA) shouldn’t fight with him. He used this merit of his in the similar way Prophet(SAWS) used it on Ghadeer.

We read:

عن رفاعة بن إياس الضبي،  عن أبيه،  عن جده،  قال: كنا مع علي رضي الله عنه يوم الجمل،  فبعث إلى طلحة بن عبيد الله أن القني،  فأتاه طلحة رضي الله عنه،  فقال: نشدتك الله! هل سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يقول: من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه،  اللهم! وال من ولاه،  وعاد من عاداه؟ قال: نعم. قال: فلم تقاتلني؟ قال: لم أذكر. قال: فانصرف طلحة رضي الله عنه.

“Rifā‘ah bin Iyās ad-Dabbī relates on the authority of his father who relates it on the authority of his grandfather. He said: We were with ‘Alī (RA) on the day of the Battle of Jamal. He sent a message for Talhah bin ‘Ubaydullāh (RA) who called on him. He said: I make you swear by Allāh! Have you heard from the Messenger of Allāh (SAW): One who has me as his Mawla has ‘Alī as his Mawla O Allāh! Befriend him who befriends him and be his enemy who is his enemy. Talhah (RA) said: Yes. ‘Alī (RA) said: Then why do you fight with me? Talhah (RA) said: I did not remember it. The narrator said: (After this) Talhah (RA) went back.”[ Hākim narrated it in al-Mustadrak vol 3, page 371 # 5594 ; Bayhaqī in al-I‘tiqād wal-hidāyah ilā sabīl-ir-rishād ‘alā madhhab-is-salaf wa ashāb-il-hadīth page 373; Ibn ‘Asākir in Tārīkh Dimashq al-kabīr vol 27, page 76].

Comment: Since Battle of Jamal took place in 36 AH, 25 years after the death of Prophet(SAWS), Talhah(RA) had forgotten the Hadeeth al-Ghadeer. However Ali(RA) during the day of Jamal, reminded Talhah(RA) about hadeeth al-Ghadeer, the point was that his opponents had no right in fighting him, they are ordered to love and befriend him. The reminder of Hadeeth al-Ghadeer from Ali(RA) had NO relation to Caliphate, since as per the testimony of Ali(RA) in Nahjul Balagha, Talha(RA) was one of those who approached Ali(RA) to become the Caliph after the death of Uthman(RA), even though he(Ali) had no liking for it. Ali(RA) said according to what Shias narrate in Nahjul Balagha when addressing Talhah and al-Zubayr:

وَاللهِ مَا كَانَتْ لِي فِي الْخِلاَفَةِ رَغْبَةٌ، وَلاَ فِي الْوِلاَيَةِ إِرْبَةٌ ، وَلكِنَّكُمْ دَعَوْتُمُونِي إِلَيْهَا، وَحَمَلْتُمُونِي عَلَيْهَا

[By Allah, I had no liking for the Caliphate nor any interest in government, but you yourselves invited me to it and prepared me for it. (Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 205)].

It would be nonsensical to assume that, Ali(RA) reminded Talhah of Hadeeth al-Ghadeer in relation to Caliphate, while we find Ali(RA) himself saying to Talhah that, he had no liking for Caliphate, but was invited by Talhah and others.

Moreover, on the day of Jamal, Ali(RA) even clarified that Prophet(SAWS) didn’t appoint his Successor, which cancels the minimal possibility that the reminder of Hadeeth al-Ghadeer to Talhah on the day of Jamal was related to Caliphate. We read

وعن عمرو بن سفيان قال: لما ظهر علي يوم الجمل قال: أيها الناس إن رسول الله لم يعهد إلينا في هذه الإمارة شيئًا حتى رأينا من الرأي أن نستخلف أبا بكر فأقام واستقام حتى مضى سبيله
Amro bin Sufiyan said: When Ali came on the day of Jamal he said: “O people, the Apostle of Allah(SAWS) did not promise us anything regarding this Imarah (Caliphate/Succession) until we saw in our own opinion that we must appoint Abu Bakr and he took a straight path then he left us…[Source: Ahmad and al Bayhaqi and al Mubarakpoori with good chain].

(v). Example #5: Ibn Abbas(RA) used the hadeeth al-Ghadeer when he found people criticizing Ali(RA). He used this merit of Ali(RA) in the similar way Prophet(SAWS) used it on Ghadeer.

حدثنا عبد الله حدثنا يحيى بن حماد حدثنا أبو عوانة حدثنا أبو بلج حدثنا عمرو بن ميمون قال إني لجالس إلى ابن عباس إذ أتاه تسعة رهط فقالوا يا أبا عباس إما أن تقوم معنا وإما أن يخلونا هؤلاء قال فقال ابن عباس بل أقوم معكم قال وهو يومئذ صحيح قبل أن يعمى قال فابتدءوا فتحدثوا فلا ندري ما قالوا قال فجاء ينفض ثوبه ويقول أف وتف وقعوا في رجل له عشر……قال وقال من كنت مولاه فإن مولاه علي

Amr ibn Maymun said: “I was sitting once in the company of ibn Abbas when nine men came to him and said, ‘O ibn Abbas! Either come to debate with us, or tell these folks that you prefer a private debate.’ He had not lost his eye-sight yet he said: ‘I rather debate with you.’ So they started talking, but I was not sure exactly what they were talking about. Then he stood up and angrily said: “Woe to them! Woe to them! They insult a man who gathered ten (virtues)!.… Prophet(SAWS) also said: Whosoever I am Mawla of, Ali is his Mawla. [Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal. Vol. 3, Pg. # 331 – 333.]

Commentary on the text of the narration:

The narration begins when nine men come to one of the gatherings of ibn `Abbas, and he was still healthy before he went blind, they tell him to either come with them or that he should ask those in attendance to leave. Ibn `Abbas agrees to go and they talk about things in private, then he returns while being upset and angry at them, he says:

أُفٍّ وَتُفٍ يَقَعُونَ فِي رَجُلٍ لَهُ عَشْرٌ

[Uffin-wa-Tuffin! They insult a man who gathered ten (virtues)!]

Then ibn `Abbas begins listing these ten virtues of `Ali to his companions and on ninth number he mentions the hadeeth of Prophet(SAWS): Whosoever I am Mawla of, Ali is his Mawla.

Comment: Ibn Abbas(RA) was narrator who narrated from his father that Prophet(SAWS) didn’t appoint any Caliph[refer Sahih al-Bukhari #4447]. Therefore, when Ibn Abbas(RA) narrated hadeeth al-Ghadeer he obviously didn’t intend to say that Ali(RA) was successor of Prophet(SAW), but rather he used it as a defense of Ali along with other merits of Ali(RA) when some people insulted Ali(RA). He didn’t use it when the first three Caliphs were being appointed.

(vi). Example #6: Umar(RA) during his Caliphate said Ali(RA) is his Mawla, to show his love for Ali(RA) to rebuke those who insulted Ali(RA). He used this merit of Ali(RA) in the similar way Prophet(SAWS) used it on Ghadeer.

We read:

عن عمر رضي الله عنه: وقد نازعه رجل في مسألة، فقال: بيني وبينك هذا الجالس، وأشار إلى علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه، فقال الرجل: هذا الأبطن؟ فنهض عمر رضي الله عنه عن مجلسه وأخذ بتلبيبه حتى شاله من الأرض، ثم قال: أتدري من صغرت، مولاي ومولا كل مسلم.

“It is narrated by ‘Umar (RA) that once a person had an argument with him. He said: the man sitting here will decide between you and me, and he pointed towards ‘Alī (RA). That man said: this pot-bellied person (will decide between us)! ‘Umar (RA) rose from his seat, caught him by the collar and lifted him from the ground. Then he said: Do you know that the person you consider worthless is my Mawla(beloved friend) as well as the Mawla of every Muslim. [ar-Riyād-un-nadrah vol 3, page 128].

Similarly we read in Shia book:

عن سالم قال: قيل (للخليفة) عمر: نراك تصنع بعلي شيئاً لا تصنعه بأحد من أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم؟ فقال: إنه مولاي.

وعن الباقر قال: جاء أعرابيان إلى (الخليفة) عمر يختصمان، فقال عمر: يا أبا الحسن، اقض بينهما. فقضى على أحدهما، فقال المقضي عليه: يا أمير المؤمنين، هذا يقضي بيننا؟ فوثب إليه عمر فأخذ بتلبيبه ولبّبه، ثم قال: ويحك ما تدري من هذا؟! هذا مولاي ومولى كل مؤمن، ومن لم يكن مولاه فليس بمؤمن
المصدر:
البحار: ص 124 ج 40

Narrated Salim: they said to caliph Umar: we see you treating Ali like you treat no other of the Companions of the Prophet(SAWS)? he said: He is my Mawla(friend). Imam al Baqir said: Once two wondering Arabs came to the caliph Umar so that he may Judge between them, So umar said to Ali: O Abu al Hassan why don’t you Judge between them. So he made his ruling on one of the two, Then That wondering Arab said: O Ameer al Momineen(Umar) Do you let this(man) judge between us!? So Umar quickly stood up and shouted at the Man: How dare you, do you not know who this is? He is my Mawla(friend) and the Malwa of every believer and if he’s not your Malwa then you’re not a believer.[Shia Source: bihar al Anwar 40/124.]

Comment: We see here that Umar(RA) EVEN during his Caliphate called Ali(RA) as his Mawla. It is obvious that Umar(RA) didn’t mean to say that Ali(RA) was his Master or Caliph while he being a Caliph himself!. Umar was actually rebuking a man who insulted Ali(RA) by saying that, Ali was his beloved friend[Mawla].

Also we read in Sunni hadeeth:
أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو بَكْرٍ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْبَاقِي، وَأَبُو الْمَوَاهِبِ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْمَلِكِ، قَالا: أنا أَبُو مُحَمَّدٍ الْجَوْهَرِيُّ، أنا أَبُو الْحُسَيْنِ بْنُ الْمُظَفَّرِ، نا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ الْبَاغَنْدِيُّ، نا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ عُثْمَانَ بْنِ حَكِيمٍ الأَوْدِيُّ، نا شُرَيْحُ بْنُ مَسْلَمَةَ، نا إِبْرَاهِيمُ بْنُ يُوسُفَ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الْجَبَّارِ بْنِ الْعَبَّاسِ الشَّامِيِّ، عَنْ عَمَّارٍ الدُّهْنِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِي فَاخِتَةَ، قَالَ: أَقْبَلَ عَلِيٌّ وَعُمَرُ جالس في مجلسه، فلما رآه عمر تضعضع وتواضع وتوسع له في المجلس، فلما قام علي، قَالَ بَعْضُ الْقَوْمِ: يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ: إِنَّكَ تَصْنَعُ بِعَلِيٍّ صَنِيعًا مَا تَصْنَعُهُ بِأَحَدٍ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ مُحَمَّدٍ، قَالَ عُمَرُ: وَمَا رَأَيْتَنِي أَصْنَعُ بِهِ؟ قَالَ: رَأَيْتُكَ كُلَّمَا رَأَيْتَهُ تَضَعْضَعْتَ وَتَوَاضَعْتَ وَأَوْسَعْتَ حَتَّى يَجْلِسَ، قَالَ: ” وَمَا يَمْنَعُنِي، وَاللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لَمَوْلايَ وَمَوْلَى كُلِّ مُؤْمِنٍ
[We were told by Abu Bakr Muhammad bin `Abdul-Baqi al-Ansari who is Thiqah(Trustworthy), Thabt, Hujjah and by abu al-Mawahib Ahmad bin `Abdul-Malik, they both said: Abu Muhammad al-Jawhari who is Thiqah(Trusthworthy), Muhaddith told us, abu al-Husayn al-Muzaffar who is Thiqah, Shi`ee told us, Muhammad bin Muhammad al-Baghandi who is Thiqah, Mudallis (declared hearing) told us, Ahmad bin `Uthman bin Hakeem al-Awdi who is Thiqah, Hujjah told us, Shurayh bin Maslamah who is Thiqah told us, Ibrahim bin Yusuf who is Saduq told us, from `Abdul-Jabbar bin al-`Abbas al-Shami who is Saduq, Shi`ee from `Ammar al-Duhani who is Thiqah, Shi`ee from abu Fakhitah who is Thiqah, Shi`ee, Mawla Umm Hani’ bint abi Talib that he said: `Ali came to `Umar while he was sitting in his Majlis(place of gathering), so when `Umar saw him he became muddled and humble, then he moved to offer him comfortable sitting place. Later when `Ali left the gathering, some of the people asked: “O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, you treat `Ali unlike anyone from the companions of Muhammad (saw)?” `Umar said to the man: “How do you see my behavior towards him?” The man said: “I notice that whenever you see him you become muddled and you humble yourself to him and move to the side that he may sit comfortably.” `Umar said: “And what’s preventing me from doing so? By Allah, he is my Mawla and the Mawla of every believer.”] [Source: Tarikh Dimashq 42/235]

Likewise:

عن عمر رضي الله عنه، أنه قال: علي مولى من كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم مولاه.

عن سالم قيل لعمر رضي الله عنه: إنك تصنع بعلي رضي الله عنه شيئا ما تصنعه بأحد من أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم، قال: إنه مولاي.

“‘Umar (RA) said: one who has Allāh’s Messenger (SAW) as his Mawla has ‘Alī as his Mawla.

“Sālim narrates: ‘Umar was asked why he always treated ‘Alī (RA) differently from other Companions (At this) ‘Umar (RA) replied: Indeed that (‘Alī) is my Mawla. [ar-Riyād-un-nadrah vol 3, page 128].

Comment: We see here that Umar(RA) EVEN during his Caliphate called Ali(RA) as his Mawla. It is obvious that Umar(RA) didn’t mean to say that Ali(RA) was his Master or Caliph while he being a Caliph himself!. What Umar(ra) meant was that Ali(RA) was his beloved friend that is why he gives him special preference. Had it been that Umar(ra) meant Master, then he would have atleast, made Ali(RA) his successor or the third Caliph, instead of appointing a six member committee to choose the third Caliph.

(vii). Example #7: Prophet(SAWS) used the wordings of hadeeth al-Ghadeer when there was a quarrel beween Ali(RA) and Usamah(RA). He(saws) used this merit of Ali(RA) in the similar way he used it on Ghadeer.

We read:

وحدثنا أبو بكر بن أبي داود قال : حدثنا المسيب بن واضح قال : حدثنا مروان بن معاوية الفزاري ، عن مرزوق ، عن أبي بسطام مولى أسامة قال : كان بين أسامة وبين علي رضي الله عنه منازعة ، فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : « يا علي ، والله إني لأحبه » يعني أسامة فكأن عليا رضي الله عنه وجد في نفسه ، فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : « يا أسامة ، من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه »
[From abi Bistam the servant of Usamah, he said: There was a quarrel between Usamah and `Ali. So Rasul-Allah (saw) said to `Ali: “O `Ali, by Allah I love him (meaning Usamah).” Then it is as if `Ali felt sadness from this, so Rasul-Allah (saw) said to Usamah: “O Usamah, whomever I am his Mawla `Ali is also his Mawla.”[ Al-Shari`ah lil-Ajurry ; Tareekh Dimashq ; Sharh al-Usoul lil-Lalika’ee].

Comment: As the readers can see, the Prophet(SAWS) can’t possibly be appointing `Ali here as his successor. He used these wording when there was a quarrel between Ali(RA) and Usamah(RA), So that Usamah(RA) takes Ali(RA) as his beloved friend.

 

Shia Argument #1:

Narrated by Al-Bazzar and Ahmad, and his narrators are authentic, other than in the case of Fitar son of Khaleefa, who is considered reliable, from Abu Al-Tufayl’s testimony: “Ali gathered the people and said to them: “I call to all the Muslims to bear witness that they heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) saying on the day of Ghadeer Khumm what he (is said to have) said.” When he stood up, 30 men from among the people came to him (in affirmation of his claim) Abu Na’eem said: ‘A lot of people stood up and looked on when he raised his hand’. “Do you know that I am the first and foremost over the believers than themselves?” They said: “Yes! O Messenger of Allah! (saw).” He continued: “Whosoever I am Mawla of, Ali is his Mawla; O Allah befriend whoever befriends him, and be an enemy to who seeks enmity against him.” He (Abu Tufayl) said: I went out as there was something inside me(doubt), until I encountered Zaid son of Arqam and said to him: “I heard Ali (r.a) saying so and so, at this Zayd bin Arqam said: how can you deny while I have myself heard the Messenger(saw) say this.” [Source: Majma’ Al-Zawa’id Wa Manba’ Al-Fawa’id. Vol. 9, H # 14612, Pg. # 129 – 130.]

That moment engendered a realisation in AbuTufayl(r.a) of such a profound nature that it might be called an epiphany and yet be much more than the word implies.

Response:

Notice in the tail of that narration, abu al-Tufayl says: {“I went out as there was something inside me.”}

Meaning he was in doubt, now Shias try to imply by this that abu al-Tufayl learned the hidden truth of `Ali’s Imamah. This however is not stated in the narration. It means that Abu Tufayl was in doubt, this is why eventually Zaid ibn Arqam tells him how can you deny it while he himself heard it from Prophet(SAWS).

What abu al-Tufayl was most probably thinking/doubting of is: “If the Prophet(SAWS) ordered us to love and befriend `Ali(RA), then how come a team of the Muslims is fighting against him?”

So abu al-Tufayl(RA) tried to verify this from one of the older senior companions Zayd ibn Arqam, and Zayd said: (فما تنكر) “how can you deny?”

Then Zayd(RA) reassures him that it is true by saying: “I heard the messenger of Allah (SAWS) say it to him.”

In other words he’s asking him why he doubts this, because it’s a known and popular event, there’s nothing wrong with this statement that he should doubt it.

So it is exactly as Zayd(RA) said, all of Ahlul-Sunnah accept it, none of them reject it.

As for Abu al-Tufayl, he didn’t become a rafidi after hearing this hadeeth, he regularly went and sought knowledge from other Companions and narrated it during `Ali’s life without paying any attention to the Shiite belief in `Ali’s infallibility, he narrated virtues for Abu Bakr, `Umar, `Uthman and the rest of the ten promised heaven as well as virtues for other Companions such as Abu Hurayrah, he even narrated and took knowledge from `Umar ibn al-Khattab something the Rafidah would never do.

 

Shia Argument #2:

on the day that the six-man council was convened and ‘Abd al-Rahman b. ‘Awf made plain his inclination that ‘Uthman be appointed caliph, the Imam said: “I will set before you an undeniable truth. By God, is there any among you concerning whom the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his family, said, ‘For whomsoever I am Mawla, ‘Ali is also his Mawla O Lord, love whoever loves ‘Ali and help whoever helps ‘Ali,’ ordering this to be conveyed to those who were absent?” All the members of the council confirmed the truth of the words he had spoken, saying, “none can lay claim to any of this. (al-Khwarazmi, al-Manaqib, p. 217.).

Response:

al-Khawarzimi, it is meant Muwaffaq bin Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Saeed al makki khateeb khawarzimi, this person was a Mu’tazili. (See Manaqib Abi Hanifah by al-Kardari, vol 1, page 88).

Infact, Khawarzimi was a Mu’tazili with Shia inclinations, perhaps he wrote the book regarding Imam in Taqiyah. He wasn’t a Sunni.

Khawarzimi’s trustworthiness is not proven, neither have we found anything about his book. And the noble scholars have made it categorical that his book (i.e. Fazayil Ali ) has got numerous Fabricated reports.{See Minhaj us sunnah by Hafidh Ibn Taymiyah vol 3, page 10 ; and Al muntaqa min minhaaj us sunnah by Dhahabi, Pg 312). }.

This reported is undoubtedly a fabrication, hence discarded.

Ironically, even in this fabricated report, Ali(RA) doesn’t say that I have been already appointed as a Caliph by the Prophet(SAWS), but rather he just reminds them about a special merit, which they didn’t have. And all those people acknowledge this merit.

 

(XIII) – Sunni perspective in comparison with Shi’ee perspective of Hadeeth al-Ghadeer : Which one is reasonable?

Let us quote a Shia scholar who made a fine attempt to explain the Sunni perspective of Ghadeer

The Shia author, Syed Husain Mohammad Jafri, writes:

The Sunnis, on the other hand, interpret the word mawla in the meaning of a friend, or the nearest kin and confidant. No doubt the richness of meaning of many an Arabic word and the resulting ambiguity does render both the interpretations equally valid. The Sunnis, while accepting the tradition, assert that in that sentence the Prophet simply meant to exhort his followers to hold his cousin and the husband of his only surviving daughter in high esteem and affection. Further, the Sunnis explain the circumstance which necessitated the Prophet’s exhortation [at Ghadir Khumm] in that some people were murmuring against Ali due to his harsh and indifferent treatment in the distribution of the spoils of the expedition of Al-Yaman, which had just taken place under Ali’s leadership, and from where he, along with his those who participated in the expedition, directly came to Mecca to join the Prophet at the Hajj. To dispel these ill-feelings against his son-in-law, the Prophet spoke in this manner. (The Origins and Early Development of Shi’a Islam, by SHM Jafri, p.21-22).

Hence Sunnis didn’t understand Ghadeer event to be an appointment of Prophet’s Successor. The difference between the Sunnis and the Shia has to do with their understanding of what the Prophet(SAWS) said, not whether or not he said it. The Shias say that the words “If I am a person’s mawla, ‘Ali is also his mawla” mean: “Whoever I am in charge of, ‘Ali is also in charge of.” The Sunnis say that what is meant by the Prophet’s words “If I am a person’s mawla, ‘Ali is also his mawla” refers to support and love, the opposite of which is enmity.

The incident of Ghadeer Khum was not the announcement of the Imamate of Ali(RA), but it was the announcement of the Wilayah of Ali(in the sense that Ali has a close relation to Allah and the Prophet (SAWS), just like the Awliya(friends) of Allah. This made it clear that no one had the option to hate Ali or to show enmity towards him). Thus, the Sunni view is that the hadeeth of Ghadir khum has nothing to do with who the leader is after the Prophet(SAWS). The Sunnah says that it means love and close relation. Muwalat is the opposite of Mu`adat(enmity). The proof comes from the first addition: “oh Allah waali man walaah wa `adi man `adaah”. (O Allah befriend whosover befriends him and be the enemy of whosoever is hostile to him). So we are talking about muwalah and mu`adat (love and enmity). It is about the love of the people to Ali(RA).

It is also important to point out that the Prophet(SAWS ) did not say “after me” in any authentic narration. He only said “man kuntu mawlah fa Ali mawlah” without giving any time frame. This means that this fact is timeless.

Now we will mention the two most popular meanings for “Mawlahu” according to the Shia and discuss them:

(a)- That it means authority and that `Ali is in charge of our affairs, which is outright rejected because the Prophet(SAWS) can’t say “Whomsoever I have authority over him, `Ali also has authority over him.” The leader of the Muslims in the time of the Prophet(SAWS) was himself, he was the one in charge and he was the chief of the believers, no one was his partner nor did he share authority with another man. However, it makes perfect sense for Rasul-Allah(SAWS) to tie his love with the love of his beloved cousin `Ali, not that `Ali was our leader alongside the Prophet(SAWS) who was also our leader, nor will anybody accept this, even the Shia do not believe that there can be two leaders at once, which is why they believe that when one of `Ali’s children is the leader in authority the other one has no authority and has to remain silent. We add, when a Sunni is asked today: “Is `Ali your Mawla?” he replies: “Yes.” even though `Ali is not in authority today nor is he in charge of us after his death, but we still love him to this day. As for Sunnis, the fact that Ali is a Mawla(beloved friend) was proven during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) and after his death, and after the death of ‘Ali(RA). ‘Ali was the Mawla(beloved friend) of the believers after the death of the Messenger of Allah(SAWS), and he was a Mawla to the believers after his own death. Even now he is our Mawla. Whereas, if Muwalat were to mean authority, then `Ali’s authority has ended with his death, so if a Shia is asked who is in charge of you today and he replies “`Ali” that means he has cancelled the leadership of his hidden Twelfth Imam who is supposed to be his current leader and the man in authority.

(b)- That it means `Ali is our owner and we are his slaves because he is the Master, and this was and still is a popular opinion the Rafidah hold. This opinion is also rejected outright because Islam came to liberate humankind from slavery and honor it, and no Muslim believes he is a slave to any creature, we are not owned by Muhammad(SAWS) nor `Ali(RA). This belief they hold is corrupt, because if we were all owned slaves for Muhammad(SAWS) and `Ali, then inheritance is cancelled by default since slaves cannot inherit by consensus, all of our belongings would go to our masters after our death and during our lives, also if people were owned by `Ali then they cannot marry-off their sister and daughters since the slaves have no authority in marriages, also this means `Ali cannot marry as everyone would be his slave, he can only seek pleasure through what his right hand possesses but not through marrying a free-woman, also this means charity is cancelled as charity is given from the rich to the poor and if we were all owned that means the poor from us would be rich through the wealth of their owner `Ali and rich of us would be poor because everything we possess belongs to our owner `Ali, thus what we mentioned is sufficient to refute this belief.

A Serious fact to ponder:

Shiites claim that Prophet(SAWS) appointed ‘Ali(RA) as his successor at Ghadeer. Well, we know that ‘Ali(RA) was not accepted as the successor after the Prophet(SAWS). So we are left with the following conclusions:

(i). All the Muslims were unaware that ‘Ali(RA) was appointed the successor. If so, the Prophet(SAWS) failed in delivering the message[Ma’azAllah]. He clearly did a poor job in informing the Muslim masses of ‘Ali(RA)’s appointment.

(ii). The Muslims did know about ‘Ali(RA)’s appointment, but they all rejected it. If so, the Prophet(SAWS) failed in his mission[Ma’azAllah]. He failed to reform the Arabs, and at the end of it the Muslims whom the Prophet(SAWS) spent decades educating abandoned his religion the moment he died. This ofcourse is the belief of the Shiites, because they cannot possibly accept option (a). If Shiites want to believe that ‘Ali(RA) was the appointed successor, then they must believe that basically all the Muslims after the Prophet’s death were hypocrites, apostates and kuffar.

We mean, how can we possibly consider the Prophet(SAWS) to have been a successful Messenger if this is the case? Was Prophethood just about delivering a message, or was it about changing the people? Clearly the people were not changed, and clearly they did not respect the Prophet(SAWS). This ofcourse flies in the face of all the facts that we possess.

What did the Muslims do when the Prophet(SAWS) died? Did they kill each other for leadership and destroy Islam?

No – they elected the best man among them, and then the best man after him, and they strengthened Islam and made the Ummah into a superpower.

So did the Prophet(SAWS) fail in his mission? On the contrary, he succeeded as no Prophet succeeded before him, and we Muslims will never achieve the power that we once had until we emulate those who the Prophet(SAWS) taught with his own hands.

 

(XIV) – Munkar(denounced) interpolation of the words “AFTER ME(Ba’di/بعدي)” in Hadeeth al-Ghadeer.

Ahlul-Sunnah believes in the authentic and popular text of Hadith Ghadeer Khumm, The Hadith that says “Whoever considers me his Mawla, `Ali is also his Mawla”. However two Shia narrators have reported the hadeeth al-Ghadeer in an altered form, by interpolating the words “AFTER ME(Ba’di)” in the text, hence we reject this altered and corrupt version of this text by two Shi’ee narrators.

The Munkar(denounced) interpolation of “After Me”(Ba’di) in Hadeeth al-Ghadeer comes ONLY from the paths of two Shia narrators, Ja’far Ibn Sulaiman and Ajlah al-Kindi.

(i). The Hadeeth with the Munkar interpolation(AFTER ME), which comes via Shia narrator Ja’far Ibn Sulaiman:

We read:

حدثنا عبد الرزاق , وعفان المعنى , وهذا حديث عبد الرزاق قالا : ثنا جعفر بن سليمان ، قال : حدثني يزيد الرشك ، عن مطرف بن عبد الله ، عن عمران بن حصين ، قال : بعث رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم سرية وأمر عليهم علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله تعالى عنه فأحدث شيئا في سفره ، فتعاهد , قال عفان : فتعاقد أربعة من أصحاب محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم أن يذكروا أمره لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، قال عمران : وكنا إذا قدمنا من سفر بدأنا برسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فسلمنا عليه ، قال : فدخلوا عليه ، فقام رجل منهم ، فقال : يا رسول الله ، إن عليا فعل كذا وكذا ، فأعرض عنه ، ثم قام الثاني ، فقال : يا رسول الله ، إن عليا فعل كذا وكذا ، فأعرض عنه ، ثم قام الثالث ، فقال : يا رسول الله ، إن عليا فعل كذا وكذا ، فأعرض عنه ، ثم قام الرابع , فقال : يا رسول الله ، إن عليا فعل كذا وكذا ، قال : فأقبل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على الرابع , وقد تغير وجهه ، فقال : ” دعوا عليا ، دعوا عليا ، دعوا عليا ، إن عليا مني وأنا منه ، وهو ولي كل مؤمن بعدي ” .

[Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal. Vol. 15, Pg. # 78 – 79, H # 19813.]

The same narration is present in the books of Abdulrazaq, Al-Tirmithi, Abi Ya’ala, Ibn Hibban, Al-Nasa’ee, Ibn Abi Asim, Al-Thahabi, Ibn Hajar, Ibn Al-Mutaqqi Al-Hindi, and Al-Suyuti.

The culprit here is Shia narrator Ja’far ibn Sulaiman. He is a Shia according to Ibn Sa’ad, Al-Muqadami, Ibn Adi, Ibn Hibban, Al-Azdi, Al-Duri, and Yazeed bin Harun. [See Al-Tatheeb].

كونه شيعيا فهو بالاتفاق قال في التقريب جعفر بن سليمان الضبعي أبو سليمان البصري صدوق زاهد لكنه كان يتشيع
As for him being a Shia it is by consensus for he said in “al Taqreeb”: Ja’afar bin Sulaiman al Dab’ee Abu Sulaiman al Basri He is Saduq,  And has Zuhd but he was a Shia, this is also mentioned in al Meezan and others.

في تهذيب التهذيب قال الدوري كان جعفر إذا ذكر معاوية شتمه وإذا ذكر عليا قعد يبكي وقال ابن حبان في كتاب الثقات حدثنا الحسن بن سفيان حدثنا إسحاق بن أبي كامل حدثنا جرير بن يزيد بن هارون بين يدي أبيه قال بعثني أبي إلى جعفر فقلت بلغنا أنك تسب أبا بكر وعمر قال أما السب فلا ولكن البغض ما شئت فإذا هو رافضي الحمار
In Tahtheeb al tahtheeb al Douri said about Ibn Sulaiman: If Muawiyah was mentioned in front of him he would insult him and swear and if Ali was mentioned then he would cry, Ibn Hibban said in the book “al thiqat” Al hassan bin Sufian narrated from Ishaq bin Abi Kamil from jurayr bin Yazeed bin Haroon in front of his father he said: My father sent me to Ja’afar and I said to him: We heard that you insult Abu bakr and Umar, Ibn Sulaiman replied: As for Cursing then No but I Hate them more than you can think of. So he was a rafidhi.

وقال إذنه حدثنا محمد بن مروان القرشي حدثنا أحمد بن سنان حدثني سهل بن أبي خدوية قال قلت لجعفر بن سليمان بلغني أنك تشتم أبا بكر وعمر فقال أما الشتم فلا ولكن البغض ما شئت
Ithnuh told us that Muhamad bin Marwan al Qurashi told him that Ahmad bin Sinan told him that Sahl bin Abu Khadweih said: I said to ja’afar bin Sulaiman: We heard that you insult Abu bakr and Umar and he said: as for Insulting then no but as for hatred then I hate them a lot.

Sheikh Abu ishaq al-Huwayni holds the view that, Ja’far ibn Sulaiman was talking about Sheikhein(Abu Bakr and Umar ibn Khattab).[See Nathl al-Nibal, vol 1, page 256]

It should also be known that there are other chains that support the correct version without the interpolation and are of the highest authenticity. This includes the narration of Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas and Sa’eed bin Wahb, both of which are in Khasa’is Ali (p. 75-76).

The narration is also authentic in Sunan Al-Tirmithi (p. 845) in the narration of Abu Al-Tufail from either Zaid bin Arqam or Abi Sareeha. It too doesn’t contain the interpolation.

With the above in mind, one can easily be reassured that Buraida, Sa’ad, Zaid bin Arqam/Abi Sareeha, and Sa’eed bin Wahb, through authentic chains, have narrated this without the interpolation of “after me”, and that these narrations are stronger than the narrations that include the interpolation.

Al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi said:

قال الخطيب البغدادي: “السبيل إلى معرفة علة الحديث أن يجمع بين طرقه، وينظر في اختلاف رواته، ويعتبر بمكانهم في الحفظ، ومنزلتهم في الإتقان والضبط”

The way to discover the defect of a hadith is to collect the lines of transmission, examine the differences of its transmitters and examine their position in regard to retention and their status in regard to exactitude and precision. [Uloom al-hadeeth, page 82]

Therefore, even though Ja’far ibn Sulaiman is a reliable narrator, however because of him being an innovator(Shi’ee) his narration with the additional words of “after me” is rejected, since as per the basic rule of Hadeeth science, if an innovator narrates that which strengthens his innovation then it is to be rejected.

Imam Shafi’i said, “If he(narrator) is a caller towards innovation, there is no disagreement among them that his transmission is not to be accepted.” [Uloom al-hadeeth ibn salah, page 87]

Abu Hatim b. Hibban al-Busti – one of the authorities of hadith who wrote books – said, “According to our authorities, it is absolutely forbidden to cite the hadith of an innovator who calls towards innovation, for sectarian doctrines. I do not know of any disagreement among them on this point.'” [Uloom al-hadeeth ibn salah, page 87].

 

(ii). The Hadeeth with the Munkar interpolation(AFTER ME), which comes via weak Shia narrator Ajlah al-Kindi:

We read:

حدثنا ابن نمير ، حدثني أجلح الكندي ، عن عبد الله بن بريدة ، عن أبيه بريدة ، قال : بعث رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بعثين إلى اليمن ، على أحدهما علي بن أبي طالب ، وعلى الآخر خالد بن الوليد ، فقال : ” إذا التقيتم فعلي على الناس ، وإن افترقتما ، فكل واحد منكما على جنده ” ، قال : فلقينا بني زيد من أهل اليمن ، فاقتتلنا ، فظهر المسلمون على المشركين ، فقتلنا المقاتلة ، وسبينا الذرية ، فاصطفى علي امرأة من السبي لنفسه ، قال بريدة : فكتب معي خالد بن الوليد إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يخبره بذلك ، فلما أتيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ، دفعت الكتاب ، فقرئ عليه ، فرأيت الغضب في وجه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، فقلت : يا رسول الله ، هذا مكان العائذ ، بعثتني مع رجل وأمرتني أن أطيعه ، ففعلت ما أرسلت به ، فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ” لا  تقع في علي ، فإنه مني وأنا منه ، وهو وليكم بعدي ، وإنه مني وأنا منه ، وهو وليكم بعدي

[Musnad Ahmad. Vol. 16, Pg. # 497, H # 22908.]

Firstly, the narration of Al-Ajlah Al-Kindi is weak and he is also a Shia, regardless of the strengthening provided by Al-Iraqi. He was weakened by Al-Qattan, Abu Hatim, Al-Nasa’ee, Al-Jawzajani, Abu Dawud, Ibn Sa’ad, Al-Uqaili, Ibn Hibban, Al-Saji, Ibn Jarud, and Abu Al-Arab. [See Ikmal Mughlatay and Ibn Hajar’s Tahtheeb].

Even those that strengthened him didn’t strengthen him completely. For example, Yaqoub bin Sufyan Al-Fasawi, who made tawtheeq of him said that his hadith is soft. Ibn Ma’een, who referred to him as a thiqa, used other wordings like salih and la ba’asa bihi, implying that he isn’t a top tier narrator. Ibn Adi also referred to him as a Shia. Regardless, the majority of the scholars have weakened him, as we can see, so his narration is rejected.

It becomes even more apparent that this weak Shia narrator Al-Ajlah made a mistake when we go back to other narrations of Buraida Al-Aslami, since none of them have the addition that includes the term “after me”.

For example, we find an authentic narration from Sa’eed bin Jubair from Ibn Abbas from Buraida in the Musnad (16/475) without this interpolation. Abdul Jaleel bin Atiya (22/483), Ali bin Suwaiyid bin Manjoof (22/506), and Sa’ad bin Ubaida (22/511) (Sa’ad narration is by Al-A’amash who narrated with ‘an’ana) also narrated it without the interpolation from Abdullah bin Buraida from his father. All of these can also be found in Musnad Ahmad. With this in mind, it is quite clear that neither Buraida, nor his son, said the word “after me”, since none of the reliable narrators mentioned such a thing when narrating from them.

Furthermore, one of the narrations of Buraidah, comes through the path of Ibn Abbas through an extremely authentic chain which doesn’t have the addition of “after me”. The chain is from the narration Abdul malik bin Humayyid from Al-Hakam from Sa’eed bin Jubair from Ibn Abbas.

We add, that the Hadith is also authentic from the Hadith of `Ali ibn abi Talib in Fadha’il Al-Sahaba #986, without the addition of “After Me.”

Also, we have an authentic Hadith from Sunan Al-Tirmithi #3646 in which Abu Al-Tufail narrates this Hadith from Abu Sareeha or Zaid bin Arqam (Shu’ba was not sure which of the two) that the Prophet (SAWS) said the same thing, without the addition of “After Me”.

In other words, this narration is authentic (Sahih) from the narration of `Ali, Buraidah, Zaid bin Arqam/Abu Sareeha, and Ibn Abbas (four narrations), without the addition of “After Me”.

Al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi said:

قال الخطيب البغدادي: “السبيل إلى معرفة علة الحديث أن يجمع بين طرقه، وينظر في اختلاف رواته، ويعتبر بمكانهم في الحفظ، ومنزلتهم في الإتقان والضبط”

“The way to discover the defect of a hadith is to collect the lines of transmission, examine the differences of its transmitters and examine their position in regard to retention and their status in regard to exactitude and precision. [Uloom al-hadeeth, page 82]

Therefore, as per multiple authentic chains, Buraidah did not include the addition “after me”, it was an interpolation done by weak Shia narrator Al-Ajlah Al-Kindi, hence his interpolation is discarded as Munkar(denounced)

We Ahlul-Sunnah believe in the authentic and popular text of Hadith Ghadeer Khumm, The Hadith that says “Whoever considers me his Mawla, `Ali is also his Mawla”, as for altered and corrupted versions of this text, we reject them.

 

Shia Argument #1:

Shias claim that, Al-Albani said:

If someone claims: This witnessing hadith (by Ajlah al-Kindi) is narrated by a Shi’ee, while the narrator of the other witnessed hadeeth too, Ja’far ibn Sulayman, is a Shi’ee, does that not make the hadith objectionable?

I (Al-Albani) say: No! This is because the only conditions for the acceptability of hadeeth’s are the truthfulness and good memory of the narrator. As for his sectarian beliefs, that is a matter between him and his Lord only and He is sufficient for him. This is why we see Al-Bukhari and Muslim and others narrating from several of the truthful ones among the deviants, like the Khawarij and the Shi’ites and others. [Silsilah Al-Hadeeth As-Saheehah, Vol. 5, Pg. # 262.]

Response:

Al-Albani (rahimahu Allah) is correct in saying that Al-Bukhari and Muslim accepted the narrations of innovators, however, this was the case for innovators who narrated narrations that had nothing to do with their innovations. However, if the narration is evidence for the innovation of the innovator, then it is to be rejected. And, narrating a Hadith that supports one’s innovation is in and of itself a method of calling to one’s own sect, and this is what both these Shi’e narrators did in Hadeeth al-Ghadeer.

Imam Shafi’i said, “If he(narrator) is a caller towards innovation, there is no disagreement among them that his transmission is not to be accepted.” [Uloom al-hadeeth ibn salah, page 87]

Abu Hatim b. Hibban al-Busti – one of the authorities of hadith who wrote books – said, “According to our authorities, it is absolutely forbidden to cite the hadith of an innovator who calls towards innovation, for sectarian doctrines. I do not know of any disagreement among them on this point.'” [Uloom al-hadeeth ibn salah, page 87]

Ibn Hajar said in Al-Nukhba:

والثاني يقبل من لم يكن داعية في الأصح إلا أن روى ما يقوي بدعته فيرد على المختار وبه صرح الجوزجاني شيخ النسائي

Rough translation: The second (innovations that lead to fisq and not kufur) are accepted if the narrator was not a caller, and this is the more correct opinion, except if the narrator narrates what strengthens his innovation, then it is rejected, and that is the chosen (opinion), and Al-Jawzajani, the teacher of Al-Nasa’ee stated this.

Due to this contemporary scholars like Al-Shaikh Muqbil in Al-Shafa’a (p.108) accepted this view. He said:

فبما أن هذين الراويين غاليان في التشيع والحديث موافق لمذهبهما فالحديث ضعيف

Rough translation: Since these two narrators are extreme in their tashayyu and the hadith supports their mathhab, then the hadith is da’eef (weak).

Unlike what Al-Albani is implying, an innovator may be affected by his innovation, but without it having anything to do with his truthfulness. Ja’afar bin Sulaiman wouldn’t be lying by adding the terms “after me”, but rather, would be narrating the narration according to the meaning that he has understood it in.

Let us give an example:

Some companions have narrated that the Prophet (SAWS) said that Islam is: “the five prayers, the zakat, the hajj, and the fasting of Ramadhan.”

Others have narrated the same Hadith, but they said: “the five prayers, the zakat, the fasting of Ramadhan, and the hajj.”

Due to the permissibility of narrating a Hadith according to the meaning, and not in literal form, or not “word for word”, we have ended up with two versions of the same Hadith being attributed to the Prophet(SAWS). Yet, both are referred to as “Hadith Jibreel,” and are therefore the same Hadith.

In most cases, such a thing is harmless. However, in some cases it can be harmful, the understanding of individuals may change the meaning of a Hadith. In this case, Ja`afar bin Sulaiman heard from Yazeed the same popular narration, but heard him say, “`Ali is the Mawla of every believer.” Yet, due to the Tashayyu of Ja`afar bin Sulaiman, he understood that Mawla in this narration means master, and that it wouldn’t make sense that `Ali is the current master of the believers, since the Prophet(SAWS) was alive and there can’t be two leaders at the same time. So, he understood that the Prophet(SAWS) meant that this is the case after his death. Due to this, if one narrated the narration as “Mawla of every believer AFTER ME”, they would not be lying, but they are simply narrating the narration in the way that they understood it as being Shia. The same can be said for the other Shia narrator Ajlah al-Kindi.

As for Sheikh Al-Albani’s acceptance of the additional wordings in this hadeeth, then we would like to quote the opinion of Sheikh Muqbil over this issue.

Sheikh Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi’i said:

“One cannot feel reassured by the authentications of the additions by Ibn Hajar, or Al-Albani, but rather, can feel reassured if it came in one of three forms:

1- If a major critic authenticated it, like Al-Bukhari, or Abu Hatim.
2 -If the person that added the addition is higher and more correct that the person that didn’t include the addition.
3- If the person that added the addition is on the same level as he who didn’t include it.”

[Source: Basha’ir Al-Farah bi Taqreeb Fawa’id Al-Imam Al-Wadi’ee (page 56)]

Al-Hafiz Abu al-‘Ala al-Mubarakpoori in his Tuhfat al-Ahwazi states:

Ahmad has narrated in his Musnad, “And he (Ali) is Wali of every believer after me” and such in some other cases longer than this, and in some of them ‘after me’ is not included and in Musnad is narrated so, and Shias argue with this that Ali was the successor after the Messenger of Allah (saw) directly, their argument with this Hadeeth is false, because their point is with the word “after me.” If it was correct, then they could argue so, but it is not so as they think because Ja’far ibn Sulayman is the only one who has narrated it (with the word ‘after me’) and he is a Shia, rather an extremist Shia in Tahdheeb Al-Tahdheeb it is said: Al-Doori said: When the name of Mu’awiyah was mentioned before Ja’far ibn Sulayman he used to curse him and when the name of Ali was mentioned he used to cry… and it is obvious that the word ‘after me’ in this Hadeeth is something which strenghtens the Shi’ite dogma and it is said that if a Mubtadeh (owner of Bid’a) narrates something which strenghtens his Bid’a (innovation i.e in favor of his belief), it is rejected…if you say that Ja’far ibn Sulayman is not the only one who has narrated it with ‘after me’ rather Ajlah Al-Kindi also has narrated it. Ahmad has narrated it in his Musnad through Ajlah Al-Kindi from Abdullah ibn Buraida from his father Buraida that…“Do not produce falsehoods about Alee, he is from me and I am from him, and he is your Master after me, he is from me and I am from him, and he is your Master after me.” I will say: This Ajlah Al-Kindi is also a Shia, in Al-Taqreeb it is said: Ajlah ibn Abdullah ibn Hojjiyya titled as Al-Kindi, it is said his name is Yahya, he is Sadooq and Shi’iee, end of quote, such is said also in Al-Mizan and so on. It is obvious that the extra word ‘after me’ in this Hadeeth is the imagination of these two Shias, and this is supported through Ahmad in his Musnad by narrating this Hadeeth through some other chains not in one of them this extra word is existing. [Source: Tuhfat al-Ahwazi bi Sharh Jami` at-Tirmidhi . Vol. 10, Pg. # 212213.]

Imam Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah said:

لحافظ ابن تيمية في منهاج السنة وكذلك قوله هو ولي كل مؤمن بعدي كذب على رسول الله

“Similarly his (saw) saying: ‘HE IS THE WALI OF EVERY BELIEVER AFTER ME’ is a lie upon the Holy Prophet (saw). [Source: Minhaj Al-Sunnah. Vol. 7, Pg. # 391 ].

The strongest evidence that no such thing was mentioned by the Prophet(SAWS), comes from great grandson of Ali himself, who had no idea that, the wording “AFTER ME” was said by Prophet(SAWS). Is it likely that the great grandson of Ali was not aware of this fact, and that Shia narrators Ja’afar bin Sulaiman Al-Dhuba’ee or Ajlah al-kindi were? No, it certainly is not.

al-Ḥasan bin al-Ḥasan bin al-Ḥasan bin ‘Alī – the great grandson of Ali(RA) :

قَالَ : فَقَالَ لَهُ الرَّافِضِيُّ : أَلَمْ يَقُلْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلّى الله عليه وسلم لِعَلِيٍّ : ” مَنْ كُنْتُ مَوْلاهُ فَعَلِيٌّ مَوْلاهُ ” ؟ فَقَالَ : أَمَا وَاللَّهِ أَنْ لَوْ يَعْنِي بِذَلِكَ الإِمْرَةَ وَالسُّلْطَانَ ، لأَفْصَحَ لَهُمْ بِذَلِكَ كَمَا أَفْصَحَ لَهُمْ بِالصَّلاةِ ، وَالزَّكَاةِ ، وَصِيَامِ رَمَضَانَ ، وَحَجِّ الْبَيْتِ ، وَلَقَالَ لَهُمْ : أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ هَذَا وَلِيُّكُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِي ، فَإِنَّ أَنْصَحَ النَّاسِ كَانَ لِلنَّاسِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ , وَلَوْ كَانَ الأَمْرُ كَمَا تَقُولُونَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ اخْتَارَا عَلِيًّا لِهَذَا الأَمْرِ وَالْقِيَامِ بَعْدَ النَّبِيِّ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ ، إِنْ كَانَ لأَعْظَمَ النَّاسِ فِي ذَلِكَ خِطْأَةً وَجُرْمًا ، إِذْ تَرَكَ مَا أَمَرَهُ بِهِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنْ يَقُومَ فِيهِ ، كَمَا أَمَرَهُ ، أَوْ يَعْذِرَ فِيهِ إِلَى النَّاسِ ” .

The Rafidhi (a person who rejects the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar) said to him (Al Hasan ibn Hasan), “Did not the Messenger of Allah say to Ali: ‘If i am Mawla of someone, Ali is his Mawla?’” He (Al Hasan) replied, “By Allah, if he meant by that Amirate and rulership, he would have been more explicit to you in expressing that, just as he was explicit to you about the Salah, Zakat and Hajj to the House. He would have said to you, ‘Oh people! This is your leader after me.The Messenger of Allah gave the best good counsel to the people (i.e. clear in meaning). “If it is like what you say, that Ali was chosen for this after the Prophet (pbuh), then he would be the most flawed from all the people, because he didn’t do as the Prophet (pbuh) commanded””(Source: Source: Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d. Vol. 7, Pg. # 314; Chain is Good) Similar is present in Ibn `Asakir (volume 4, page 166) and (awaasim min qawaasim page 115).

 

Shia Argument #2:

Some Sunni Scholars deemed the Chain(Isnad) of these reports as Sahih or Hasan.

Response:

Imam Ibn Katheer said:

” الحكم بالصحة أو الحسن على الإسناد لا يلزم منه الحكم بذلك على المتن ، إذ قد يكون شاذاً أو معللاً “

The fact that the Isnaad(chain) is deemed to be Sahih or Hasan does not necessarily mean that the same applies to the text, because it may be shaadhdh (odd) or mu’allal (faulty). [Ikhtisaar ‘Uloom al-Hadeeth (p. 43).]

In the case of Hadeeth al-Ghadeer with the additional wording of “after me”, this text is faulty, since it is an interpolation by Shi’ee narrators, hence rejected.

 

Shia Argument #3:

Shias claim that, Al-Albani said: the hadeeth itself has been narrated through another chain which does not contain even a single Shi’ee narrator. [Silsilah Al-Hadeeth As-Saheehah, Vol. 5, Pg. # 262.]

Response:

Let us present that report which Shiekh Al-Albani is talking about.

We read:

حدثنا عبد الله حدثنا يحيى بن حماد حدثنا أبو عوانة حدثنا أبو بلج حدثنا عمرو بن ميمون قال إني لجالس إلى ابن عباس إذ أتاه تسعة رهط فقالوا يا أبا عباس إما أن تقوم معنا وإما أن يخلونا هؤلاء قال فقال ابن عباس بل أقوم معكم قال وهو يومئذ صحيح قبل أن يعمى قال فابتدءوا فتحدثوا فلا ندري ما قالوا قال فجاء ينفض ثوبه ويقول أف وتف وقعوا في رجل له عشر وقعوا في رجل قال له النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لأبعثن رجلا لا يخزيه الله أبدا يحب الله ورسوله قال فاستشرف لها من استشرف قال أين علي قالوا هو في الرحل يطحن قال وما كان أحدكم ليطحن قال فجاء وهو أرمد لا يكاد يبصر قال فنفث في عينيه ثم هز الراية ثلاثا فأعطاها إياه فجاء بصفية بنت حيي قال ثم بعث فلانا بسورة التوبة فبعث عليا خلفه فأخذها منه قال لا يذهب بها إلا رجل مني وأنا منه قال وقال لبني عمه أيكم يواليني في الدنيا والآخرة قال وعلي معه جالس فأبوا فقال علي أنا أواليك في الدنيا والآخرة قال أنت وليي في الدنيا والآخرة قال فتركه ثم أقبل على رجل منهم فقال أيكم يواليني في الدنيا والآخرة فأبوا قال فقال علي أنا أواليك في الدنيا والآخرة فقال أنت وليي في الدنيا والآخرة قال وكان أول من أسلم من الناس بعد خديجة قال وأخذ رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ثوبه فوضعه على علي وفاطمة وحسن وحسين فقال إنما يريد الله ليذهب عنكم الرجس أهل البيت ويطهركم تطهيرا قال وشرى علي نفسه لبس ثوب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ثم نام مكانه قال وكان المشركون يرمون رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فجاء أبو بكر وعلي نائم قال وأبو بكر يحسب أنه نبي الله قال فقال يا نبي الله قال فقال له علي إن نبي الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قد انطلق نحو بئر ميمون فأدركه قال فانطلق أبو بكر فدخل معه الغار قال وجعل علي يرمى بالحجارة كما كان يرمى نبي الله وهو يتضور قد لف رأسه في الثوب لا يخرجه حتى أصبح ثم كشف عن رأسه فقالوا إنك للئيم كان صاحبك نرميه فلا يتضور وأنت تتضور وقد استنكرنا ذلك قال وخرج بالناس في غزوة تبوك قال فقال له علي أخرج معك قال فقال له نبي الله لا فبكى علي فقال له أما ترضى أن تكون مني بمنزلة هارون من موسى إلا أنك لست بنبي إنه لا ينبغي أن أذهب إلا وأنت خليفتي قال وقال له رسول الله أنت وليي في كل مؤمن بعدي وقال سدوا أبواب المسجد غير باب علي فقال فيدخل المسجد جنبا وهو طريقه ليس له طريق غيره قال وقال من كنت مولاه فإن مولاه علي قال وأخبرنا الله عز وجل في القرآن أنه قد رضي عنهم عن أصحاب الشجرة فعلم ما في قلوبهم هل حدثنا أنه سخط عليهم بعد قال وقال نبي الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لعمر حين قال ائذن لي فلأضرب عنقه قال أوكنت فاعلا وما يدريك لعل الله قد اطلع إلى أهل بدر فقال اعملوا ما شئتم حدثنا أبو مالك كثير بن يحيى قال حدثنا أبو عوانة عن أبي بلج عن عمرو بن ميمون عن ابن عباس نحوه

Narrated to us from Yahya bin Hamaad, from Abu Awana, from Abi Balj, from Amr ibn Maymun said: “I was sitting once in the company of ibn Abbas when nine men came to him and said, ‘O ibn Abbas! Either come to debate with us, or tell these folks that you prefer a private debate.’ He had not lost his eye-sight yet he said: ‘I rather debate with you.’ So they started talking, but I was not sure exactly what they were talking about. Then he stood up and angrily said: “Woe to them! Woe to them! They insult a man who gathered ten (virtues)! They insult a man whom the Holy Prophet(SAWS) has said, ‘I shall dispatch a man whom Allah(swt) shall never humiliate, one who is loved by Allah(swt) and His Messenger(saws).” So each one of them thought to him such an honour belonged. The Holy Prophet(saw) inquired about Ali saying, ‘where is Ali?’ When the latter came unto him, with his eyes swelling in ailment, he (saw) blew in his eyes, shook the standard thrice and gave it to him. Ali came back victorious with Safiyya bint Huyay [Al-Akhtab] among his captives. Ibn Abbas proceeded to say, “Then the Messenger of Allah(saws) sent someone(Abu Bakr) with Surat Al-Tawbah, but he had to send Ali after him to discharge the responsibility, saying: Nobody can discharge it except a man who is of me, and I am of him.’ ibn Abbas also said, “The Messenger of Allah(saws), with Ali sitting beside him, asked his cousins once: “Who among you elects to be my Wali in this life and the life hereafter?” They all declined, but Ali who said: “I would like to be your Wali(close friend) in this life and the life to come.” Whereupon the Prophet(saws) responded by saying: “You are indeed  my Wali(close friend) in this life and the life hereafter.” Ibn Abbas continues to say that Ali was the first person to accept Islam after Khadijah, and that the Messenger of Allah(saws) took his own robe and put it over Ali, Faatima, Hassan and Hussain, then recited the verse saying: “Allah wishes to remove all abomination from you, O Ahl al-Bayt [people of my household] and purify you with a perfect purification Qur’an {33:33}.” He then said: “Ali sold his own soul(for the sake of Allah), he put on the Prophet’s garment and slept in his bed when the infidels sought to murder him, then Abu Bakr came while Ali was sleeping. He said: and Abu Bakr thought it was the Prophet of Allah(saw), he said: O Prophet of Allah(saw)! he said: then Ali said to him: the Prophet of Allah(saws) set out towards the well of Maymoon, if you want him go there, so Abu Bakr went and entered the cave with him(saws). He said: then they started to to hit Ali with stones, like they used to hit the Prophet of Allah(saws) with stones, so he wrapped himself and covered his head in the garment and he did not take it out, until it became morning, then he brought out his head, so they said: you are a bold person, your companion(i.e. the Prophet (saws)) when we hit him he used to not hide his face, but you hid yourself(i.e. you fooled us) and we disliked this. He(i.e. Ibn Abbas) then said: when he (i.e. the Messenger of Allah (saws)) went on Tabuk expedition accompanied by many people.” Ali asked him: ‘May I join you?’ The Messenger of Allah (saw) refused, whereupon Ali wept. The Prophet(saws) then asked him: Does it not please you that your status to me is similar to that of Haroon is to Musa, except there is no Prophet after me? It is not proper for me to leave this place before assigning you as my deputy.’ The Messenger of Allah (saws) has also said the following to him: “You are my Wali among every believer after me.”

Ibn Abbas has said: “The Messenger of Allah closed down all doors leading to his mosque except that of Ali, who used to enter the mosque on his way out even while in the state of Janaba (impurity). The Messenger of Allah(saws) has also said: ‘Whoever I am Mawla, Ali is also his Mawla.‘ And Allah has told us in the Qur’an that He was pleased with those who gave the pledge under the tree since He knew what was in their hearts, did he then reveal that he is not pleased with them?! Then said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (saw) said to Umar when he wanted to kill one of the people of Badr, “Would you do it? How can you know, maybe Allah has looked into the hearts of the people of Badr and said: Do as you wish, I have forgiven you.?”

[Source: Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal. Vol. 3, Pg. # 331 – 333.]

Firstly, the part of the hadeeth which Shiekh Albani is talking about is not Hadeeth al-Ghadeer, rather it is a portion of Hadeeth al-Manzilah. The Hadeeth al-Manzilah was said by Prophet(SAWS) before the expedition of Tabook in 9 A.H, where as Hadeeth al-Ghadeer was mentioned after the farewell pilgrimage in 10 A.H.

If any desperate Shia genius tries to counter this fact that the wordings in question are not a part of Hadeeth Manzilah, but instead its a different and separate hadeeth(hadeeth al-Wilayah), then that would be an error since, it would increase the number of merits mentioned in hadeeth to Eleven(11), where as Ibn Abbas(RA) said he will mention Ten(10) merits. Therefore without a shadow of doubt the wordings are a part of Hadeeth Manzilah.

Hadeeth al-Manzilah is regarding the event when Ali(RA) was appointed a temporary deputy over the believers at Madinah, when Prophet(SAWS) left for the expedition of Tabook, as this was the habit of Prophet(SAWS), that he would appoint anyone from his Sahaba as his temporary deputy, when he would leave Madinah. Therefore, there is a reasonable interpretation even for this interpolated version of Hadeeth al-Manzilah, that Prophet(SAWS) meant to say “I leave you incharge of every believer after my departure(To Tabuk).”

Interestingly, in this long hadeeth of 10 merits of Ali(RA), we even find the hadeeth al-Ghadeer(which is the subject of this article), and it is without any interpolation. It doesn’t have the additional wording “after me”. It just says: “Whomever I am Mawla, `Ali is also his Mawla.”

As for Hadeeth al-Manzilah then, this cannot be regarding the Leadership of Ali(RA), even from Shi’ee perspective because it disagrees with the story of `Ali’s Imamah which as per Shias was mentioned at Ghadeer. If any Shia disagrees with this, then that raises some problematic questions such as; If Prophet(SAWS) had announced Ali(RA) as his Successor in front of people of Madinah, before expedition of Tabook in 9 A.H, then why was Prophet(SAWS) afraid to announce it at Ghadeer, due to which (as per Shias) Allah had to reveal the verse (5:47)? If Prophet(SAWS) didn’t receive any harm announcing it in Madinah, then why did he fear announcing it second time on Ghadeer? Most importantly, if Prophet(SAWS) had announced to people of Madinah before expedition of Tabook, then why didn’t Prophet(SAWS) announce it at Arafah during his Farewell Sermon, where Muslims from different parts of Arabia were gathered, because only the Muslims of Madinah were present at Ghadeer, so what would be the benefit of announcing it a second time to the same people?

Secondly, as for the chain of this narration, then the main narrator who narrated this large report containing ten merits of `Ali ibn abi Talib from `Abdullah ibn `Abbas is Abu Balj, he was from the dwellers of Kufah in `Iraq, he was authenticated by the scholars of Hadith but weakened by a few, mainly because of his mistakes.

Imam ibn Hibban introduces Abu Balj in “al-Majrouheen” 2/464:

يحيى بن أبي سليم أبو بلج الفزاري ، من أهل الكوفة ، وقد قيل : إنه واسطي ، يروي عن محمد بن حاطب ، وعمرو بن ميمون ، روى عنه شعبة وهشيم ، كان ممن يخطىء ، لم يفحش خطؤه حتى استحق الترك ، ولا أتى منه ما لا ينفك منه البشر ، فيسلك فيه مسلك العدل فأرى أن لا يحتج بما انفرد من الرواية فقط

[Yahya bin abi Sulaym abu Balj al-Fizari, from the dwellers of Kufah, it was said: “He was Wasiti” Narrates from Muhammad bin Hatib and `Amro bin Maymoun, those who narrated from him are Shu`bah and Hushaym. He is from those who make mistakes (in Hadith), but his mistakes were not so extreme that he deserved to be abandoned, nor is it unnatural for humans to make such errors, thus we take the middle path when it comes to him, so I see that we must not accept what he exclusively narrates on his own (without supporting narrators).]

As for the narration in question, then it includes a hidden defect(ilal) in its chain. We find in Sharh Ilal Al-Tirmithi by Ibn Rajab (p.493) that Imam Ahmad questioned the narration of Amr bin Maymoon from Ibn Abbas, perhaps since the former is much older than him. Then Ibn Rajab adds that Abdul Ghani Al-Hafith(the student of Imam Al-Daraqutni in al-Ilal[Hidden defects]) believed that Abu Balj made a mistake in the narration and meant to say Maymoon Abu Abdullah (who is weak) when he said Amr bin Maymoon. Ibn Rajab sees this opinion as a valid one.

The evidence that this narration is that of Maymoon Abu Abdullah is that he too is a narrator of this Hadith. (See Al-Kamil by Ibn `Adi). Furthermore, the other evidence is that as per Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal(rah) narrator`Amr bin Maymoon doesn’t narrate from Ibn `Abbas.

Moreover, there appears to be some inaccuracy in how some events were related, meaning that the texts of these ten narrations from the path of abu Balj seem to differ from the texts of other authentic narrations about those same events, this is most likely due to abu Balj’s weakness, and also possible influence from his Koufan environment when it comes to the virtues of `Ali as they narrated various of such reports and added fabricated details to the main stories.

Fortunately, we have explicit evidence from the same hadeeth in the book of Imam al-Nisai, where we find that interpolation was made even in this hadeeth by one of the narrator.

Imam al-Nisai in his al-Sunan al-Kubra, vol. 5, p. 112, # 8409 records that the Prophet (SAWS) said to Ali:

أما ترضى أن تكون مني بمنزلة هارون من موسى إلا أنك لست بنبي ثم قال أنت خليفتي يعني في كل مؤمن من بعدي

Are you not pleased to be to me what Harun was to Musa except that you are not a prophet? You are my Khalifah MEANING(YA’NI) over every believer after me.

The word “Ya’ni(Meaning)” between the text is a clear proof that the later part was interpolated by the narrator. The narrator added his own understanding as meaning to the text of the hadeeth. Therefore, the part “over every believer after me” is an interpolation.

Even though, we don’t find such a clear example to identify the interpolation in other books which reported this hadeeth, however this explicit example is sufficient to prove that, the wording “over every believer AFTER ME” was an interpolation done by one of the narrator, which got attributed to Prophet(SAWS).

Sheikh Muhammad Abd Al-Mohsin Al-Turki said about this report: The chain is Hasan, the content is Munkar(Denounced)!! [Source: Musnad Abi Dawood. Vol. 4, Pg. # 469 / 470.] .

So, we find scholar who didn’t expertise in a branch of Hadeeth science, that is Ilal(hidden defects), graded the chain of this report as Hasan, however he was spot on while commenting on the Matn(text) of this report as Munkar(denounced)!.

Imam Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah said:

لحافظ ابن تيمية في منهاج السنة وكذلك قوله هو ولي كل مؤمن بعدي كذب على رسول الله

“Similarly his(saw) saying: ‘HE IS THE WALI OF EVERY BELIEVER AFTER ME’ is a lie upon the Holy Prophet(SAWS). [Source: Minhaj Al-Sunnah. Vol. 7, Pg. # 391].

Lastly, Sheikh Al-Albani himself rejected the interpolation in Hadeeth al-Manzilah in following words.

Sheikh Al-Albani stated:

أما ما يذكره الشيعة في هذا الحديث و غيره أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال في علي رضي الله عنه : ” إنه خليفتي من بعدي ” . فلا يصح بوجه من الوجوه , بل هو من أباطيلهم الكثيرة التي دل الواقع التاريخي على كذبها لأنه لو فرض أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قاله , لوقع كما قال لأنه ( وحي يوحى ) و الله سبحانه لا يخلف وعده

As for what the Shiites mention about this Hadith and in others that the Prophet said about Ali(RA), that “He is my Khalifah after me”, it is not authentic in any way or by any means. Rather, it is part of their several lies which history has refuted. This is because if the Prophet, peace be upon him, had indeed said it, it would have occurred as predicted, because it is revelation revealed, and Allah never fails in His promises. [Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Sahihah, vol. 4, p. 343, #1750]

 

(XV) – Some logical points to ponder.

(i). The best place to announce Prophet’s Successor would have been the place of Arafah, where Muslims from different parts of Arabia were gathered and not a place which was 250 KM away from Makkah (i.e Ghadeer Khumm).

(ii). If Ghadeer event was related to Imamate of Ali(RA) , which as per Shia, is a fundamental part of religion, then this would have taken place before the perfection of religion, not after it.

(iii). If the Prophet(SAWS) had been referring to Caliphate, he would not have used a word –Mawla – that has many different meanings. The Prophet was the most eloquent of the Arabs, and he would have said clearly “Ali is my successor after me,” or “Ali is the ruler after me,” or “If I die, then listen to and obey ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.” However, the Prophet(SAWS) did not say any of these decisive words that could have put an end to the dispute if any arose.

(iv). The version ‘O Allah befriend him whoever befriends him (i.e Ali), and be his enemy whoever has enmity with him (i.e Ali)’ shows that the Prophet (SAWS) didn’t intend to declare Ali the Imam. Because the root word of (وال) which is always translated here as ‘to befriend’ is the same as the root word of Mawla.That is, the root word for both words, Waal and Mawla is Waly(ولي). And secondly, friendship is the opposite of enmity, not leadership. So the perfect translation of this complete tradition looks correct when we translate Mawla as friend.

(v). We don’t find in the books of Ahlus Sunnah that Ali(RA) ever considered the incident of Ghadeer to be the proof of his Imamate. If this was indeed an announcement of the Imamate of Ali, then Ali(RA) would have mentioned it on many occasions.

(vi). All the people rendered allegiance to Abu Bakr as Prophet’s Successor without any use of force. You can’t expect the people to have forgotten the Ghadeer event so easily, if at all it was a declaration of Prophet’s Successor.

(vii). It never occurred that, someone walked up to Abu Bakr after his appointment and said: Don’t you remember that `Ali was chosen to be successor at Ghadeer when Rasul-Allah(SAWS) said “Man Kuntu Mawlahu”

(viii). It never occurred that, after the passing of first three Caliphs, when Ali recieved Bay`ah, someone walks up to him and says: I am sorry and I repent from my sin when I gave Bay`ah to the three before you when you were the appointed successor!

(ix). Even though Sahaba never used the Hadeeth of Ghadeer at the time of appointment of Caliphs, however they did use Hadeeth Ghadeer, to defend Ali(ra) from criticisms and to show their love for Ali(ra).

(x). There is Mutawattir evidence from Ahlelbayt and Sahaba that, Prophet(SAWS) didn’t appoint his Successor.

 

“Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish.” Quran (17:81).

May Allah’s (swt) blessings be upon His Messenger, his household, and his companions.

P.S: Some contents taken from Twelvershia.net.

-Article by Mohammad ibn Aminah-

One thought on “The Ghadeer Khumm Event – As Understood by Ahlelbayt, Sahaba & Ahlus-Sunnah.

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