An Analysis of events & differences
The above indisputably shows that there did exist tremendous differences and an increasingly pathetic state of affairs of the Muslims right after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). It will be absolutely wrong to endeavor and find out the roots to the causes of the plight of the contemporary Muslim ,without actually finding out the roots to the pathetic status of the Muslims immediately after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
It is eventually the pathetic status of the Muslims immediately after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) which has been inherited by the present day Muslim. But the big question is - How, in this seemingly confusing situation, do we find the truth? How do we analyze the events taking shape after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)?
The Ahle sunnat provide a theory of ‘ Ijma.’ They boldly mention that INSPITE of the major differences amongst the Muslims, the Muslims were all very much united on one platform. Yes, it is like saying that the trouser has 40,000 holes in it but still it is perfect & You can wear it!
This is illogical & unacceptable to an inquiring mind ! If the Muslims had more than 40,000 deep-rooted differences of which the above 12 are glaring evidences, then it means they were NOT united & had differences – as simple as this.
Let us not follow the words “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) (attributed). Indeed, if the theory does not fit the facts we need to change the theory.
If we ponder on this and sincerely endeavor to seek the truth, we will understand that these kinds of disturbances were not exclusive to the Muslim society. Any community which has so many resources under it and has huge power, will get involved in this kind of strife, IF the previous leader does not designate one single leader. If the previous leader leaves the community without designating his heir for the community and the community has such resources it can very easily be predicted that enormous strife and disturbances will follow in the community. Hence this ultimately devolves on the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). If the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) had to avoid disturbances after him then he HAD to appoint his heir. There was absolutely no chance ,that the Muslim ummat would have remained safe from disturbances and internal strife, if there was no ONE SINGLE person appointed as the Holy Prophets (s.a.w.a.)’s heir and appointed BEFORE the passing away of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).SO… If a person says that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) did not appoint anyone, as his heir throughout his lifetime, then he is most certainly attributing an error, short sightedness and a shortcoming on the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – may Allah (s.w.t.) protect everyone from such an assumption.
Hence, after all the pains we have taken we have at least understood the following:
1. Plight of the present day Muslims are not related purely to the present day problems, but are inherited from the past; that is ultimately inherited from the problems faced by Muslims immediately after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
2. The problems of the Muslims immediately after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) were because they were not united under one single banner of TRUTH.
3. The Muslims after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) were not united under one banner of truth, because the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) did not identify this banner of truth by not appointing his heir. Thus the root cause of all the problems faced by the Muslims throughout so many centuries is the error of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – May Allah (s.w.t.) protect us from such wild and false imaginations.!
The other possibility is; that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) DID APPOINT his heir and vicegerent BUT the majority of the Muslims disregarded it. Thus all the problems faced by the Muslims throughout so many centuries whether it be spiritual or material has to be attributed to this disregard of the appointed heir.
If it is true that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) did appoint an heir and vicegerent after him but the majority of the Muslims disregarded it, then we should do our utmost to find this appointment by the Holy Prophet(s.a.w.a.).Let us utilize all the latest tools available to mankind to scan and find out the moment in the life of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) when he appointed his heir and vicegerent.
If we study the life of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), we will find out that we do not require any tools ( no microscopes /telescopes etc) to locate where and how did the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) appoint his heir. In fact his life is FULL of small and big incidences wherein he has announced his heir. He has not hidden these events anywhere and has not made this appointment ambiguous. These kinds of REPEATED announcements by the holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), of his heir are ABUNDANT in his life time and are CLEAR. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was far too merciful to have possibly concealed the appointment. The Holy Quran says:
“Certainly an apostle has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is) compassionate, merciful.”1
There are MANY small and big instances, wherein the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has mentioned the appointment of his heir, commencing from Dawat Zul Ashira- the first public invitation to Islam upto his death .These are not detailed here except for , the event of Ghadir which is the biggest occasion.
After completion of the last pilgrimage of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), he collected all the Muslims possibly available, at a place called Ghadir-e-khumm and then announced the appointment of Ali (a.s.) as his heir and vicegerent in no uncertain terms.We now need to elaborate this event in a greater detail.
Location of Ghadir:
Ghadir literary means small lake or pond.1 Ghadir is the name of a place that comes on the way from Makkah to Medina. It is 3 miles further than Johfa towards Medina. There existed a small pond at this place. Though geographically it exists on the way to Medina but this place acted as an exit point for all the people going out from Makkah for all the other places. When the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) halted at this place after his last pilgrimage to make his all-significant announcement it was extremely hot at that time and it was close to mid-day. It was a wayside tract of barren land. There was no shelter present over there at that time. In fact there existed merely small minor patches of shades provided by a few acacia trees.