The date is 18th Zilhajjah of the year 10 A.H. (10 March 632 CE)
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) asked his companions to call the Muslims in general to attend for a pilgrimage to the Holy Kaaba. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) specified that he himself would also be there to attend for the pilgrimage and teach the Muslims the rituals of the pilgrimage and convey his significant messages directly to all. The call for the pilgrimage was made. On his way to Makkah more than 70,000 Muslims joined him. By the fourth of Zilhajjah more than 100,000 Muslims had collected for the Haj with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
After the Last pilgrimage:
After completing the last pilgrimage the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) along with the Muslims set out of Makkah. On their way back the Muslims reached a place called Ghadir-e-khumm. The following verse was revealed to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.):
“O Apostle! Deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord; and if you don’t do it, you have not delivered His message (at all); and Allah will protect you from the people ...”1
Delivery of the sermon:
On receiving the above verse, the Holy Prophet stopped at that very place called Ghadir-e-khumm. He ordered his companions to call back those of the Muslims who had gone ahead. He waited for those Muslims who had remained behind to join them. He ordered Salman (a.r.) to prepare for a pulpit with the help of rocks and camel toolings. It was prime noontime and Muslims had tied their heads and legs on account of the heat. Muslims had started to sit near the temporary pulpit. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was at this place for about 5 hours. He recited nearly 100 verses of the Holy Quran most of which were in the praise of Ali (a.s.). Seventy three times he reminded and admonished the Muslims about the their deeds and future.
The following is a part of the lengthy speech (see www.duas.org/ghadir for full text) of the Holy Prophet(s.a.w.a.) which has also been narrated by the sunni authorities repeatedly:
“It seems the time has approached when I shall be called away (by Allah swt) and I shall answer that call. I am leaving for you two precious things and if you adhere to them BOTH, you will never go astray after me. They are the Book of Allah and my Progeny, that is my Ahlul Bayt. The two shall never separate from each other until they come to me by the Pool (of Paradise).”
Then the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in an attempt to remind Muslims of his own authority over them said:
“Do I not have more right over the believers than what they have over themselves?”
Muslims answered unanimously “Yes, O’ Messenger of God.” This served as a stepping stone for the announcement of his heir and vicegerent. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) held out the hand of Ali (a.s.) and said:
“For whoever I am his Leader (mawla), ‘Ali is his Leader (mawla).”
The Holy Prophet then continued to say:
“O’ God, love those who love him, and be hostile to those who are hostile to him.”
Revelation of the verse 5:3
Once the Holy Prophet(s.a.w.a.) completed his speech this verse of the Holy Quran was revealed to him:
“Today I have perfected your religion and completed my favour upon you, and I am satisfied that Islam be your religion.”1
This verse explicitly mentions that only along with this express announcement of the vicegerancy by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) can the religion of Islam be considered as complete and perfect. Without this announcement or because of the disregard of this announcement the religion of Islam will be be incomplete & a half truth. As indicated earlier many a times half truths are more dangerous than full falsehoods. Hence there is no doubt that ,if the Muslims disregard this announcement, they will have to endure oppression and hardship both materially and spiritually.
Hassan Bin Thabit’s poetry:
Immediately after completion of the sermon Hassan Bin Thabit sought the permission of the Holy Prophet to convey to the audience his poetry which he had instantaneously composed regarding this event of ghadir. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) told him “Say with the blessings of Allah”. He then conveyed the following verses of his poetry to the audience:
“He calls them, (on) the day of Ghadir, their Prophet
In Khumm so hear (and heed) the Messenger’s call,
“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,”
Oath of allegiance:
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) keeping to his long term merciful nature towards the Muslims did not get rest only on this announcement. He wanted this announcement to take the shape of appropriate action from the side of the Muslims. In view of this, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) ordered the Muslims to meet Ali (a.s.) and give oath of allegiance to him. Umar Bin AL-Khattab came first to Ali (a.s.), gave oath of allegiance to Ali (a.s.) and said “Well done Ibn Abi Talib! Today you became the Leader (mawla) of all believing men and women.” After Umar was Abu Bakr, Uthman, Talha and then others. The entire process of giving allegiance to Ali (a.s.) by the then present 120,000 people took 3 days.
Revelation of the verse 70:1-3
The news about the above announcement and the subsequent allegiance of oath given by the Muslims to Ali (a.s.) spread across both the urban and rural areas. This event was so significant that it touched the Muslims all across the globe. In this process Harith Ibn Nu’man al-Fahri (or Nadhr Ibn Harith according to another tradition) came to know about this. He hurriedly came to Madinah and started disputing with the Holy Peophet (s.a.w.a.) on the issue of appointment of Ali (a.s.) as the vicegerant. He told the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) “You commanded us to testify that there is no deity but Allah and that you are the Messenger of Allah. We obeyed you. You ordered us to perform the prayers five times a day and we obeyed. You ordered us to observe fasts during the month of Ramadhan and we obeyed. Then you commanded us to offer pilgrimage to Makkah and we obeyed. But you are not satisfied with all this and you raised your cousin by your hand and imposed him upon us as our master by saying ‘Ali is the mawla of whom I am mawla.’ Is this imposition from Allah or from you?”
The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said:
“By Allah who is the only deity! This is from Allah, the Mighty and the Glorious.”
On hearing this while going back to his she camel Harith said “O Allah! If what Muhammad said is correct then fling on us a stone from the sky and subject us to severe pain and torture.” He had not even reached his camel that Allah (s.w.t.) flung a stone on him, which struck him on his head and penetrated his entire body and he was instantaneously left dead. At this the following verse was revealed
“A questioner questioned about the punishment to fall. For the disbelievers there is nothing to avert it, from Allah the Lord of the Ascent.”1
We have mentioned above the entire episode of the Ghadir. But unfortunately even after knowing and understanding the entire truth we see heads move in rejecting the truth.