Rebuttal of Excuse 2:
Though multitude of reasons could be proffered to nullify the above excuse we will mention only 5 of them:
A. The first proof is the Holy Qur’an and the revelation of the verse:
“O Apostle! deliver that which 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.”1
Qazi in Kashf Ghumma gives a report from Razi Bin Abdullah: “In the days of the Holy Prophet we used to read this verse thus:
‘O our Prophet (Muhammad) deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord, that is, Ali is the master of the believers. If you do not, then you have not delivered His message.”
Also Suyuti in his Durru’l-Mansur from Ibn Mardawiyya, Ibn Asakir and Ibn Abi Hatim from Abu Sa’id Khadiri, Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (one of the writers of Wahi - revelations) and Qazi Shukani in Tafsir-e-Fathu’l-Ghadir narrate that in the day of the Holy Prophet they also recited that verse in that very way. In short, the warning contained in this verse says: “If you do it not then (it will be as if) you have not delivered His message (at all)...” shows that the message which the Holy Prophet had been ordered to deliver was of great importance. It was in fact essential to the completion of Prophethood itself. Therefore, the issue in question was surely the matter of the imamate, the conferring of authority on one who would guide the people according to the tenets of Islam after the death of the Holy Prophet. This important issue cannot be the friendship of someone by any stretch of imagination.
B. Second proof is the revelation of the verse
“This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed my favor on you and chosen for you Islam for a religion.”1
Scholars trusted by sunnis, such as Jalalu’d-din Suyuti in Durru’l-Mansur, vol. II, p. 256 and Itqan, vol. I, p. 31; Imamu’l-Mufassirin Tha’labi in Kashfu’l-Bayan; Hafiz Abu Nu’aim Ispahani in Ma Nusala Mina’l-Qur’an Fi Ali; Abu’l-Fatha Nazari in Khasa’isu’l-Alawi; Ibn Kathir Shami in Tafsir, vol. II, p. 41, following Hafiz Ibn Mardawiyya: Muhammad Bin Jarir Tabari, scholar, commentator and historian of the 3rd century A.H. in Tafsir-e-Kitabu’l-Wilaya; Hafiz Abu’l-Qasim Haskani in Shawahid-ut-Tanzil; Sibt Ibn Jauzi in Tadhkira-e-Khawasu’l-Umma, p. 18; Abu Ishaq Hamwaini in Fara’id-us-Simtain, ch. XII; Abu Sa’id Sijistani in Kitabu’l-Wilaya; Al-Khatib-e-Baghdadi in Ta’rikh-e-Baghdad, vol. VIII, p. 290; Ibn Maghazili Faqih Shafi’i in Manaqib, ch. XIV and Maqtalu’l-Husain, ch. IV, all have written that on the day of Ghadir-e-Khum the Holy Prophet appointed Ali by divine order to the rank of wilaya (Vicegerent). He told the people whatever he was ordained to say about Ali and raised his hands so high that the white of both his armpits was visible. He addressed the people thus: “Salute Ali because he is the Amir (lord) of the believers. The whole Community complied with his order. They had not yet departed from one another when the aforesaid verse was revealed.” The Holy Prophet was highly pleased with the revelation of this verse. So, addressing the people, he said:
“Allah is Great, He who has perfected for them their religion and has completed His favor on them and is satisfied with my Prophethood and Ali’s vicegerency after me.”
C. In that hot desert, where there was no protection for the travelers, the Holy Prophet gathered the whole umma. People sat in the shade of the camels, with their feet covered, in the scorching heat of the sun. In these conditions the Prophet delivered a long address, which Khawarizmi and Ibn Mardawiyya in their Manaqib, and Tabari in his Kitabu’l-Wilaya and others have narrated. Does it make sense to think that the Prophet would require thousands of his followers to spend three days in the blazing desert to swear allegiance to Ali merely to indicate that Ali was their friend? It is reasonable to conclude therefore, that these arrangements were made not merely to indicate that people should befriend Ali. The event, in fact, marked the completion of the Prophet’s message: the establishment of the Imamate, the source of the umma’s guidance after the death of the Prophet.
D. Some of sunni reputable ulema have acknowledged that the primary meaning of “maula” is “master.” Among them is Sibt Ibn Jauzi, who after giving ten meanings of the word in his Tadhkira-e-Khawas, ch. II, p. 20, says that none of them except the tenth one corresponds with what the Holy Prophet meant to say. He says: “The hadith specifically means obedience; so the tenth meaning is correct, and it means ‘mastery over others.’ Hence, the hadith means ‘of whoever I am the ‘maula’ (master) Ali is also his ‘maula’ (master).” In the book Maraju’l-Bahrain Hafiz Abdu’l-Faraj Yahya Bin Sa’id Saqafi interprets it in the same way. He narrates this hadith with his own sources from his leaders, who said that the Holy Prophet, holding Ali by the hand, said:
“Of whomsoever I am ‘wali’ or master over himself, Ali is also his ‘wali’ or master over himself.”
Sibt Ibn Jauzi says, “The saying of the Holy Prophet that Ali has authority or is the master over the selves of all the believers clearly proves the Imamate or vicegerency of Ali and that obedience to him is obligatory.”
E. Ali (a.s.) himself has referred to the tradition of Ghadir to mean master and has emphasised that he was clearly appointed as the vicegerant at Ghadir. Also others have referred to this event in form of ihtejaj (protest) or Munashadah(adjuration). Some places where Ali (a.s.) has reminded the event of Ghadir vis-a-vis his appointment as vicegerant are:
(a.) On the day of shura (counsel after Umar’s death).
(b.) During the days of Uthmans rule.
(c.) The Day of Rahbah (year 35 AH) when many Companions stood up and bore witness that they attended and heard the tradition of the Prophet [s] first hand, twelve of whom were the participants of the Battle of Badr.
(d.) The Battle of al-Jamal, year 36 AH where he reminded Talhah b. ‘Ubaydullah.
(e.) The Day of the Rukban (riders) where several witnesses testified.
(f.) The Day of Battle of Siffin (year 37 AH).
Other members of the Household reminded people:
(a.) Ihtejaj by Fatimah al-Zahra’ (s.a.).
(b.) Munashadah by Imam Husein (a.s.)
(c.) Munashadah by Imam Husayn (a.s.).
Other munashadahs and ihtejaj: munashadah of youth with Abu Hurayrah; Ihtijaj of Abd Allah b. Ja’far with Mu’awiyah; Ihtijaj in refutation of Amr b. al-’Asi; Ihtijaj of Amr b. al-’Asi with Mu’awiyah; Ihtijaj of Ammar b. Yasir on day of Siffin; Ihitjaj of Asbagh b. Nubata in a sitting with Mu’awiyah; Munashadah of a man with Zayd b. Arqam; Munashadah of an Iraqi man with Jabir b. Abd Allah al-Ansari; Ihtijaj of Qays al-Ansari with Mu’awiyah in Madinah; Ihtijaj Darmiyyah al-Hajwaniyyah with Mu’awiyah; Ihtijaj of Amr al-Awdi; Ihtijaj of Umar b. Abd al-aziz, the Umayyad caliph; ihtijaj of Ma’mun, the Abbasid caliph, with jurists.
The above clearly refutes the second excuse and renders it baseless.
Excuse 3 :It does not appeal to our common sense that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) appointed Ali (a.s.) as his successor in clear terms and still the companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) disobeyed him and after his death appointed a vicegerent by themselves.