The Historical Sermon of Ghadeer
Wise men are of the opinion that time does not stand still. It comes into existence with the constant movement of the heavenly bodies. Time, upto some extent, is having no value by itself. Its importance is underlined by those incidents and events which take place in it.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), on his return from his last Hajj, delivered a sermon at a place called Ghadeer, which, because of its contents, is invaluable. It was this sermon that bestowed on that time unlimited importance and even shot into prominence a deserted valley called Ghadeer-e-Khum which is located amongst the mountainous deserts of Johfaa. The 18th of Zil-hajj is famous as the day of proclamation of Hazrat Ali.(a.s.)'s caliphate. The contents of the Ghadeer sermon are a perfect example of self-evident explanation and divine wisdom. It is introduced in the capacity of the basic reason of the divine laws as per the Qur'anic origins.
This sermon is a sufficient indication towards the fact that all divine Islamic laws are holding Wilayat only as the condition of acceptance of all kinds of worship.
It gave all the listeners a deep insight into the difficulties that would follow after the demise of Holy Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.a.) and also their solutions. It also hints as to who would be the guiding and radiant personalities amongst the Muslims to see them through these perils. The exact relation and narration of these future incidents is in itself a great miracle.
The sermon of Ghadeer is most significant amongst all the worldly events. For, had this lesson not been imparted in that noble gathering, mankind would have strayed further into the dark pit of ignorance and would have forgotten the very cause of its existence.
Therefore the Qur'anic verse.
"(O Prophet) If you do not do so, then as if you have done nothing to convey the message of Prophethood," is a clear indicator toward this reality.
The aim of Islam in to train the human being and strengthen the able ones. And this training will be ineffective if one does not have faith in the Unseen and the total command of Allah, the All-Powerful.
Those who believe in the Holy Qur'an and the divine books which preceded it, who have unshakable faith in the hereafter, who establish prayers and pay the poor, possessed these characteristics and could execute this plan after the Holy Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.a.) was one and only, Hazrat Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.). Due to this reason, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) innumerable times vowed in the name of God that: "This is divine selection. It is God's command and I am only its conveyer. If Hazrat Ali (a.s.) will not be present to impart Qur'anic teachings to you, the entire shariat will be nullified in such a manner as if no prophet had ever arrived nor a book called Qur'an was revealed."
The role played by the Umayyad and Abbaside Caliphs in Islamic History is clear cut example of the fact that if the Al-Ghadeer sermon had not been shaking the conscience of man and had not possessed innate spirituality, then definitely those who were fickle minded and with weak faith would have toyed with the religion of Allah and Qur'an to serve their own purposes. If one refers to history in detail, he will instantly conclude that it was Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and his sons, especially the brave undaunted and courageous Imam Husain (a.s.), who gave away his life, property and possessions to protect the divine law of Islam from perversion and stressed upon the importance and greatness of Qur'an and Islam, whose living example was none other than their great and noble father, Hazrat Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.). They proved to the world and to humanity that they were indeed the rightful heirs of Islam.
The profound and lofty teachings of the sermon of Ghadeer are of such tremendous value that its each and every word is the base for living and the bearer of human morality and spirituality. If the prophet of Islam (s.a.w.a.) had not introduced Hazrat Ali (a.s.) at Ghadeer-e-Khum, then who could have solved important social problems and the perennial difficulties faced by the Muslim community after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)? Abu Bakr Ibn Qahafa? Who while expressing his inability to solve the problems of the community, would frustratingly say:
"Leave me, Leave me, I am not the best of you when Abul Hasan is among you."
Does this not prove the superiority of Hazrat Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) over other companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.)?
Umar Ibn Khattab? Who while declaring himself to be incapable of solving the community's problems, had committed in writings and saying both at least twenty six times :
"If Hazrat Ali (a.s.) had not been alive, Umar would have perished".
Uthman Ibn Affan? According to famous traditionalists, his lavish approach towards life, unconcerned behavior for Islamic laws, unequal distribution of Baitul-Mal, giving undeserved special consideration to his relatives and intimates, all these factors created enemies against him and was ultimately forced to turn to Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and ask for his help. But it was too late. He was killed for his injustice while Hazrat Ali (a.s.) was elevated to the status of martyrdom because of his just and impartial rule.
The content of the Ghadeer sermon was selecting of a caliph, minister, successor and heir from God's side and the person who was thus honored was the noble personality of Hazrat Ali (a.s.).
Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari, the honorable associate of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) relates:" I was in the service of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) near Kaaba, when Hazrat Ali (a.s.) joined us. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) kept his hand on the wall of the Kaaba and said: "I swear by God in whose possession is my life, surely he (Ali) and his followers (Shias), are the successful ones on the Day of Judgement." Then Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said: "He is the first person to pay allegiance to me, the most firm amongst you, the most obedient creature of God, the most beneficent towards others, the most just, the equal distributor of the public treasure, the most dignified, the most accurate in measuring, and a noble soul in front of God. His friendship is the measure for belief. He is the teacher of Qur'anic teachings. He is the only cure of the human diseases, both apparent and concealed. He is the voice of the social court of humanity. He is the most self-sacrificing and selfless soul in the path of understanding. He is perfection personified who was created by Allah, the Almighty, to display His Prowess to the ordinary human beings."