The Event of Ghadeer in the Holy Qur'an
Love for the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), attachment towards his Ahle Bayt (a.s.) and their obedience are the factors which lead to success in this world and salvation in the Hereafter. Otherwise, man will stray off from the right path and enter the lane which only ends at Hell, never able to get out from it. It is necessary for every man to go in search for the truth, before he strays off. Where is the truth? What and who is the truth? It is the duty of every researcher to know that as to who was appointed as successor by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) after him? In this article, we shall deal with Ghadeer, only and only from the Qur'anic aspect.
While Quran is discussing about divinity, prophethood and the world hereafter, it also discusses Imamat from different angles. Three Qur'anic verses were revealed in connection with Ghadeer. Renowned interpreters have discussed about these verses in their commentaries. It is necessary that when an interpreter discusses about a verse, he has to talk about the conditions in which that particular verse was revealed, or else his commentary would be incomplete and they would be accused of concealing the truth.
1) "O Messenger (of Allah)! Convey what has been revealed to you from your Lord. And if you do it not, then you have not, delivered His message (prophethood), and Allah will protect you from the people. Surely Allah will not guide the disbelieving people." (Surah Maidah, 5:67).
2) This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed. My favour on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion." (Surah Maidah, 5:3)
3) "One questioner demanded, the chastisement which must befall.” (Surah Ma'arij:1)
THE INCIDENT OF GHADEER:
The incident of Ghadeer is a very famous and well-known event. We present it here in a concise form:
In the tenth year of hijri, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) planned for Hajj and informed all the Muslim clans and communities to be ready for Hajj. Resultantly, a large number of the Muslim population prepared itself for Hajj. Historians give varying figures about the participating pilgrims in that year's Hajj from 1,14,000 to 1,24,000 or even more. Due to the importance of this Hajj, it has been given various titles like Hajjatul Weda, Hajjatul Islam, Hajjatul Balaagh, Hajjatul Kamaal and Hajjatul Tamaam.
(Al-Ghadeer, Vol.1, page 29)
After performing the Hajj rites, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) left for Medina. When he reached Ghadeer-e-Khum, near Johfa, the archangel Jibraeel descended with the verse, "O Messenger Convey..." (Refer first verse).
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) on divine command, announced the leadership and mastership of Hazrat Ali (a.s.). He made Hazrat Ali (a.s.)'s obedience compulsory and enmity towards him tantamount to enmity against Allah.
The details of the event are well known. Here, we intend to just drive home a few important points briefly. When the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) announced the Imamat and leadership of Hazrat Ali (a.s.), the following verse, "Today, I have perfected..." ( Refer second verse) was revealed. After which, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) hailed, "Allah is Great. Religion is perfected, bounties are completed and Allah is satisfied with my messengership and Hazrat Ali (a.s.)'s leadership."
Then the people started complimenting them. The incidents concerning both the verses i.e. Surah Maidah: Verse 3 and 67 are now clear. Then, the verse was revealed, one demanding ..." (third verse) the event of descent is as follows:
Sa'labi in 'Noorul Absaar', page 11. while giving references of great sunni scholars like Shiblinji of Egypt and others, writes, "The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), gathered the people on the day of Ghadeer and raising Ali's hand, proclaimed, "Of whomsoever I am the master, Ali is his master too." Word spread around and when Harith Ibn Noman-e-Fehri heard about it, he came on one side, and asked, "O Muhammad you asked us to give witness of Divinity and (your) Messengership, we gave (unhesitantly). You ordered for namaz, we performed. You ordered us for Hajj, Zakat and fasting, we acted upon it. After all these command, your are not yet contented and now you want to appoint your cousin over us as our leader by saying, "Of whomsoever I am his master, Ali is his master too, Is this a divine command or is it from your side?" The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said: "I swear by Allah except whom there is no God, this command is indeed divine." On hearing this, Harith turned, started going back to his camel, and was grumbling "O Allah if the word of Muhammad is true, then stones rain upon me or deliver unto me a severe chastisement." Harith had hardly reached his mount, when a boulder fell from the sky crushing him to death. Then this verse was revealed. "One demanding, demanded the chastisement which must befall.”
(Al-Murajeaat, page 354 Urdu)
All the incidents that we have narrated under the context of these three verses of Qur'an can be found in many famous Sunni commentaries. Some of them are as follows:
1. Tabari (d. 310 A.H.)
2. Sa'labi (d. 427/437 A.H.)
3. Waahedi (d. 468 A.H.) (Asbaabun Nuzool was his famous exegesis)
4. Abu Muhammad Baghawi (d. 516 A.H.)
5. Qurtubbi (d. 567 A.H.)
6. Fakhre Raazi (d. 606 A.H.) (Tafseer-e-Kabeer)
7. Qazi Beizaawi (d. 685 A.H.)
8. Ibn Katheer Shaami (d.774 A.H.)
9. Neshapuri (d. 8th century A.H.)
10. Jalaaluddin Soyuti (d 911 A.H.)
11. Abus Saood Al-Emaadi (d 972 A.H.)
12. Khateeb Shermeeni (d. 977 A.H.)
13. Qazi Shokafi (d. 1183 A.H.)
14. Aloosi Baghdadi (d. 1270 A.H.)
Apart from the above mentioned interpreters, many other commentators and Qur'anic scholars have mentioned these three verses while discussing about Ghadeer. Some of the famous Qur'anic scholars are as follows:
1. Qazi Abu Bakr Baaqelaani Basri (d. 403 A.H.) (Kitab-ul-Tamheed).
2. Qazi Abdur Rehman Eejee Shar'ee (d. 756 A.H). (Al-Mawaaqef).
3. Sayed Shareef Jorjaani (d. 816 A.H.) (Sharhul Mawaaqef)
4. Beizaawi (d. 685 A.H.)
5. Taftaazani (d. 792 A.H.) (Sharhul Maqaasid)
6. Allauddin Qushchi (d. 879 A.H.) (Sharhe Tajreed)
For a detailed list of traditionalists, commentators, scholars and narrators who have recorded the event of Ghadeer, refer to 'Al-Ghadeer' Vol. 1, by Allama Amini.
A FEW DOUBTS AND THEIR ANSWERS:
Fakhre Raazi, in volume 3, page 635 of his 'Tafseer-e-Kabeer,' has brought ten explanations and possibilities on the revelation of the "VERSE OF CONVEYANCE" to him, the tenth possibility is that this verse was revealed in connection with Ghadeer. Here, we bring to you all of the ten probabilities put forward by him.
This verse is about:
1. The story of the Jews
2. The wives of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.)
3. The story of Zaid and Zainab.
4. Jehad because the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was fearing the hypocrites. Hence this verse was revealed to remove his fear and encourage him.
5. Fear of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) concerning the polytheists.
6. In Hajjatul Wada, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) asked the people, 'Did I not show the rites and rituals of Hajj? The people replied in the affirmative. So, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said, "O Allah, be Witness. Then verse was revealed.
7. About the Bedouin Arabs who wanted to kill the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
8. To remove the fear of the Jews and Christians in the Prophet (s.a.w.a.)'s heart.
9. About the event of Ghadeer.
After writing these ten probabilities of revelation, Fakhre Raazi says that although there are many interpretations of this verse, the most likely one is about the fear of the Jews and Christians in the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)'s heart. Therefore, God revealed to him that He would save him from the deceptive designs of the people of the book and that he should continue propagating the divine message to them
(Al-Ghadeer vol. 2, page 109).
Fakhre Raazi has come to this conclusion only because the proceeding and proceeding verses of this verse are about the people of the book (Jews and Christians). Therefore, according to Fakhre Raazi, this should also be about them otherwise this verse will be rendered meaningless.
What a pity! To jump to such a conclusion is Fakhre Raazi's own deviation and deduction because he has tried to understand the concept and spirit of the verse without the help of authentic and reliable traditions.
(1) Fakhre Raazi's view can easily be rejected in the very first stage because it is not necessary for a Qur'anic verse to be connected to its preceding or proceeding verse. There are innumerable examples in the Holy Qur'an which prove our point. It is also proved that Qur'an is not arranged in the order of the verses. We are very confident in this regard because there are many Meccan verses which are included in Medinite chapters and vice-versa.
To prove our point, we quote Suyuti: "There is unanimous conformity on this view that the arrangement of Qur'an is 'Tawqeefi' (i.e. on Allah's and His messenger's command) and there's no doubt whatsoever in this regard. Therefore a group of scholars of Qur'anic interpreters, especialy Zarakshi (of Durr-ul-Burhaan), Abu Jafar Zubair (of Munase-baat) have supported this view strongly.
Ibn Zubair writes, "The verses were arranged in the chapters on the Prophet's command. He (s.a.w.a.) had even gone to the extent of teaching the companions how to place a verse, between which verses, etc."
(Al-Itqaan, vol, 1, page 24)
(2) Fakhre Raazi's argument that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) feared the Jews and the Christians also seems highly illogical. Because the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) should have feared the Jews either in Mecca or just after be'sat or immediately after migration. Not in the last year of his life, because in that period the Muslims had become very powerful and held sway everywhere. Islam was the word throughout Arabia. Muslims had conquered one and all, be it Jews or Christians. After the victory of Khaibar, two powerful Jewish tribes called Bani Quraitanah and Bani Al-Nazeer were brought to their knees. They could not even co-ordinate amongst each other. Therefore, to get scared of the Jews at the time of Hajjatul Wada, seems highly improbable for the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
THE ACCUSATION OF QURTUBI AND ASQALAANI ABOUT THE VERSE OF CONVEYANCE
From the two proofs mentioned above, it is clear that Fakhre Raazi has ignored the tradition and used his own opinion to interpret the Qur'anic verses. Also, contented with his ignorance, he has put Ghadeer as the tenth probability of the verse of conveyance.
Qurtubbi and Asqalaani, two great interpreters have accused the Shias in regard with the verse of conveyance. Qurtubbi in his commentary vol. 6, page 242, writes about the verse," It is the duty of Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the learned scholars of his community, not to hide or conceal any divine verdict and God knew that the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) would never conceal any of His commands. For, there is a tradition in Sahih Muslim narrated by Ayesha via Masruq that she said to him: "Whoever says that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) has hidden even a part of revelation, he is telling a lie because Allah says in the Qur'an "O messenger Convey..." May God curse the Raafezis (Shias) because they say that the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) concealed some important revealations which he should've said and never conveyed..."
Similarly, Ibne Hajar Asqalaani in his commentary, "Fath-ul-Bari vol. 7, page 101, while expressing his enchantment for accusations writes, "The Shias say that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) hid divine revelations due to dissimulation (Taqiyyah)."
How we wish that these two gentlemen had brought even single evidence from Shia source in support of their charge.
But where could they obtain these proofs from? Because they can never find such beliefs in any Shia book. Therefore, they have used impeachment and indictment as their potent weapon.
We are making the whole Islamic world aware that these two gentlemen have resorted to false accusations and tried to keep the true picture away from the people thereby prejudicing the minds of the following generations against the Shias and Shiite beliefs. To take the incident of Hajjtul Weda lightly and not giving it its due importance is a clear cut sign of malice against Hazrat Ali (a.s.) can never be a believer.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said, “O Ali ! None loves you except a believer and none hates you except a hypocrite."
1. Jaameul Usool of Ibn Atheer Jozi vol. 9, page 473
2. Dhakhaaerul Uqba of Muhebbuddin Tabari, page 91
THE VERSE OF PERFECTION OF RELIGION:
Aaloosi in his book, "Rooh-ul-Ma'aani" vol. 2, page 249, displaying his malice against Hazrat Ali (a.s.), writes: "The Shias narrate from Abu Saeed Khidri that the verse of perfection of religion was revealed at Ghadeer-e-Khum after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said, "Of whomsoever I am the master, Ali is his master too." Then he (s.a.w.a.) said, "God is Great. For the perfection of religion, completion of bounties, and the Lord is satisfied with my messengership and Hazrat Ali (a.s.)'s mastership after me." It's not a secret that this story has been fabricated by the Shias and this itself is a proof for its weakness. We cannot say that Aaloosi has uttered such inane words due to his ignorance and lack of information because he is well-aware of the chains of narrations of the Ghadeer tradition. But, his attempt to conceal the facts clearly stinks of malice against Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and Ahle Bayt (a.s.) even though truth had dawned upon him.
Will any courageous Sunni scholar please stand up and inform Mr. Aaloosi that Hadees-e-Ghadeer has been recorded by innumeable Sunni traditionalists and commentators narrating not only from Abu Saeed Khidri but from other great companions like Abu Huraira, Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansaari, Ibn Abbas etc.
Lastly, we would like to throw some light on the third verse.
A FATEFUL PUNISHMENT:
Regarding the first verse of Surah Ma'aarij, "One questioner.,..." all the scholars, Shia and Sunni are unanimous in their opinion about its commentary which we have mentioned earlier in this article. Here, we would only like to add that Allama Amini in his Al-Ghadeer, vol. 2, page 127-137 has noted down the name of twenty-nine famous interpreters who have narrated the story of a 'fateful punishment.'
Some of them are as follows:
1. Haafiz Abu Obaid Hirwi
2. Abu Bakr Naqqash Mosili
3. Abu Ishaq Sa'labi Neshapuri
4. Sibte Ibne Jauzi Hanafi
5. Shaykhul Islam Hamwini
6. Abu Bakr Yahya Qurtubbi
7. Ibn Sabbagh Maleki Makki
8. Shamsuddin Sherbeeni Qaheri Shafeii
9. Sayed Momin Shablanji
10. Shaykh Mohammad Abdoh
In this article, we have just hinted at the Qur'anic verses, views of its commentators and their mistakes. But interpreting Qur'anic verses without the help of the Prophetic and Imamat traditions is like imagining a day without sunlight.