Verses of Ghadir

The Verses of Ghadir[14] are only a part of the Qur’anic texts that declared Imam Ali and the Ahl al-Bayt as the divinely commissioned leaders of the Ummah. Late and current Sunni and Shiite authors and exegetes have been authoring books discussing the Verses and Hadiths about the Ahl al-Bayt and their roles in the Ummah.

According to rahyafte (the missionaries and converts website):

The Holy Prophet (S)’s mission was to establish a nation and to lead it to occupy an advanced, if not pioneer, position amongst other nations, and this formation has been proved the best in content and structure. It is undeniable that the Holy Prophet (S) was keen on giving the leadership of the Ummah[1] to his Ahl al-Bayt[2] (a.s.)[3] as they have been the choice of Allah Who purified them thoroughly[4] and gave them His Book in heritage exclusively.[5] If people reject the Ahl al-Bayt’s divinely commissioned Imamate,[6] it will then make no difference for anyone to hold it, in order that Allah might bring about a matter that was to be done, which is the advent of the Concealed Imam (al-Mahdi the Expected).


Аny study of the Holy Prophet (S)’s life account regards three matters;

(1) the Holy Prophet (S)’s mission was to carry what was revealed to him,
(2) his task was to build a nation and help it find its way in history and,
(3) he ought to follow the Lord’s instructions in each and every action.

A deep look at the Holy Prophet (S)’s life proves the three aforementioned points. Almighty Allah has obviously managed the Holy Prophet (S)’s affairs from start to finish, and the Holy Prophet (S) obeyed his Lord’s instructions submissively. Therefore, the results of his deeds achieved an extraordinary attainment that exceeded all the intellectualities and senses of sociologists.


The Holy Qur’an was uninterruptedly revealed to the Holy Prophet since the first day of his Mission up to a few days before his decease. Archangel Gabriel visited him frequently with Qur’anic Verses, revelation, instructions, directives, answers and like things. There are innumerable examples on the Divine presence and intervention to save a situation in the life of the Holy Prophet (S) proving that he would not have behaved personally except when he applied the general lines and carried on the detailed commandments drawn by the Divine Revelation. On many occasions, the Holy Prophet (S), having waited for the Revelation, would not act personally. He is reported to have said, ‘I have been given the Book and its like.’

‘Its like’ stands for the instructions carried by Archangel Gabriel that later on took the form of Hadith.[7] This means that his traditions were also revealed to him, just like the Holy Qur’an.[8] Besides, these instructions included his personal affairs such as marriage, divorce, dress, eating, sleeping, ablution and even brushing the teeth. The Holy Prophet (S)’s endowment, detriment, cherishing, malice, residence, touring, satisfaction and rage; all were determined by revealed instructions.


The Holy Prophet (S)’s Succession Being a Simple Theme

The question of holding the Holy Prophet (S)’s position after his decease is simple, not complicated. The Ahl al-Bayt and their Shiah –followers- claim the Holy Prophet (S)’s nominating Imam Ali (a.s.) as Muslims’ next leader and it is thus unacceptable for people of Quraysh,[9] or any others, to choose anyone else since the Holy Prophet (S)’s nomination was only the conveyance of the Lord’s instruction. People of Quraysh, unfortunately, denied this nomination a few hours after the Holy Prophet (S)’s demise[10] claiming that the Holy Prophet (S)’s ‘authority’ should be distributed among the twenty-three clans of Quraysh. Therefore, they selected Abu-Bakr who belonged to the Qurayshite clan of Taym ibn Murrah for the leadership.

This man nominated Umar ibn al-Khattab who belonged to the Qurayshite clan of Adi as his successor. By the so-called Shura (the Advisory Council), Umar nominated another Qurayshite man who belonged to the clan of Umayyah ibn Abd-Shams, namely Uthman ibn Affan, as his successor.

They neither elected any of Ansar,[11] because they were not from Quraysh and thus had no right in the authority of the Qurayshite Prophet (S), nor any of the Hashimites[12] though they were the worthiest of this position, because they were, in the view of the conspirators against the leadership of Islam, just like the other Qurayshite clans most of whom did not want for the Ha

shimites to win the position of leadership after they had won the ‘position of Prophethood’!

Thus, the matter is very simple; did the Holy Prophet (S) nominate a successor or not? Nevertheless, it is very complicated that people of Quraysh and their fans do not want to discuss because it demolishes their structure and legality. Furthermore, they have warned all people not to discuss this matter claiming its being arduous, complicated and even haram[13] to be discussed!

The Verses of Ghadir[14] are only a part of the Qur’anic texts that declared Imam Ali and the Ahl al-Bayt as the divinely commissioned leaders of the Ummah. Late and current Sunni and Shiite authors and exegetes have been authoring books discussing the Verses and Hadiths about the Ahl al-Bayt and their roles in the Ummah. In this regard, let us refer to two well-known and available references:

(1) Al-Hafiz Abu-Naim al-Isfahani: Ma Nazala fi Ali Min al-Qur’an (Qur’anic Verses respecting Ali)

(2) Al-Nassai: Khasais Amir al-Muminin Ali (Peculiarities of Ali Amir al-Muminin).[15]

The Three Verses of Ghadir

“O Messenger! Deliver what 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; surely Allah will not guide the unbelieving people.” [Surah al-Maidah 5:67]

“This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion.” [Surah al-Maidah 5:3] “One demanding, demanded the chastisement which must befall.” [Surah al-Maarij 70:1]

Throughout our discussions of these three Verses of Ghadir, we will attract attentions to their firm relation to the Holy Prophet (S)’s sermons during the Farewell Hajj.[16] It hence seems necessary to discuss these six sermons as well, since they contain the Holy Prophet (S)’s instructing his people to follow the two weighty (precious) things—the Qur’an and the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.).[17] He also carried the good tidings to his people, in the Sermon of Arafat, that Almighty Allah has solved the question of the vicegerencey and has thus chosen the twelve divinely commissioned Imams. Moreover, it seems essential to discuss the relationship between the Holy Prophet (S) and the Qurayshite chiefs pertaining to the leadership of the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.).

We hope these would be useful discussions by which Almighty Allah may reward us in the Hereafter and include us with the intercession (Shafaah) of Muhammad and his immaculate progeny, peace be upon them all.

Al-Mustafa Center for Islamic Researches



[1] Ummah is the Islamic Nation—the Muslim’s community founded by Prophet (S) Muhammad, comprising individuals bound to one another predominantly by religious ties.

[2] The Ahl al-Bayt (People of the House) is a term dedicated to the family of the Holy Prophet (S). More precisely, it is dedicated to definite individuals; namely, Imam Ali ibn Abi-Talib, Fatimah al-Zahra (the Holy Prophet (S)’s daughter and Imam Ali’s wife), al-Hasan ibn Ali, and al-Husayn ibn Ali. The nine Immaculate Imams (namely, Ali ibn al-Husayn al-Sajjad, Muhammad ibn Ali al-Baqir, Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq, Musa ibn Jafar al-Kazim, Ali ibn Musa al-Rida, Muhammad ibn Ali al-Jawad, Ali ibn Muhammad al-Hadi, al-Hasan ibn Ali al-Askari, and al-Mahdi the Awaited) are also within the Ahl al-Bayt.

[3] (a.s.) abbreviation of “°Alayhi-ha-hum assalam”, “peace be upon him, her or them”, that has been used besides the names of the prophets, anglels, the members of Ah al-Bayt and the Women of Paradise (Khadija, Fatima, Maria, Asyiah).

[4] This is an indication to Allah’s saying in the Holy Quran (Surah of al-Ahzab 33:33): “Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying.”

[5] This is an indication to Allah’s saying in the Holy Quran (Surah of Fatir 35:32): “Then We gave the Book for an inheritance to those whom We chose from among Our servants.”

[6] Imamate is the succession of the Holy Prophet (S).

[7] Hadith is the body of traditions concerning the sayings and doings of the Holy Prophet (S), considered to be second in authority to the Holy Quran.

[8] Sunan al-Darimi;1/145

[9] Quraysh is the name of the tribe that inhabited Makkah in the time of the Holy Prophet (S) and to which he belonged. Quraysh, yet, was the name of one of the Holy Prophet (S)’s forefathers.

[10] In fact, people of Quraysh denied the whole matter and claimed that the Holy Prophet (S) had never nominated or elected anyone for vicegerencey.

[11] Ansar is a title said to the people of Yathrib, later on al-Madinah (al-Munawwarah), who supported and received the Holy Prophet (S) and his followers after they had immigrated from Makkah.

[12] Hashimites are the sons and descendants of Hashim ibn Abd-Manaf, the second grandfather of the Holy Prophet (S) and the Hashimites are thus the uncles, cousins, and descendants of the Holy Prophet (S).

[13] Illegal according to the Islamic doctrine.
[14] Ghadir -or Ghadir Khumm- is a place between Makkah and Medina where the Holy Prophet (S) declared Imam Ali as the next leader of the Ummah and made it incumbent on Muslims of all generations to obey this leadership and consider it as a divine directive. See Muhammad Baqir Ansari: What Happened in Ghadir, translated by Badr Shahin, Mowlood Kaaba Publications, Qum – Iran, 2000.

[15] Al-Tabari has also compiled a book, in two volumes, in this regard entitled al-Wilayah (The Vicegerencey). Unfortunately, this book has not been printed yet.

[16] The Farewell Hajj is the final ritual collective pilgrimage led by the Holy Prophet (S).

[17] This is an indication to the Holy Prophet (S)’s famous statement: “I am leaving among you that which will save you from deviation forever if you only adhere to: the Book of Allah and my progeny—my household. Have I conveyed (to you this matter)?” Al-Yaqubi: al-Tarikh (Book of History) 2/92.


DUA: Allah please accept this from us. You are All-Hearing and All-Knowing. You are The Most Forgiving.You are The Most Relenting and repeatedly Merciful. Allah grant us The Taufiq to read all the 5 prayers with sincerity.
(Taken from: To Be Earnest In Prayers By Amina Elahi)
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