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Encyclopedia > Hadith of the pond of Khumm

Part of a series on the
Succession
to Muhammad
Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Succession to Muhammad concerns the different viewpoints and beliefs that are held in relation to the succession to the leadership of the Muslim community, or ummah, after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad Muhammad died in 632 CE. in Medina following a brief illness. ...


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Arabic
?
Transliteration
Hadith-i ghadir
Translation
"Narration of the pond"
This is a sub-article to the Succession to Muhammad

The word "Hadith" refers to a saying of the Prophet of Islam. The "Hadith of Ghadir Khumm" refers to the Prophetic saying (i.e. Hadith) about a historical event crucial to Islamic history. This event took place on March 10th, 632 AD at a place called Ghadir Khumm, which is located near the city of al-Juhfah, Saudi Arabia. In the Islamic literature, Ghadir Khumm is often referred to as an oasis with a watering hole or pond. Ghadir Khumm is alternately referred to simply as Khumm, Khur, or Khu'. This is a sub-article to Muhammad after the conquest of Mecca and the Succession to Muhammad. ... Hadith of the pen and paper is a famous Hadith in Islam about the event when the prophet Muhammad whas prevented to write his will. ... A famous recorded oral tradition among Muslims (Arabic: Hadith) is about the rank of Fatima Zahra, the only surviving daughter of Muhammad. ... Hadith of Usamas dispatchment is a Hadith in Islam about an event during Muhammads last days alive. ... This is a sub-article to the Succession to Muhammad A famous recorded oral tradition among Muslims (Arabic: Hadith) is about an event involving Abu Bakr, whom Sunni Muslims regard as the successor to prophet Muhammad (Arabic: Caliph). ... This is a sub-article to Succession to Muhammad. ... Saqifah, also known as Saqifa Bani Saeda or Saqifat Bani Saida, was a roofed building used by the tribe, or banu, of Saida, of the faction of the Khazraj, of the city of Medina in the Hijaz, northwestern Arabia. ... This is a sub-article to the Succession to Muhammad The day after the the meeting at Saqifah, there was an assemby where a general poll of the people was taken and a general bayah of the community was given to Abu Bakr in Al-Masjid al-Nabawi. ... This is a sub-article to the Succession to Muhammad Some Shia and Sunni sources narrated that during the Succession to Muhammad, when Abu Bakr sent a group of people headed by Khalid ibn Walid and Umar at Fatimahs house. ... This is a sub-article to the Succession to Muhammad Muhammads inheritance is well documented and controversial topic, both then and at the present. ... This is a sub-article to the Succession to Muhammad A famous recorded oral tradition among Muslims (Arabic: hadith) is about Fatimah, Fadak and Abu Bakr. ... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... Due to the fact that the Arabic language has a number of phonemes that have no equivalent in English or other European languages, a number of different transliteration methods have been invented to represent certain Arabic characters, due to various conflicting goals. ... Look up translate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Succession to Muhammad concerns the different viewpoints and beliefs that are held in relation to the succession to the leadership of the Muslim community, or ummah, after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad Muhammad died in 632 CE. in Medina following a brief illness. ...


The Sunnis believe that Abu Bakr was the rightful successor of Muhammad. The Shia, on the other hand, argue against Abu Bakr and say that Ali ibn Abi Talib was the rightful successor of Prophet Muhammad, citing the Hadith of Ghadir Khumm as evidence that Muhammad specifically nominated Ali as Caliph. The Sunnis take a different interpretation of the Hadith of Ghadir Khumm.

Contents

Background Context

A few months before his death, Muhammad--who lived in the city of Medinah--made his last religious pilgramage to Mecca, and this trip is referred to as "Hajjatul-Wada" (Last Pilgramage). There, atop Mount Arafat, he addressed the Muslim masses in what came to be known as The Farewell Sermon. After completion of the Hajj, or religious pilgramage, Muhammad head back towards his home in Medinah. On the trip back to Medinah, he stopped at Ghadir Khumm and praised Ali. What Muhammad said in that speech is very controversial and at the crux of the Sunni-Shi'a divide. Not only do the Sunnis and Shi'as disagree as to which Hadith about Ghadir Khumm are authentic, but they also disagree on the interpretation of those Hadith. The Shia viewpoint is that the event of Ghadir Khumm proves that Muhammad nominated Ali as his successor. The Sunni viewpoint is that the event of Ghadir Khumm only proves that Muhammad praised Ali but it does not serve as a proof for his nomination. The Farewell Sermon, also known as the Prophets final sermon, is a famous sermon by Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, delivered before his death, on the ninth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, 10 A.H. (632 CE), at the end of his first & final pilgrimage. ...


Sunni and Shi'a Concordance

Generally, the Sunnis and Shi'as both accept that Muhammad said the following at Ghadir Khumm:

“Whomsoever’s mawla I am, this Ali is also his mawla. O Allah, befriend whosoever befriends him and be the enemy of whosoever is hostile to him.”

However, the Sunnis and Shi'as disagree with what was said after that. They also disagree over the definition of the word "mawla." The Sunnis say that "mawla" translates to "beloved friend", whereas the Shi'as say that it translates to "master." The translation of the word is a very heated controversy. If one were to accept that "malwa" means "master", then this conveys a Shi'a understanding in the sense that Muhammad was nominating Ali as his successor. On the other hand, if one were to accept the Sunni translation, then this conveys the Sunni view that Muhammad was not nominating Ali but rather only praising him.


Shi'a Viewpoint

The Shi'as believe that Ghadir Khumm in those days served as a point of departure, where the various Muslims who had come to perform the pilgrimage from neighboring lands would disperse and embark upon their own routes back home. The Shi'as believe that after the pilgramage, Muhammad and the crowd of Muslims stopped at Ghadir Khumm and it was there that Muhammad nominated Ali to be Caliph by referring to him as "master."


The Shi'as add the following words to the Hadith of Ghadir Khumm:

"O People! Don't you know that I have more authority upon you than yourself? O Folk! Do I not have more right over the believers than what they have over themselves? O People! Surely God is my Master, and I am the master of all believers. Whoever I am his mawla (master), Ali is his mawla (master). Whoever I am his mawla (master), Ali is his mawla (master). Whoever I am his mawla (master), Ali is his mawla (master). O Allah! Befriend those who befriend him. Be hostile to those who are hostile to him. Help those who help him. Forsake those who forsake him. And keep the truth with him wherever he turns (i.e., make him the axis of the truth). Ali, the son of Abu Talib, is my brother, my executor (Wasi), and my successor (Caliph), and the leader (Imam) after me. His position to me is the same as the position of Aaron to Moses, except that there shall be no prophet after me. He is your master after Allah and His Messenger. O Folk! Verily Allah has appointed him to be your Imam and ruler. Obedience of him is obligatory for all Immigrants (Muhajirin) and Helpers (Ansar) and those who follow them in virtue, and on the dwellers of the cities and the nomads, the Arabs and the non-Arabs, the freeman and the slave, the young and the old, the great and the small, the white and the black. His commands should be obeyed, and his word is binding and his order is obligatory on everyone who believes in one God. Cursed is the man who disobeys him, and blessed is the one who follows him, and he who believes in him is a true believer. His leadership (Wilayah) has been made obligatory by Allah, the Powerful, the Exalted. O Folk! Study the Quran. Reflect on its clear verses and do not presume the meaning of the ambiguous verses. For, by Allah, nobody can properly explain them to you its warnings and its meanings except me and this man (i.e., Ali) whose hand I am lifting up in front of myself. O People! This is the last time that I shall stand in this assembly. Therefore listen to me and obey and submit to the command of Lord. Verily Allah, He is your Lord and God. After Him, His prophet, Muhammad who is addressing you, is your master. Then after me, this Ali is your master and your leader (Imam) according to Allah's command. Then after him leadership will continue through some selected individuals in my descendants till the day you meet Allah and His Prophet. Behold! Certainly you shall meet your Lord and He will ask you about your deeds. Beware! Do not become infidels after me by striking the necks of one another. Lo! It is incumbent upon those who are present to inform what I said to those who are absent for perhaps the informed one might comprehend it (understand it) better than some of the present audience. Behold! Haven't I conveyed the Message of Allah to you? Behold! Haven't I conveyed the Message of Allah to you? O God! Bear witness."

The Shi'as reject the Sunni version of events and deny that Ghadir Khumm has anything to do with a group of Muslim soldiers who were criticizing Ali. Instead, the Shi'as believe that the sole purpose of Muhammad's speech was to nominate Ali as his successor.


Sunni Viewpoint

The Sunnis reject the Shi'a version of Muhammad's speech as a fabrication. Although they accept that the word "mawla" was said by Muhammad, they translate this to mean "beloved friend." The Sunnis reject the idea that Ghadir Khumm was a central location where all the Muslims used to congregate before departing for their homes. The Sunnis argue that Ghadir Khumm is located approximately 250 km away from Mecca, and therefore only those Muslims heading north towards Medinah accompanied Muhammad to Ghadir Khumm. The Sunnis argue that if Muhammad had wanted to nominate Ali as Caliph, then he would have done so during his Farewell Sermon in Mecca in front of all the Muslims as opposed to Ghadir Khumm. The Shi'as believe that the great majority of the Muslims followed Muhammad to Ghadir Khumm, but the Sunnis deny this and say that only those Muslims heading north towards Medinah accompanied Muhammad to Ghadir Khumm.


The Sunni version of Ghadir Khumm differs dramatically: a group of soldiers under the command of Ali were complaining to Muhammad about Ali, and Muhammad defended Ali by praising him in the Hadith of Ghadir Khumm. The Sunnis believe that Muhammad's intention behind saying what he said at Ghadir Khumm was not at all to nominate Ali as Caliph but rather it was only to defend Ali against the slander being said against him.


The Sunni version of the Hadith of Ghadir Khumm is as follows:

Buraida narrated: “I invaded Yemen with Ali and I saw coldness from his part; so when I came (back) to the Messenger of Allah and mentioned Ali and criticized him, I saw the face of the Messenger of Allah change and he said: ‘O Buraida, am I not closer to the believers than they are to themselves?’ I said: ‘Yes, O Messenger of Allah.’ He (then) said: ‘Whomsoever’s Mawla I am, this Ali is also his Mawla.’” (source: Musnad Ahmad [v5 / p347 / #22995])

Some Sunni scholars also accept the following addition to the above Hadith:

“O Allah, befriend whosoever befriends him and be the enemy of whosoever is hostile to him.”

The Sunnis categorically reject any further additions as being fabricated and unacceptable.


The Translation of the word "mawla"

Both Sunnis and Shi'as acknowledge that the word "mawla" can be translated in a variety of ways. For example, the Sunni scholar, Ibn Al-Atheer, says that the word "mawla" can be translated as any of the following words: lord, owner, benefactor, liberator, helper, lover, ally, slave, servant, brother-in-law, cousin, friend, etc. The Shi'a organization, the Thaqalayn Muslim Association, stated in one of its leaflets: "In Arabic, the world 'mawla' has many meanings. It can mean master, friend, slave, or even client. If a word has more than one meaning, the best way to ascertain its true connotation is to look at the association (qarinah) and the context."


Therefore, it is accepted by both Sunni and Shi'a that the proper translation revolves around the context. However, the Sunnis and Shi'as have very differing views as to what was said at Ghadir Khumm and for what purpose those words were said; it is because of this difference that the two groups translate the same word in a different manner.


External Links

Shia:

  • http://www.al-islam.org/ghadir

Sunni:

  • http://www.ahlelbayt.com/articles/rebuttals/ghadir-khumm

 
 

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