The Farewell Pilgrimage
Ten years after the migration (hijrah), the Messenger of Allah [peace and
blessings be upon him and his Progeny] ordered to his close followers to call
all the people in different places to join him in his last pilgrimage. On this
pilgrimage he taught them how to perform the pilgrimage in a correct and
This was first time that the Muslims with this magnitude gathered in one place
in the presence of their leader, the Messenger of Allah [s]. On his way to
Makkah, more than seventy thousand people followed Prophet [s]. On the fourth
day of Dhu'l-Hijjah more than one hundred thousand Muslims had entered Makkah.
The date of this incident was the 18th of Dhu'l-Hijjah of the year 10 AH (10
March 632 CE).
After completing his last pilgrimage (Hajjatul-Wada'), Prophet [s] was leaving
Makkah toward Madinah, where he and the crowd of people reached a place called
Ghadir Khumm (which is close to today's al-Juhfah). It was a place where
people from different provinces used to greet each other before taking
different routes for their homes.
Revelation of Qur'anic Verse 5:67
In this place, the following verse of the Qur'an was revealed:
"O Apostle! Deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord; and
if you don't do it, you have not delivered His message (at all); and Allah
will protect you from the people ..." (Qur'an 5:67)
The last sentence in the above verse indicates that the Prophet [s] was
mindful of the reaction of his people in delivering that message but Allah
informs him not to worry, for He will protect His Messenger from people.
Upon receiving the verse, the Prophet [s] stopped on that place (the pond of
Khumm) which was extremely hot. Then he sent for all people who have been
ahead in the way, to come back and waited until all pilgrims who fell behind,
arrived and gathered. He ordered Salman [r] to use rocks and camel toolings to
make a pulpit (minbar) so he could make his announcement. It was around noon
time in the first of the Fall, and due to the extreme heat in that valley,
people were wrapping their robes around their feet and legs, and were sitting
around the pulpit, on the hot rocks.
On this day the Messenger of Allah [s] spent approximately five hours in this
place; three hours of which he was on the pulpit. He recited nearly one
hundred verses from The Glorious Quran, and for seventy three times reminded
and warned people of their deeds and future. Then he gave them a long speech.
The following is a part of his speech which has been widely narrated by the
Tradition of the Two Weighty Things (thaqalayn)
The Messenger of Allah [s] declared:
"It seems the time approached when I shall be called away (by Allah) and
I shall answer that call. I am leaving for you two precious things and if you
adhere to them both, you will never go astray after me. They are the Book of
Allah and my Progeny, that is my Ahlul Bayt. The two shall never separate from
each other until they come to me by the Pool (of Paradise)."
briefly, those who narrate this being an occasion (at Ghadir) where this
hadith was recited with "Quran and Ahlul Bayt" (NOT QURAN & SUNNAH WHICH IS A
LONE REPORT RECORDED BY AL HAKIM) are as follows (This tradition was narrated
on many other occasions too including whilst the prophet was in his illness
approaching his death but here i will only stick to instances at final
AlNasa'i narrates from Muhammad ibn alMuthanna, he from Yahya ibn Hammad,
from Abu 'Uwwanah, from Sulayman, from Habib ibn Abi Thabit, from Abu
alTufayl, from Zayd ibn Arqam, who said, "When the Messenger of Allah (A)
returned from the last hajj and came down at Ghadir Khumm....
"Then he declared: 'I am about to answer the call (of death). Verily, I
have left two precious things (thaqalayn) among you, one of which is greater
than the other: the Book of God and my `Itrah, my Ahl alBayt. So watch out
how you treat them after me. For, indeed, they will never separate until they
return to me by the side of the Pond.' Then he said, 'Verily, God is
my master (mawlaya) and I am the wali of every believer.' Then he took
`Ali's hand and declared, 'To whomever I am his wali, this one is also his
wali. My God, befriend whoever befriends him and be hostile to whoever is
hostile to him.'" Abu alTufayl says: "I said to Zayd, 'Did you hear
it from the Prophet(S)?' He replied, 'There was no one in the caravan who did
not see it with his eyes and hear it with his ears,'"
Among others who have recorded hadith thaqlain in their books in reference to
the last surmon at ghadir are:
1) Al-Bukhari, alTa'rikh alkabir, iii, 96;
2) Muslim, Sahih, bab fada'il `Ali, no. 2408;
3) Ahmad, Musnad, iii, 17, iv, 366;
4)`Abd ibn Humayd, Musnad, no. 265;
5) Ibn Sa`d, and
6) Abu Ya`la from Abu Sa`id, as mentioned in Jam` aljawami` and Kanz
7) Ishaq ibn Rahwayh, in his Sahih., as mentioned by Ibn Hajar in alMatalib
al`aliyah, iv, 65, no. 1873, where he states that its isnad is sahih, and
also by al-Busayri in Ithaf alsadah (MS in Topcopi Library, vol. 3, F.55b)
who, too, considers the isnad as sahih;
8) Ibn Khuzaymah, Sahih, MS in Topcopi Library, F.240;
9) alDarimi, Sunan, ii, 310, no. 2319;
10) Abu Dawud, Sunan, as mentioned in Sibt ibn alJawzi,Tadhkirat khawass
11) Abu 'Uwwanah, Musnad, as mentioned in alShaykhani, alSirat alsawi;
12) alBazzaz, from Umm Hani, as mentioned in Wasilat alma'al;
13) Ibn Abi 'Asim, Kitab alSunnah, 629, no. 1551, 630, no. 1555, 629, no.
14) alYa`qubi, Ta'rikh, ii, 112;
15) alBaladhuri, Ansab al'ashraf, 110, no. 48, the biographical account of
16) alHafiz alHasan ibn Sufyan alNasawi, the author of Musnad, from
Hudhayfah ibn Usayd, as mentioned by Abu Nu`aym, alHilyah, i, 355,
17) alFasawi, alMa`rifah wa alta'rikh, i, 536;
18) Ibn Jarir alTabari, from Hudhayfah ibn Usayd, Zayd ibn Arqam (with
alNasa'i's wording as well as with the wording of Muslim), Abu Sa`id
alKhudri, as cited in Jam` aljawami`, ii, 357, 395, Kanz al-`ummal, 12911,
xiii, 36441, 36340, 37620, 37621, 36341, Jami` al-'ahadith, vii, 14523, 15112,
15122, 15113, iv, 7773, 8072, 8073;
19) alDulabi, alDhurriyyat altahirah, no. 228;
20) alHafiz alTahawi, Mushkil al 'athar, ii, 307, iv, 368;
21) alHakim alTirmidhi, Nawadir al-'usul, from Hudhayfah ibn Usayd;
22)alTabarani, alMu`jam alkabir, iii, 2679, 2681, 2683, 3052, v, 4969,
4970, 4971, 4986, 5026, 5028;
23) alHakim, alMustadrak `ala alSahihayn, iii, 109, 110 where he expressly
states, as mentioned above, that the tradition is sahih in accordance with the
criteria of alBukhari and Muslim; alDhahabi has confirmed his judgement;
24) Abu Nu`aym, Hilyat al'awliya', i, 355, ix, 64;
25) alBayhaqi, alSunan alkubra, ii, 148, vii, 30, x, 114;
26) alKhatib, Ta'rikh Baghdad, viii, 442;
27) Ibn alMaghazili, Manaqib Amir alMu'minin (A), 23;
28) Ibn `Asakir, Ta'rikh Dimashq, ii, 45, no. 547, the biographical account of
`Ali (A), and v, 436 of Badran's edition in the biographical account of Zayd
29) alBaghawi, Masabih alSunnah, ii, 205 and Sharh alSunnah (MS in Topcopi
Libary, vol. 2, F. 718), bab Manaqib Ahl alBayt;
30) Ibn al'Athir, Usd alghabah, iii, 92 in the biographical account of 'Amir
ibn Layla, no. 2727;
31) Ibn Hajar, al'Isabah in the biographical account of 'Amir;
32) al-Mizzi, Tuhafat al'ashraf, iii, 203, no. 3688 from Muslim and
33) alDiya' alMuqaddisi, alMukhtarah, as cited by alSamhudi and
34) Ibn Taymiyyah, Minhaj alSunnah, iv, 85;
35) al-Dhahabi, Talkhis alMustadrak, iii, 109;
36) Ibn Kathir, alBidayah wa alnihayah, v, 209, vi, 199, from alNasa'i,
where he quotes alNasa'i's statement that this narration is sahih;
37) alKhazin, Tafsir under verses 42:23 and 3:103;
38) alMulla, Wasilat almuta`abbidin, v, 199;
39) al-Haythami, Majma` alzawa'id, ix, 163 from Zayd, 164 from Hudhayfah.
Acknowledgement of Authority
Then the Messenger of Allah continued:
"Do I not have more right over the believers than what they have over
People cried and answered:
"Yes, O' Messenger of God."
Text (nass) of the Designation
Then followed the key sentence denoting the clear designation of 'Ali as the
leader of the Muslim ummah. The Prophet [s] held up the hand of 'Ali and said:
"For whoever I am his Leader (mawla), 'Ali is his Leader (mawla)."
This is the famous tradition, also mentioned in the narration given by
alHakim in Mustadrak `ala alSahihayn (vol. iii, pp. 109110), quoted in the
section "On Some Sahih Versions of the Hadith" in the present article, in
which the Prophet (S) while returning from his last pilgrimage stopped the
entire caravan at Ghadir Khumm and made the announcement:
Of whomever I am his master, `Ali also is his master (mawla).
This is also a mutawatir tradition about which al`Allamah al'Amini wrote his
great work alGhadir fi alKitab wa alSunnah wa al'adab. Among the many
Sunni traditionists who have recorded this tradition in their works are:
* AlTirmidhi in his Sahih (Bulaq, 1292), ii, 298;
* Sunan Ibn Majah (Matba`at alFaruqi, Delhi), in "bab * Fada'il ashab Rasul
Allah (S)" from alBara' ibn `Azib and Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas;
* AlHakim in Mustadrak (Hyderabad, 1313) from Zayd ibn Arqam (iii, 109, 533),
Sa`d ibn Malik (iii, 116), from Rifa`ah ibn Ayas alDabbi from his father from
his grandfather (iii, 371), and from Buraydah al'Aslami; (iii, 110; ii, 129);
* Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Musnad, alMatba`at alMaymaniyyah, Egypt,
1313, from alBara' ibn `Azib (iv, 281), Buraydah al'Aslami (v, 347, 350,
358), Zayd ibn Arqam (iv, 372, iv, 368, v, 307), Ibn `Abbas (i, 330), Abu
alTufayl (iv, 270) and `Ali ibn Abi Talib (A) (i, 84, 88, 118, 139, 152, v,
307, 366, 419);
* Abu Nu`aym al'Isfahani; in Hilyat al'awliya' (Egypt: Matba`at alSa`adah,
1351) iv, 23, v, 26;
* Fakhr alDin alRazi; in alTafsir alKabir (Dar Tiba`at al'Amirah) under
the verse 5:67;
* AlKhatib alBaghdadi, in Ta'rikh Baghdad (Matba`at alSa`adah, 1360), vii,
377, viii, 290, xii, 343, xiv, 236;
* AlNasa'i in Khasa'is (Matba`at alTaqaddum al`llmiyyah, Egypt, 1348),
pp.4, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 40;
* AlMuhibb alTabari, in alRiyad alnadirah (Matba`at al'Ittihad, Egypt,
1st ed.), ii, 169, 170, 172, 203 and Dhakha'ir al`uqba (Egypt 1356), 86;
*Ibn Hajar al`Asqalani in alSawa'iq almuhriqah (alMatba`at alMaymaniyyah,
Egypt; 1312), pp. 25, 26;
* `Ali alMuttaqi alHindi in Kanz al`ummal (Hyderabad, 1312), i, 48, vi, 83,
153, 154, 390, 397, 398, 399, 403,405, 406, 407;
* Ibn Hajar al`Asqalani in al'lsabah (Calcutta, 1853 A.D.), i, part one, 57,
319; iii, part one, 29; iv, part one, 14, 16, 61, 143, 169, 182; vi, 223, vii,
part one, 78, 156;
* Ibn al'Athir in Usd alghabah (alMatba`at alWahbiyyah, Egypt, 1285), i,
308, 367, 368, ii, 307, 233, iii, 92, 93, 321, 374, iv, 28, v, 205, 276, 383;
* Ibn Qutaybah in al'Imamah wa alsiyasah (Matba`at alFutuh al'Adabiyyah,
* AlTahawi in Mushkil al'athar (Hyderabad, 1333), ii, 307;
*AlManawi in Fayd alQadir (Egypt, 1356), vi, 218, 358 and Kunuz alhaqa'iq
(Istanbul, 1285), 92;
* AlHaythami Majma` alzawa'id (Egypt, 1352), vii, 17, ix 103, 104, 105,
106,107, 108, 119, 163, 164;
* `Ali ibn Sultan Muhammad alQari in Mirqat almafatih (alMatba`at
alMaymaniyyah, Egypt, 1309), v, 568.
[In some other narrations the word used was wali rather than mawla - with the
The Prophet [s] continued:
"O' God, love those who love him, and be hostile to those who are
hostile to him."
Revelation of Qur'anic Verse 5:3
Immediately after the Prophet [s] finished his speech, the following verse of
the Qur'an was revealed:
"Today I have perfected your religion and completed my favour upon you,
and I was satisfied that Islam be your religion." (Qur'an 5:3)
(this fact has been narratted through 35 different chains of transmission)
The above verse clearly indicates that Islam without clearing up matter of
leadership after Prophet [s] was not complete, and completion of religion was
due to announcement of the Prophet's immediate successor.
Oath of Allegiance
After his speech, the Messenger of Allah [s] asked everybody to give the oath
of allegiance to 'Ali [a] and congratulate him. Among those who did so was
'Umar b. al-Khattab, who said:
"Well done Ibn Abi Talib! Today you became the Leader (mawla) of all
believing men and women."
(this fact has been narrated through 76 different chains of transmision)
Number of People in Ghadir Khumm
Allah ordered His Prophet [s] to inform the people of this designation at a
time of crowded populous so that all could become the narrators of the
tradition, while they exceeded a hundred thousand.
Narrated by Zayd b. Arqam: Abu al-Tufayl said: "I heard it from the Messenger
of Allah [s], and there was no one (there) except that he saw him with his
eyes and heard him with his ears."
I hope this familiarises people with the events of the last sermon of the
Prophet as recorded in hadith and history, and not mumbo jumbo.
Finally, among people who have narrated the event of ghadir in detail are :
1. Imam Fakhru'd-Din Razi - Tafsir-e-Kabir Mafatihu'l-Ghaib.
2. Imam Ahmad Tha'labi - Tafsir-e-Kashfu'l-Bayan.
3. Jalalu'd-Din Suyuti - Tafsir-e-Durru'l-Manthur.
4. Abu'l-Hasan Ali Bin Ahmad Wahidi Nishapuri - Asbabu'n-
5. Muhammad Bin Jarir Tabari - Tafsiru'l-Kabir.
6. Hafiz Abu Nu'aim Ispahani - Ma Nazal Mina'l-Qur'an fi Ali and
7. Muhammad Bin Isma'il Bukhari - Ta'rikh, Vol.1, p.375.
8. Muslim Bin Hajjaj Nishapuri - Sahih, Vol.2, p.325.
9. Abu Dawud Sijistani - Sunan.
11. Hafiz Ibnu'l-Iqda - Kitabu'l-Wilaya.
12. Ibn Kathir Shafi'i Damishqi - Ta'rikh.
13. Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal - Vol.4, pp.281&371.
14. Abu Hamid Muhammad Bin Muhammad Al-Ghazali - Sirru'l-Alamin.
15. Ibn Abdu'l-Birr - Isti'ab.
16. Muhammad Bin Talha Shafi'i - Matalibu's-Su'ul, p.16.
17. Ibn Maghazili Faqih Shafi'i - Manaqib.
18. Nuru'-d-Din Bin Sabbagh Maliki - Fusulu'l-Muhimma.
19. Husain Bin Mas'ud Baghawi - Masabihu's-Sunna.
20. Abu'l-Mu'ayyid Muwafiq Bin Ahmad Khatib Khawarizmi - Manaqib.
21. Majdu'd-Din Bin Athir Muhammad Bin Muhammad Shaibani -am'u'l-Usul.
22. Hafiz Abu Abdu'r-Rahman Ahmad Bin Ali Nisa'i - Khasa'isu'l-Alawi and
23. Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi - Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, Ch. IV.
24. Shahabu'd-din Ahmad Bin Hajar Makki - Sawa'iq Muhriqa and
Kitabu'l-Manhu'l-Malakiyya, particularly Sawa'iq, Part 1, p.25. In spite of
his extreme fanaticism, he says: "This is a true hadith; its veracity cannot
be doubted. Verily it has been narrated by Tirmidhi, Nisa'i and Ahmad, and if
studied, its sources are sound enough."
25. Muhammad Bin Yazid Hafiz Ibn Maja Qazwini - Sunan.
26. Hafiz Abu Abdullah Muhammad Bin Abdullah Hakim Nishapuri-Mustadrak.
27. Hafiz Sulayman Ibn Ahmad Tabrani - Ausat.
28. Ibn Athir Jazari - Usudu'l-Ghaiba.
29. Yusuf Sibt Ibn Jauzi - Tadhkiratu'l-Khasa'isu'l-Umma, p. 17.
30. Abu Umar Ahmad Bin Abd Rabbih - Iqdu'l-Farid.
31. Allama Samhudi - Jawahiru'l-Iqdain.
32. Ibn Taimiyya Ahmad Bin Abdu'l-Halim - Minhaju's-Sunna.
33. Ibn Hajar Asqalani - Fathu'l-Bari and Tahdhibu't-Tahdhib.
34. Abdu'l-Qasim Muhammad Bin Umar Jarullah Zamakhshari - Rabiu'l-Abrar.
35. Abu Sa'id Sijistani - Kitabu'd-Darayab Fi hadithi'l-Wilaya.
36. Ubaidullah Bin Abdullah Haskani - Du'atu'l-Huda Ila Ada Haqqi'l-Muwala.
37. Razin Bin Mu'awiya Al-Abdari - Jam Bainu's-Sahihi's-Sitta.
38. Imam Fakhru'd-din Razi says in Kitabu'l-Arba'in that the whole Community
unanimously confirms this hadith.
39. Muqibili - hadithu'l-Mutawatira.
40. Suyuti - Ta'rikhu'l-Khulafa.
41. Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani - Mawaddatu'l-Qurba.
42. Abul Fath Nazari - Khasa'es'u'l-Alavi
43. Khwaja Parsa Bukhari - Faslu'l-Khitab
44. Jamaluddin Shirazi - Kitabu'l-Araba'in
45. Abdul Ra'ufu'l-Manavi - Faizu'l-Qadir fi Sharh-i-Jame'u's-Saghir
46. Muhammad bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i - Kifayatu't-Talib, Part. 1
47. Yahya Bin Sharaf-Nauvi - Tehzibu'l-Asma wa'l-Lughat
48. Ibrahim bin Muhammad Hamwaini - Fara'adu's-Simtoun
49. Qazi Fazlullah bin Ruzhahan - Ibtalu'l-Batil
50. Shamsuddin Muhammad bin Ahmad Sharbini - Siraju'l-Munir
51. Abul Fath Shahristani Shafi'i - Milal wa'n-Nihal
52. Hafiz Abu Bakr Khatib Baghdadi - Tarikh
53. Hafiz Ibn Asakir abul Qasim Damishqi - Tarikh-i-Kabir
54. Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mutazali - Sharhe Nahju'l-Balagha
55. Ala'uddin Samnani -Urwatu'l-Wuthqah
56. Ibn Khaldun - Muqaddima
57. Molvi Ali Muttaqi Hindi - Kanzu'l-Ummal
58. Shamsuddin Abul Khair Damishqi - Asnu Matalib
59. Syed Sharif Hanafi Jurjani - Sharh-i-Mawaqit
60. Nizamuddin Nishapuri - Tafsir-i-Ghara'ibu'l-Qur'an