Eid Al Ghadir "Today I have perfected your religion and completed my favor upon you, and I was satisfied that Islam be your religion."
The flaming orange sun is now directly overhead, casting intense heat on all that belongs in its domain. My camel shuffles along slowly in the coarse sand, dragging its tired feet on this blanket of fire we call the desert.
Our journey has been a long and tedious one, but also a rewarding one. We have been fortunate enough to be traveling with our Holy Prophet Muhammad, (S.A.W.), and his cousin and son-in-law; the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (A.S.). Also, we have just completed the required pilgrimage, (Hajj and Umrah) and a feeling of peace and satisfaction has come over us since we left the Holy Place. God is with us now, and the fact that we know this makes the heat more bearable, the thirst almost unimportant, and the fatigue nearly forgotten.
Finally, we have come. Now that we are arriving atGhadir Khumm
, our caravan will break up, and everyone will go their different ways. From here, Praise be to God, my town is not far away, and my long journey will soon come to an end.
The Messenger of God has just commanded us to stop now, and gather around him. This causes considerable commotion and questioning among the members of the party, since this is surely not an adequate place to stop, for it lacks water and pasture. Nevertheless, we all halt and obey our Leader.
I watch in silence, slightly puzzled, as the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) orders the Commander of the Faithful (Ali A.S.) to stand under a large tree. He asks for us to be put into rows one after another. He also tells the caller to say the Adhaan (call for prayer). Most of us wrap our cloaks around our feet to protect them from the deadly heat of the ground below us. Our Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) mounts above us all on a camel so we can see him. We watch in awe as he summons Ali (A.S.) to come on his right and addresses us all:
It seems as if I have been summoned and I am going away. However, I am leaving among you TwoWeightyThings
. They are the book of Allah, the Almighty, and my Ahlul-Bayt (People of my House, A.S.). So take care how you treat them after me. The two shall never part company until they lead you to me at The Sacred Waters of Heaven. The Lord, Allah the Almighty, is my Master and I am the master of every true believer.
He takes the hand of Ali (A.S.) in his hand,
He is the master of all those whose master I have been. O Allah, love those who love Ali (A.S.) and hate those who hate him . . .
The Prophet (S.A.W.) asks all of us Muslims to go to congratulate Ali (A.S.) on his position and acknowledge his command over the faithful. I do so joyously, and I feel proud and privileged to be here on such an important occasion.
Later in the evening, it is cooler, and I am sitting with a group of men who are heading into the same town as I am. We discuss what has happened that day. Someone asks us all,
"How long do you think people will remember this day and what happened in it?"
One man replied confidently, "Not long at all, for people will remember events only as long as they want to remember them."
I cry out loud, "How can you say that? Can anyoneforget
such a day? When the sun was scorching us and we were thirsty for water, and when our Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) made such a declaration! Certainly it won't be disregarded!"
Somebody agrees with me and adds, "Yes indeed, this day at Ghadir Khumm will be celebrated by many generations after us."
Another challenges him, "For how many years will people commemorate this day?"
He says calmly, "Forever, probably, I don't know, maybe 13, 14 hundred years . . ."