On the 18th of Dhil Hajjah, upon the completion of his farewell hajj pilgrimage, with a throng of followers, the Holy Prophet (AS) made his way to Medina from Mecca.

Along the way this Qur’anic verse was revealed to the Holy Prophet (AS):

O Apostle! Communicate that which has been sent down to you from your Lord, and if you do not, you will not have communicated His message, and Allah shall protect you from the people. Indeed Allah does not guide the faithless lot. (5:67)

The Holy Prophet (AS) therefore, stopped near a pond in the desert heat at a place called Ghadeer Khum. It was here he gave, arguably, one of the most critical and important speeches, which would govern and decide the fate of Islam to this very day. It was made clear and evident who was to be the successor after him and what would happen to those who did not pay heed.

The Prophet (AS) said: “Behold! I am leaving among you two precious and weighty Symbols that if you adhere to both of them, you shall never go astray after me. Each of these two surpasses the other in its grandeur.

A person asked: “O Messenger of Allah, what are those two precious things?”

The Prophet (AS) replied: “One of them is the Book of Allah and the other one is my select progeny, that is family (Ahlul-Bayt). Beware of how you behave with them when I am gone from amongst you, for Allah, the Merciful, has informed me that these two (i.e., Qur’an and Ahlul-Bayt) never separate from each other until they reach me in Heaven at the Pool (of al-Kawthar). I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my Ahlul-Bayt. I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my Ahlul-Bayt. Once more! I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my Ahlul-Bayt.”

“Behold! I am your predecessor at the Pool (of Paradise) and I shall be a witness against you. Thus be careful how you treat these two precious things after me. Do not precede these two for you will perish, and do not stay away from them for you will perish.”

Then he grasped the hand of ‘Ali and raised it and said: “Whoever’s Master I am, ‘Ali is his master (repeating three times). O God! Love those who love 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).”

It is absolutely clear that there is no ambiguity as to who would lead the Muslim ummah after the Holy Prophet’s (AS) death.  There were many witnesses who were able to confirm the event. The Holy Prophet (AS) would not stop in the heat to cast doubt and remain unclear as to who his successor would be. The Holy Prophet (AS) also was warned, in the above Qur’anic verse, that if he did not deliver what Allah(swt) had sent then it was as if he did not deliver anything. Thus, showing the gravity and seriousness of the message. Therefore, we as Muslims should never forget the words and message that the Holy Prophet (AS) gave at Ghadeer Khum, for it is the cornerstone and foundation of our religion.


– A’alam al-Wara, pp 132-133

– Tadhkirat al-Khawas al-Ummah, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi al-Hanafi, pp 28-33

– al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, by Noor al-Din al-Halabi, v3, p273

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