Thursday, August 30th, 2018 marks the occasion of Eid al-Ghadir, 18th Dhu al-Hijjah, 1439 A.H.
The eighteenth of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah marks the day of Eid al-Ghadir, one of the most important occasions for the school of Ahl al-Bayt (pbut). It is the day in which the Holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) was commanded by God Almighty to appoint Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (p) as his successor and leader of the people after him. After the Holy Prophet disseminated the message, God sent down a revelation to the Holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) stating, “On this day I have perfected your religion, completed My favors to you, and have chosen Islam as your religion.”1 Islam only became a completed, perfected religion after the appointment of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (p), as the Holy’s Prophet’s successor. (Click here to read about the details of this joyous day.)
Aside from being among the most significant days in the Islamic calendar, the imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (pbut) have mentioned that it is also a day when we can attain high levels of spirituality and God-consciousness. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (p) states, “The worth of (good) actions performed on this day [the day of Eid al-Ghadir] is equivalent to eighty months [of good deeds]. One is advised to frequently remember God Almighty, send salutations upon the Prophet (pbuh&hp) and…be generous to his family.”2 We can use this blessed day to get closer to God by praising and thanking Him for allowing us to stay on the path of the Holy Prophet and his pure family (pbut).
A Day for Praising God Almighty
Imam al-Sadiq (p) has advised us to seek closeness to our Creator on this auspicious occasion. He states, “It is advisable for you [on the day of Ghadir] to become close to God Almighty through good deeds, fasting, prayers, establishing [and maintaining] family ties and establishing ties between [your] brothers. The Prophets (pbut) did the same thing when they appointed their successors, and also advised them to act similarly.”3 During times of hardships and difficulty we often turn to God by praying and seeking His help. Similarly, during joyous occasions, like the day of Ghadir, we turn to Him and praise him for guiding us and appointing his divine representative to help keep us on the right path.
A Day of Thanks
One of the biggest blessings that He has given us (and that we must thank Him for) is the ability to remain on the path of the Ahl al-Bayt (pbut). Imam al-Sadiq states (p), “This is the day of worship, prayers, and [giving] thanks to God and praising Him. It is a day of happiness due to the obligation which God has laid upon you in regard to our authority (wilayah), and surely I love to see you fast on this day.”4 The day of Ghadir is a day where we thank God for opening our hearts and allowing the love of the Holy Household (pbut) to guide us. Thus, among the most important dynamics of praising God on the day of Ghadir is to be truly thankful for being amongst the followers of Imam Ali (p).
How to Maximize Our Spirituality on the Day of Ghadir
1. Fasting: Imam al-Sadiq (p) states, “Fasting on the Day of Ghadir is equivalent to fasting the time span of the [existence of the] entire world. If a person were to live a life [as long as the] entire existence of the world and were to fast the entire time, the reward for that fasting would be equivalent to the fasting [on this one day of Ghadir].”5 In this powerful tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (p) expounds on the incredible opportunity we have on the day of Ghadir if we spend it fasting. There are few such opportunities in the Islamic calendar whereby we can attain so much reward in a single day.
2. Visiting loved ones: It is customary to visit loved ones on special occasions, and on this great day, the infallibles encourage us to do this. Imam Ali al-Rida (p) states, “Whoever visits a believer [on the day of Ghadir], God will grant him seventy types of divine lights in his grave and will expand his grave. Seventy thousand angels shall visit his grave and give him the news [that he will enter] Paradise.”6 As we see from this tradition, the communal bond we have for one another due to our love for Imam Ali (p) should encourage us to visit our brothers and sisters in faith.
3. Offering two units of prayer: Imam al- Sadiq (p) states, “One who performs two [units of prayers] at any time he wishes [on the day of Ghadir], though it is best that it is performed as close to the time of zawwal (close to the time of dhuhr prayers) as possible because this is the time at which the Commander of the Faithful was appointed at Ghadir Khumm as the leader of the people.”7 Spending a few minutes in prayer with this intention on the blessed day of Ghadir can demonstrate that we recognize and appreciate the significance of this day in the sight of God. We are grateful that He has given us the privilege to be under the guardianship of Imam Ali (p) after the Holy Prophet (pbuh&hp).
1. Quran 5:3.
2. Wasail al-Shia, vol. 7, p. 325.
3. Misbah almutahajjid, p. 736.
4. Wasail al-Shia, vol. 7, p. 328.
5. Wasail al-Shia, vol. 7, p. 324.
6. Masnad Imam al-Rida, vol. 2 p.19.
7. Wasail al-Shia, vol. 8, p. 90.