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When the Holy Prophet was returning from the last Haj when the caravan reached a place called Ghadeer, near Mecca, the second to last (last but one) verse of the Holy Quran, ie., Maida (5:67) was revealed.

[5:67] O Messenger! deliver (message) what has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His mission, and Allah will protect you from the people (who mean mischief); surely Allah will not guide the disbelieving people (who reject faith).
Allah, who always addressed the Holy Prophet with love and affection through out the Holy Quran addresses the Prophet in a rather stronger tone by calling the Holy Prophet as ‘O Messenger’ then commanding him to deliver the message that has revealed to him. God furthers says that if the Holy Prophet do not deliver that message clearly to the Muslims then the Prophet has done nothing at all as the “Messenger of Allah”. Despite the fact that Prophet suffered immensely in the hands of the Meccan pagan. In other words the entire hard work of the Holy Prophet lies upon delivering this message.

The Important Message

As soon as the verse is revealed, the Holy Prophet stopped the caravan near the pond at a place called Ghadeer Qom and organized a big incident. This incident is narrated by many Sunni Scholars and large amount of information have been written by the Scholars on this incident.

The Incident

Upon receiving the verse, the Prophet (PBUH&HF) stopped on that place (the pond of Khum) 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 (RA) to use rocks and camel toolings to make a pulpit (mimbar) 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 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 Messenger of Allah 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 both of them, 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)."

Then the Messenger of Allah continued: "Do I not have more right over the believers than what they have over themselves?" People cried and answered: "Yes, O' Messenger of God." Then Prophet (PBUH) held up the hand of Ali and said: "Whoever I am his leader (Mawla), Ali is his leader (Mawla). O' God, love those who love him, and be hostile to those who are hostile to him." [2]

Immediately after the Prophet (PBUH) finished his speech, the last verse of Holy Quran was revealed:

[5:3] "Today I have perfected your religion and completed my bounty upon you, and I was satisfied that Islam be your religion." [3]

The above verse clearly indicates that Islam without clearing up matter of leadership after Prophet was not complete, and Allah SWT declared the completion of the religion upon the announcement of Prophet's immediate successor, Ali Ibn-Abi-Talib as the leader.

Oath of Allegiance

After his speech, the Messenger of Allah asked every body to give the oath of allegiance to Ali (AS) and congratulate him. Among those who gave him the oath were Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Omar and Hazrat Uthman. It is narrated that Hazrat Abu Baker & Hazrat Umar said:

"Well done Ibn Abi Talib! Today you became the leader (Mawla) of all believing men and women." [4]

There were around 120,000 people who witnessed and gave allegiance to Ali before the Holy Prophet.

Sunni Traditionists who mentioned the Tradition of Ghadir Khum [5]

Companions who narrated the incident of Ghadeer [6]

Prophet hadiths in favor of Ali Ibn-Abi Talib.

"Ali is with Quran, and Quran is with Ali. They shall not separate from each other till they both return to me by the Pool (of Paradise)." [7]

"Ali is from me and I am from Ali" [8]
"I am the city of knowledge and Ali is the Gate"

"Loving Ali is believing, hating him is hypocrisy”. “We recognise the hypocrites by their hatred of Ali” [10]

“You are to me as Aaron was to Moses, but there will be no Prophet after me” [11]

“He who insults Ali, insults me. He who insults me insults Allah. And he who insults Allah, Allah will throw him in Hell” [12]

"Ali is with Quran and Quran is with Ali, they shall never separate until they meet me at the Pond (Hauz-e-Kauthar) “ [13]

"Ali is with Truth and Truth is with Ali", “"Ali, you are the most Truthful" “Ali is the master of all the believers after me” [14]

“Whoever accepted me as his master, then he should also accept Ali as his master. O Allah be friendly with his friends and be enemy with his enemy” [15]

“Ali is my brother, my trustee and my deputy (Calif) after me, so listen to him and obey him” [16]

“Ali is from me and I am from Ali and nobody can discharge my duties except myself or Ali” [17]

“No one among the companions of the Messenger of Allah(SAW) had more virtues than Ali-ibn Abi Talib” [18]

Prophet also said regarding Ahlebait.

“Behold! My Ahlul Bait are like the Ark of Noah, whoever embarked in it was saved, and whoever turned away from it was drowned “ [19]

“My Ahlabayt are like the Gate of Repentance of the children of Isreal; whoever entered therein was forgiven” [20]

“Whoever wishes to live and die like me, and to abide in the Garden of Eden after death should acknowledge Ali as his patron and follow Ahlebayt after me, for they are my Ahlebayt and they have been created out of the same knowledge and understanding as myself. Woe unto those followers of mine who will deny the Ahlebayt their distinctions and who will disregard their relationship and affinity with me. May Allah in ever let them benefit from my intercession [21]

"Hold fast to the Rope of Allah, all of you together and do not separate" (Quran 3:103)" The Rope of Allah is Ahlebayt, Imam Jaffer-as-Sadiq AS.
al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami , Ch. 11, section 1, p233
Tafsir al-Kabir, by al-Tha'labi, under commentary of verse 3:103

The Holy Prophet dies within 3 months of this incident, companions selected the first Khalifa thru "consenses" & the first split in Islam occurs.

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