The second caliph was in his death bed, and he had not appointed a successor for himself. People around him were concerned and eager for the caliph to appoint a leader for the Muslim nation during his final hours, and not leave them without a guardian. 

Thus, Ayisha -the Prophet’s (PBUH&HP) wife- called Abdullah, the caliph’s son, and urged, “O My Son! Send my regards to Umar and tell him: ‘Do not leave Mohammad’s (PBUH&HP) followers without a leader. Choose a successor for yourself amongst them, and don’t leave them like wild camels as I am worried that there will be distress (1). If people are not controlled, I fear that there will be chaos’”.

So Abdullah went to his father and said,” People say you will not choose a successor for yourself, while if you had a herd of sheep and a shepherd who wanted to leave the herd on its own, you would definitely hold him responsible for any bad things that happen to the herd; nonetheless, leading a society is much harder and critical than a herd of sheep! If Almighty Allah asks you why did you not choose a successor for yourself to lead His people what are you going to respond?(2)”

Umar said,” Who do I choose?”

Abdullah responded, “Use your wisdom to find out. If you had a farmer who worked on your farm, when you called for the farmer, would you not expect him to put a replacement on the land, while he is out? (3)”

The same fear of leaving the Islamic nation without a leader also existed at the time of Muawiyah. He used the same wise, irrefutable argument to usurp the leadership for his son, Yazid, and said,” I fear for the followers of Muhammad (PBUH&HP) to be left without a leader just like a herd of sheep without a shepherd(4)”.

The previous two incidents are examples of reasoning made for the necessity of a chosen leader to guide the Islamic nation.

Now the question to those who deny the incident of Ghadir is: how can one accept the undisputable arguments regarding the analogies on appointing a successor, but assume that Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (PBUH&HP) did not foresee the Muslim nation leadership after Prophet Mohammad (PBUH&HP) and left it without a guardian?! How is it possible that Allah (SWT) and the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HP) ignored this ruling of wisdom and left the Islamic nation on their own? Can a wise person accept this notion? Shia’s response to these questions is negative. In fact, Shias deny this accusation from the Almighty Allah (SWT) and His purified Messenger (PBUH&HP), and points to the event of Ghadir to answer these questions. 

(The above is a selection taken from “Al-Ghadir”, by Allamah Abdul-Hussain Amini (with minor changes and additions))

The Roshd Website congratulates all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon the day of perfection of religion through the guardianship of Amir al-Mu’minin (PBUH),

Eid of Ghadir.

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Footnotes:

1- Al-Imamah wa al-Siyasah, vol. 1, p. 22.

2- Sunan Bayhaqi, vol. 4, p. 149 from Sahih Muslim – Sirah Umar from Bin Jouzi, p. 190 – Al-Riad al-Nadhrat, vol. 2, p. 74 – Heliat al-Owliaa, vol. 1, p. 44 – Fath al-Baari, vol. 13, p. 175 from Sahih Muslim.

3- Tabaqaat ibn Sa’d, vol. 3, p. 249.

4- Tarikh al-Tabari, vol. 6, p. 170.