Prophet’s clarity in speech had left no place for doubt. He had even commanded those present to convey his message to those absent. But about two and half months later, it only seemed like an area named “Ghadir” was non-existent. As if there was no place where the holy Prophet recited a sermon and introduced Ali (PBUH) as his successor. And now the Prophet had passed away, and people were acting in haste to pledge their oath to someone else other than Ali (PBUH)…
The question remains, why did the people neglect the incident of Ghadeer and the will of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP)? Why did the people disobey the command of the Prophet (PBUH&HP) regarding Ali’s (PBUH) succession despite all his emphasis throughout his 23 years mission?
This subject can be analyzed from different perspectives. The first theory is that Muslims turned away from Islam after the Prophet’s (PBUH&HP) demise. The events after the Prophet (PBUH&HP) does not support such theory as such Muslims should have gone back to their pre-Islamic idol worshipping practices. Obviously this was not the case.
The second theory is that Muslims did not want to turn away from Islam, and saw the issue as a disobedience to one of the Prophet’s (PBUH&HP) orders. Many continued to hold a grudge towards Imam Ali (PBUH) because of the early Islamic wars, and therefore expressed their hatred by not obeying the Prophet’s (PBUH&HP) command. Furthermore Ali (PBUH) refused to provide favors when it came to obeying Allah (SWT) and the Prophet (PBUH), and this increased the animosity toward Ali (PBUH). Nonetheless, this theory does not hold very well either. There were perhaps a few jealous tribe leads and a limited group whom had lost a family member in early conflicts by Ali’s (PBUH) sword. But a general hatred toward Ali (PBUH) by all Muslims does not deem logical. Furthermore, the historical evidence does not support such idea either.
What seems to be the case is that the general population of Muslims was misguided by a minority who had turned away from Islam. In other words, a minority group misled the rest of the Muslims from the right path while they followed the minority and forgot about the incident of Ghadir. In fact, a group who were Muslims only on the surface and did not truly believe in Allah (SWT) and his Prophet deceived the Muslim nation. Muslims were unable to recognize their evil intentions and ended up abandoning such important commands set by Allah (SWT) and His prophet (PBUH&HP).
The Holy Quran emphasizes on the same point; there is a verse which descent to the Prophet (PBUH&HP) after the incident of Ghadir and succession of Amir al-Mu’minin has been declared. The verse advises the Muslims that the enemy has lost hope in your religion; in other words infidelity which is the external enemy of Islam, cannot harm you and your religion; therefore, do not fear the infidels (1). However, the next sentence is amusing; Allah (SWT) continues the verse: “Fear from Me” (2) meaning be concern from Allah’s (SWT) side. What could this mean? How could we be worried from Allah’s (SWT) will?
To Answer this question we should review one of the principles in the holy Quran: Everything depends on Allah (SWT) and anything that occurs relies on Allah’s (SWT) will. However, Allah’s (SWT) will is comprised of a set of rules that are known as the Divine Traditions. One of these rules is that Allah (SWT) never cuts a merci from the people on His own, unless the people change themselves. Based on this rule, the words of Allah (SWT) become clearer. O Muslims! Fear from me; otherwise if your moralities and practices change, based on My Traditions, I will take My merci back from you.
A narration from the Prophet sheds some light into this argument. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH&HP) says: “I don’t fear my people’s economy; the lack of wealth will not take them astray; but there’s something that I fear very much for my people and that is ignorance and lack of knowledge”(5) and elsewhere he said: “Two groups of people broke my back; the scholar who has no piety and the ignorant with the religious surface.”(6)
From the words of Allah (SWT) in the Holy Quran in the first section and the narrations of the Prophet (PBUH&HP) in the next one can understand that the Islamic society was threatened by an inner threat, and that is the presence of a few deceptive hypocrites and a crowd of naïve ignorant and people with weak fiath. That was the case after Ghadir. A group of opportunist hypocrites presented matters in a completely different way and everything turned around in a short period of time such that the successor of the Prophet (PBUH&HP) had only a few true companions beside him. Just like “Sameri” was able to misguide people in less than forty days by using propaganda towards the successor of Prophet Musa (PBUH), and drove the people to worshiping the golden cow, the successor of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) did not even have forty true companions around him.
Truly this is the case….the division among Muslims, the harm they do to themselves, is it not more than the harm that threatens them from an outside force?
(The above is selection taken from “15 Sayings” by Martyr Murtaza Mutahhari’s, with minor changes)
On behalf of Roshd Website we congratulate all Muslims, and especially you dear friend on the completion of religion with the appointment of Amir-al Mu’minin (PBUH).
1. The Holy Quran, (5:3)
2. The Holy Quran, (5:3)
3. The Holy Quran (3:26)
4. The Holy Quran, (13:11)
5. ‘Awaali al-La’ali, vol. 4, p. 39
6. ‘Awaali al-La’ali, vol. 4, p. 77