بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيم
The Feast of Youm ad-Dar On the very first day when the Prophet (S) proclaimed Islam,
he arranged for a feast and invited the members of his clan. About forty members from the Banu Abdul Muttalib attended the feast. This event is called the Feast of Youm ad-Dar (the day of warning). All historians and the narrators of Hadith, both Sunnis and Shias as well as non-Muslim historians record this historical and momentous event unanimously and universally.
The following is the gist of what transpired on that occasion: The Prophet (Saww) asked Ali (a.s.) to make bread from one measure of wheat, cook a leg of mutton and provide one pitcher of milk to feed the invitees. On seeing such meager food, the guests made fun of the Prophet (S) saying that the food was not enough even for a young child. However, after all, the guests had eaten to their satisfaction, like the miracle performed by Jesus, the food remained the same quantity as it was prepared.
This prompted Abu Lahab, the Prophet’s uncle, to declare that the Prophet (S) was indeed a sorcerer and that they should beware being bewitched by his magic. Abu Lahab’s allegation of sorcery against the Prophet (Saww) is similar to the allegations of Pharaoh, his vizier Haman, and Qarun against Moses.
After the feast, the Prophet (Saww) conveyed the Divine Message and concluded his speech saying:“Verily God has commanded me to invite you to Him. If you accept Him as the One Unique God, you will be benefited in this life as well as in the life to come. God has appointed me His Messenger. Acknowledge me as the Messenger of Allah and help me in my Mission. Now that I have passed on the Divine Message, I need some one to assist me in carrying forth the Divine Mission after me. Who among you will assist, share, and endure the burden in this mission of mine, for, he shall be my Deputy [Khalifa], my Trustee [Wasi], my Chief Administrator [vizier] both in this world and the life to come.”The entire congregation kept quiet, except Ali (a.s.), who rose and said: “Though I am still in my teens and not strong enough as yet, I shall be your Deputy [Khalifa], Trustee [Wasi], and Chief Administrator [vizier].” The congregation responded by deriding the Prophet (Saww), some claiming that he was bewitched while others preferred to ignore him. The Prophet (Saww) invited the Banu Abdul Muttalib again the next day and on the third consecutive day for the miraculous feast as well as for repeating the Divine Message. On all the three days, Imam Ali (a.s.) stood up in response to the Prophet’s call for a helper and said, “I shall be your Deputy, Trustee, and vizier.” The Prophet (Saww) hugged and blessed Ali (a.s.) and holding up Ali’s hand declared: “Oh people, this Ali (a.s.) here is my successor, [wasi], my caliph, and my vizier both in this world and the next. ” The Prophet (S) then prayed: “O Lord, love him who loves Ali, hold as your enemy whosoever shows enmity towards Ali, help those who help Ali, and abandon those who abandon Ali.” On hearing this, people taunted Abu Talib saying, “O Abu Talib, Muhammad saww has appointed your son as the lord over Muslims. From today, you have to obey your son.” All historians and the narrators of Hadith and history record this historical and momentous event unanimously and universally.
Here it is very important to note that on the Day of Warning, the Prophet (S) was alone, without any support of men, means, or material. Therefore, Imam Ali’s offer to support the Prophet (Saww) could not have been motivated by any materialistic desire. Similarly, the Prophet (Saww) also could not be accused of trying to confer any benefit or perpetuate family rule, for at that stage there was neither wealth nor estate.Instead of benefits, what was certain was only persecution in the shape of mental and physical harassment.It is a historical fact that as a direct consequence of proclamation of Islam in the feast of Youm ad-Dar, the Prophet (Saww) was banished for confinement in the Shi’b (defile) of Abu Talib. A social boycott was enforced and anyone found to sympathize with the Prophet (Saww) was subjected to mental and physical torture. Historians record that it was only the support of Abu Talib (a.s.) which deterred the Meccans from carrying out their cherished desire of killing the Prophet (Saww).The seeking of a supporter and nomination of Imam Ali (a.s.) by the Prophet (S) in the feast of Youm ad-Dar is in accordance with traditions of earlier Prophets.About the Prophet Thul Kifl (a.s.), ibn Kathir writes,
“Ibn Jarir and Ibn Hatam narrated on the authority of Dawud bin Abi Hind on the authority of Mujahid that he said, ‘When Alyasa [Elisha] became an old man, he said: “If I could find a man who will succeed me in managing the people’s affairs while I am alive, so I will be able to see how he is going to serve the people. ” Then Alyasa called the people, gathered them, and said,
“Who will fast in the day and pray in the night and will not be angry, he will be my successor.” Then, an ordinary man stood up and said, “I can do that.” Alyasa said, “Will you fast in the day and pray in the night and will not be angry?” The man said, “Yes”, but Alyasa did not say anything. Then, on the second day happened the same thing, and the people did not answer, but the same man said, “I can”, therefore, Alyasa made him his successor, and this ordinary man was Thul Kifl. Regarding the question whether Thul Kifl was merely a righteous person or a prophet, Ibn Kathir states that Thul Kifl’s name being mentioned along with the name of other prophets 8 is a proof enough to show that Thul Kifl was in fact a prophet (saww). Moses also sought a helper in facing the Pharaoh and God granted his wish and appointed Aaron as his helper and successor.
Musnad of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, vol. 1, p.331,
Abul Fida, Part 1, p.116,
at-Tabari , vol. 2 p. 217,
ibn al-Athir, vol. 2, p.22;
Mustadrak of al-Hakim, vol. 2 p. 133,
Habib Al-Sayar, vol. 2, Part 3, p.160,
ibn Kathir’s Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 40,
Kanzul Ummal, vol. 6 p. 392, 397, 401 and 408,
Rawdatus Safa, vol. 2 p. 278 and 279,
Ibn Taymiya’s Minhajus Sunna, vol. 4, p. 80,
al-Mohib at-Tabari’s Ar-Riyadul Nadira, Part 2 chap. 4 Section 6 p. 168, 202,203,
Gibbon’s ‘Decline & Fall’, vol.. 2, p. 422,
Thomas Carlyle’s Heroes & Hero Worship’, Lecture 2, p. 78,
M.S. Mirza’s ‘The Caliphate’121-132…
Al-Majlisi’s Hayatul Quloob, p.185, The Caliphate, p. 131-134.
Qur’an, 40:23-24, 42:29 – 51,
ibn Kathir’s Qasasul Ambiya 219.
Qasasul Ambiya, p. 182.
Qur’an, 21:85-86, 38:45-48.
رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلى مُحَمَّدٍ وَّآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَّعَجِّلْ فَرَجَهُمْ
وَالْعَنْ أَعْدَائَهُمْ اَجْمَعِيْن
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فی امان لله