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Why is 'Ali (a.s), the son of Abu-Talib, the Prophet's Successor?

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيم


As regards the successorship of the holy Prophet, the Shiites firmly believe that it is an ordained position. They maintain that the position of Imamate is, in some respects, like that of Prophethood. A prophet's successor, just as the prophet himself, should be introduced by God. The biography of the Messenger of God, Muhammad (a.s), also bears witness to this principle: the Prophet himself explicitly and implicitly appointed 'Ali (a.s) as his successor in numerous occasions, three of which are mentioned here:

1) At the beginning of the prophetic mission, when the holy Prophet was commissioned by God through the verse "and warn thy tribe of near kindred" (26:214), he addressed them saying, "who will, from among you, help me with this matter to be my brother, my counselor, my legatee and my successor?" It was only 'Ali (a.s) who replied positively to this heavenly call. Then the Prophet addressed his relatives and announced, "This person ('Ali) will be my brother, my legatee and my successor among you, so listen to him and follow him."[1]


2) In the war of Tabuk, the holy Prophet asked 'Ali, "Do you not want to be to me as Aaron was to Moses, save that there will not be any prophet after me?"[2] This means that just as Aaron was the immediate legatee and successor to Moses, so would 'Ali be the Prophet's successor.


3) In the 10th year after Hijra, when returning from the last pilgrimage to Mecca in a valley called Ghadir Khumm, in the presence of a large multitude, the Prophet introduced 'Ali (a.s) as Master of Muslims and Believers. At the beginning of his address, the Prophet asked people, "Do I not have authority on you more than you have on yourselves" When all the people gathering there unanimously affirmed it, the Prophet announced: man kuntu mawlahu fa hadha 'Aliyyun mawlahu "Whomsoever I have been the master, 'Ali will be The Ghadir tradition is one of the successive traditions cited by not only all Shiite scholars but also by about three hundred and sixty Sunni ones,[4] who have quoted one hundred and ten of the Prophet's companions in the chain of the narrators of this tradition. Moreover, twenty-six great Muslim scholars have written separate books on the recording and the handing down of this tradition. For instance, the famous Muslim historian, Abu-Ja'far Tabari wrote two volumes of books on this issue. 'Allamah Amini's encyclopedic book, al-Ghadir, provides further information in this regard.

master from now on." It is clear that what the Prophet implied by the word mawla (master), was the very same authority and full superiority par excellence that he had over the believers which was established for 'Ali as well.

On that day Hassan Ibn Thabit put the historical Ghadir event into a poem that reads:

Their Prophet was inviting them on the day of Ghadir And a herald whispered into the messenger's ear, "Who is your master and prophet?" he asked. They replied, and no ignorance they pretended: "Your God is our master, and you are our prophet forever And no one among us will you find opposed to the mastery, ever." Then he called "Rise, thou 'Ali" "The leader and Imam after me I agree you be." "So, 'Ali is the master of those whose master I've been," "And I want you truthful followers of his to be after." "O God! Be his friends' friend Thou." Then he prayed, "And be his foes' foe."[3]


The Ghadir tradition is one of the successive traditions cited by not only all Shiite scholars but also by about three hundred and sixty Sunni ones,[4] who have quoted one hundred and ten of the Prophet's companions in the chain of the narrators of this tradition. Moreover, twenty-six great Muslim scholars have written separate books on the recording and the handing down of this tradition. For instance, the famous Muslim historian, Abu-Ja'far Tabari wrote two volumes of books on this issue. 'Allamah Amini's encyclopedic book, al-Ghadir, provides further information in this regard.


[1] Tarikh al-Tabari, vol. 2 pp. 62-63; al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, vol. 2, pp. 40-41; Musnad Ahmad, vol. 1, p. 111; Nahj al-Balaghah Commentary by Ibn Abi'l-Hadid, vol. 13, pp. 210-212.


[2] Sirat Ibn Husham, vol. 3, p. 520; Al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah, book 9, chapter 2, p. 121.


[3] Kharazmi, the Maliki, al-Manaqib, p. 80; Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi, the Hanafi, Tadhkirat al-Khawass, p. 20; al-Kanji, the Shafii, Kifayat al-Talib, p. 17.


[4] For Instance, see Ibn Hajar's Al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah. (Egypt) book 9, chapter. 2.


رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلى مُحَمَّدٍ وَّآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَّعَجِّلْ فَرَجَهُمْ

وَالْعَنْ أَعْدَائَهُمْ اَجْمَعِيْن

🤲 اللھم عجل لولیک الفرج(ع)🤲

التماس دعا

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