Eid-e-Ghadir is celebrated annually by Shia Muslims on the 18th day of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah, the final month of the lunar-based Muslim calendar. This year, the holiday begins on June 24 to 25. Also known as Eid-al-Ghadeer, the religious holiday is named after the event in which Shia Muslims believe that the cousin of the Prophet Muhammad, Ali ibn Abi Talib, was appointed as a leader and religious authority after the Prophet.
History of Eid-e-Ghadir
Eid-e-Ghadir is a religious, Islamic holiday celebrated by Shia Muslims to commemorate the appointment of Ali ibn Abi Talib as the leader and religious authority after the Prophet Muhammad. The event can be traced back to the time in which Prophet Muhammad journeyed from Mecca back to Medina. While doing so, he ordered his friends and companions to stop at ‘Ghadir Khumm.’ ‘Ghadir’ translates to ‘pond,’ and it was from this location that the name ‘Ghadir’ in Eid-e-Ghadir was derived. At this pond, people from various provinces congregated and greeted one another before returning to their respective towns and cities after the pilgrimage of Hajj. In present-day Saudi Arabia, ‘Ghadir Khumm’ is located in the city of ‘Al-Juhfah.’
It is believed that the following verse of the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad at Ghadir Khumm: “Oh Apostle! Deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord, and if you do not, you have not delivered His message (at all); and Allah will protect you from the people.” Following this revelation, the Prophet gave a sermon in which he said the following of ibn Abi Talib: “Oh Allah, bear witness. ‘Oh people, Allah is my Lord and I am the Lord (leader) of the believers. I am worthier of believers than themselves. Of whomsoever I had been Master (Mawla), Ali here is to be his Master (Mawla). Oh Allah, be a supporter of whoever supports him (Ali) and an enemy of whoever opposes him (Ali).”
This verse leads Shia Muslims to hold the belief that Ali was to become the religious authority and leader after Prophet Muhammad, hence the celebration of Eid-e-Ghadir.
Prophet Muhammad dies, leading to controversy about his rightful successor.
Muhammad’s first successor, Abu Bakr, also dies and is replaced by Omar Ibn al-Khattab.
Omar Ibn al-Khattab is killed and Othman Ibn Affan becomes the new Caliph.
Othman is murdered and Ali ibn Abi Talib finally becomes the Caliph.
What countries have the most Shias?
The countries with the highest percentages of Shia Muslims are Iran, Bahrain, Lebanon, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Yemen, Kuwait, and Turkey.
Who were Ali and Fatima’s children?
Ali ibn Abi Talib and Fatima had four children together: Hasan, Husayn, Zaynab, and Umm Kulthum.
Who succeeded Ali ibn Abi Talib?
Mu’awiya became the Caliph after Ali’s death, ruling from 661 to 680.
How to Observe Eid-e-Ghadir
Give gifts to friends and family
Shia Muslims celebrate Eid-e-Ghadir by giving gifts to loved ones. Even if you’re not a Muslim, show love through the act of giving.
Take part in a feast with others
Eating celebratory meals is also a large part of Eid-e-Ghadir. Get in the festive spirit and enjoy a nice meal with your friends and family.
Spread the word
Many people might be unaware of Eid-e-Ghadir and its history. Share information about Eid-e-Ghadir with your network to enlighten others.
5 Important Facts About Shia Islam
Islam splits into two denominations
After Prophet Muhammad died, Islam split into two main divisions, Shia and Sunni.
Shias revere Ali’s descendants
They believe that all of Prophet Muhammad’s descendants through his daughter Fatima and her husband, Ali, are entitled to hold supreme political power and religious authority over the Islamic community.
The followers of Ali
Those who expressed loyalty or devotion to Ali took the title ‘Shiat Ali,’ meaning ‘party or faction of Ali.’
The Shia are not many in number
Shia Islam is followed by 10 to 15% of all Muslims.
Iran has the highest population
The largest population of Shia Muslims is found in Iran.
Why Eid-e-Ghadir is Important
It speaks of Islam’s history
The origin of Eid-e-Ghadir is also closely tied to the history of Islam. It commemorates special events and sermons given by Prophet Muhammad.
It’s a time of remembrance
On this day, Shia Muslims honor and remember Ali ibn Abi Talib. All over the world, they celebrate the life of the ‘Rightly Guided’ Caliph.
It’s a time of celebration
Shia Muslims also celebrate the achievements of Ali during his tenure as Caliph. This exercise is of extreme importance to this minority Islamic faction.