Al-Ghadir fi l-kitab wa l-sunna wa l-adab (book)

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Al-Ghadir fi l-kitab wa l-sunnat wa l-adab
AuthorAbd al-Husayn Amini
Original titleالغدير في الکتاب و السنة و الأدب
Series11 volumes
SubjectWilaya and successorship of Imam Ali (a)

Al-Ghadīr fī l-kitāb wa l-sunna wa l-adab (Arabic: الغدير في الکتاب و السنة و الأدب, lit.: [Event of] Ghadir in the book and tradition and literature) is the title of an eleven-volume book by Allama Amini that proves and defends the immediate and successorship of Imam Ali (a) to the Prophet of Islam (s).

The author regards the Hadith al-Ghadir as the most authentic and mutawatir (numerously reported) narration from the Holy Prophet (s). To prove this, he has compiled the chains of narration of this hadith from Sahaba (companions of the Prophet (s)) and Tabi'un (companions of the companions of the Prophet (s)) to the scholars of the 14th/20th century from Sunni books to show the mutawatir nature of the hadith. In addition to such numerous chains of narration, the author extensively reports poems from Sahaba, Tabi'un, and later generations to substantiate his case. Among these discussions, he firmly replies to some of the accusations made by some Sunni scholars against Shi'a, using principles that are accepted in the Sunni faith.

Among the discussions of the book are discussions about the religious knowledge of the first three caliphs and some of its consequences.

For compiling the book, Amini travelled to different countries to use their libraries. He says I referred to more than one hundred thousand books and read more than ten thousand of them completely. Writing al-Ghadir took more than forty years.


Abd al-Husayn Amini was born in 1320/1902-3 in Tabriz, Iran. He had elementary education in his hometown. Later he moved to Najaf and benefited from great scholars there. He received the certificate of ijtihad from great Marja's such as al-Sayyid Abu l-Hasan al-Isfahani (d. 1365/1946) Mirza Muhammad Hussein Na'ini (d. 1355/1936) and Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri Yazdi (d. 1355/1937) and other scholars when he was a young student. In each of these certificates, his scholarly achievements and religious and social status are mentioned and praised.[1]

To find sources for his book, al-Ghadir, Allama Amini made a lot of journeys. In these travels, he would search for private or public libraries. He found, studied, and copied sources and citations from different books of these libraries. He would also meet with teachers and spread the message of Shi'a in scholarly circles; sometimes, he had speeches or led the congregational prayer. Among the cities he traveled with such program were: Hyderabad, Aligarh, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jalali, Rampur, (in India) Fu'ah, Ma'rifa, Cairo, Aleppo, Nubl, Damascus and … .[2]


Al-Ghadir fi l-kitab wa l-sunna wa l-adab (lit.: [Event of] Ghadir in the Book [the Qur'an] and tradition and literature) has been chosen as the title for the book to indicate that the denial of the Hadith al-Ghadir, entails the denial of the Qur'an, Prophet's (s) narrations and tradition, Arabic literature and poetic heritage, for the author has proven his case by providing different shreds of evidence from each of these sources.[3]

In al-Ghadir, around 150 books from among the most important sources of Muslims' literature and tradition –from various fields- that have shaped personalities and societies, are being used, and their content has been discussed and scrutinized according to the principles that are accepted in Sunni tradition. Therefore, it can be safely claimed that the author of al-Ghadir has accomplished a kind of academic reconstruction and has critically evaluated the general Islamic literature, for the very 150 books that are discussed -from the Tarikh of al-Tabari to the Fajr al-Islam by Ahmad Amin- provide standards and criteria for hundreds of other books and hundreds of other issues.[4]

First Volume

In this volume, after presenting the text of Hadith al-Ghadir, the author mentions 110 individuals of Sahaba (companions of the Prophet (s)) who have narrated this hadith and cites the report from each of these individuals from Sunni traditional sources.[5]

After the Sahaba, he mentions 84 individuals of Tabi'un (the companions of the companions of the Prophet (s)) who reported this hadith. He also presents the opinions of Sunni rijal experts on these narrators.[6]

After Tabi'un, the name of 360 Sunni scholars -from the 2nd/8th to 14th/20th centuries- are listed that have narrated and documented this Hadith in their works.[7]

In the next chapter of the book, the authors who have dedicated a single specific book to Hadith al-Ghadir are listed.[8] In the following chapter, the arguments in which Hadith al-Ghadir was cited are reported.[9] The next topic of the first volume is the Qur'anic verses concerning the Event of Ghadir, then the Eid al-Ghadir and its position in the school of Ahl al-Bayt (a) is discussed, also the report in which Umar and Abu Bakr offer congratulations to Imam Ali (a) is presented. After this, the opinions and words of some Sunni scholars regarding Hadith al-Ghadir and its chain of narration are reported and discussed.[10] Ending discussions of this volume are about the content and meaning of this hadith. In this regard, the author first reports some of the doubts given by some Sunni scholars concerning the meaning of hadith. Then, he provides various textual and contextual indications to clarify the meaning of the hadith.[11]

Second Volume

The second volume of al-Ghadir deals with the poems about Ghadir. At first, the author discusses the position of poetry and composing it according to the Qur'an and tradition. Then he presents Ghadir poets in the first/seventh century. He mentions some poems by Amir al-Mu'minin (a), Hassan b. Thabit, Qays b. Sa'd b. 'Ubada, Amr b. al-'As, and Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah al-Himyari through authentic historical sources. These poems are indicative of the successorship of Imam Ali (a) to the Prophet (s).[12]

After these individuals, poets from the second/eighth century are listed who have composed poems on Ghadir: Kumait, al-Sayyid al-Himyari, and Abdi al-Kufi. After this, is the list of third/ninth century Ghadir poets: Abu Tamam al-Ta'i and Di'bil al-Khuza'i.[13]

Third Volume

This volume starts with the continuation of 3rd/9th-century poets who composed poems about the Event of Ghadir. In the middle of this list, the author discusses and scrutinizes some of the orientalists' works regarding the history of Islam.[14] Then continues the list of 3rd/9th century poets by mentioning Ibn Rumi and Afwah al-Hamdani. Later he starts a discussion about Zayd al-Shahid (Zayd the martyr) and Shi'a opinion about him, responding to some of the critiques made by Sunni scholars.[15]

Then the author extensively deals with some of the accusations made by some Sunni scholars against Shi'a and refutes them. In this process, he discusses some topics such as the virtues of the Ahl al-Bayt (a), the Qur'an and the accusation of tahrif and mut'a.[16]

The remaining part of this volume includes Ghadir poets from the 4th/10th century: Ibn Tabataba al-Isfahani, Ibn 'Alawiyya al-Isfahani, al-Mufajja', Abu l-Qasim al-Sanawbari, Qadi Tanukhi, Abu l-Qasim Zahi, and Abu Firas al-Hamdani.[17]

Fourth Volume

The fourth volume presents the remaining Ghadir poets from the 4th/10th century and continues this list to the 5th/11th and 6th/12th centuries. Among these individuals are poets like: Abu l-Fath Kashajim, al-Sahib b. 'Ubbad, al-Sharif al-Radi, al-Sharif al-Murtada, Abu l-'Ala' al-Ma'arri, and al-Khatib al-Khwarazmi.[18]

Fifth Volume

This volume comprises the list of Ghadir poets in the 6th/12th and 7th/13th centuries; it also exhibits some discussions about:

  1. Hadith Radd al-Shams
  2. 1000 rak'a prayer
  3. Muhaddith in Islam
  4. The knowledge of the Unseen by Shi'a Imams (a)
  5. Burial of the dead bodies in and around holy Shrines
  6. Ziyarah
  7. Hadith Forgery

In all these topics, the author has used Sunni sources to respond and refute the accusations that some Sunni scholars have made against Shi'a.[19]

Sixth Volume

This volume lists Ghadir poets in the 8th/14th century, including al-Shaybani al-Shafi'i, Shams al-Din al-Maliki, and Ala' al-Din al-Hilli. Another discussed topic in this volume is the knowledge of Umar b. al-Khattab and his mistakes in judgments, which has been reported extensively by Sunni scholars. Along with this topic, Umar's prohibition of the two Mut'as (Mut'a of Hajj and Mut'a of women) is being discussed.[20]

Seventh Volume

The seventh volume starts with the list of Ghadir poets in the 9th/15th century. Then it discusses the exaggerations that exist in the historical reports about Abu Bakr's virtues, and then the discussion about his religious knowledge and some discussions about the issue of Fadak are followed.

The ending part of this volume is about the faith of Abu Talib, and to prove this, the author presents various facts and pieces of evidence like Abu Talib's poems, his sayings, and activities, and some narrations from the infallibles (a).[21]

Eighth Volume

This volume begins with the continuation of the discussion about the faith of Abu Talib; in this part, some of the doubts that are produced by misinterpretation of some Qur'anic verses are discussed and responded to.[22]

The remaining part of this volume is about the exaggerations about Abu Bakr and Umar. Then the exaggerations made about 'Uthman are brought up, and his extensive gifts and giveaway from bayt al-mal (treasury) to his relatives and banishing Abu Dhar to Rabadha are reported and discussed.

Ninth Volume

The discussions of this volume are about some of the reported virtues of 'Uthman, his mistreatment toward Ibn Mas'ud and 'Ammar b. Yasir, and banishing the righteous of Kufa to Syria. The words and opinions of some of the Companions of the Prophet (s) about 'Uthman, and the story of his assassination are among the content of this volume.[23]

Tenth Volume

The beginning of this volume is the continuation of reported exaggerations about the first three caliphs' virtues. It is followed by the story of Ibn Umar and his mistakes, including giving allegiance to Yazid.

The rest of this volume contains discussions about the fabricated virtues for Mu'awiya, his mistakes, innovations, crimes, and other wrong activities by him including waging war against Imam Ali (a) and the story of Hakamiyya.[24]

Eleventh Volume

The volume starts with analyzing the behaviour of Mu'awiya. It discusses his treatment of Imam al-Hasan (a), his treatment of Shi'a in general, and the crime he committed about Hujr b. Adi and his companions. After this, the fabricated virtues of Mu'awiya are analyzed and criticized. Also, other exaggerative and superstitious stories about other individuals are being discussed.

The last part of this volume includes the list of Ghadir poets from the 9th/15th to 12th/18th century. At the end of the book, the author promises that the next volume (12th) would contain the remaining list of Ghadir poets,[25] which remains unfulfilled due to the demise of the author.


Critics and researchers consider al-Ghadir as a kind of encyclopedia which includes different discussions about Islamic heritage in history, theology and apologetics, hadith, diraya (the science of analyzing the text of reports), rijal (the science of analyzing the chains of transmitters of each report), tafsir (Qur'anic exegesis), history of Qur'an's revelation, history of Ghadir literature, critical analysis of the tradition, correction and bibliography. The book is written in a consistent and nice style, wise manner, poetic prose, with abundant sources, epic and solid expression, limitless feelings, far-reaching inspiration, living honesty, and complete decisiveness.[26]

After the publication of al-Ghadir and considering the discussions in this book, the work of any later researcher in Islamic tradition and history who lacks proper knowledge of these discussions, would not be deemed as trustworthy. For instance, if a researcher writes about hadith science in Islam without having read the fifth volume of al-Ghadir (on the chain of fabricators and liars), or writes about sects and denominations without having read the third volume, or talks about the foundations and principles of Shia creed without proper knowledge of the first, second, and seventh volumes of al-Ghadir, without a doubt, that piece of work will be considered imperfect.[27]

Some of the critics' opinions are as follows:

  • Dr. Muhammad Ghallab al-Misri: Al-Ghadir, the dreamland of researchers.
  • Muhammad 'Abd al-Ghani Hasan al-Misri: Al-Ghadir, the great encyclopedia.
  • Dr. 'Abd al-Rahman Kayali al-Halabi: Al-Ghadir, any Muslim must have one copy of it.
  • Dr. Tawfiq al-Fakiki al-Baghdadi: Al-Ghadir, palatable water and a rare encyclopedia.
  • 'Abd al-Fattah 'Abd al-Maqsud al-Misri: Al-Ghadir, the vast universe of knowledge.
  • Dr. Bulis Salama al-Bayruti: Al-Ghadir, the ascertaining book of history and the opening of horizons of knowledge.
  • Dr. 'Ali Akbar Fayyad: Al-Ghadir, the wavy ocean.
  • Al-Shaykh Muhammad Sa'id al-Dahduh al-Halabi: Al-Ghadir, all the events of history and forms of time.
  • Al-Sayyid Sharaf al-Din al-'Amili: Al-Ghadir, the unique scholarly endeavour.
  • 'Ala' al-Din Khrufa al-Azhari: Al-Ghadir, a horrendous book.
  • Muhammad Taysir al-Makhzumi al-Shami: Al-Ghadir, a book different from other books.
  • Yusuf As'ad Daghir Bayruti: Al-Ghadir, an ocean with waves.[28]

Publication, Translation, and Summarization

Since the time of authorship, the eleventh volumes of al-Ghadir have been repeatedly printed. Currently, there are two main prints of this book:

  1. The old print (Tehran: Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyya, 1372 AH/1952-3, Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Arabi 1387 AH/1967-8) which was followed by numerous re-prints.
  2. The refined and verified version by: Markaz al-Ghadir li-l-Dirasat al-Islamiyya. Its first print was released in 1416/1995-6. This version, which appears in a new format, has gone through additional research and contains explanations and citations in footnotes.[29]

Al-Ghadir has been translated to Farsi, Urdu, and English. Also, there are Arabic, Urdu, and Turkish summaries of the book.[30]

Among other later works on this book are: creating indexes of figures and topics (titled: 'Ala difaf al-Ghadir [on the banks of Ghadir] and al-Munir fi faharis al-Ghadir), some additional parts written by al-Sayyid 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Tabataba'i, and different books in Farsi and Urdu, that were inspired by al-Ghadir.[31]

Various discussions of al-Ghadir like the discussion about Mut'a, Imam 'Ali's argument relying on the Hadith al-Ghadir have been published separately. Also, two books titled: Siyri dar al-Ghadir in Farsi by Muhammad Hadi Amini and Fi rihab al-Ghdir in Arabic by 'Ali Asghar Murwwij Khurasani, contain the most important discussions of al-Ghadir.[32]

Continued Part

Takmilat al-Ghadir fi l-kitab wa l-sunna wa l-adab: thamarat al-asfar ila l-aqtar (complementary of [Event of] al-Ghadir in the Book and tradition and literature: the results of journeys to lands) is the title of a four-volume book containing notes by the author of al-Ghadir, which was published posthumously. The notes were divided into two parts:

  1. The first part: notes and records by 'Allama Amini during his trip to India in 1380/1960-1. He spent four months there and studied manuscripts and printed books of different libraries and took notes from them.[33]
  2. The second part: notes and records by 'Allama Amini during his trip to Syria in 1384/1964-5. He studied manuscripts of different libraries and took notes from them.[34]

The author had meant to use these notes in the following volumes of al-Ghadir.[35]

Takmila al-Ghadir has been divided into four chapters and is published in four volumes.

First Chapter

This chapter is about the virtues of Imam 'Ali (a). At first, the verses that were revealed about him are mentioned. Then the issues pertaining to the Hadith al-Ghadir and its various chains of transmission, poems about al-Ghadir and virtues that are shared by the Prophet (s) and Imam 'Ali (a) are discussed.

Second Chapter

This chapter is about the virtues of the Ahl al-Bayt (a). It starts with the virtues of Lady Fatima al-Zahra (a) and continues to the virtues of Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a) and the Event of Karbala. Also, there are narrations about Imam al-Sajjad (a), Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a) and Imam al-Mahdi (a) in this chapter.

Third Chapter

This chapter is about the Prophet (s) and his Companions. In general, this chapter contains some rare narrations and reports about the Sunna and the companions of the Prophet (s).

Fourth Chapter

In this chapter, the references and sources of the book are listed in two parts. The first part is related to the author's trip to India and the second is about his trip to Syria. The fourth volume ends with indexes of Qur'anic verses, narrations, figures, printed sources, and manuscripts.

Encyclopedia of Ghadir Poets

Mawsu'a al-shu'ara al-Ghadir: al-mustadrak 'ala kitab al-Ghadir li-l-Shaykh al-Amini is the title of a seven volume book, published by al-'Ataba al-'Alawiyya al-Muqaddasa in Najaf. In its first volume, contributors to this collection have compiled the poems from before the 13th/19th century that, as they claim, were missed by 'Allama Amini. The following volumes comprise of Ghadir poems from the 13th/19th to 15th/21st centuries.[36]


  1. Hakimi, Allama Amini, p.19
  2. Hakimi, Allama Amini, p.26
  3. Amini, Takmilat l-Ghadir, vol.1 p.48
  4. Hakimi, Hamasa-yi ghadir, p.187
  5. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.1 pp.41-144
  6. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.1 pp.145-165
  7. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.1 pp.167-311
  8. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.1 pp.313-325
  9. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.1 pp.327-423
  10. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.1 pp.423-608
  11. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.1 pp.609-707
  12. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.2
  13. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.2
  14. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.3 pp.23-49
  15. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.3 pp.105-114
  16. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.3 pp.115-459
  17. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.3 pp.463-566
  18. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.4
  19. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.5
  20. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.6 pp. 278-338
  21. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.7 pp. 444-550
  22. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.8 pp. 11-45
  23. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.9
  24. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.10
  25. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.11 p. 520
  26. Hakimi, Hamasa-yi ghadir, p.185
  27. Hakimi, Hamasa-yi ghadir, pp.185-186
  28. Hakimi, Hamasa-yi ghadir, p.186
  29. Abu l-Hasani, al-Ghadir, p.333
  30. Abu l-Hasani, al-Ghadir, p.333
  31. Abu l-Hasani, al-Ghadir, pp.333-334
  32. Abu l-Hasani, al-Ghadir, p.334
  33. Amini, Takmilat al-ghadir, vol.1 p.54
  34. Amini, Takmilat al-ghadir, vol.1 pp.54-55
  35. Amini, Takmilat al-ghadir, vol.1 p.55
  36. 'Abd al-Sada, Mawsu'a, p.21


  • Tabataba'i, al-Sayyid 'Abd al-'Aziz al-. Al-Muhaqiq al-Tabataba'i fi dhikrah al-sanawiyya al-ula. Qom: Mu'assisa Al al-Bayt li-Ihya' al-Turath, 1417 AH.
  • Amini, 'Abd al-Husayn. Al-Ghadir. Qom: Markaz al-Ghadir li-l-Dirasat al-Islamiyya, 1416/1995.
  • Hakimi, Muhammad Rida. 'Allama Amini. Tehran: Mu'assisa Anjam Kitab, 1361 Sh/1403 AH.
  • Abu l-Hasani, 'Ali. Al-Ghadir. in Danishnama-yi Imam 'Ali. Ed. 'Ali Akbar Rashad. Tehran: Markaz-i Nashr-i Athar-i Pazhuhishgah-i Farhang wa Andisha-yi Islami, 1380 Sh.
  • Amini, 'Abd al-Husayn. Takmilat al-ghadir. Beirut: Markaz al-Amir li-Ihya' al-Turath al-Islami, 1429/2008.
  • 'Abd al-Sada, Rasul Kazim. Mawsu'at shu'ar' al-Ghadir. Najaf: 1431/2010.