Eid al-Ghadir

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Eid al-Ghadir
This painting by Mahmoud Farshchian depicts the Prophet (s) giving a speech to the Muslims while Ali (a) is standing next to him
This painting by Mahmoud Farshchian depicts the Prophet (s) giving a speech to the Muslims while Ali (a) is standing next to him
Giving food • Honoring Sadat
TimeDhu l-Hijja 18
OriginHajjat al-Wada'
Supplication(s)اَلحمدُ لِلهِ الّذی جَعَلَنا مِنَ المُتَمَسّکینَ بِولایةِ اَمیرِالمؤمنینَ و الائمةِ المَعصومینَ علیهم السلام
Hymns and
Hassan b. Thabit's poem about Ghadir

Eid al-Ghadīr (Arabic: عید الغَدیر) is among important feasts and happy holidays of Shi'a held on Dhu l-Hijja 18 at the time when, according to reports, the Prophet (s) appointed Ali b. Abi Talib (a) as his caliph and the Imam after himself following an order from God. That event happened in the Prophet's (s) Farewell Hajj (Hajjat al-Wida'), in 10/632 in a place called Ghadir Khumm.

In Shi'a hadiths, the anniversary has been called "Eid Allah al-Akbar" (the Greatest Eid of God),[1] Eid of Ahl al-Bayt (a)[2] and "Ashraf al-A'yad" (Most Honorable Eid).[3] Shi'a celebrate this day around the world with various customs.

Event of Ghadir

The Prophet (s) began his journey from Medina toward Mecca for hajj on Dhu l-Qa'da 24 or 25 of 10/632 accompanied with thousands of people.[4] Since that hajj was the last hajj of the Prophet (s), it was later called "Hajjat al-Wida'". When hajj rituals finished and the Prophet (s) left Mecca toward Medina, they arrived at Ghadir Khumm, on Dhu l-Hijja 18 [5]and In this place, Gabriel revealed the verse of Tabligh to the Prophet (s) and delivered him the order of God for appointment of Ali (a) as Wali and Wasi (successor) after the Prophet (s) and announcing it to people.[6]

Sermon of Ghadir

According to hadiths, the Prophet (s) gathered people in Ghadir Khumm, raised Ali's (a) hand so that everyone sees and asked, "O people! Do I not have wilaya (guardianship) over you more than you have over yourself?" People answered, "Yes, O Prophet (s)!" Then, the Prophet (s) said:

God is my wali (guardian), and I am wali of the believers; I have wilaya over them more than they have over themselves. So anyone I am his wali, Ali (a) is his wali.

Then, the Prophet (s) repeated it three times and said, "O God! Befriend and be the wali of anyone who loves Ali (a) and considers him as his wali; be the enemy of anyone who is his enemy; and assist anyone who assists him and abandon anyone who abandons him."

He (s) then told people, "Those who are present, convey this message to those who are absent." [7]

In Hadiths

In Sunni references, there is a hadith saying that, "anyone who fasts Dhu l-Hijja 18, God regards the rewards of 6 months fasting for him" and that "this day is Eid Ghadir Khumm."[8]

The Prophet (s) said,

"the day of Ghadir Khumm is the best eid of my umma (people), and that is the day God the Almighty ordered to appoint my brother Ali b. Abi Talib (a) as the standard-bearer of my umma; so that, he will guide people after I pass away, and that is the day God perfected the religion and completed blessings upon my umma and chose Islam as their religion."[9]

Also, Imam al-Sadiq (a) said,

"the day of Ghadir Khumm is the grand Eid of God. God has not sent any prophet unless he has celebrated this eid and has glorified it. And its name in the heavens is the day of covenant and on the earth is the day of solemn covenant and public presence."[10]

In another hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), he regarded Eid al-Ghadir as the greatest and most glorious eid of Muslims, in every hour of which, they need to thank God; and that people fast the day to show their gratitude and that fasting the day equals sixty years of worship."[11]

Imam al-Rida (a) said,

"the Day of Ghadir is more popular among the dwellers of heavens than among the people of the earth… If people knew the value of this day, undoubtedly angels would shake hands with them ten times a day."[12]

History of the Celebration

Eid al-Ghadir in the Holy Shrine of Imam Ali (a) in Najaf, Iraq. The photo is taken on November 3, 2012 by Shia Waves.

Shi'a Muslims consider the day of Ghadir as one of the greatest eids since early Islam, and this day was famous among them as Eid al-Ghadir. In his book, al-Mas'udi (d. 346/957-8) wrote that children and followers of Imam Ali (a) venerated this day.[13] In a hadith, al-Kulayni (d. 329/940-1) has narrated Shi'a's celebration of this day.[14] Therefore, it is clear that Eid al-Ghadir's celebration has been common in the 3rd/9th and 4th/10th centuries.

Earlier, Fayyad b. Muhammad b. 'Umar al-Tusi narrated a tradition which suggested that Imam al-Rida (a) celebrated the day of Ghadir.[15] Since Imam al-Rida (a) was living at the end of the second/ early 9th century, it becomes clear that the celebration of the day of Ghadir goes back early centuries of Islam.

Such a celebration has been common among Muslims in the following years and centuries so that the ceremony of allegiance with al-Musta'la b. Mustansir (one of the rulers of Egypt) was held on the day of Eid al-Ghadir 487/1094-5.[16] Fatimid caliphs made the Eid al-Ghadir an official eid in Egypt; in Iran, it has been among official holidays since 907/1501-2, when Isma'il I, the Safavid king came to the throne.

In recent centuries, celebrating this day has been considered among the symbols of Shi'a. In Najaf, a great celebration is held every year in the courtyard of Imam Ali's (a) holy shrine, and noblemen and scholars of Shi'a and ambassadors of Islamic Countries attend there, and great speeches and odes are recited. In Yemen, Zaydi Shi'a celebrate the day of Ghadir and illuminate and decorate their streets.

The eve of Eid al-Ghadir is also among the important nights for Muslims.[17]

Recommended Practices

  • Fasting
  • Performing ghusl (ritual bath)
  • Reciting the Ziyarah Amin Allah
  • Reciting Du'a al-Nudba
  • Saying the following happy praises when meeting other believers: "اَلحمدُ لِلهِ الّذی جَعَلَنا مِنَ المُتَمَسّکینَ بِولایةِ اَمیرِالمؤمنینَ و الائمةِ المَعصومینَ علیهم السلام" ["Praise belongs to Allah, who made us among the adherers to the wilaya of the Master of the Faithful (a) and the Infallible Imams (a)"]
  • Wearing nice clothes
  • Beautifying oneself
  • Wearing perfumes
  • Visiting Relatives
  • Giving food to believers[18]

See Also


  1. Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa, vol. 8, p. 89.
  2. Sayyid b. Ṭāwūs, Iqbāl al-Aʿmāl, vol. 2, p. 261.
  3. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 4, p. 148.
  4. Ṭabrisī, al-Iḥtijāj, vol. 1, p. 56; Ayāzī, Tafsīr al-Qurʾān al-majīd, p. 148; Ḥalabī, al-Sīra al-Ḥalabīyya, vol. 3, p. 360-361.
  5. Yaʿqūbī, Tārikh al-Yaʿqūbī, vol. 2, p. 112.
  6. Ayāzī, Tafsīr al-Qurʾān al-majīd, p. 184; ʿAyyāshī, Tafsīr al-ʿAyyāshī, vol. 1, p. 332.
  7. Ibn Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 3, p. 605; Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 295; Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 2, p. 110-111; Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 7, p. 349.
  8. Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī, Tārīkh al-Baghdād, vol. 8, p. 284.
  9. Ṣadūq, al-Amālī, p. 125.
  10. Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa, vol. 8, p. 89.
  11. Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa, vol.10, p.443.
  12. Ṭūsī, Tahdhīb al-Aḥkām, vol. 6, p. 24.
  13. Masʿūdī, al-Tanbīh wa l-ishrāf, p. 221.
  14. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 4, p. 149.
  15. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 95, p. 322.
  16. Ibn Khallikān, Wafayāt al-aʿyān, vol. 1, p. 180.
  17. Thaʿālibī, Thimār al-ghulūb, p. 511.
  18. Al-Qummi, Mafātīh al-jinān, under the title of "Practices of Dhu l-Hijja 18"


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