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Event of Tahniya

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The Event of Tahniya (Arabic: قضية التهنئة) or Congratulation is the event in which the companions of Prophet Muhammad (s), particularly 'Umar and Abu Bakr, congratulated Imam 'Ali (a) after his guardianship or mastership was declared by the Prophet (s) in the Event of Ghadir. This is taken as evidence for the rightfulness of Imam 'Ali (a) and the Prophet’s intention when he announced his succession on the Day of Ghadir.

The Expression of the Congratulation

The Event of Tahniya or Congratulation is the day when the companions of Prophet Muhammad (s) congratulated Imam 'Ali (a) after his guardianship was announced by the Prophet (s) on the Day of Ghadir (Dhu l-Hijja 18, 10/March 19, 632).[1] 'Umar b. Khattab congratulated him by saying: “Well done, well done, O ʿAli! Today you became my master and the master of all believing men and women.”[2] In some sources, there is “Ibn Abi Talib”[3] or “Amir al-Muʿminin”[4] instead of “ʿAli.” Moreover, in some sources, there is “Muslim men and women” instead of “believing men and women.”[5] ʿUmar’s words were quoted by Ahmad b. Hanbal as follows: “Congratulations (haniʿa), O Ibn Abi Talib! In this morning and evening you became the master of all believing men and women.”[6]

Who Congratulated ʿAli (a)

Abu Bakr, 'Umar b. Khattab, Talha, and Zubayr were among the companions who congratulated 'Ali (a) in Ghadir Khumm.[7] According to some authors, Abu Bakr and 'Umar did this at the command of the Prophet (s)[8] and after the admonition that opposition to comply with this command would mean to exit from Islam.[9] However, there are other texts in which 'Umar is said to be delighted,[10] or he congratulated Imam 'Ali (a) more vigorously than others,[11] or he is said to be the first[12] or one of the first people who congratulated 'Ali (a).[13]

According to a source, when Imam 'Ali’s guardianship was declared, 'Umar b. Khattab told the Prophet (s) that he saw a young man how said, “only hypocrites would neglect this command by the Prophet (s).” The Prophet (s) told 'Umar that the young man was indeed Gabriel.[14]

Implications for ʿAli’s Imamate

'Umar b. Khattab’s congratulation to Imam 'Ali (a) is said to mean that the Prophet’s declaration on the Day of Ghadir was indeed a declaration of 'Ali (a) as his successor,[15] and as superior[16] and more learned than others.[17] According to al-Fayd al-Kashani, in this event, the Second Caliph addressed ʿAli (a) as “Amir al-Muʾminin.”[18] In some texts, it is said that in later years when Imam 'Ali (a) met Abu Bakr, he cited this congratulation as evidence for his right to the caliphate.[19]

The Time of the Event

In most sources, it is said that the Prophet’s companions congratulated Imam 'Ali (a) on the Day of Ghadir.[20] According to some hadiths, when Imam 'Ali (a) was announced by the Prophet (s) as his successor on the Day of Ghadir, the Prophet (s) ordered the erection of a tent for 'Ali (a) so that his companions could go to him there and congratulate him.[21]

In some sources, the event is said to take place on the Day of Mubahala and the Brotherhood Agreement, when 'Umar b. Khattab congratulated Imam 'Ali (a) after his guardianship was announced by the Prophet (s).[22]

Notes

  1. Amīnī, Al-Ghadīr, vol. 1, p. 508.
  2. Hilālī, Kitāb Sulaym b. Qays, vol. 2, p. 829; Furāt al-Kūfī, Tafsīr furāt al-kūfī, p. 516; Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 1, p. 177.
  3. al-Tafsīr al-mansūb ilā al-Imām al-Ḥasan b. ʿAlī al-ʿAskarī, p. 112; Khaṭīb Baghdādī, Tārīkh-i Baghdād, vol. 8, p. 284; Ibn ʿAsākir, Tārīkh madīnat Dimashq, vol. 42, p. 233.
  4. Khuṣaybī, al-Hidāya al-kubrā, p. 104.
  5. Ṣadūq, al-Amālī, p. 2; Khaṭīb Baghdādī, Tārīkh-i Baghdād, vol. 8, p. 284; Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 7, p. 349.
  6. Ibn Ḥanbal, Musnad al-Imām Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, vol. 30, p. 430.
  7. Ḥillī, al-Udad al-qawīyya, p. 183.
  8. al-Tafsīr al-mansūb ilā al-Imām al-Ḥasan b. ʿAlī al-ʿAskarī, p. 112.
  9. Hilālī, Kitāb Sulaym b. Qays, vol. 2, p. 829.
  10. Irbilī, Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 1, p. 237.
  11. Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 1, p. 177; Ṭabrisī, Iʿlām al-warā, p. 133.
  12. Mufīd, Masār al-Shīʿa, p. 44; Baḥrānī, Madīnat maʿājiz, vol. 2, p. 269.
  13. Ibn Ṭāwūs, Ṭaraf min al-ʾAnbaʾ wa al-manāqib, p. 362.
  14. Shāmī, al-Durr al-naẓīm, p. 253.
  15. Karājakī, Kanz al-Fawāʾid, vol. 2, p. 96.
  16. Shāmī, al-Durr al-naẓīm, p. 268-269.
  17. Daylamī, Ghurar al-akhbār, p. 349.
  18. Fayḍ al-Kāshānī, Nawādir al-akhbār, p. 166.
  19. Daylamī, Irshād al-qulūb, vol. 2, p. 264; Khuṣaybī, al-Hidāya al-kubrā, p. 103-104.
  20. Hilālī, Kitāb Sulaym b. Qays, vol. 2, p. 828-829; Al-Tafsīr al-mansūb ilā al-Imām al-Ḥasan b. ʿAlī al-ʿAskarī, p. 112; Furāt al-Kūfī, Tafsīr furāt al-kūfī, p. 516; Ṣadūq, Al-Amālī, p. 2; Mufīd, Al-Irshād, vol. 1, p. 175; Ibn ʿAsākir, Tārīkh madīnat Dimashq, vol. 42, p. 234.
  21. Hilālī, Kitāb Sulaym b. Qays, vol. 2, p. 829; Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 1, p. 176; Ṭabrisī, Iʿlām al-warā, p. 132.
  22. Ibn Baṭrīq, ʿUmdat ʿuyūn, p. 169; Ibn Shādhān, Al-Rawḍa, p. 76-77; Irbilī, Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 1, p. 328.

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