Ghadir Khumm in Images and Quotations; and “I Wish I’d Been There” – Reflections by Jehangir Merchant, Aziz Kurwa and Barnaby Rogerson

A Piece of History in Images and Quotations

Images of some stamps and coins issued by the Islamic Republic of Iran between 1990 and 2010 commemorating the Idd-e-Ghadir. The inscriptions inlude the Shahada, Qur’anic ayats and the declaration made by Prophet Muhammad at Ghadir Khumm, “Mun Koontu Mawla, Fa Hada, Aliyun Mawla” meaning “He of whom I am the Mawla Ali is also the Mawla.”


“Muhammad said: ‘He of whom I am the Mawla, Ali is his Mawla. O God, be the friend of him who is his friend and be the enemy of his enemy.’

“This became the proof text for the Shia claim that Ali, the Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law, was the Prophet’s rightful successor after the Prophet’s death in 632. The meaning of Mawla here probably implies the role of patron, lord or protector.” – History in Quotations by M. J. Cohen and John Major.



“…As you know, the Shi’a divided from the Sunni after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Hazrat Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet, was, in Shi’a belief, named by the Prophet to be the Legitimate Authority for the interpretation of the faith. For the Shi’a today, all over the world, he is regarded as the first Imam.” – His Highness the Aga Khan, Tutzing Evangelical AcademyMay 20, 2006. [1]



His Highness the Aga Khan seen ordaining a new constitution for the Ismaili community worldwide. Clause (G) of the Preamble states: “Mawlana Hazar Imam Shah Karim al Hussaini, His Highness Prince Aga Khan, in direct lineal descent from the Holy Prophet (s.a.s.) through Hazrat Mawlana Ali (a.s.) and Hazrat Bibi Fatima (a.s), is the Forty-Ninth Imam of the Ismaili Muslims.”

“In accordance with Shia doctrine, tradition, and interpretation of history, the Holy Prophet (s.a.s.) designated and appointed his cousin and son-in-law Hazrat Mawlana Ali Amiru-l-Mu’minin (a.s), to be the first Imam to continue the Ta’wīl and Ta‘līm of Allah’s final message and to guide the murids, and proclaimed that the Imamat should continue by heredity through Hazrat Mawlana Ali (a.s) and his daughter Hazrat Bibi Fatimat-az-Zahra, Khātun-i-Jannat (a.s).” – The Preamble of The Constitution of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims. [2]



“The Ismaili Imamat is a hereditary institution of Muslim leadership, linked to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) by direct lineal descent through Hazrat Ali, his cousin and son in law. The line of Ismaili Imams has continued uninterrupted by hereditary succession from Hazrat Ali through to the present, 49th Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan.” – The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) , Brazil and the Ismaili Imamat sign a Protocol. [3]



“Allah did choose Adam and Noah, the family of Abraham, and the family of Imran above all people – offspring, one of the other, and Allah knows and hears all things.” (Sura 3, Ayats 33-34).

With regard to the above verse, the Ismaili poet Nizar Quhistani explained:

“We search for a union with the family of the Chosen (Prophet Muhammad). We search for the truth of son after son. We are totally obedient to his offspring, one of the other. There is no other thing we can add to this but itself. We endeavour in our faith so that we do not turn out to be faithless.” – Quoted in Ismailis in the Middle Ages by Shafique Virani.


Reflections: “I Wish I’d Been There”

Jehangir Merchant, Aziz Kurwa and Barnaby Rogerson take a moment in Ismaili history and tell us why they wish they had been there.

Please click for Jehangir A. Merchant’s “Ghadir-Khumm and the Two Weighty Matters”

The last obligatory duty that Allah sent down was al-Walaya (adherence to the guardian designated by Allah). Then, He sent down the verse: “This day have I perfected your religion for you and have completed My favours upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Holy Qur’an, 5:3)…Read Ghadir-Khumm and the Two Weighty Matters by Jehangir Merchant


Please click for Aziz Kurwa’s “Volunteering at the Dawning of the Age of Imamat”

Rasul-illah mounted the pulpit and placed Ali on his right. He then delivered a sermon, thanking Allah for His bounty. Taking Hazrat Ali by the hand, he then declared: He of whom I am Mawla, of him Ali is also the Mawla. The volunteers cleared everything and then we sat around campfires in groups. In my group the conversations was buzzing over the historical and momentous events of the day…Read Volunteering at the Dawn of the Age of Imamat by Aziz Kurwa


Please click for Barnaby Rogerson’s “A Christian Envoy at the Ghadir Khumm Campsite”

What an offer! To travel back in time and return as a true witness to the history that I have so often thought and dreamed about… (and) witness to the exact succession of events at the Ghadir Khumm campsite: the blessings, the sermon and the ritual actions of the Prophet ordaining Ali as his successor…Read A Christian Envoy at the Ghadir Khumm Campsite by Barnaby Rogerson

To download complete series, please click I Wish I’d Been There Series – PDF. To read individual pieces, please visit I Wish I’d Been There.


[1] To read this and other published speeches at the AKDN Website, please click Tolerance Award from the Evangelical Academy of Tutzing and Speech Archives.

[2] To read background story and complete preamble, please click The Preamble Of “The Constitution of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims”.

[3] See The Ismaili Imamat note in AKDN–Brazil Protocol.


Readers may find the following external sources useful for additional material on Ghadir-Khumm:

1. Ghadeer-e-Khumm: Where the Religion was Brought to Perfection – PDF book

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