All the previous declarations may be classified as prelude to the Formal Declaration of Ghadeer Al-Khum.
This event has been unanimously mentioned by the learned historians and scholars of both sects.
Here we give a brief account to sno\v what great arrangements were made to declare Ali as the successor of the Holy Prophet.
Thc Ghadeer Al-Khum lies between Mecca and Madina. When on his way home, after finishing his last pilgrimage, Jabraeel the Archangel brought this urgent command of God to the Prophet.
"O Apostle! proclaim what hath been sent down to thee from thy Lord:
and if thou do it not, thou hast not proclaimed His Messaage (at all);
and God wi11 protect thee from (evil) men."
QURAN: 5: 67
The Prophet stopped at once and ordered that all men should assemble.
Those who had departed were called back. A pulpit was set up by pilining up camel saddles. The acacia thorns were hastily swept away. The Prophet then ascended the pulpit and delivered a long address. The midday sun was very hot. The audience stretched their cloaks under their feet and were waiting for the command.
The Prophet addressed them as follows:
"O ye people! Know it well that Jabraeel came down to me several times bringing me orders from the Lord, the Merciful, that I should halt at the place and inform every man, white and black, that Ali, the son of Abu Taleb, is my brother, and my Wasi (successor) and my Caliph, and the Imam after me. His position to me is like that of Aaron to Musa, except that there is to be no prophet after me, and he is your Master next to God and His Prophet.
"O ye people! Verily, God has appointed him to be your Imam and ruler. Obedience to him isobligatory alike on all the Muhajirin (emigrants or refuges) and Ansar (helpers) and O1 those who follow them in virtues, and on the dwellers in cities and the nomads. the Arabs and non-Arabs. the freeman and the slave, the young and old, the great and the small, the white aud the black. His command is be obeyed, his word is binding and his orders obligatory on everyone believing in one God. Cursed is the man who disobeys him and blessed is he who follows him, and he who believes in him is the true believer.
"O ye people! This is the last time I stand in this assembly. Therefore, listen and obey and surrender to the command of your Lord. Verily, Allah, He is your Lord and God; then after Him, His Prophet Mohammad, who is adressing you, is your Master. Then after me Ali is your master and your Imam, according to God's command.
"Then after him the Imamat will continue in my descendants begotten by him till the day you meet God and His Prophet.
"O ye people! Think over the Quran and understand its verses, reflect over its clear verses and do not go to the ambiguous ones. For, by God, none will properly explain to you its warnings and expound to you lts meanings, except this man (Ali) whose hand I hold and whom I am lifting up towards myself by his arrns. And I say unto you that Ali is the Master of all those who accept me as their Master and he is Ali, the son of Abu Taleb, my brother and Wasi; and love for him and obedience to him has been made obligatory by God, the Powerful, the Exalted.
The other Imams have also been briefly referred to in this address and they are mentioned with precise details in many other traditions: For example, on one occasion. addressing Imam Hussain, The Prophet said,
"Thou art an Imam, the son of an Imam, the brother of an Imam, nine of thy lineal descendants will be pious Imams; the ninth of them being their 'Qaim' (Living)."
Even a casual observer would not fail to realise that it was a matter of vital importance to Islarn and under the urgent Divine command The Prophet made all possible preparation to accomplish it. Exposed to the scorching rays of the midday sun, he mounted the pulpit to make the important pronouncement. First of all he informed the audience of his approaching end and then called them to witness that he had faithfully discharged his office. Then he.asked them,
"Tell me if I have not authority on you more than you yourselves have."
All of them cried out that he certainly hnd more right to regulate their affairs. The Prophet then said,
"Know then and remember that whomsoever Master I am, this Ali is his Master."
In the end he invoked his blessing on Ali, saying,
"O God! befriend him who befriends Ali and be enemy of him who bears enmity to Ali; and help him who assists Ali and forsake him who deserts Ali."
When the ceremony was over the following verse of the Quran was revealed:
"This day have I perfected your religion for you and have completed my blessing on you and am pleased with Islam as your religion."
QURAN: 5: 3
This Diivine communication clearly proves that on account of Ali's appointment to Imamat the religion was perfected, the blessing of Allah completed and Islam approved by God. On the arrival of this happy message from Heaven the believers congratulated Ali at the Prophet's ir.stance and the poets composed poems. All these facts stand recorded in the books of history.