Eid-e-Ghadir is observed annually on the 18th day of the final month of the Muslim calendar known as Dhu al-Hijjah. This day is a public holiday in Iran and is sometimes known as either Eid ul Ghadeer or Eid al-Ghadir. The purpose of this holiday is to commemorate the appointment of Ali as the successor to the Prophet Muhammad.
For Shia Muslims, this is an extremely important event and its importance is reflected in the solemnity of this holiday, although the seriousness of the day is punctuated with moments of shared joy between family members and believers.
The History Of Eid-e-Ghadir
When Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Medina, he began the pilgrimage to Mecca where he delivered the “Farewell Sermon” to over 125,000+ Muslims who had gathered in Arafat Valley. On Dhu-al-Hijjah 18 (or March 632 AD), the Muslims arrived at Ghadir Khumm where Quran verse 5:67 was revealed.
After the revelation of the verse, at least according to Sunni tradition, Muhammad delivered a sermon and instructed everyone to pledge allegiance to Ali. A year after the Farewell Sermon, Muhammad died and a constitutional assembly didn’t elect Ali but instead elected Abu Bakr.
Some Muslims disputed this choice and believed that Ali was supposed to be Muhammad’s successor. This led to a schism between Sunnis and Shias. This holiday is observed by Shia Muslims not only in Iran and Iraq, but also in Azerbaijan, and Bahrain.
Observing Eid-e-Ghadir In Iran
Shia Muslims believe that anyone who fasts on this day will achieve the equivalent of 6-decades of faithful worship. That’s how important it is to them and that’s why many Muslims on this day fast.
It’s also a day that’s marked with prayers, and religious services. After the solemn activities, people often dress in their best clothing and visit relatives. It’s also common to give food to believers on this day.