Was Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) absent in Ghadeer?
A rather surprising and amusing doubt created by some sections of Muslims is that Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) was in Yemen during the farewell pilgrimage and did not accompany the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in the rituals of Hajj and return journey from Mecca. Therefore, the reports about the incident of Ghadir Khumm like the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) public and official appointment of Ali (a.s.) as his caliph and successor are false!
Ali (a.s.) was very much present in Yemen. So why the scepticism?
Not surprising when we see that the claimant of such ridiculous and baseless talk is none other than Fakhr Razi.
Ironically, Ibn Hajar Makki, the staunch opponent of the Shias and the Ahle Bait (a.s.) has rejected this claim in his book Al-Sawaiq al-Muhariqah (pg 25).
There are other scholars who have rejected this baseless claim viz.
Mannawi (author of Faiz al-Qadir), Shaikh Ali Qari (commentary of Al-Shifa) and Qazi Ayyaz (commentary of Al-Mishkat). Also, there are other commentaries like Mawahib al-Laduniyya (Zarqani Maliki).
These illustrious commentators and scholars in the science of hadith are deemed authentic in the eyes of the Ahle Tasannun (Sunnis). By referring them, we answer the baseless objections of the bigoted Muslims from their scholars and books.
For example, Mullah Ali Qari records in his book Al-Mirqah al-Mafatih (Sharh Mishkat):
The absence of Ali (as) in Mecca is a false statement. Because it has been proven in history that Ali (a.s.) had returned from Yemen and was present at the farewell pilgrimage with the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.).
On the other hand, in the six authentic books (Sihah al-Sittah), Sunni documents and other sources, while recording the taking off the ihram (garment) during Hajj, have stated that Ali (a.s.) was with the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) in the farewell pilgrimage.
- Al-Mirqah al-Mafatih v 5 574
Therefore, the doubt raised by Fakhr Razi, that Ali (as) was not present in Yemen at the time, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, is just another pointer towards the authenticity of the Ghadeer reports on the appointment of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) as the Imam and Caliph after the Prophet (s.a.w.a.).