The occasion, described in hadiths as “the greatest divine Eid”, marks the event of Ghadir Khumm, where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), shortly before his passing in 632 CE, appointed Imam Ali (PBUH), the first of 12 Shia Imams, as his successor.
Following the conclusion of Hajj pilgrimage, Muslims, on their way back to Medina, were gathered by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the Pond of Khumm in the Arabian Peninsula, where the Prophet of Islam delivered the famous speech, saying, “Anyone who has me as his mawla, has Ali as his mawla.”
The word ‘mawla’, according to Qur’an and hadiths, refers to various meanings in different contexts, including 'lord', 'guardian', 'trustee', and 'helper'.
The event comes eight days after another major feast in the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha, which marks the end of the Hajj ceremony.
Various ceremonies are held annually on the occasion of Eid al-Ghadir throughout the Islamic world, though this year many of them will be affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Holy Shrine of Imam Ali in Najaf, Iraq, has been decorated by banners and lights.
In Iran, numerous ceremonies, including speeches and prayers, will be he held on eve as well as on the day of the Eid at the Holy Shrine of Hazrat Ma’sumeh (PBUH) – the sister of Imam Reza (PBUH), the eight Imam of Shia Muslims – in Qom.
Also online celebrations will be organized worldwide.