Eid al-Ghadir comes eight days after another major festivity on the Islamic lunar calendar, Eid al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice. The occasion marks the climax of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

Eid al-Ghadir, described in hadiths as “the greatest divine Eid”, marks the event of Ghadir Khumm, a place where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) appointed Imam Ali (PBUH), the first Shia Imam, as his successor shortly before the Prophet’s passing in 632 CE.

On the way back from his last Hajj pilgrimage fourteen centuries ago, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Muslim pilgrims stopped at 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 the Qur’an and hadiths, refers to various meanings in different contexts, including 'lord', 'guardian', 'trustee', and 'helper'.

This year, Tehran’s Vali-e Asr Street, which is the longest in the West Asian region, will host a special 10-km-long ceremony on this occasion which falls on July 18, 2022, Mehr News Agency wrote.

There will also be several calligraphy, painting, photography exhibitions throughout the country to celebrate the Islamic occasion.

This is the third year in a row that Eid al-Ghadir is marked amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The disease has curtailed the ceremonies to a great extent, but organizers here have tried to keep the feast magnificent by accommodating as many as possible, while observing health protocols.

Everything is prepared for a safe celebration, from social distancing to distribution of sanitary items.

Shia Muslims have 12 Imams or religious leaders; the first was Imam Ali (PBUH) and the last is Imam Mahdi, who is believed to be the prophesied savior of the world and is currently living in occultation.

While all Imams are equally revered among Muslims, Imam Ali (PBUH) holds a special position in Islam as the father of Shia Islam and the symbol of Islamic justice.