Is Ghadir Khumm a valid feast day according to the sunnah?

The Details of the Question

- Is the 18th of Dhulhijjah, Ghadir Khumm, a valid feast day according to the sunnah?
- This is new information for me, because I have always heard of only Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
- Those who celebrate Eid al-Ghadir report the following hadith as proof of that it is sound: “Abu Abdullah [Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as-Sadiq] said: When the Day of Judgement comes, four days shall hasten towards Allah, the Noble and Grand, just as a bride hastens towards her bridal chamber: the day of al-Fitr, the day of al-Adha, the day of al-Jumu'ah, and the day of Ghadir Khumm.” [Forty Ahadith on Ghadir, Mahmud Sharifi]
- I’m a little confused. Is the Eid al-Ghadir a sound holiday or is it bid’ah?
- Is this hadith sound, weak or fabricated?
- And is Eid al-Adha a legitimate and valid feast day?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

According to the Sunnah, Muslims have annual Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha and weekly Friday as feast days.

When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) migrated to Madinah, the people of Madinah used to have two feast days when they enjoyed and had fun. The Prophet (pbuh) informed them of two feast days of Islam, when all Muslims would enjoy and have fun, instead of those feast days, which were peculiar to the people of Madinah and included the traces of Ignorance (Jahiliyya):

“Allah has given you better ones, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, instead of those two feast days you celebrate.” (Abu Dawud, Salah, 239)

“Indeed, today (Friday) is a feast day that Allah set aside for Muslims. Anyone to go to mosque on Friday should have a bath and wear perfume if he has; I also recommend you to use a miswak.” (Ibn Majah, Iqamatus-Salah, 83)

However, according to the Sunnah, Muslims do not have Ghadir Khumm feast day.

Ghadir Khumm is a feast day celebrated with enthusiasm by the Shiite world on 18 Dhulhijjah. Muizzuddawlah Ahmad b. Buwayh of Buwayhids declared this day as an official holiday in 352 H (963 AD) in Iraq, ad Muiz-Lidinillah of Fatimids in Egypt in 362 H (973 AD). 18 Dhulhijjah is still celebrated by the people in Iran today by stabbing three honey-filled buns, each representing Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman. According to them, honey symbolizes the blood of the three caliphs. 18 Dhulhijjah is also considered an extremely important feast day by Nusayris. (L. Veccia Vaglieri, “Ghadir Khumm“, EI2 [Eng.], II, 993-994)

To sum up, celebrating Gadir Khumm is a bid’ah and it is against our belief.

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