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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Iran Series at PersianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Iranian holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 9, Eid al-Ghadeer. In Persian, it’s called Eide Gghadir-e Khom.
Eid al-Ghadeer is the celebration that marks the appointment of Imam Ali as the successor to the Prophet of Islam by God. This event took place in a location called Ghadir-e Khom.
In this lesson, we will learn about how Shia Muslims fast and observe ablutions during this holiday.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
What is Nahjul Balagha, and how it is related to Imam Ali?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Ghadir literally means catchment in Persian. Ghadir-e Khom is the name appointed to places in which rain typically gathers, but has evaporated away due to extreme heat. On the 18th day of Zul Hijjah, in the tenth year of the lunar calendar, Mohammad the Prophet, or payaambar in Persian, took a rest in Ghadir-e Khom along with his companions on his way back from a pilgrimage to K'abe, which is the House of God. There, Mohammad gathered his companions and made a speech. He raised Imam Ali's hand and announced "To whomever I am the mawla, Ali is his mawla." The word mawala in this context means master. Thus, Imam Ali was appointed Mohammad’s successor.
The disagreement between Shia and Sunni Muslims is that Sunnis consider this act not as a declaration of succession, as the Shia do, but rather as an announcement of friendship, or mavaddat. This celebration is among the most important feasts for Shia Muslims. Saying special prayers, worshipping and offering congratulations to other Shia Muslims are among the common rituals observed on this day. People typically tidy themselves up, wear new clothes and perfume, or atr, and enjoy visits with relatives and sharing food with others, all the while thanking God for his bounties.
A large number of people, including non-Muslim intellectuals, have much praise for Imam Ali. Famous examples include Gibran Khalil Gibran, a famous Christian scholar and artist; Shibli Shumayyil, a scientist who held Imam Ali in high regard; Mikha'il Na'ima, a Christian scientist; Carl Lyle, a British philosopher; Lamens, a Belgian priest; Madam Dieulafoy; and Petrochofsky, a university professor.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What is Nahjul Balagha, and how it is related to Imam Ali?
Nahjul Balagha literally means "way of speaking” or “rhetoric," and is used to refer to the book that contains the words, speeches, and letters of Imam Ali. The book, which was compiled by a man named Seyyed Razi, contains the advice and guidance of Imam Ali, and has been translated into numerous languages.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do you know something interesting about Imam Ali?
Leave us a comment telling us at PersianPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!