Eid al-Ghadir is one of the most important historical events celebrated by many Muslims on the 18th day of the last Islamic month, Dhu al-Hijjah. Ghadir Khum is the name of a pond near Mecca. It was a place for pilgrims, who had attended the ritual of Hajj, to greet and rest a short while before taking different routes to their homes.
After completing his last pilgrimage, which was the first Muslim’s great gathering -with more than 70 thousand people- in the presence of their leader, the Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) arrived at Ghadir Khum on the 18th of Dhu al-Hijjah where he received another revelation from God saying:
“O, Apostle! Deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord, and if you do not, you will not have delivered His message, and Allah shall protect you from the people. Indeed Allah does not guide the faithless lot” (5:67)
Allah in this verse commanded the Prophet (PBUH&HP) to clarify what had been previously revealed regarding Ali (AS) [i] and told him not to worry about the reaction of the people in delivering His message, for He would protect His Messenger from them.
Upon receiving the above verse, the caravan stopped in the valley of Ghadir at Prophet’s command. According to some sources, about 12,000 people from Yemen had come to attend that year’s Hajj, which was known as “The farewell pilgrimage” (Hajj-at-Alvida). Despite the different route that they had to take to their homes, they were asked by prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) to choose the way which passed the place of Ghadir, so that they could be present at the time when the incident of Ghadir was taking place.
Then he sent for all people who had gone ahead to return and waited for those who had fallen behind to arrive and gather. At noon that day, the Prophet (PBUH&HP) performed the prayer in congregation with a great population of people behind him. When the prayer was finished, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) ascended the pulpit his followers had set up from the camel saddles and gave his famous sermon in a loud voice. He started his speech by praising Allah, announced the heart-breaking news of his oncoming death and then stated:
“Verily, I am leaving behind two precious things (thaqalayn) among you: The Book of God (Quran) and my kindred (itrah), my household (Ahl al Bayt), for indeed, the two will never separate until they come back to me by the Pond (of al Kawthar on the Judgement's Day)” .
The Prophet (PBUH&HP), in an attempt to remind Muslims of his own authority over them, asked: “Who has more of a right over the believers than their own selves?” Everyone present proclaimed: “Allah and His Prophet know better.”
The Prophet (PBUH&HP) then said: “Allah is my master and I am the master of all the believers, and I have more right and authority over the believers than they have over their own selves.”
Thereupon, he took Imam Ali (AS)’s hand, raised it up and continued:
“Whomsoever I am his leader (Mawla), Ali (AS) is also his leader (Mawla). O’ Allah! Love those who love him (Ali (AS)) and oppose those who oppose him” .
The Angel of Revelation, Gabriel, once again descended by the order of Allah and revealed the following verse of the Quran:
“Today I have perfected your religion for you, and I have completed My blessing upon you, and I have approved Islam as your religion” (5:3).
This day has been marked in history as a Grand Eid for many Muslims since then. It is also known as the Day of Leadership (Imamate) and Mastership (Wilayat), which is among the critical beliefs of Islam and the axioms of this holy religion.
A large number of Muslims around the world hold special celebrations, congratulate one another on this day and say:
“All praise belongs to Allah who has made us amongst those who hold firm to the Mastership (Wilayat) of the Commander of the Faithful (Amir al-Muminin) -Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS)- and the Imams” .
[i] According to the narration of Yawm al-Dar (The Day of invitation to his Home), the Prophet(PBUH) was commissioned in the third year of his prophethood to declare his call to Islam openly. This is clearly stated in the Holy Quran:
وَأَنذِرْ عَشِيرَتَكَ الأَقْرَبِينَ.
“Warn the nearest of your kinsfolk” (26:214).
After this, the Prophet(PBUH), invited his close relatives to his uncle Abu Talib’s house, after having their meal, he started to say: O Children of Abd al-Muttalib. I swear to God I know of no one among the Arabs who could have brought anything better than I have brought for you. I have brought for you prosperity here and your future. God has ordered me to invite you to my religion. Who among you will assist me in being my brother, helper, and successor?
No one showed any interest except for Ali (AS) who was the youngest. He rose up, saying: “O Messenger of God. I will be your assistant in this affair.”
The Prophet (PBUH&HP) put his hand around Ali’s neck and said:
إنَّ هَذا أَخِي وَوَصِيِّي وَخَلِيفَتِي فِيكُمْ فَاسْمَعُوا لَهُ وَأَطِيعُوا.
“This brother of mine is my helper, and successor. Listen to him and obey his commands” .
We are far ahead of the time when people lived in actual social networks. People living in a town or village were in a strong relationship with one another, and of course, it served them well.
But, maybe people were too closely related back then. And it had its downsides, too. “Give me a break, please, I need some privacy!” That’s what we said to the social life of the past times. The modern way of life ascribed so much importance to our privacy. This, too, had its downsides and sometimes made us feel so lonely. It didn’t quench our need to see and be seen. We needed to share more.
But, modern life and technology also had the answer to that. They provided an unaccountably cheap and easy way of making relationships, without the need for getting quite out of our private zone; virtual Social Networks!
Well, that’s great! We can get to know about our family and friends without spending much time or money. We can easily make thousands of friends from around the world. We can share our ideas and lifestyle with them and get to know about theirs. Like all other inventions, there are many good ways to benefit from social networks. And there being many good ways to benefit from something, is somehow equal to its lawfulness in Islam.
“… who bids them to do what is right and forbids them from what is wrong, makes lawful to them all the good things and forbids them from all vicious things…” (7:157).
But is using social networks in Islam forbidden? Does Islam have any special resistance to these networks? Well, not really. And the rules on what we should do and what we should try to avoid are pretty much the same as the ones we need to observe in actual communications.
Therefore, as we are always careful to avoid any harm in our actual relationships , we should also do the same in these virtual sites of getting together, and try not to go for the bad things that might be found in there, nor spread things that might do more harm than good to others or to the society.
That means even if it is a boy-girl or man-woman relationship, there is nothing wrong with it as long as it is an upright, righteous, and honest one, and as long as you observe modesty and the rules of covering, the same way as a relationship between men and women in the outer world.
Also, Islam very much calls us up to mind the circles we move in , which are, more or less, a representation of our character and inclinations! Do our friends and groups in social networks –as well as in the real world– help us and change us for better? Or that they are just fun for a short time and may bring us lasting sorrows and regrets? 
You might have noticed that conventional social networks, being inherently so cheap and easy, tend to make everything cheap and easy in all respects… and maybe too much so sometimes!
Suppose you share a highly valuable and precious post on Facebook –which is the easiest way to share it, of course– and your friends would barely spend five seconds to look at it!
We are in the habit of taking everything easy in these virtual places; even our relationships. We don’t care that much about what we see or share, and sometimes about the kind of relationships we are making, while, to the contrary, a Muslim is always required to be watchful of his or her doings! 
So, apart from the benefits of being cheap and easy for use, they also make it easier to lie, to pretend, or to do any wrong. We may not be quite conscious that some of our relationships in the social networks could be, more or less, a kind of betrayal of our wedlock! Or a little too open to be modest and righteous! For, according to Islam, a husband’s level of modesty affects that of his wife and vice versa.  That means, the more righteous a spouse, the more so will be the other! That’s why it is even more important here never to forget that, little as it may be, a wrongdoing is always wrong, whether in a virtual social network or out there in the real world.
“So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it, and whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.” (99:7,8)
- Wasa’il al-Shi’a, vol. 26, p. 14, Al-Mu’jam al-Awsat, vol. 1, p. 90
- Al-Amali, p. 518, Sunan al-Tirmidhi, vol. 4, p. 167
- Quran, 25:27,28
- Quran, 59: 18, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 74, p. 349
- Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 5, p. 317
Nowadays, pets are inseparable parts of people’s lives. In the United States, for example, over 60% of families have pets. Some have dogs, cats, while others keep fish, turtles, birds, rabbits, horses, sheep, pigs, or chickens. No one knows for sure when the first animals were domesticated, but according to history, humans have always developed close associations with animals. Although early humans might have first sought to domesticate animals as living tools, other benefits of animals caused humans to keep pets, too. Muslims can also exploit animals taking into account some considerations stated below.
Islam has never been indifferent to animals. The proofs are verses of the Quran, Sunnah, and sayings of the Imams (AS) which strongly exhort Muslims to treat animals and birds with compassion, not to abuse them, and repeatedly blame cruelty towards them.
In a narration, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) enumerates six rights for an animal over its owner, of which are: “he should not burden it with a load that it cannot bear, he should not hit the animal except when it truly deserves”, etc. .
Hence, hitting a dog in the face or body as punishment and making it obedient through fear, putting a heavy load on a camel or a horse, providing little food for a cat, and putting a canary in a small cage are all blamed in Islam. It is also quoted from the Prophet (PBUH&HP) that God forgave a prostitute who saved a thirsty dog from death by drawing up some water from a well using her shoes . Also, According to the Quran, all living and non-living creatures are made by Allah [i], and He loves all animals; so should do humans.
In Islamic teachings, there is nothing wrong with keeping animals and it is even recommended in some cases; except for some animals that Islamic conditions or prohibition on keeping them should be observed. Besides, keeping some animals such as roosters, camels, sheep, horses, cats, and pigeons is highly recommended .
In other words, keeping permissible animals is allowed, and in some cases, it brings blessing to its owner . But, this should be under certain circumstances, such as: treating and feeding pets properly, having enough space to accommodate them, considering the hygienic requirements of both the animal and its owner, and respecting neighbors’ rights.
For accommodating an animal at home, a proper separate shelter must be provided, based on the needs and the nature of the animal. For a bird, for example, a comfortable cage indoors suffices, but a camel or a sheep must be kept outdoors! In this regard, apart from the hygienic points that should be taken into account, the excrement and urine of some birds and animals are impure (Najis), hence, keeping them indoors needs attention .
What is encouraged in Islam is keeping domesticated animals that need humans to protect and feed them, or wild animals which require protection; otherwise it should be avoided, especially if keeping the animal at home causes harm to it .
A review of the Islamic narrations reveals that the emphasis on keeping pets is because of the benefits and the blessings that certain animals bring to their owners and saving them and their families from disasters. Having camels, horses and sheep were advised in the past because of their role in the economy of the family, transportation, and defense. And nowadays, many people around the world consume the products obtained from sheep, and some still use horses and camels for farm work and transport in some areas.
In some sayings keeping a rooster, pigeon, sheep, and cat is named among the ways of drawing sustenance and benefits . Another advantage of having pets is that some animals warn humans in case of danger, they clean up their surroundings from vermin and prevent waste .
It is also essential to know that respecting the animals’ rights is of paramount importance in Islam and is explicitly stated in Islamic teachings. This equally applies to both animals permitted and forbidden to be kept by Muslims. This prevents from treating animals cruelly, neglecting them, over-working or over-loading animals (as stated above), and hunting them for sport.
It was said that keeping animals is recommended in Islam, but not all of them; like dogs and especially pigs. Since dogs are considered impure (Najis) and humans are susceptible to catch a disease from them, Muslims are advised against keeping them . Nevertheless, there is nothing in Islam that states to hate dogs or harm them. On the contrary, feeding dogs (even stray dogs) and watering them are reported in Sunnah and the conduct of the Imams (AS) . It is also permitted to keep dogs where they assist humans and are kept outdoors .
But about pigs, as there is no benefit in keeping them and as they are impure (Najis), Muslims are forbidden to keep them .
[i] (25:59), (2:29), (45:4), etc.
- H. T. Nuri Ṭabarsi, “Mustadrak al-Wassail”, vol. 8, p. 258, T. 9393.
- S. A. al-Muttaqi, “Kanz al-Ummal”, T. 43116.
- A. Javadi Amoli, “Mafatih al-hayat”, p. 643.
- M. B. Majlesi, “Bihar al-Anwar”, vol. 16, p. 124.
- Complete Risalah Amaliyah.
- Muhaddith Nuri, “Mustadrak al-Wasail”, vol. 8, p. 248.
- M. B. Majlesi, “Bihar al-Anwar”, vol. 104, p. 41, T. 52.