Fraternity Contract on Eid al-Ghadir

One of the most sacred and revered days for Shi’as is ‘Eid al-Ghadīr wherein like other auspicious days, there are some ‘amāl to be performed to honor it, celebrate it and seek the blessings of Allah. Among the ‘amāl of the day of Ghadīr is the fraternity contract which is performed after praying a specific Salah and reciting some supplications and rites.

The following is a brief summary[1] of Shaykh  Ḥaider Ḥobbollah on this issue of fraternity contract.

On ‘Eid al-Ghadīr, many believers are familiar with the procedure of fraternity or brotherhood contract in which it is mentioned that the believer places his right hand on the right hand of his believer brother, and says[2]: “I declare my brotherhood with you for the sake of Allah,I establish friendly terms with you for the sake of Allah, I promise Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, His Prophets, and the Infallible Imams(s) that if I will be an inhabitant of Paradise, allowed to intercede for others, and if I will be allowed Paradise, I will not enter it unless you accompany me therein. And the other believer will say: I agree and then he will say : I thus release you from all the duties of fraternity except intercession, supplication, and visiting the tombs of the Infallibles”.

This contract has been transmitted by Sheikh ‘Abbas al-Qummi in “Mafātīh al-Jinān”, as was transmitted by the Muhaddith al-Nouri in Mustadrak al-Wasa’il, saying that he did not find this text except in the book “Zād al-Firdāws” for some of the later ones, and that in this book – which is Zad al-Firdaws – he stated that among the necessary activities of this day is the practice of fraternity contract. It was reported from Al-Fayḍ Al-Kashāni that he mentioned something of similar kind. Sheikh Kashif Al-Gita’ in his book “Al-Firdāws Al-‘Ala[3]” has considered that the issue is based on ‘the principle of leniency in evidences for non-obligatory acts’[4], in his answer to a question that was directed to him, attributing the circulation of this contract between those who were declared as “the non-Arabs”, which suggests that it was not well-known among the Arabs.

What I have reached as a conclusion is that it is not proven that this brotherhood or fraternity contract with its title is desirable.

If we assume that there is a narration originally on the subject, and those are the first words, then it is a very late narration, unknown source, lacking in chain of transmission, solitary.

This if we do not agree on some of the textual problems that were recently recorded on the contract formula ignored previously by some virtuous people.



[2] Point 6:

[3] Firdāws Al-‘Ala, vol.1, pg.97:

[4] The Principle of Leniency in Evidences for Non-Obligatory Acts and its Jurisdiction