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Celebrated in honour of the Perfection of the Religion of Islam; Completion of Allah (swt)'s favours upon the believers; with the declaration of Wilayah of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib ('a) amidst hundreds of thousand of pilgrims on 18th Zilhajj 10AH on the plains of Ghadeer-e-Khum. Narrated by 110 companions of the Holy Prophet (saw) and 84 disciples of the companions, in his infamous sermon on this day, the Holy Prophet (saw) announcedWhomsoever's Master I am, this Ali is his Master. 

This did not come out of his own whim, but by the divine commandment of Allah (swt) when He said, "O Messenger! proclaim the (message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His mission. And Allah will defend thee from men (who mean mischief). For Allah guideth not those who reject Faith. [Surah 5:67]

And when the Holy Prophet (saw) fulfilled this command, Allah (swt) revealed, "This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. [Surah 5:3]

The verses shows the emphasis on the Wilayat of Imam Ali (as) and its correlation with the Perfection of the Religion of Islam and the Completion of Allah (swt)'s favours upon the believers. Understanding these verses allow us to understand the exceptional and exemplary personality of Imam Ali (as) and his progeny's role in guarding the religion of the Islam throughout time. His character was such, that he gave charity while he was bowing before his Lord. On that day in Ghadeer, the Holy Prophet (saw) asked his Ummah to pledge their allegiance to Imam Ali (as). Many Muslims pledged their allegiance to him, some with pure intention and faith, yet some out of hypocrisy. However, Imam Ali (as) and his family have kept Islam alive until today through their teachings, conduct, supplications, and sacrifice.
What does this day mean to us today? As lovers of the Holy Prophet (saw) and his progeny, we have claimed to be the followers of our Imam-e-Zamana. Today is such a day where we renew our pledge with our twelfth Imam, Imam Mahdi (atfs). The question here is, are we going to pledge our allegiance with pure intentions and complete faith? Or are we going to pledge allegiance out of hypocrisy? 

Today is the day we should refresh or increase our ma'refat (recognition) of our Imam-e-Zamana. And, more important here is understanding that our Imam is fully aware about us, our situation and our deeds. We ask Allah (swt) to hasten the reappearance of our Imam, but let us ask ourselves, are we ready for him? Are we ready to stand by in his mission? Are we practicing an Islamic life style according to the teachings and sunnah of our Holy Prophet (saw)? We need to prepare ourselves for the reappearance of our twelfth Imam, so when we give him our allegiance, it is with complete faith and we should say: "Labayk Ya Imam-e-Zamana."
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