Is there any rationale as to why the Muslims from Mecca, Taif, Yemen, etc. would travel towards Ghadir Khumm on the way back to their home cities in the completely opposite direction? We hope that the reader can understand how truly absurd this proposition is.
To give an analogy, let us assume that the President of ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) lives in San Francisco and that he wishes to nominate his replacement in front of all the ISNA members. Each year, ISNA holds its largest conference in Chicago, in which thousands of ISNA members from ever city in America congregate. They come from San Francisco, Austin, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Washington D.C., etc.

Now that all the ISNA members are present at the yearly conference in Chicago, would it not seem fairly self-evident that this would be the most fitting place for the ISNA president to nominate his successor? After the conference, everyone heads back to their respective home cities, so the ISNA president heads back towards San Francisco with a stop-over in Cheyenne. Would it make any logical sense that the other ISNA members pass through Cheyenne on the way back to their home cities in the opposite direction?

No rational mind could accept such a thing. It would make little sense for the ISNA president to nominate his successor in Cheyenne as opposed to Chicago during the yearly conference. A person who lives in Washington D.C. would not travel West to go to Cheyenne, but rather he would travel in the opposite direction towards his home. A person who lives in Chicago certainly wouldn’t accompany the ISNA president to Cheyenne after the conference, but rather he would stay behind in Chicago where he lives.

In this analogy above, San Francisco is Medinah, Chicago is Mecca, and Cheyenne is Ghadir Khumm. It is clear that the only people passing through Cheyenne are those that are headed towards San Francisco or the West Coast. Therefore, it would not be wise for the ISNA president to deliver his nomination speech in Cheyenne because the Muslims from all the other cities would not be present. It would instead make much more sense that he deliver such a speech in Chicago, where the conference is held. Likewise, Prophet Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) would have appointed his successor in Mecca during his Farewell Sermon, not in the middle of nowhere on the way back to Medinah.

Now that the Muslims from all the cities have assembled in Mecca, would this not be the most appropriate time to declare the Prophet’s successor? The Shia propagandist would have us believe that the Muslims going to Taif and Yemen would travel an extra 500 km (round trip) to the watering hole of Ghadir Khumm and then head back in the opposite direction. As stated by the Shia themselves, Ghadir Khumm was a watering hole and a resting point for those travelling…the only thing they fail to mention is that it is a resting point for those passing through it, not those heading in the opposite direction altogether!

This is nothing short of nonsense. After the Hajj, everyone heads back to their home cities and the Meccans would stay put since they lived in Mecca. Why would they have head out towards a watering hole in the middle of nowhere? Considering the fact that the Muslims were on foot in the desert, this journey back and forth of 250 km to Ghadir Khumm and back would have added a few extra weeks in transit time. Does this not flout logic and rational thinking?

Therefore, the conclusion we reach is that the Shia claim that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) appointed Ali (رضّى الله عنه) in front of all the Muslims is highly unlikely due to the fact that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) did not address this point in his Farewell Sermon at all. As for the incident of Ghadir Khumm, we have seen how unlikely it is that this would be the place that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) would appoint Ali (رضّى الله عنه) as the next Caliph; indeed, the mainstream Muslim version of Ghadir Khumm just makes more sense.

You Know however The Shiites just might have a convincing explanation in their books as to why the Prophet PBUh would appoint Ali PBUH in the middle of nowhere and with almost no one present…you see according to them the Prophet PBUh was actually afraid of people…you’ll see what I mean in just a second:

Jafar al Sadiq says in Al Kafi 1/289 That When this verse [5:55] was revealed Allah ordered The Prophet PBUH to Announce the Wilayah of Ali PBUH, The Companions however never understood the verse So Allah ordered Muhammad PBUh to explain it like he explained Hajj and Salat ect… But When this Order came the Prophet PBUh was Uneasy and he feared that the Companions might reject This Religion (Did they hate Ali this much!?) Then The Prophet PBUH Turned to god for guidance Then Allah revealed “O Apostle! 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 God will defend thee from men (who mean mischief). For God guideth not those who reject Faith.”………….Until the End of The Hadith.

Yes you see? It All makes sense to them now The Prophet PBUH hid it because he was scared and if he were to reveal it in Arafat in front of 124,000 Companions well they’ll just attack him and leave the entire Religion altogether. But he wasn’t only afraid when [5:55] was sent he was also afraid when [26:214] was revealed, listen to this:

عن علي رضي الله عنه قال: لما نزلت هذه الآية على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: ((وَأَنذِرْ عَشِيرَتَكَ الأَقْرَبِينَ)) [الشعراء:214] دعاني رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فقال لي: ياعلي، إن الله أمرني أن أنذر عشيرتي الأقربين، قال: فضقت بذلك ذرعاً وعرفت أني متى أناديهم بهذا الأمر أرى منهم ما أكره، فَصَمتُّ على ذلك وجاءني جبرئيل عليه السلام، فقال: يا محمد، إنك إن لم تفعل ما أمرت به عذبك ربك عز وجل… الرواية
أمالي الطوسي: (20)، تفسير فرات: (1/301)، البحار: (18/191)(38/223).

Translation: Narrated By Ali RAA: When the verse “And warn your tribe of near kindred”[26:214] was revealed The Prophet PBUH invited me and told me: O Ali, Allah told me to warn my Tribe of near kindred. I’m very uneasy about this as I know that when I reveal this to them they will show me what I hate So I remained silent about it until Gabriel Came again and said: O Muhammad If you do this Not then Allah will Torture you…

Source: Amali al Tusi (20), Tafseer Furat (1/301), Bihar al anwar(18/191)(38/223).

I thought the twelvers believed That Muhammad PBUh was infallible? well at least in matters concerning Religion So how can he get a direct order and then Disobey and Hide the correct religion and keep it for himself? Is that infallible?

Another one but this time [3:128]:

وعن جابر الجعفي قال: قرأت عند أبي جعفر قول الله تعالى: ((لَيْسَ لَكَ مِنْ الأَمْرِ شَيْءٌ)) [آل عمران:128] قال: بلى والله، إن له من الأمر شيئاً وشيئاً وشيئاً، وليس حيث ذهبت، ولكني أخبرك، ثم ذكر أن الله عز وجل أمر رسوله صلى الله عليه وسلم بإظهار ولاية علي رضي الله عنه، ففكر في عداوة قومه له ومعرفته بهم.. إلى أن قال: ضاق عن ذلك صدره، فأخبر الله أنه ليس له من هذا الأمر شيء
العياشي: (1/220)، البرهان: (1/314)، البحار: (17/11، 12)(25/337)، إثبات الهداة: (3/531)، الصافي: (1/296).

Translation: Jaber Al ju’fi Said: I read at Abu Ja’afar’s place The Saying of Allah “It is no concern at all of you (O’Muhammad)” [3:128] Then abu Ja’afar said: By allah This and This and This were all his concern…Then he mentions that allah ordered The prophet PBUh to reveal the Wilayah of Ali RAA Then He started thinking about how the people hated him and that he knew that Very well about them…Until he said: He was uneasy about it and his chest was tight Then Allah told him It is no concern at all of you.
Source: Al Ayyashi (1/220), Al burhan (1/314), Al bihar (17/11,12)(25/337), Ithbat al hudat (3/531), Al Safi (1/296).

First of all I just want to comment, Did the companions really hate him this much!? I mean is there proof that they hated him? Twelvers can believe anything they want but we as mainstream Muslims will stick to the true concrete evidence and the answer to the above is obvious and clear.
According to twelver Scholars he was also Afraid when [11:12] was revealed:

أن جبرئيل عليه السلام نزل على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بولاية علي، فقال: يا جبرئيل، أخاف مِنْ تشتت قلوب القوم -وفي رواية: وبكى- فقال له جبرئيل عليه السلام: مالك يا محمد أجزعت من أمر الله؟ فقال: كلا يا جبرئيل، ولكن قد علم ربي ما لقيت من قريش إذ لم يقروا لي بالرسالة حتى أمرني بجهادي، وأهبط إلي جنوداً من السماء فنصروني، فكيف يقروا لعلي من بعدي؟ فانصرف عنه جبرئيل، ثم نزل عليه: ((فَلَعَلَّكَ تَارِكٌ بَعْضَ مَا يُوحَى إِلَيْكَ وَضَائِقٌ بِهِ صَدْرُكَ)) [هود:12]
تفسير العياشي: (2/103)، البرهان: (2/135)، إثبات الهداة: (3/546).

Translation: Gabriel PBUH came to the prophet PBUH and revealed the Wilayah of Ali RAA, The prophet PBUH said: I fear that the people’s hearts will be lost – in another narration: He Cried – Then Gabriel said: What is wrong O Muhammad are you afraid from Allah’s orders? He said: No Gabriel, But Allah knows what I faced with Quraysh as they didn’t accept me as a messenger until I did Jihad and he aided me with hidden soldiers who granted me victory, How do you want them to accept Ali after me? So Gabriel Left him then Allah revealed: “a likely thing, that you would forsake anything of that which has been revealed to you, and that your breast should be straightened for it” [11:12]
Source: Tafseer Ayyashi (2/103), Al burhan(2/135), Ithbat al hudat(3/546).

And in another Shiite Narration related to ghadeer from al baqir he said: “فلم يبلغ ذلك وخاف الناس” => So he didn’t deliver the message and he feared the people.

And in another Narration “وامتنع رسول الله من القيام بها لمكان الناس” => He concealed this because of the people.

Sources:
البحار: (35/282)(37/127، 140، 151، 170)، فرات: (1/131)(2/450)، العياشي: (1/361)(2/103)، البرهان: (1/489)(2/145)، إثبات الهداة: (2/164) (3/544، 546).

So basically The Fabricators of these narrations want the people to think: Well the Companions Finally accepted That Muhammad PBUH is the messenger But Now he wants them to accept That Ali was the successor!? Surely that’s too much to ask! I mean they don’t love him that much!? Or do they? hmmm…

Now take a look at this narration as the grandson of Iblees (Satan) was more concerned about delivering this message than Muhammad PBUH was:

رووا أنه أتى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فسلم عليه، وقال: من تكون؟ فقال: أنا الهام بن الهيم بن لاقيس بن إبليس، فقال صلى الله عليه وسلم: بينك وبين إبليس أبوان؟ قال: نعم يا رسول الله، فذكر حديثاً طويلاً فيه: أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم سأل الهام حاجته؟ فقال: حاجتي أن تأمر أمتك أن لا يخالفوا أمر الوصي
البحار: (38/54)(63/100)، الروضة: (41)، البصائر: (28).

Translation: He came to the prophet PBUh who asked: Who are you? He replied: I’am Ilham bin Ilheem bin Laqees bin Iblees(Satan), The Prophet PBUH said: between you and Iblees are two fathers? He said: Yes O Messenger of Allah … After a long narration the Prophet PBUh finally asks him what he wants Then He says: What I want is for you to tell your nation that they should not Disobey your Successor Ali.

Source: Buharul Anwar (38/54)(63/100), al Rawdah(41), Al Basa’er(28).

Now some Twelver Shiite Scholars are actually smart so when they realized that no Quran was revealed on that day and that what was revealed had nothing to do with the Wilayah or Imamah and when they actually read the verses and realized that the context was completely different then what they had hoped they resorted to this:

قول القمي صاحب التفسير في مقدمته: وأما ما هو محرف، فمنه قولـه: [يا أيها الرسول بلغ ما أنزل إليك من ربك في علي وإن لم تفعل فما بلغت رسالته]
تفسير القمي: (1/23)، البرهان: (1/34).

Translation: The Big Shiite Scholar Al Qummi author of the Tafseer wrote in the intro of his book: As for what has been Corrupted (Tahreef) from it is his saying: “O Messenger! make known that which has been revealed to you from your lord regarding Ali, for if you do it not, you will not have conveyed his message.”

Source: tafseer al Qummi (1/23), al burhan (1/34).

عن زر، عن أبي عبدالله قال: كنا نقرأ على عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: يا أيها الرسول بلع ما أنزل إليك من ربك أن علياً مولى المؤمنين، فإن لم تفعل فما بلغت رسالته، والله يعصمك من الناس
كشف الغمة: (1/326)، البرهان: (1/491)، البحار: (37/178).

Translation: From Zurr From Abu Abdullah: We used to read in the days of the prophet PBUH: “O Messenger! make known that which has been revealed to you from your lord That Ali is the Mawla of believers, for if you do it not, you will not have conveyed his message.”
Source: Kashf al ghimmah(1/326), al burhan (1/491), al bihar(37/178).

عن عيسى بن عبدالله، عن أبيه، عن جده في قولـه: يا أيها الرسول بلغ ما أنزل إليك في علي، وإن لم تفعل عذبتك عذاباً أليما، فطرح عدوي -أي: عمر- اسم علي
البحار: (35/58).

Translation: from Isa bin Abdullah from his father from his grandfather: “O Messenger! make known that which has been revealed to you regarding Ali, for if you do it not, you will be severely tortured.” Then our enemy Umar removed the word Ali.

Source: bihar al anwar (35/58).

And similar narrations in these sources:

للمزيد انظر: الصافي: (2/51)، نور الثقلين: (1/653)، الاحتجاج: (57)، البحار: (37/137، 201)، فصل الخطاب: (281)، محجة العلماء: (130).

At the end we come to realize that the only thing the prophet PBUH said back then was what is written in the authentic books of ahlul sunnah and the mainstream Muslims and that everything the Shiites wrote is just pure fiction and fairytales but the question is now, Why did he say this to Ali RAA.
What Really Happened at Ghadir Khumm

Nobody denies the incident of Ghadir Khumm; however, what we deny are the exaggerations of the Shia with regards to said event. The context of Ghadir Khumm must be taken into consideration. What happened at Ghadir Khumm was that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) was responding to certain individuals who were criticizing Ali ibn Abi Talib (رضّى الله عنه). The background behind this was that a few months earlier, the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) had dispatched Ali (رضّى الله عنه) alongside 300 men to Yemen on an expedition. This is mentioned on the Shia website, http://www.ahlelbayt.com/articles/re…/www.najaf.org: “Ali was appointed the leader of the expedition to Yemen.” (http://www.najaf.org/english/book/20/4.htm)
The army led by Ali (رضّى الله عنه) was very successful in Yemen and they captured a lot of war booty. It was over this war booty that a dispute began between Ali (رضّى الله عنه) on the one hand and his soldiers on the other. It is narrated in Ibn Kathir’s “al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah”:
Amongst the state’s fifth of the spoils there was enough linen to clothe the whole army, but Ali had decided that it must be handed over to the Prophet untouched.

After the victory in Yemen, Ali (رضّى الله عنه) placed his deputy commander in charge of the troops stationed in Yemen, while he himself head out towards Mecca to meet the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) for the Hajj. We read:

In his (Ali’s) absence, however, the man he left in charge was persuaded to lend each man a new change of clothes out of the linen. The change was much needed for they had been away from home for nearly three months.

The troops stationed in Yemen then set out to Mecca to complete the Hajj with the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم

When they (the soldiers sent to Yemen) were not far from entering the city (of Mecca), Ali rode out to meet them and was amazed to see the transformation that had taken place (in regards to their clothing).

“I gave them the garments,” said the deputy commander, “that their appearance might be more seemly when they entered in among the people.” The men all knew that everyone in Mecca would now be wearing their finest clothes in honor of the Feast, and they were anxious to look their best. But Ali felt he could not countenance such a liberty and he ordered them to put on their old clothes again and return the new ones to the spoils. Great resentment was felt throughout the army on this account, and when the Prophet heard of it, he (the Prophet) said: “O people, blame not Ali, for he is too scrupulous in the path of Allah to be blamed.” But these words were not sufficient, or it may be that they were only heard by a few, and the resentment continued.

On the way back to Medina one of the troops bitterly complained of Ali to the Prophet, whose face changed color. “Am I not nearer to the believers than their own selves?” he said; and when the man assented, he added: “Whomsoever’s beloved friend I am, Ali is (also) his beloved friend.” Later on in the journey, when they had halted at Ghadir al-Khumm, he gathered all the people together, and taking Ali by the hand he repeated these words [i.e. whomsoever’s beloved I am, this Ali is (also) his beloved friend”], to which he added the prayer: “O Allah, be the friend of him who is his friend, and the foe of him who is his foe”; and the murmurings against Ali were silenced.

The soldiers under Ali’s charge were not only perturbed over the change of clothes but also over the distribution of the spoils of war in general. The Muslims, thanks to the great leadership of Ali (رضّى الله عنه), had conquered many camels, but Ali (رضّى الله عنه) forbade them from taking possession of these camels. Al-Bayhaqi narrates from Abu Saeed that Ali (رضّى الله عنه) prevented them from riding the camels of the war spoils that they had acquired. But when Ali (رضّى الله عنه) had left for Mecca, his deputy commander had succumbed to the pleas of the people and allowed them to ride these camels. When Ali (رضّى الله عنه) saw that, he became angry and he blamed the deputy commander. Abu Saeed (رضّى الله عنه) said: “When we were on the way back to Medinah, we mentioned to the Prophet the harshness that we have seen from Ali; the Prophet said: ‘Stop…By Allah, I have known that he (Ali) has done good for the sake of Allah.’”

A similar incident is described in Ibn Ishaq’s Seerah Rasool-Allah; we read:

When Ali came (back) from the Yemen to meet the Apostle in Mecca, he hurried to him and left in charge of his army one of his companions who went and covered every man in the force with clothes from the linen Ali had. When the army approached, he (Ali) went out to meet them and found them dressed in the clothes. When he asked what on earth had happened, the man (his deputee) said that he had dressed the men so that they might appear seemly when they mingle with the people. He (Ali) told him to take off the clothes before they came to the Apostle and they did so and put them back among the spoil(s). The army showed resentment at their treatment…when the men complained of Ali, the Apostle arose to address them and he (the narrator) heard him (the Prophet) say: “Do not blame Ali, for he is too scrupulous in the things of Allah, or in the way of Allah, to be blamed.”
(Ibn Ishaq, Seerah Rasool-Allah, p.650)

Ibn Katheer narrates that the people in the army (i.e. the contingent sent to Yemen) started to criticize Ali (رضّى الله عنه) because he prevented them from riding the camels and took back the new clothes that they had acquired. It was these men that accompanied the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) to Medinah via Ghadir Khumm, and it is they who were being addressed in the famous Hadith of Ghadir Khumm.

In fact, in “Tareekh al-Islam”, the event of Ghadir Khumm falls under the heading “The Consolation of Ali”. We read:

The Consolation of Ali

During the Hajj, some of the followers of Ali who had been with him to Yemen complained to the Prophet about Ali. Some of the misunderstandings of the people of Yemen had given rise to misgivings. Addressing the Companions at Ghadir Khumm, the Prophet of Allah said admiring Ali: “The one who is my friend is the friend of Ali…” Following the address, Umar congratulated Ali saying: “From this day on you are a very special friend of mine.” The Prophet then came back to Al-Medinah and his son Ibrahim passed away.
(Tareekh al-Islam, Vol.1, p.241)

…The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, had sent him (Ali), peace be upon him, to Yemen to collect the fifth share (khums) of their gold and silder and collect the breastplates and other things…Then the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, decided to go on the pilgrimage and to carry out the duties which God, the Exalted, had decreed…

He, may God bless him and his family, set out with them with five days remaining in (the month of) Dhu al-Qa’da. He had written to the Commander of the Faithful (Ali), peace be upon him, about going on the pilgrimage from Yemen…

Meanwhile, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, set out with the soldiers who had accompanied him to Yemen. He had with him the breastplates which he had collected from the people of Najran. When the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, was nearing Mecca on the road from Medina, the Commander of the Faithful (Ali), peace be upon him, was nearing it on the road from Yemen. He (Ali) went ahead of the army to meet the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, and he left one of their number in charge of them. He came up to the Prophet as the latter was looking down over Mecca. He (Ali) greeted him (the Prophet) and informed him (the Prophet) of what he (Ali) had done and what he (Ali) had collected [in Khums] and that he had hurried ahead of the army to meet him. The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, was pleased at that and delighted to meet him…

The Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, said farewell to him (the Prophet) and returned to his army. He (Ali) met them nearby and found that they had put on the breastplates which they had had with them. He (Ali) denounced them for that.

“Shame on you!” he (Ali) said to the man whom he had appointed as his deputy over them. “Whatever made you give them breastplates before we hand them over to the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family? I did not give you permission to do that.”

“They asked me to let them deck themselves out and enter into the state of consecration in them, and then they would give them back to me,” he replied.

The Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, took them off the people and put them back in the sacks. They were discontented with him because of that. When they came to Mecca, their complaints against the Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, became numerous. The Apostle of God ordered the call to be given among the people: “Stop your tongues (speaking) against Ali ibn Abi Talib, peace be upon him. He is one who is harsh in the interests of God, the Mighty and High, not one who deceives in His religion…”

When the Apostle of God carried out his rituals of the pilgrimage, he made Ali his partner in the sacrifice of animals. Then he began his journey back to Medina. (Ali) and the Muslims went with him. He came to a place known as Ghadir Khumm…
(Kitab al-Irshad, by Shaykh Mufid, pp.119-123)

all (or at least most) of Ali’s soldiers who were upset with him, not just one or two soldiers. Shaykh Mufid writes:

The Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, took them (the breastplates) off the people and put them back in the sacks. They were discontented with him because of that. When they came to Mecca, their complaints against the Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, became numerous. The Apostle of God ordered the call to be given among the people: “Stop your tongues (speaking) against Ali ibn Abi Talib, peace be upon him. He is one who is harsh in the interests of God, the Mighty and High, not one who deceives in His religion…”

(Kitab al-Irshad, by Shaykh Mufid, pp.121-122)

The complaints against Ali (رضّى الله عنه) were “numerous” and it was the “people” who were discontented (not one or two individuals), and the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) ordered the call to the people in general. It is clear that the vast majority of Ali’s soldiers were discontented with him because he refused to allow them to wear the breastplates from the Khums. Therefore, it is improper to pinpoint the blame on one or two individuals; instead, the truth of the matter is that Ali (رضّى الله عنه) had angered all of his soldiers, and we seek Allah’s refuge from laying the blame on anybody, especially since the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) himself forgave Buraida (رضّى الله عنه) and the others. The bottom line point, however, is that many people were angry at Ali (رضّى الله عنه) and this is was the reason why the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) had to make the declaration at Ghadir Khumm, to exonerate Ali (رضّى الله عنه)–not to nominate Ali (رضّى الله عنه) as his successor.