“O Messenger! Convey what has been sent down to you from your Lord; and if you do not,
then you have not conveyed His message (at all); and Allah will protect you from the (vice of)
people, verily Allah does not guide the unbelieving ones.” (Surah al-Maidah, ayah 67)
In this verse, only the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) is addressed. It states but his duty. Then, for a further emphasis it warns him that if he refrains doing that, he has not conveyed his message to people at all.
Truly, what an important subject there existed in the latest months of the Prophet’s life that in the above mentioned verse the lack of its conveyance has been counted equivalent with the lack of messenger ship wholly.
In different books of the scholars of both Sunnite and Shi’ah schools of thought, there are many traditions recorded to say that the above mentioned verse has been revealed at Ghadir e Khum about the appointment of the successor for the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and the future fate of Islam and Muslims.
“Verily, verily your guardian (Waliyy) is only Allah and His Messenger and those who believe, those who establish prayer and pay the poor-rate while bowing down (in prayer).” (Surah al-Maidah, ayah 55)
It has been cited in the occasion of revelation of the above verse that: a beggar entered the Mosque of the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) and asked people for a charity. No one gave him anything except for Imam Ali (a.s.) who pointed his finger to the beggar while he was bowing in the prayer, and he remitted his ring to that beggar. In honouring of this remittal, the above verse was revealed. It is also stated that Imam Ali (a.s) was in such deep connection with his Lord during his prayers that he got an inner indication from the Almighty that a beggar has come.
‘Ammar-Yasir says that it was after the remittal of the ring and the revelation of the holy verse that the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) said: “The one whose master I am, then this Ali is his master.” The holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) recited this verse in Ghadir e Khum in order to state the position of Imam Ali (a.s).
Many Islamic scholars and the commentators of the Qur’an have said that the objective meaning of the word ‘waliyy’, mentioned in the above verse, is Wilayah in the sense of: ‘guardianship’ and ‘material and spiritual personal initiative’ and ‘leadership’. In particular that this guardianship has been ordered in the same row of the guardianship of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and the guardianship of Allah (s.w.t), and these three are stated in one sentence.
Thus, this verse is one the verses that, as a Qur’anic text, indicate to mastership and Imamate of Imam Ali (a.s).