Farewell sermon

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An account of the Prophet's (S.A.W.) Last Sermon.
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Farewell sermon

  1. 1. Waleed Liaqat 2011-BECE-122 Section A Submitted to : Dr. Hifz-ur-Rehman Islamic Studies The Last Sermon
  2. 2. Introduction The Holy Prophet‟s (S.A.W.) prophetic career had a span of 22 years upto and including his death. The mission assigned to the Prophet (S.A.W.) by Allah had been, to all intents and purposes, completed by the end of his Earthly life. The Prophet (S.A.W.) had declared the religion of Islam to be complete, in every sense of the word, a year before his death, during the event that came to be known as the Hajj a‟t-ul-Wida i.e. the farewell pilgrimage, to Makkah. It was during the 10th year of Migration or Hijrah, that the Prophet (S.A.W.) performed the farewell pilgrimage. The Prophet (S.A.W.) was aware of his imminent death and so he declared his intention of performing a pilgrimage to Makkah. Letters were sent out across Arabia, in which the Prophet (S.A.W.) requested that his followers accompany him in this pilgrimage to Makkah. Five days before the beginning of the month of Zil-haj, the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.), along with roughly a 100,000 followers, marched upon Makkah from Madina. All the wives of the Prophet (S.A.W.) along with his closest companions accompanied him on this great pilgrimage. The Pilgrimage was performed by a total of 114000 - 124000 Muslims. It was during this pilgrimage that the Prophet (S.A.W.) delivered his farewell sermon. It was also the last time that he addressed such a large gathering of the Muslims. The farewell sermon is regarded as one of the significant(if not the most significant) events of not only the Last pilgrimage, but also of the Prophet‟s (S.A.W.) life and his mission as a Messenger of Allah.
  3. 3. The Sermon: Highlights Beginning: The Holy Prophet reached Makkah on the 5th of Zil-Haj. He made seven circuits (tawaf) of the Ka‟bah, offered two rak‟ats of prayer at „Maqam-e-Ibrahim‟ and climbed the Mount of Safa where he declared, "There is no god but Allah, He has no partner, all sovereignty and praise belong to Him. He gives life and brings death. He is All-Powerful and Supreme over everything." On the 8th of Zil-Haj, the Prophet left with his Companions for Mina and spent the night there, and on the 9th, after the Fajr, morning prayer, He proceeded to the plains of Arafat. It was in the Uranah valley of the mount Arafat where the Prophet(S.A.W.) delivered the farewell sermon. The Prophet (S.A.W.) began his sermon by praising the Almighty Allah and said: “All praise is due to Allah, so we praise Him, and seek His pardon and we turn to Him. We seek refuge with Allah from the evils of ourselves and from the evil consequences of our deeds. Whom Allah guides aright there is none to lead him astray; and there is none to guide him aright whom Allah leads astray. I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, the One, having no partner with Him. His is the sovereignty and to Him is due all praise. He grants life and causes death and is Powerful over everything. There is no God but Allah, the One; He fulfilled His promise and granted victory to His bondsman, and He alone routed the confederates (of the enemies of Islam).”
  4. 4. To all Mankind: The Holy Prophet proceeded to address the people, in the following words: “O’ People! Listen to my words, for I do not know whether we shall ever meet again and perform Hajj after this year….” It is clear from these words that the Prophet (S.A.W.) had an inkling of his approaching death. By the use of the words “O‟People!”, many islamic scholars believe, the Prophet (S.A.W.) wished to address all mankind and not just the Muslims present at the time or the Muslims in general. Piety, The Only Criteria: The Holy Prophet continued the sermon: “O’ people We created you from one male and one female and made you into tribes and nations, so as to be known to one another. Verily in the sight of Allah, the most honoured amongst you is the one who is most God-fearing. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab and for a non-Arab over an Arab, nor for the white over the black nor for the black over the white except in God-conciousness. All mankind is the progeny of Adam and Adam was fashioned out of clay. …” Through these words the Prophet (S.A.W.) declared that, in the eyes of Allah Almighty, race is not a criteria for admission to Hell or Heaven. He declared that the people were divided into races and tribes so they could be physically distinguished from one another and be easily identifiable to each other, but in the eyes of Allah,
  5. 5. piety and righteousness, determine a person‟s rank and honour. The Prophet (S.A.W.) also said that all humans are the progeny of Adam (and Eve) and that they are equal, in that regard, to one another. The fact that Adam was made of dust and hence all mankind as well, shows that no person has the authority to claim superiority over another. Scaredness of Property,life and integrity: The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) also said: “O’ people! Verily your blood, your property and your honor are sacred and inviolable until you appear before your Lord, as the sacred inviolability of this day of yours, this month of yours and this very town (of yours).Verily you will soon meet your Lord and you will be held answerable for your actions.” The Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) through these words informed the people that , the life and property as well as the honour of each and every person is sacred and that one man must respect another and that this practice should continue till the Day of Judgement. The people present were given an indication of the sacredness of life, property and honour in terms of the sanctity of the month of Zil-Haj and the city of Makkah. The Prophet (S.A.W.) also reminded the people that they will be brought before Allah one day and they will have to be answerable to Him for their actions. The „actions‟ here refer to the protection of life, property and dignity of every person as well as other deeds carried out by the people during their lives.
  6. 6. Status of women: The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) talked about the rights of women particularly the rights of wives: “O’ people! Verily you have got certain rights over your women and your women have certain rights over you. It is your right upon them to honour their conjugal rights, and not to commit acts of impropriety, which if they do, you are authorized by Allah to separate them from your beds and chastise them, but not severely, and if they refrain, then clothe and feed them properly. Behold! It is not permissible for a woman to give anything from the wealth of her husband to anyone but with his consent. Treat the women kindly, since they are your helpers and not in a position to manage their affairs themselves. Fear Allah concerning women, for verily you have taken them on the security of Allah and have made their persons lawful unto you by words of Allah.” The Prophet (S.A.W.) said that wives have certain rights over their husbands and vice versa and that it is enjoined upon the husbands to respect the rights of their wives e.g. the right of the wives over the Husband‟s earnings and the right of the wives to be emotionally supported. The husbands are told to treat their wives with kindness and if the wives fail to respect the rights of their husbands, the husbands retain the right to separation from the wives and penalization of the wives. The husbands, in the matter of punishment, are asked to remain gentle with their wives and remain considerate of the emotional and physical state of their wives. The wives are forbidden to give anything out of the wealth of their husbands without approval from them. The husbands are asked to take care of their wives as they will be answerable to
  7. 7. Allah for them( the wives being dependent upon the husband for survival). The Muslim Brotherhood: The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) said: “O’ People! Every Muslim is the brother of every other Muslim, and all the Muslims form one brotherhood.” These words remind the Muslims that they have the same duties towards all Muslims as they have towards their biological brothers and that the all the Muslims therefore are a part of a brotherhood. Being a part of a brotherhood implies that the Muslims should not only respect each other but support each other in times of difficulty and remain united in the face of difficulties. They must follow the rules laid upon them by Allah with regard to each other and that they must respect the rights of each other. The Muslims, wherever they may reside or whatever race they belong to, must consider themselves brothers and not discriminate amongst each other with respect to caste, race or financial status. Treatment of slaves: “And your slaves; see that you feed them with such food as you eat yourselves, and clothe them with the clothes that you yourselves wear. …..O’ people! Listen and obey, though a mangled Abyssinian slave is appointed your Amir, provided he executes (the Ordinance of) the Book of Allah among you.”
  8. 8. Through these words the Prophet (S.A.W.) enjoined upon every human being to maintain the dignity of their slaves and to give them access to the food and the clothes which he himself or herself has access to. Even if a slave, regardless of race, is appointed as a leader or viceroy over the people, they must obey and follow his commands as long as he does not transgress the laws laid down by Allah Almighty. Finality of Prophet hood: “O’ people! No Prophet would be raised after me and no new Ummah (would be formed) after you.” The Prophet(S.A.W.) reaffirmed the fact that he is the seal of the prophets and messengers of Allah and that his followers and the people of that time are the last to receive any form of guidance from Allah. Guidance and Warnings: The Prophet (S.A.W.) informed the people present that: “Verily I have left amongst you that which will never lead you astray, the Book of Allah, which if you hold fast you shall never go astray. And beware of transgressing the limits set in the matters of religion, for it is transgression of (the proper bounds of) religion that brought destruction to many people before you.
  9. 9. Verily, the satan is disappointed at ever being worshipped in this land of yours, but he will be pleased by obedience in anything (short of worship that is) in matters you may be disposed to think insignificant, so beware of him in your matters of religion.” Through these words the Prophet(S.A.W.) asked the Muslims to firmly believe in the guidance(i.e. The Quran) that has been revealed to them. At the same time, he warned the Muslims of the consequences of abandoning or rejecting the principles laid down by the Quran, by reminding them of the horrible fates of those who chose to do so in the past. He informs the Muslims that satan is pleased when they make the slightest misstep while dealing with religious matters such as worship and so they should be cautious in this regard. The Pillars of Islam: “Behold! Worship your Lord; offer prayers five times a day; observe fast in the month of Ramadhaan; pay readily the Zakat (poor due) on your property; and perform pilgrimage to the House of God and obey your rulers and you will be admitted to the Paradise of your Lord.” The Prophet (S.A.W.) through these words enjoined upon the Muslims to worship Allah by observing the pillars of Islam; Fasting in the month of Ramazan, Praying (Salat) five times a day, Performing pilgrimage to the Kaabah, Paying Zakat to the needy. The Prophet (S.A.W.) said that those who will wholeheartedly observe the pillars of Islam will gain entrance to Heaven and be rewarded with the gifts that it has to offer in the hereafter.
  10. 10. Other topics: The Prophet (S.A.W.), during the sermon, emphasized that usury or economic exploitation of any kind is prohibited and that people should always be fair in their financial dealings. He said that the unlawful practices of the people during the age of ignorance have been abolished and that they should not be adopted again. The Prophet (S.A.W.) also enjoined upon the people to take care of the property they have been entrusted with, return all borrowed items, pay their debts and compensate for losses in such matters. He also told the people the consequences of adultery ; stoning. The people were also told that they were responsible for their own crimes and deeds. The Prophet (S.A.W.), while specifically addressing the people of Quraish, said that they must refrain from indulging in the pleasures of this world(while others shunned the pleasures of this world for those of the hereafter) and that he will not be able to intercede on their behalf in the hereafter if they didn‟t do so. Repition: At the end of the sermon, the Prophet (S.A.W.) said: “Let him that is present, convey it unto him who is absent, for many people to whom the message is conveyed may be more mindful of it than the audience.” The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.), through these words, asked those present to pass along the content of the sermon to their fellow Muslims who were not present at the time and to all mankind of the generations to come. He also conveyed his
  11. 11. belief that the content of the sermon may be better understood and heeded by those not present at the time. The Prophet (S.A.W.) at the end of the sermon, asked Allah to be a witness to the fact that he had completed his duty of conveying His guidance to the people.
  12. 12. Importance of the Last Sermon: The last sermon is considered important:  It teaches Muslims that they should respect each other and fulfill their obligations and duties towards one another and as well as all of mankind.  It serves as a warning to the Muslims as well as non- Muslims. The Muslims are asked to firmly believe in the laws laid down by Allah Almighty and fulfill their duties towards Him. Both the Muslims and non-Muslims are informed of the dire consequences of their unlawful actions.  It instills in the Muslims a firm belief in accountability to Allah and in the coming of the Judgement Day.  The sermon solidifies the high status of women in Islam and upholds the rights of the slaves.  It reaffirms the fact that Islam is the true word of Allah and the last of His guidance as revealed to mankind.  It marks the completion of Islam and the Prophet‟s (S.A.W.) prophetic mission. It was after this sermon, that the following revelation was made by Allah to the Prophet (S.A.W.): “Today I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favors upon you and have chosen for you Islam as the way of life for you" (5:3)
  13. 13. Islam is the religion for all mankind and all ages and it is the chosen religion of Allah Almighty.

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