The Prophet’s (saw) Last Sermon – Khutbat’ul Wada

As-salámu ‘alaikum wa rahmatul láhi wa barakátuh!”
“A-úthu billáhi minash shaytánir rajeem. Bismilláhir rahmánir raheem.
Al hamdu lillahi nahmaduhu wanasta’eenahu, wanastagh-firuhu, wanatoobu ilayhi, wana’oothu Billaahi min shuroori an-fusinaa, wamin sayyi aati a’maalinaa. May- Yahdillahu fa huwal muhtad, wa may- yudlill falan tajidaa lahu waliyan murshida. Wa ash-hadu an Laa ilaaha ill-Alláh, wahdahoo laa shareeka lah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhoo warasooluh”

In the name of Allah most merciful, most compassionate

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The farewell Pilgrimage of the Holy Prophet (saw) may rightly be called the culminating point in his Prophetic career. It was the sixty-third year of the Prophet’s life which coincided with the close of the 10th of Hijra that he decided to perform Hajj, which in history goes by the name of Hajja-tul-Wada. The Prophet’s mission, had, by this time, been completed to all intents and purposes. To a people steeped in ignorance, he gave light and inspired them with belief in Allah, the sole Creator, Master and Sustainer of the Universe. To a disunited mass, engaged in perpetual warfare, he gave unity of thought and action. He had revealed the love of God and His will to mankind and had given it a visible expression by founding a society on the basis of righteousness, piety and God-consciousness, the like of which is not to be found in the whole history of mankind. In short, Syedna Muhammad had delivered to the human race the final Truth with all its necessary implications.

The completion of His prophetic mission implied His departure from this earthly home to the heavenly abode. The Holy Prophet had clearly visualised it. He, therefore, decided to give the finishing touch to his massive work and imprint its salient points on the minds of his devoted followers so that they might always keep before them the system of life-values enunciated by Islam. It was with this object in view that messages were sent to all parts of Arabia inviting people to join him in this great Pilgrimage.

Five days before Dhu-al-hijjah, the Holy Prophet put on Ahram, the pilgrim’s garb, and set out to Makkah with more than 114,000 Muslims. All his wives accompanied him. As he rode, he recited “Labbaik! Allahumma Labbaik! Labbaika Laa shareeka Lak, Inna lHamda wan na’imata lakaa wal mulk, laa shareeka lak” signifying, “Here I am at Thy service, here I am, O’ Lord, here I am to declare that there is no partner with Thee. All praise and blessings belong to Thee and all sovereignity is Thine. I am here at Thy service, and Thou hast no partner, O’ Allah.” As the Holy Prophet recited the above call, all his Companions repeated the same loudly.

The Holy Prophet reached Makkah on the 5th of Dhu-al-Hijjah. He made seven circuits (tawaf) of the Ka’bah, offered two rak’ats of prayer at ‘Maqam-e-Ibrahim’ and climbing the Mount of Safa 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 Dhu-al-Hijjah, 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 where he delivered the famous sermon which we have the honour to present below.

The sermon of the Holy Prophet is not only remarkable for its eloquence, but it contains a sublime message for the whole of the human race. It was a declaration of Human Rights and moral values, a charter of Women’s Rights. The world has not been able to lay down better principles of ethics and morality than those enunciated in it. Every word of it breathes a spirit of magnanimity and aims at establishing righteousness and fair dealing among men on a workable basis. It establishes brotherhood among Muslims irrespective of the divergence of their geographical and racial backgrounds and provides an outline of a social order, perfectly free from oppression and injustice. It was the declaration of finality of Syedna Muhammad’s Prophethood, the religion was being perfected by this Final Message from The Creator to his creatures for all times to come.

That year, the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) offered all the Hajj rites. Hence, whatever he did became “Sunnah”. To this day, all Muslims follow it. Before this, he did not perform the complete Hajj rites.

The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) of Islam, on 9th Dhu-al-Hijjah, invited all the Muslims, who had gathered in Makkah for Hajj, to the hill named Jabal-Al-Rahmah in Arafat, so that he could talk to them. At this instance not a single person other than the Muslims was among the pilgrims.

When the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) saw the great Muslim congregation, he felt that his voice would not be heard by all. Therefore he appointed a few persons with loud voices at various places in order to repeat aloud his words so that all the Muslims could hear his sermon. This Sermon is called “Khutbat-ul-Wida” or “the last sermon” in Arabic.

Among those who repeated the Prophet’s (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) words were Bilal (ra) and Rabiya bin Umayyah. Both of them had very loud and clear voices.

The Sermon

O people! Listen to my words: I will deliver a message to you, for I know not whether, after this year, I shall ever be amongst you here again. O people! Verily your blood, your property and your honour are sacred and inviolable until you appear before your Lord, as this day and this month is sacred for all. Verily you will meet your Lord and you will be held answerable for your actions. Have I not conveyed the message? O Allah! Be my witness.

He demanded that his message to be delivered to all mankind, to be transformed and transported from place to place and from generation to generation. The task of doing that was laid upon the shoulder of those who were listening to him to deliver his message to all mankind. (Sakr, 1998, p. 35) Did they deliver his message as he requested? The number of Muslims around the globe would answer this question. There are over 1.2 billion Muslims.

After praising and thanking God, he said:

O People Lend me an attentive ear, (listen well to my words), for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.

Before the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) began his Sermon, he asked the people, “Do you know which month is this?”

They all replied, “This month is the month of Zilhaj, one of the sacred months“.
The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) asked, “Do you know which land is this?
They replied with one voice, “It is the sacred land of Arafat, O Prophet of Allah“.

Trust and Accountability

O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Treat others justly so that no one would be unjust to you. Remember that you will indeed meet your LORD, and answer for your actions.

Quran:If anyone killed a person unless it is for a murder or spreading mischief on earth it would be as if he killed the whole of mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole of mankind” (5:32). “Then on that day not a soul will be wronged in the least and you shall but be prepaid in the needs of your past deeds” (36:54)

Interest (Ribah)

God has forbidden you to take usury (riba), therefore all riba (dues of interst) shall henceforth be cancelled. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer inequity. God has forbidden interest (riba) and that all interest due to `Abbas ibn `Abd al Muttalib (the Prophet’s uncle) shall henceforth be waived.

Quran:You who believe fear God and write off anything that remains outstanding from lending at interest if you are (true) to God and His Messenger If you repent you may retail your principal do not wrong and you will not be wronged” (2:278).

The concept of economic exploitation is totally prohibited in Islam. Since usury is a form of economic monopoly and exploitation in a capitalistic system, the rich will undoubtedly become richer, while the poor will automatically become poorer. The Prophet in his final and last sermon abolished all type of economic exploitations.

All practices arising out of the blood-revenges of the days of Ignorance are henceforth waived and the first claim of blood I abolish is that arising from the murder of Rabi`ah ibn al Harith ibn `Abd al Muttalib whom the Hudhayl killed.

O Men, the disbelievers indulge in tampering with the calendar in order to make permissible that which God forbade, and to forbid that which God has made permissible. With God the months are twelve in number. Four of them are sacred, three of these are successive -Dhul Qa’dah, Dhul Hijjah, Muharram, and then Rajab.

Warning About Satan

Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

Quran:Verily Satan is an enemy to you so treat him as an enemy. He only invites his followers that they may become companions of the blazing fire” (35:6).

Treatment of Wife (Spouse)

O People, it is true that you have certain rights over your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Treat your women well and be kind to them, for they are your partners and committed helpers. It is your right and they do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste…

Quran:Provide for them the rich according to his income and the poor according to his means, a provision according to the custom. This is an obligation for those who act kindly” (2:236). “Treat them politely even if you dislike them, Perhaps you dislike something in which God has placed much good” (4:19).

Duties Regarding Those Working Under Us

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. And if they commit a fault that you are not inclined to forgive, then part with them for they are the servants of Allah and are not to be chastised.

Quran:Act kindly just as God treated you kindly” (28:77). “God has favored some of you over their provisions to those whom their right hand controls so that they become equal (partners) in it. Would they thus disclaim God’s favor” (16:71).

O People, listen to me in earnest, worship Allah (The One Creator of the Universe), perform your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your financial obligation (zakah) of your wealth. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.

Superiority is Only In Piety and Submission and Brotherhood

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor has a non-Arab any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor has a black any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.

Quran:The most honored among you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you and God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)” (49:134).

Quran:Believers are but brothers so set things right between your brothers and fear God so that you may find mercy” (49:10).

O’ people! Listen and obey, even if an Abyssinian slave is appointed your Amir, provided he executes (the Ordinance of) the Book of Allah among you.

Remember, one day you will appear before God (The Creator) and you will answer for your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

O People, NO PROPHET OR MESSENGER WILL COME AFTER ME AND NO NEW FAITH WILL BE BORN. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand words which I convey to you. I am leaving you with two things; the Book of God (the QUR’AN*) and my SUNNAH (the life style and the behavioral mode of the Prophet), if you follow these you will never go astray.

Quran:Muhammad is not the father of any of you men but he is God’s Messenger and the Seal of Prophets. God is aware of everything” (33:40).

Quran:And obey God and the Messenger so that you may receive mercy” (3:132).

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness O God, that I have conveyed your message to your people.

As the Messenger finished the following revelation came to him, “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).

Quran:Oh Messenger, communicate whatever has been sent down to you by your Lord. If you do not do so, you will not have conveyed his message” (5:67).

Towards the end of his sermon, looking up to the heaven the Prophet asked “O people, have I faithfully delivered unto you my message?” A powerful murmur of assent “O Allah, yes!” arose from thousands of pilgrims and the vibrant words “Allahumma na’m” rolled like thunder throughout the valley. The Prophet raised his forefinger and said: “Be my witness O Allah, that I have conveyed your message to your people.

In the end, the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) completed his Sermon with the words, “Asalam-o-Alaikum”, “peace be on you”.

This Sermon left a deep impression on the hearts of the people present there. Some Islamic historians have written that on that day one hundred forty thousand Muslims were gathered in Jabal-Al-Rahmah and were listening to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). While he addressed them, they repeated his words. When the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) asked them if he had discharged his duty fully they replied in unison and when one hundred forty thousand Muslims answered the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in one voice, it seemed as if the desert mountains were trembling. The people who heard the Prophet’s (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) Sermon that day, could not forget it till their last breath, as if the words of this Sermon had been absorbed into their very being.

Even today when one reads this Sermon, the words of this Sermon greatly impress him. It has often been hailed as one of the main guiding lines for human rights in Islam.

The farewell address of Prophet Muhammad was indeed addressed to all humankind at all times and for all generations. It encompasses many aspects of life (general and specific). He laid down the foundation of morality, chastity, modesty, justice, equality, brotherhood, and accountability. He abolished economic exploitation, human enslavement, paganism, transgression and all systems that contradict with the system of Allah.

Alhamdu lillahi Rabbil ‘Aalameen. Was-salaatu was-salaamu alaa Khayril mursaleen. Muhammadin-nabeey-yil Ummiy-yee, wa-‘alaa aalihee, wa sahbihee, aj-ma’een.
Ammaa ba’ad:
Innalláha wa malaaikata yusallúna alan nabi. Yá ay yuhal latheena ámanu sallú alayhi wasalli mú tas leema. Allahumma salli alá Muhammad, wa ala áli Muhammad, kama salayta ala Ibrahim, wa ala ali Ibrahim. Allahumma barik ala Muhammad, wa alaa áli Muhammad, kama barakta ala Ibrahim, wa ala ali ibrahim. Fil ála meen, innaka hameedun majeed.”

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