The narrations of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) were recorded by the Companions in the form of Hadith. After Quran, these hadiths are what help Muslims understand Islam in the rightful manner. Among these hadiths, there are some that are famous and every Muslim uses them as a common reference, while there are other narrations that are there for scholarly debate and they hold great intellectual depth for the understanding of Muslims. One of such narrations is the Last Sermon of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gave His Last Sermon on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah in the year 10 Hijri or 632 AC in the valley of Arafat. This is one of the most renowned Sermons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as He gave it on His first and last Hajj. The sermon is a series of proclamations in which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) spoke about various matters of guidance for Muslims.
Khutba e Hujja Tul Vida:
“O People, lend me an attentive ear, 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.
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. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your LORD, and that HE will indeed reckon your deeds. ALLAH has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah has Judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn ‘Abd’al Muttalib (Prophet’s uncle) shall henceforth be waived…
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.
O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to 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. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.
O People, listen to me in earnest, worship ALLAH, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.
All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety (taqwa) 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.
Remember, one day you will appear before ALLAH and answer your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.
O People, NO PROPHET OR APOSTLE 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 leave behind me two things, the QURAN and my example, the SUNNAH and if you follow these you will never go astray.
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 ALLAH, that I have conveyed your message to your people”
Reference: Al-Bukhari, Hadith 1623, 1626, 6361.
The lines below try to highlight and discuss the major elements discussed by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during His last sermon.
Sanctity Of Life And Property Of A Muslim:
One of the primary factors discussed and addressed by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in His sermon is the life and property of a Muslim. Prophet (PBUH) told the people that the way they think sacred of the month of Dhul Hijjah and the city and day on which the sermon was taking place, so should they also consider sacred the life and property of a Muslim. When they are entrusted with these two elements, they should take care of them and consider it a sacred trust.
Returning Trust And Justice:
In His Last Sermon Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also spoke about keeping the trust of people and fulfilling it in addition to being just with people. He told that if someone entrusts a person with some kind of goods then he or she must return the goods to the rightful owner and fulfill the trust. On the other hand, the other thing that a Muslim must do is treat others justly so that he or she does not receive any unjust treatment from others. All of this should be done with the thought in mind that one day we all have to meet our Lord and He will hold us accountable for our deeds.
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Another thing that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) addressed in His last sermon is the forbidding of usury. Prophet (PBUH) forbade usury and told Muslims that whoever had any previous usury receipts left, they are waived off from them and the only thing that they can keep is the capital. This verdict regarding usury stands explicit and from then onwards usury is forbidden in Islam.
Beware Of Satan:
There is no denying the fact that Satan is the greatest enemy of mankind and all he wants to do is to make people go stray from the path of righteousness and commit the acts that go against the will of Allah Almighty. Prophet (PBUH) also warned Muslims to beware of Satan, but this warning was a slightly different compared to the other warnings regarding Satan. In this warning Prophet (PBUH) told Muslims that Satan has lost hope in making people astray in big things, therefore, one should remain aware and not follow his temptations in small things. Therefore, the idea that one should refrain from the big evil deeds and be lenient pertaining to the ordinary or small ones is wrong and one must remain away from the small evil deeds as well.
Rights Of Women:
The other important thing regarding which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) spoke during His last sermon was the rights of women. According to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) although men have rights over women however, they also have rights on men as well. For a husband it is imperative to be kind to his wife and feed and clothe them with kindness as they are the partners and helpers of men. Therefore, in His last sermon as well, Prophet (PBUH) spoke about giving women their rights and asserting the fact that they have the same level of rights over men as men have on them and because of their being women they should not be considered inferior or treated badly.
The Pillars Of Islam:
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also stressed on Muslims following and establishing the five pillars of Islam. He told them to believe in Allah as the only God worthy of worship, perform the daily prayers five times a day, fast during the month of Ramadan, give Zakah and perform Hajj if one can afford to perform it.
Perhaps the most important element for which the last sermon of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is known is the message of universal equality about which He spoke. According to the sermon, all the humans are created from Adam and Eve therefore, no one enjoys any superiority over the other whether it is on the base of race or color. All men are equal in the eyes of Allah and the only differentiator between them is the piety and good actions. Therefore, if humans are to compete with each other in order to be different then the only two things that can make them different are piety and good deeds, other than that everyone is equal to God.
Moreover, all Muslims are brother and a thing of one Muslim brother is not lawful on any other Muslim until and unless he or she gives it to the other with free will. This stands as a clear message to all those who want to usurp the belongings of others. Therefore, they should avoid any such actions and not be unjust in their dealing with others.
Islam As The Last Religion:
By the end of His Sermon Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) told the Muslims that He is the Last Prophet and that there will be no other Prophet after Him and the only way to stick to the path of righteousness after Him is by following Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Prophet (PBUH) took all the people present there as a witness to His conveying the message of Allah to mankind and commanded them to pass on His message to all those who are not present. Since then Muslims continue on spreading the message of Islam to different parts of the world and showing people the last religion of guidance sent by Allah for the guidance of mankind.
In a nutshell, the last sermon of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stands as the most quoted and referred sermons of His. This sermon mainly stresses on the conclusion of the message of guidance from Allah and that Prophet (PBUH) had completed His duty and now it rests upon Muslims to make sure that the message is spread to all those who weren’t there and who haven’t heard about it at present.