The last sermon of the last prophet
This sermon was delivered by Prophet Muhammed (saw) on the Ninth Day of Dhul-Hijjah, 10 A.H. (632 CE) in the ‘Uranah valley of Mount Arafat in Makkah. The place where he stood, is since called as ‘Mount of Mercy’. It was the occasion of the annual rites of Hajj (the pilgrimage). The occasion is also known as the Farewell Pilgrimage. The words spoken by the prophet were faithfully repeated sentence by sentence by Safwan’s brother Rabiah (RA) for the benefit of about ten thousand people who had gathered on the occasion, spread over the slopes, downhill. This sermon is also considered as a ‘final will of inheritance’ left by the prophet (saw) for his nation.
After praising, and thanking Allah (The One True God) the Prophet began with the words:
“O People! lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore, listen carefully to what I am saying 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 obligations shall henceforth be waived. Your capital 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) be waived.
“Every right arising out of homicide in pre-Islamic days is henceforth waived and the first such right that I waive is that arising from the murder of Rabiah ibn al-Harithiah.
“O Men! the unbelievers indulge in tampering with the calendar in order to make permissible that which Allah forbade, and to prohibit which Allah has made permissible. With Allah the months are twelve in number. Four of them are holy, three of these are successive and one occurs singly between the months of Jumada and Shaban.
“Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope of that he will 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 anyone 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, fast during month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat (obligatory charity). 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 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 meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not astray 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 have left among you the Book of Allah*, and if you hold fast to it, you would 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.
As part of this sermon, the Prophet recited them a Revelation from Allah which he had just received and which completed the Qur’an, for it was the last passage to be revealed:
This day the disbeliever’s despair of prevailing against your religion, so fear them not, but fear Me (Allah)! This day have I perfected for you your religion and fulfilled My favor unto you, and it has been My good pleasure to choose Islam for you as your religion (Qur’an 05:3).
Toward the end of his sermon, the Prophet asked
“O people, have I faithfully delivered unto you my message?”
A powerful murmur of assent , arose from thousands of pilgrims and the vibrant words “Allahumma na’m (O Allah, yes!)” 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.”