The Last Sermon
The historical Sermon that the Holy Prophet Mohammed (SAW) delivered from Mount Al-Rahmat in Arafat is a principal ordinance of fundamental Principles of Islamic Laws and Ethics. It guarantees for Peace, Progress and Harmony amongst people. This sermon was delivered more than 1417 years ago on the eve of hajj. The Prophet summed up the teachings of Islam and the sermon stands as a revolutionary charter for humanity at large. No addition could be made to this Human Charter since then because of its conformity to the rule of law and ethical values in the historic ages of time. The universal nature and characteristics of Islam were emphasized in the prophet’s farewell pilgrimage Sermon which makes clear that the religious ideal of Islam is indifferent to racial and other natural differences.
On the Hajj Day the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, arrived in Arafat and stayed there. As the day declined, he sent for his dromedary. The animal was brought and put ready. He rode into the heart of the valley, alighted there and delivered his famous address which proved his life’s last Hajj Sermon. In that memorable sermon he dwelt upon the basic message of the religion of Islam.
After praising Almighty, the Creator, he started address in these words:
There is none to worship except God. None is like Him or equals Him nor has He any co-sharer. He fulfilled His promise and helped His own creature and Messenger, and He alone defeated and smashed all the concerted forces of falsehood.
O ye people! listen to me, as I do not think we may have another opportunity of meeting again as in this gathering (and presumably I may not perform another Hajj).
O ye People! God Almighty says :”O mankind! We created you from a male-and-female couple and made you into tribes and nations so to be known one from the other. Verily in the eyes of God only the most righteous amongst you is the most honored of you.” In the light of this Quranic verse, the prophet continued, no Arab had any superiority over a non-Arab nor was a white anyway better than a black. The only criterion for the superiority and respectability was the one element of piety.
All created beings, he said, were the off-spring of Adam and the very existence of Adam was that he sprang from dust. “Hence all claims to superiority and greatness, all demands of blood or ransom and all false traits or trends of rule have been trodden under my feet. Only the trusteeship over the Kaaba and the age-old right to serve water to the Hajees will remain intact.”
The Prophet further observed : “O ye the clan of Quraish, see lest you should appear resurrected on the Day of Judgment before God laden with worldly weight (of sins) against others equipped with acts of goodness deserving salvation. If that happened, I shall not be in a position to keep you up in the presence of the Creator.
O the people of Quraish, God has put an end to your nations of false vanity and there is no room left now for your feeling proud any longer of your forefathers` deeds. Now everybody’s blood, property and prestige have become sacrosanct for others. All these are now of the same significance and sanctity as the sanctity of this holy month and specially in this city.
After me do not go astray and begin to kill one another.
If anybody is made custodian of anything, he must keep that trust till the thing held in custody is restored to the rightful owner.
O ye people, a Muslim is another Muslim’s brother and thus all Muslims are brothers amongst themselves.
Take care of your slaves. Let them eat what you yourself eat and let them wear as you wear for yourself.
All that prevailed during the pre-Islamic times of ignorance has been trampled under my feet. All blood dues of the days of ignorance have been written off and henceforth none will wreak vengeance on the other. The first right to retaliate pertaining to my own house stands waived. I hereby pardon the murder by Banu Huzail of the sucking babe of Rabia , son of Haris, who belonged to my family.
All interest or usurious dues coming from the time of ignorance stand scotched off and I lead the rest by cancelling the interest payable to the family of my uncle Abbas Bin Abdul-Muttalib.
O ye people, God has ( through the law of inheritance) fixed the right of every rightful heir, therefore no other testament be considered valid for any of these.
Only the child born within wedlock will be considered legitimate heir to the parents. Adultery proved will be punishable with stoning. All acts of omission and commission will be accountable to God hereafter.
Anybody claiming false ancestry or ascribing untrue bondage against his own master will be accursed by God.
Debts payable should be cleared. All borrowed property is to be returned, while gifts should be countered and a surety must make good the loss on behalf of the assured.
It is not proper for anybody to have anything from his brother except whatever be given over through brother’s consent and pleasure. Do not overstep yourselves as well as others and allow no excesses whatsoever.
A woman has no right to part with or transfer to any other person her husband’s property without the latter’s express permission.
O ye people, you owe your women certain rights and likewise you have rights over your women. Your right is that the women should not allow near them anybody whom you do not like. Their right is to maintain complete integrity and shun indecency. If they fail, God allows you to chastise them and when they behave better and come round, let them be looked after well.
Treat your women nicely as they are bound to you and are incapable of managing many of their affairs themselves. Hence always keep God’s command in view, namely, that you have accepted them in the name of God and in His name have they been made lawful to you. O people understand what I say. I have conveyed to you the Message of God.
I leave in your midst a thing which, if held by, will never let you go astray. And that is the holy Book of God. And beware exceeding limits fixed in matters of religion, races which preceded you, perished because of similar unwarranted lapses.
Satan has now been spared no hope of being worshipped any more in this City of yours. However, chances are yet there that in matters unwittingly considered minor by you, Satan’s ways may prevail. Even that much may afford him a convenient footing. So, take care to safeguard your faith and religion against Satanic persuasions.
O ye people! Worship the one God Almighty. Remain punctual in your daily five-time observances. Keep a month’s fasts ( during the Ramazan). Pay out Zakat on your capital with a good cheer and perform pilgrimage to the House of God and obey your Emirs. Thus shall you enter God’s Paradise.
Henceforth a criminal will himself be answerable for his crime. A son will not be chargeable on father’s count nor will a father repay for the son’s doings.
Listen!Those who are present here should convey my message to others not present here.May be many of those not even present on this occasion may prove of greater understanding and be better trustees of what I have conveyed unto you.
And O ye people, you may be questioned ( by God ) about me, what will be your reply ?
The people cried in reply:
“We shall bear witness that you conveyed to us the divine message entrusted to you as Apostle of God and led us to the path of truth and goodness.”
Hearing that, Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, pointing with his Index finger towards the heaven, sighed to the gathering and observed thrice in devout passion
“Be witness to it, O my God Almighty, !
Be witness to it, O my God Almighty !!
Be witness to it, O my God Almighty !!!”