Our beloved Prophet, Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) was born in Makkah al Mukarramah (in today’s Saudi Arabia) circa 570 C.E. He is an example for all of humanity. He was a remarkable man at all times. He excelled in all walks of life by being a prophet, ruler, orator, soldier, husband, friend, father, uncle, nephew, and a grandfather. He was a man of love, patience, courage, wisdom, generosity, intelligence and magnitude who inspired millions of lives throughout the world.
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says in the Quraan that he was sent as a mercy for the people of the world.
وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَٰكَ إِلَّا رَحۡمَةٗ لِّلۡعَٰلَمِينَ (107)
“And We have not sent you but as mercy for all the worlds.” (Al-Anbiyaa 21:107)
His Prophetic Mission began at the age of forty, circa 610 C.E., and continued until 632 C.E. From the path of ignorance, mankind was led to the straight path and was blessed with the guidance revealed by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa).
Shortly before his departure from this mortal world, Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) delivered a sermon during the Hajj (Pilgrimage), which came to be known as his "Final Sermon”. This final sermon was not only a reminder to his followers, but also an important admonition. The final sermon confirms the end of his Prophetic Mission.
Year 10 A.H. of the Islamic Calendar is considered to be one of the most significant years for three reasons. Firstly, this was the year when the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) delivered his Last Sermon during his Hajj in Makkah al Mukarramah. Secondly, this was the year where a number of delegations of various tribes and regions came to the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) to announce their Islam as well as their people. Thirdly, it was the golden period of Islam when multitudes of people embraced the Islamic Faith by accepting the message of the Last Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam).
Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) undertook his Hajj in the year 10 A.H. This is one of the most significant historical events in the minds of Muslims, for it was the first and last Hajj performed by Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam), as well as being the model for performing Hajj, being the fifth pillar of Islam.
Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)’s final sermon was delivered during the Hajj of the year 632 C.E., the ninth day of Zul Hijjah, the 12th month of the Islamic year, at Arafat. There were countless Muslims present with the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) during his Hajj when he delivered his last Sermon.
The Final Sermon
After praising, and thanking Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: "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 Riba (Usury / Interest). Therefore, all Riba obligations 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 Riba, and that all the Riba due to Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib shall henceforth be waived…
Beware of Shaitaan (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 a trust from Allah 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, perform your five daily Salaah (Prayers), Observe Sawm (Fast) during the month of Ramadhaan, and offer Zakaah. Perform Hajj if you have the means.
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab; a white has no superiority over a black, nor does a black have any superiority over a white; [none have superiority over another] except by Taqwaa (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 appear before Allah and answer for 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!understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Quraan and my 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 it may be that 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.”
Thus, the beloved Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) completed his Final Sermon, and upon it, near the summit of Arafat, the revelation came down:
ٱلۡيَوۡمَ أَكۡمَلۡتُ لَكُمۡ دِينَكُمۡ وَأَتۡمَمۡتُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ نِعۡمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ ٱلۡإِسۡلَٰمَ دِينٗاۚ
“Today, I have perfected your religion for you, and have completed My blessing upon you, and chosen Islam as Deen (religion and a way of life) for you.” (Al-Maaidah 5:3)
Even today the Last Sermon of Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) is passed to every Muslim in every corner of the world through all possible means of communication. Muslims are reminded about it in Masjids and elsewhere. Indeed the meanings found in this Sermon are indeed astounding, touching upon some of the most important rights Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) has over humanity, and humanity has over each other. Though the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)’s soul has left this world, his words are still living in our hearts.