On the ninth day of Dhul Hijjah, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave his final sermon to the people during Hajj (the 5th. pillar of Islam) on Mount Arafah.
This journey was an example set for the people on how to perform the rites of Hajj.
The Prophet gave his sermon which has lingered in the hearts and minds of Muslims around the world to this day.
In his sermon, he talked about numerous things, and some of these things warm the hearts of so many non-Muslims, new Muslims, and others alike. The simplicity and universal wisdom found in this sermon leads as a guide for mankind to have a blessed and happy life while pleasing our creator.
When first learning about Islam, and I came across the final sermon, I felt a sense of peace because the Prophet had simplified some of the most important matters that afflict the ummah as a whole the most often. These points he touched upon gave a simplified view of Islam that puts it all in a nutshell.
Many of the teachings that come from this sermon are of great wisdom for us to all obtain and implement.
Brotherhood & Protecting Each Other’s Lives and Property
Prophet Muhammad tells us how to treat others, which is lacking amongst most of civilization these days. He says a few things:
“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.”
He also tells us:
“Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood”.
I’ve never witnessed this as much as I have in Islam. Before I became Muslim, I had never heard about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. After learning about it, and attending fundraisers and other events to show support and assistance for the Palestinians, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed about the concern Muslims from all over the world had, caring so much about one group of people.
The Palestinians are extremely oppressed, limited in their daily lives all while having their land stolen from them, and when I see all these people standing in solidarity behind them gives me hope in humanity.
On a more local level, when there is a need in the community, whether it be an individual, or a group of people, I’ve seen the entire community come together and make a joint effort to rectify the problem being faced. It is extremely heartwarming to see complete strangers helping others at their maximum capacity simply because of brotherhood instilled into their hearts for mankind.
There has been numerous times that I’ve encountered people in desperate need of help in various forms, and when I tell other Muslims about these situations and needs of others, they are extremely urgent and insistent to help in whatever way they can, even if they never meet the person.
Many don’t even want to meet the people, or even know their name in order to gain more blessings by being anonymous to prevent the appearance of “showing off” their good deeds.
The Prophet continues and tells us:
“Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners.”
This statement touches on the matter of things that are in your possession that belong to others. If you are holding something for someone, or borrowed it, you should always return it to the owners upon request, or even better, without them having to request it from you. Protect it as if it was yours, and return it in the same condition it was when it came into your possession.
Today, we see neighbors borrowing things from the guy next door, and never return it. This creates animosity between each other, and can cause you to gain the reputation of untrustworthy. Once a person loses trust from others, they will never gain respect.
The Cure to Racism
In the USA, as well as other nations, racism is still very much a social tragedy inflicting its population. If people of all nations could simply follow the teachings in the final sermon of the Prophet Muhammad, and instill it in their minds, and implement it into their lives, the world would be cured of racism.
Prophet Muhammad said in this speech:
“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; white has no superiority over black, nor does a black have any superiority over white; [none have superiority over another] except by piety and good action.”
Malcolm X, a revert to Islam, talked about his experiences during Hajj that opened his eyes and heart to the true Islam. He saw that people of all races, ethnicities, professions, and statuses were all the dressed the same, doing the same things, in complete unity and harmony. There was no segregation between anyone.
Belief in God alone and fulfilling the obligations prescribed to Muslims in the Quran showed an enormous level of unity of mankind when all factors that separate people are removed. Muslims, as well as others, have much to learn from his experiences.
Honor and Protection Given to Women
Majority of those who choose Islam are actually women, due to the honor given to them in Islam. The final sermon, along with the countless hadiths reinforce the idea of honor towards women, and honor given to women, making more and more women choose Islam each and every day.
It is very important to note that the sermon touches on the relationship between men and women. If the treatment of women was not such a strong matter, he wouldn’t have focused an entire section of his speech to it. This shows us that he held women in a high honor, and told his followers to do the same.
He explains that women have rights to be held up by the men, and vice versa. He explains how God allowed them to take a wife only by His trust and permission. This trust should be protected and not abused. Men are told to clothe and feed their wives “in kindness”… not out of a “duty by force”, and to treat them well, and be kind to them.
Prophet Muhammad tells the men that the women are their “partners and helpers”… not their concubines or slaves.
Wives are partners primarily for companionship, and “helpers” to assist, and not do everything alone and treated like a slave. His choice of words make it very clear that Islam gives honor to women, disputing any who may try to twist Islam and say that it is oppressive to women.
Advice to Hold
In the end of his sermon, he stated that he left behind two things, the Quran and the Sunnah (his example), and that if the people followed them, they would never go astray.
He goes further to state that the people are to pass on his words to others, and it should continue over time. He even states that the last ones that hear about his speech may understand his words better than those that witnessed him saying them!
So many non-Muslims have fulfilled that as we can see. They are reading and hearing about the Prophet and his teachings and fall in love with Islam. It sparks a “logical light bulb” to light in their minds about life.
While there are countless Muslims who were born into the faith that wholeheartedly follow the deen, there are many that do not, because they don’t fully grasp or practice the teachings of Prophet Muhammad.
When the Prophet completed his Final Sermon, near the top of Arafah, the following Quranic revelation was reveled:
…This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My Grace upon you, and have chosen Islam for you as your religion… (5:3)
This verse explains the teaching of the Quran about being the “final chapter”. The name of a religion was given to us. “Islam” was the religion for all mankind, named by God, not by people. From Adam and Eve, to Muhammad, everyone was to be an adherent to “Islam”…peace, purity, submission and obedience to God (Allah).
(From Discovering Islam’s archive.)