The Farewell Hajj and the Farewell Sermon


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Farewell Hajj and the Farewell Sermon

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) met with Archangel Gabriel every Ramadan and read the verses which had been revealed up until then. In the month of Ramadan during the 10th year after the emigration (December, 631) Gabriel said that they would read the Holy Quran twice. The Prophet understood this to mean that his life was coming to an end, and informed his daughter Fatima of this. The Prophet would perform itiqaf (retreating to a place to fast for the sole purpose of worshipping Allah) for ten days during the month of Ramadan, but in this last year he performed itiqaf for twenty days.

The Holy Prophet began to prepare for pilgrimage in the same year (10, 632) and told everyone to join him. Accompanied by his wives and his daughter Fatima, he set out in the month of Dhu al-Qi'dah 26, year 10 (February 23, 632) with Muslims composed of residents of Medina immigrants, the Companions and the tribes that had come to Medina. He put on the ihram (clothing consisting of white cloth, with no stitches, which pilgrims wear) in Zulhulayfa. He reached Mecca on the fourth day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah on his camel, called Qasva (Qusva), accompanied by more people who had joined him on the way. After performing the pilgrimage, he stayed in a tent set up for him in the Abtah region. On 4 of Dhu al-Hijjah, a Thursday, he left Mecca, went to Mina and spent the night there. On 9 of Dhu al-Hijjah, a Friday, he set out for Arafat after the sunrise, going along the Muzdalifa road and spent the night in a tent in Namira which he had asked to be set up. In the afternoon he made his famous speech, known as the Farewell Sermon, to a crowd of over 120,000 Companions in the valley of Arafat.

In his speech, after praising and thanking Allah, the Prophet went on to say that all people are servants of Allah, that they have all descended from the same ancestors, that all people are equal, regardless of their race, color, language or class, and that the only measure of superiority is fear of Allah. Prophet Muhammad spoke about human rights in general. He emphasized the importance of security of life, property and chastity. He ordered people to be careful about the rights of others, to avoid cruelty and haram (religiously forbidden) food and to protect trusts; he threw light on the mutual rights, obligations, and duties of the husband and wife. He stated that all Muslims are brothers and sisters, and he emphasized the importance of unity and cooperation. He ordered people to perform their prayers, to fast, to pay charitable alms, to perform the pilgrimage, and to obey the rules of the Shariat (Islamic law). He mentioned some concepts and traditions of the Age of Ignorance, and he declared that interest and blood feuds were forbidden, as well as invalidating the institutions and practices of the Age of Ignorance that were related to the administration of Mecca and the Kaaba, particularly the tradition of nasi (changing the order of months). The traditions that remained were those of providing water to the pilgrims (siqaya), guarding the Kaaba and protecting the keys (sidana). He frequently asked, "Have I delivered my message?" Prophet Muhammad ended his sermon saying "O Allah, be my witness! O Allah, be my witness!" In the verse sent before the Prophet left Arafat, it is stated that the religion had been perfected and completed and that Islam is the religion that has the consent of Allah: "This day I have perfected your religion for you and completed My favor unto you, and I have chosen for you al-Islam as the religion." (Al-Maida 5/3).

When the Prophet reached Muzdalifa, he performed the evening and night prayers there. After performing the morning prayer, he arrived in Jamratu al-Aqabah and threw seven stones (to drive away Satan) and said takbir for each one. Then he went to Mina and after talking to his companions he sacrificed an animal. Then he shaved and took off his ihram, and returning to the Kaaba, circumambulated this building. After returning to Mina, he completed the djamras (throwing stones at Satan). The next day he returned to Mecca and before sunrise he performed his farewell circumambulation. With the permission of the Prophet the other pilgrims who had come from outside Mecca and Medina left the city on the fifth day of the festivities to return to their homes. Then the Prophet finished pilgrimage with the immigrants and residents of Medina and taught the Muslims how to perform this worship and then returned back to Medina.

As the Prophet died after this pilgrimage, saying, "I may not be able to meet with you here again after this year", it is known as the "Farewell Pilgrimage" and the sermon is called the "Farewell Sermon". Actually, it is known that Prophet Muhammad made more than one speech in various places and at various times during this journey.

عن أبي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه قَالَ:
قَبَّلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْحَسَنَ بْنَ عَلِيٍّ وَعِنْدَهُ الأَقْرَعُ بْنُ حَابِسٍ التَّمِيمِيُّ جَالِسًا‏.‏ فَقَالَ الأَقْرَعُ إِنَّ لِي عَشَرَةً مِنَ الْوَلَدِ مَا قَبَّلْتُ مِنْهُمْ أَحَدًا‏.‏ فَنَظَرَ إِلَيْهِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏"‏ مَنْ لاَ يَرْحَمُ لاَ يُرْحَمُ ‏"‏‏
God's Messenger kissed Al-Hasan bin Ali (his grandchild) while Al-Aqra' bin Habis At-Tamim was sitting beside him. Al-Aqra said, "I have ten children and I have never kissed anyone of them", God's Messenger cast a look at him and said, "Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully." (Bukhari, Good Manners and Form (Al-Adab), 18)

Title: Tracks from Neyzen Sadreddin Özçimi's album, Sufi Rhythms - Sultan-i Ask Artist: Sadreddin Özçimi