Anecdotes from the Life of the Prophet Muhammad

by Mumtaz Ahmad Faruqui

The Farewell Pilgrimage

It was in the year 10 A.H. when the whole of Arabia had accepted Islam as its religion, that the Prophet set out on a pilgrimage to Mecca from Medina (where he resided). About 124,000 Muslim pilgrims had assembled at Mecca. The ultimate triumph of truth had taken place and the Prophet realised that his mission on earth had been fulfilled. The Divine word came to tell him:

“This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favour to you, and chosen for you Islam as a religion.” (The Holy Quran, 5:3)

The sermon that the Prophet delivered on this momentous occasion is remarkable. He was mounted on a camel and the people were assembled all around him in the plain of Arafat. He addressed them as follows:

“O people! Lend an attentive ear to my words for I know not whether I shall ever hereafter have the opportunity to meet you here. Do you know what day it is today? This is the Yaum-un-Nahr or the sacred Day of Sacrifice. Do you know which month this is? This is the sacred month. Do you know what place this is? This is the sacred town. So, I inform you that your lives, your properties, and your honour must be as sacred to one another as this sacred day, as this sacred month and as this sacred town. Let those present take this message to those who are absent. You are about to meet the Lord Who will call you to account for your deeds.

This day, all sums of interest are remitted, including that of Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib. This day, the retaliation for all murders committed in the days of ignorance is cancelled and, foremost of all, the murder of Rabi bin Harith is forgiven.

O people! This day, Satan has despaired of re-establishing his worship in this land of yours. However, should you obey him even in what seems to you a trifling, it will be a matter of pleasure for him. So, you must beware of him in the matter of faith.

Then, O my people! You have certain rights over your wives, and your wives have certain rights over you. They are the trust of God in your hands. Therefore, you must treat them with great kindness. And as regards your slaves, see to it that you give them to eat what you yourselves eat, and clothe them with what you clothe yourselves.

O people! Listen to what I say and take it to heart. You must know that every Muslim is the brother of every Muslim. You are all equal; you enjoy equal rights, and have similar obligations. You are all members of one common brotherhood. So, it is forbidden for any of you to take from his brother save what the latter should willingly give. So, do not tyrannise your people; do not usurp their rights.”

Then the Prophet cried at the top of his voice:

“O Lord! Have I conveyed Thy message?”

And the valley resounded with the reply from a myriad human tongues with one accord:

“By Lord! Surely you have.”