In the eleventh Islamic month (Dhi al-Qa’dah) the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) made an announcement that he will be performing the pilgrimage of the Ka’bah that year for the last time. The announcement of the Prophet’s pilgrimage spread throughout the city as well as the tribes. It was clear that due to the prominence of the pilgrimage, and the coincidence of this journey with the last months of the Prophet’s life, the sermons given would entail a vital message.
The news inspired great interest in the Muslim Ummah. Thousands of people accompanied the Prophet to perform the rituals of Hajj. The Prophet performed the rituals of Umrah Mufradah and then entered ‘Arafat on the 9th of Dhi al-Hajjah to perform the ritual pertaining to that day. On that day the land of ‘Arafah witnessed a great and splendid gathering, the like of which had not till then been seen by the people of the Hijaz.
The voice of monotheism and the slogans of the worship of the one God were ringing in that land. The Prophet offered the noon and the afternoon prayers in Arafat along with 100,000 people. Thereafter, the Prophet mounted his camel, and delivered the historical sermon, which was repeated by his companions, who had loud voices, so that those at a distance might also come to know what the Prophet was saying.
On that day he commenced his sermon thus:
“O people! Hear my words, for it is possible that I may not meet you at this spot in future”.
O people! Your blood and property (honor and reputation) are respectable for one another, like this day and this month, till the day on which you meet Allah, and every transgression in this behalf is unlawful”.
In order to be sure of the desired impression of his words on the people about the respectability of the lives and property of the Muslims the Prophet asked Rabi’ah bin Umayyah to ask them: “Which month is this?” – All of them replied: “It is a respectable month and warfare during this month is prohibited and unlawful”.
Then the Prophet (PBUH&HP) said to Rabi’ah, “Tell them: Allah has declared your blood and property unlawful and respectable for one another like this month until you leave this world.”
He again said to Rabi’ah: “Ask them which land is this?” All of them replied, “It is a respectable land and bloodshed and transgression in it is strictly prohibited”. He then said to Rabi’ah: “Tell them your blood and property are respectable like this land and every sort of transgression is prohibited”.
Thereafter the Prophet said to Rabi’ah: “Ask them which day is this?”-They replied: “It is the day of Haj-i Akbar (the Great Haj)”. The Prophet said: “Tell them your blood and property are respectable like this day”.
You will return to Allah soon and in that world your good and bad deeds will be weighed. I tell you: One, to whom something has been entrusted, should return it to its owner.
Yes, O people! You must know that usury is strictly prohibited in Islam. Those, who have invested their capital to earn interest can take back their capital only…
O people! Satan has lost hope of his being worshipped in your land. However, if you follow him in small matters he will be happy and pleased. So do not follow Satan…
Yes, O people! Your women have rights over you and you too have rights over them. Your right is that they should not admit anyone in the house without your consent, and should not be commit a corrupt action …. I recommend you on this land that you should be kind to your women, because they are the trust of Allah at your hands and they have become lawful for you according to His laws.
Yes, O people! Hear my words carefully and ponder over them. I am leaving two memorable things amongst you-one of them is the Book of Allah and the other is my Progeny (PBUT), You will not be misguided if you hold on tight to these two(1).
Yes, O people! Hear my words carefully and ponder over them. Every Muslim is the brother of another Muslim and all Muslims of the world are brothers of one another. And anything out of the property of the Muslims is not lawful for a Muslim except when he acquires it with an honest intention.
Yes, O people! Those present should tell these remarks to those who are absent. After me there will be no prophet and after you Muslims there will be no Ummah.
O people! You should know that I am announcing it today that I have banned all the ceremonies and beliefs of the Age of Ignorance and I am informing you of their falsity (2)”.
At this juncture the Prophet (PBUH&HP) discontinued the sermon and making a sign towards the sky with his forefinger said: “O Allah! I have communicated your message”. Then after saying thrice: “O Allah! Be witness to it”, he brought the sermon to an end.
In this way, during this journey, the Prophet (PBUH&HP) reminded Muslims of several vital and decisive issues through multiple sermons. These were supplement to the teaching of the Hajj rituals which was at the center of his focus during this journey. Along the same lines, after finishing the Hajj rituals and on the way back to Mecca, the Messenger of Allah stopped at Ghadir Khum on 18th of Dhi al-Hajjah. Through a sermon and by the decree of Allah, the Prophet (PBUH&HP) introduced Amir-al-Mu’minin, Ali (PBUH), as his successor.
Therefore, during this last journey and besides teaching the Hajj rituals, the Prophet (PBUH&HP) clarified the most critical principles of Islamic beliefs, ethics, and society, and left a completed version of the religion as his legacy. Eventually, on the noon of Monday, 28th of Safar of the elevenths year of migration, the Holy and Great Spirit of the Divine Messenger of Allah ascended to heaven.
(The above is a selection taken from,” The Master of Prophets (PBUH&HP)”, by Ayatullah Ja’far Subhani (with summarization))
The Roshd Website offers condolences to all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 28th of Safar, the anniversary of the demise of the last Messenger, the mercy upon the universe, and master of the Prophets, Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (PBUH&HP).
1. Tuhaf al-Uqul, p. 30
2. This sermon is mention in Tuhaf al-Uqul and Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 21, p. 405.