Prophet's Farewell Pilgrimage
Dr. Akram Diya Al Umari and Muhammad Zeeno

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and was made obligatory in the tenth, ninth or sixth year, according to different reports [Ibn Kathir, al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 5/109]. In the tenth year the Prophet (peace be upon him) announced that he intended to perform hajj; this was the only time that he performed hajj after the Hijrah to Medina. The Muslims came from all over the Arabian Peninsula to perform hajj with him. He left Medina five days before the end of Dhul-Qa'dah [Ibn Hajar, Fath al Bari, 8/104; Ibn Ishaq, with a Hasan Isnad (Sirat ibn Hisham, 4/272). Ibn Kathir, al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 5/111. This is the same as Ibn Ishaq's report. He said, "Its Isnad is Jayyid."]. When he halted in Arafat, the following ayah was revealed to him:

This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.

[Noble Quran 5:3] [Sahih al Bukhari, Fath al Bari, 8/108]

The Muslims learned the rituals of the hajj from the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he said: "Take your rituals from me." His hajj was full of laws pertaining to the Shari'ah, especially matters pertaining to the hajj, and general advice and laws which were mentioned in the Sermon of Arafat. For this reason, the scholars showed great interest in the farewell pilgrimage and derived many laws from it, dealing with the rituals of hajj and other matters, of which the books of fiqh and Hadith explanation are full. Some of the scholars wrote books dealing specifically with the farewell pilgrimage.

A large gathering of Muslims participated in the event. They listened to the farewell sermon Khutbat al-Wada' which he gave at Arafat in the middle of the Ayyam al-Tashriq (three days following the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah).

"Verily your blood and your property are as sacred and inviolable as the sacredness of this day of yours, in this month of yours, in this land of yours. Behold! Everything pertaining to the days of ignorance is under my feet completely abolished. Abolished are also the blood revenges of the days of ignorance. The first claim of ours on blood revenge which I abolish is that of the son of Rabi`ah ibn al Harith. And the usury Riba of the pre-Islamic period is abolished, and the first of our usury I abolish is that of `Abbas ibn `Abd al Muttalib, for it is all abolished. Fear God concerning women! Verily you have taken them on the security of God, and intercourse with them has been made lawful unto you by words of God. You too have rights over them, and they should not allow anyone to sit on your bed whom you do not like. But if they do that, you can chastise them but not severely. Their rights upon you are that you should provide them with food and clothing in a fitting manner. I have left among you the Book of God, and if you hold fast to it you would never go astray. And you would be asked about me (on the day of resurrection), (now tell me) what would you say? They (the audience) said: "We bear witness that you have conveyed (the message), discharged (the ministry of Prophethood) and given wise (sincere) counsel." He (the narrator) said: "He (the Prophet) then raised his forefinger toward the sky and pointed it at the people (and said): "O God, bear witness, O God, bear witness." [The report is from Sahih Muslim, 4/38-43, from the Hadith of Jabir ibn `Abd Allah. Al Sheikh Muhammad Nasir al Din al Albani made some brief additions to it, from other books of Hadith which narrated the Hadith of Jabir with some Sahih additions (Hijjat al-Nabi, pp. 71-73). See the report of Jabir in Hadith in Hijjat al-Nabi, 38-41. See part of the khutbah in Sahih al Bukhari, Fath al Bari, 8/108). Ibn Ishaq mentioned the long text of the farewell khutbah without Isnad. Imam Ahmad mentioned the long text of the khutbah of the farewell pilgrimage, which was given in the middle of the Ayyam al Tashriq. Its Isnad includes `Ali ibn Zayd ibn Jad`aan, who al Hafiz ibn Hajar, in al Taqrib, said was weak. Al Banna said, "Al Bazzar narrated a similar report with the same meaning from Ibn `Umar with a different Isnad." The Imams of Hadith narrated parts of it in their books, in different chapters, through Sahih isnads; and Allah knows best. (Al Fath al Rabbani, 279-281)]

He delivered another sermon at Mina, when he said, "Do not return to Kufr, killing one another, after I am gone." [Sahih al Bukhari, Fath al Bari, 8/107; Muslim, Sahih, 1/82]

[End of excerpt from Dr `Umari's work]

From Benefits of this Great Sermon:

[Adapted from Masa'il Muhimma `an il-`'Umrah wa'l-Hajj by Muhammad Jamil Zeeno]

Prohibition of shedding innocent blood, and taking of wealth without right, which stresses Islam's protection of souls.

Nullification of validity of actions of Jahiliyyah

Prohibition of taking Riba (usury and interest), which is an increase on the principal, whether small or large. Allah the Most High says:

But if you repent, you may have your capital.

[Noble Quran 2:279]

Admonition to fulfill and give women their rights, and to deal with them in goodness. Many authentic Hadiths have been narrated in this regard, which elucidate their rights and warn against taking them unjustly.

Advice to strongly cling to the Book of Allah, in which lies the honor of Muslims and their victory. Likewise, the order to stick to the Sunnah, which explains the Quran, for verily the reason for Muslims' weakness today is their leaving of judging by the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger. There will be no victory for Muslims except by returning to these two Sources.

Testimony of the Companions that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) conveyed the message, discharged his trust and counseled the Ummah.

Order to take rituals of Hajj and other rituals from the Prophet's sayings, actions and tacit agreements.

Subtle indication that the Prophet's farewell would soon come.

Warning against fighting and killing among Muslims, which is disbelief in action, which does not take one out of the fold of Islam, as in his (peace be upon him) saying: "Cursing a Muslim is Fusuq, and fighting him is kufr." [Agreed upon]

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