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Farewell Sermon of the Prophet Muhammad (632)

Document type:
Sermon

    Farewell Sermon of the Prophet Muhammad (632)

    Commentary

    Mentioned or quoted in almost all books of the ḥadīth, the final sermon (khuṭbah) of the Prophet Muhammad, also commonly referred to as the Farewell Sermon, encapsulates some of the major moral teachings of the Islamic tradition. The Prophet delivered the speech on Mount Arafat in 10 A.H. on the ninth day of Dhū al-Ḥijjah (Friday, March 6, 632 C.E.) during his final pilgrimage from Medina to Mecca. The year before, known as the Year of Deputations, the Prophet settled numerous disputes with neighboring tribes, creating alliances that significantly expanded the influence of Islam through diplomacy rather than conflict. Because of this historical context, many scholars view his final sermon, which was delivered just shortly before his death, as both a blueprint for the Islamic perspective on universal human rights, and a summation of the core tenets of Islam. Along with the religious obligations of every Muslim, the Prophet discusses property rights, economic justice, and the rights of women, who are described as “partners” with men, and as having the “right to be fed and clothed in kindness.” The speech is so revered that, every year, the annual hajj culminates in a procession to Mount Arafat, where pilgrims listen to a recitation of the khuṭbah.

    O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I don’t know whether, after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you carefully and TAKE THIS WORDS TO THOSE WHO COULD NOT BE PRESENT HERE TODAY.

    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. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your LORD, and that HE will indeed reckon your deeds. ALLAH has forbidden you to take usury (Interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived.

    Beware of Satan, for your safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

    O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have right over you. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to commit adultery.

    O People, listen to me in earnest, worship ALLAH, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadhan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to. You know that every Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. YOU ARE ALL EQUAL. NOBODY HAS SUPERIORITY OVER OTHER EXCEPT BY PIETY AND GOOD ACTION.

    Remember, one day you will appear before ALLAH and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

    O People, NO PROPHET OR APOSTLE WILL COME AFTER ME AND NO NEW FAITH WILL BE BORN. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand my words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the QURʾAN and my example, the SUNNAH, and if you follow these you will never go astray.

    All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. BE MY WITNESS O ALLAH THAT I HAVE CONVEYED YOUR MESSAGE TO YOUR PEOPLE.

    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/muhm-sermon.asp

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