Thursday, May 3, 2007

Prophet Bidding Farewell

 Prophet Bidding Farewell

Banu Salleh

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-‘ālameen. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam is His Messenger.   

The Farewell Hajj, 10th AH (632).

On the return of the sacred month of pilgrimage, the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), under the presentiment of his approaching end, determined to make a farewell pilgrimage to Makkah.

In 10th AH (February 632) the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) left Medinah with a very considerable concourse of Muslims. Ninety thousand Medinite and one hundred and forty thousand people from elsewhere, accompanied the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) appointed Abu Dujanah Sammak bin Kharshah Al-Sa’idi (radiyallahu’anhu) as the Caretaker Ruler of Medinah. This triumphal journey of the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), whom worn by years of persecution and then by unceasing struggle, is surrounded by a kind of twilight splendor, as though a great ring of light had finally closed, encompassing the mortal world in its calm radiance.

The Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) during his Farewell Hajj delivered this important sermon on Friday Dzul-Hijjah 9, 10 A.H. (March 3, 632 A.C.) at valley of ‘Uranah, Mount Arafah, Makkah. Rabi'ah bin Umaiah bin Khalaf Al-Jumahi who had a loud voice, was appointed to repeat after the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) to the large crowd.

In the sermon the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)   reminds the ummah to take stock on many pertinent issues which we must adhere them at all times.

It was referred to as his “pilgrimage of farewell” which from the plain of Arafat he preached to an enormous throng of pilgrims. Before completing all rites of the pilgrimage, he addressed the assembled multitude from the top of Mount Arafat in the following words:

After praising and thanking Allah Subhanallahu wa ta’ala, Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)   said:

"O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and take these 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 Subhanallahu wa ta’ala has forbidden you to take usury [interest]; therefore all interest obligations shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah Subhanallahu wa ta’ala has judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn 'Abdul Muttalib (Prophet's uncle) shall henceforth be waived. Every right arising out of homicide in pre-Islamic days is henceforth waived, and the first such right that I waive is that arising from the murder of Rabi’ah ibn al-Harithiah".

"O Men! The unbelievers indulge in tampering with the calendar in order to make permissible that which Allah Subhanallahu wa ta’ala forbade, and to prohibit which Allah Subhanallahu wa ta’ala has made permissible. The year is twelve months as ordained by Allah the day He created the heaven and the earth, of which four are Sacred. Three are consecutive: Dzulkaedah, Dzulhijjah and Muharram, and Rajab that is between Jamadilakhir and Sha’ban]"

'Beware of Shaytan, for the 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 rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah's trust and with His permission. 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. It is your right that they do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste. O People! Listen to me in earnest, worship Allah SWT, perform your five daily Solah, fast during the month of Ramadhan, and give your wealth in Zakat (obligatory charity). Perform Hajj if you can afford".

"All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white (person) has no superiority over a black [person] nor does a black have any superiority over a white except by piety and good action. Learn that Muslims are brothers to each other and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. "

"Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves. Remember, one day you will appear before Allah Subhanallahu wa ta’ala and answer about your deeds. So beware, do not stray 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. O People! Reason and understand well the words that I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur'an and my Sunnah [i.e. sayings, deeds and approvals], 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".

As part of this sermon, the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)   recited a Revelation from Allah, which he had just received:

"…This day, the disbelievers have given up all hope of your religion; so fear them not, but fear Me. This day, I have perfected your religion for you and completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion…" (Surah Al-Maidah, 5:3);

Towards the end of his sermon, the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)   said:

"O people! You would be asked about me by Allah the Exalted and Almighty, what would you say?”

A powerful murmur of assent arose from thousands of pilgrims and rolled like thunder throughout the valley:"O Allah, yes!"

[Raised his forefinger towards the sky and then pointed towards the people] and said: Be my witness, O Allah! Be my witness, O Allah! That I have conveyed your message and discharged [the Prophethood] and given [wise and sincere] guidance to your people."

Having rigorously performed all the ceremonies of the pilgrimage, that his example might be followed by all Muslims for all succeeding ages, the Prophet returned with his followers to Medinah.

The Year of 11th AH.

The 11th year of the Hijrah, being the last year of the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) life, was spent at Medinah. There he settled the organization of the provincial and tribal communities which had adopted Islam and become the component parts of the Muslims federation. More officers had to be deputed to the interior provinces for the purpose of teaching their inhabitants the precepts of the religion, administering justice, and collecting Zakat.

Muaz Ibn Jabal (radiyallahu’anhu) was sent to Yemen. On his departure to that distant province the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) enjoined him to use his own discretion in the event of his being unable to find express authority in the Quran.

Ali bin Abi Talib (radiyallahu’anhu) was deputed to Yamama in the southeast of the peninsula. To him the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) said:

"Never decide between any two parties who come to you for justice unless you first hear both of them."

A force was being prepared under Usama the son Zaid bin Harithah (radiyallahu’anhu). Harithah was killed at Muta, against the Byzantines, to exact the long-delayed reparation for the murder of the envoy to Syria. However, the news of the Prophet's sickness and failing health caused that expedition to be stopped.

This news was soon spread and produced disorder in some districts. Three pretenders had arisen who gave themselves out as prophets and tried by all kinds of imposture to win over their tribes. The most dangerous of these pretenders was known as Al Aswad. He was a chief of Yemen and a conjurer. He soon succeeded in gaining over his tribesmen and, with the help, reduced to subjection many of the neighboring towns. He killed Shahar, whom the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) had appointed as Governor of Sana in the place of his father Bazan, who had just died. Bazan had been the viceroy of Yemen under Chosroes of Persia; after he had adopted Islam he was allowed by the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) to remain as Governor of Yemen. He was able to convert to Islam the entire Persian colony in that province. Al-Aswad, the conjurer, had now killed Shahar, but soon after he was massacred by the Persians of Yemen.

The other two pretenders, Tulayha and Haroun, were not suppressed until after the death of the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), during the reign of Abu Bakar(radiyallahu’anhu). Haroun, better known as Mussailamah, addressed to the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) letter which ran as follows:

"From Mussailamah the Prophet of Allah, to Muhammad the Prophet of Allah. Peace be to you. I am your partner. Let the exercise of authority be divided between us. Half the earth will be mine, and half will belong to your Quraish. But the Quraish are too greedy to be satisfied with a just division."

To this letter the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied as follows:

"From Muhammad the Messenger of Allah to Mussailamah the liar. Peace is to those who follow the right path. The earth belongs to Allah. It is He Who makes the reign whomsoever He pleases. Only those will prosper who fear the Lord."

Seized by Illness

One day Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was seized by a painful illness. He (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) came to the mosque wrapped in a blanket and there were those who saw the signs of death in his face. He addressed the companions. Amongst Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) said: “If there is anyone among you, whom I have caused to be flogged unjustly, here is my back. Strike in your turn. If I have damaged the reputation of any among you, may he do likewise to mine?”

On 12 Rabia’ul-Awal in the 11th year of the Hijrah (8 June 632), he entered the mosque for the last time. Abu Bakar As-Siddiq (radiyallahu’anhu) was leading the solah, and he (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) asked him to continue. As Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) watched the people, his face became radiant. After solah he (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then rose and re-entered the house of Aishah (radiyallahu’anha), very ill, laid his head on her lap. His illness worsens, opened his eyes and murmured: ‘With the highest companion in Paradise”. These were his last words. Thus ended the glorious life of that Prophet Muhammad (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam). May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

And Allāh Almighty knows best.

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