Khutbah hajjatul wida (the farewell sermon) is a complete and comprehensive sermon that every Muslim and non-Muslim of every generation should read and study. It contains the basic principle of life, complete guide of spending it and a perfect code of life. It is the ever best sermon in the history of mankind, for it delivered by most honest, truthful, merciful, eloquent and exemplary human on this surface of the earth.
In the 10th year of Hijrah, the beloved Prophet (PBUH) declared that he intended to perform Hajj, he began to prepare for it and his companions to prepare too. Thousands of Muslims headed to the Sacred Town (Makkah), racing one another to achieve honor of performing Hajj under the leadership of the best leader Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and to attain the great rewards from Almighty Allah.
The beloved Prophet (PBUH) entered Ihram with intention of performing Hajj and Umrah from the valley of dhul-Hulayfah. Wearing this simple Ihram is a symbol of sincerity and devotion to worship Allah alone and to understand the reality of this world, which is nothing without having faith in Allah and belief in the Last Day.
In the entire life of Prophet (PBUH), the Farewell pilgrimage was the only Hajj that he ever performed. This pilgrimage is known by numerous names, such as ‘Conveyance pilgrimage’ and the ‘Farewell pilgrimage’.
On the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah, when the sun rose on the that blessed day, the Prophet (PBUH) set out, leading the pilgrimage, to Mount Arafah, where he spent the whole day remembering Almighty Allah, worshipping Him and supplicating Him, and also teaching and guiding the Muslims the ritual of pilgrimage and other laws of the true religion of Islam. On that historical day there were nearly one hundred and forty thousand pilgrims with him.
The Historical Khutbah Hajjatul Wida (Farewell Sermon) on the Day of Arafah
After the sun had passed the meridian on that honorable day of pilgrimage, Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) mounted his camel and addressed the Muslims in a comprehensive speech in which he reminded them of the principles of and basics of Islam and emphasized the prohibition on wrongdoing, killing, and transgression against people’s blood and wealth. Moreover, He (PBUH) exhorted them to fulfill their trusts, refrain riba (usury), beware of the deceptions and plots of the Satan and treat women well. He commanded them to adhere to the Book of Allah and to fulfill the duties of Islamic brotherhood.
When the sun passed its zenith, he ordered that Al-Qaswa be saddled for him, and came to the bottom of the valley, where he addressed the people and said:
“Your blood and your wealth are sacred to one another, as sacred as this day of yours, in this month of yours, in this land of yours. All matters of the Jahiliyyah are abolished beneath my feet. The blood feuds, and the first blood feud that I abolish is that of Rabiah bin Al-Harith, who was nursed among Banu Laith and killed by Hudhail. The Riba (usury) of the Jahiliyyah is abolished, and first Riba that I abolish is that of Abbas bin Abdul-Muttalib; it is all abolished. Fear Allah with regard to women, for you have taken them as a trust from Allah, and intimacy with them has become permissible to you by the Word of Allah. Your rights over them are that they should not allow anyone whom you dislike to tread on your bedding. If they do that, then hit them, but in a manner that does ot cause injury or leave a mark. Their rights over you are that you should provide for them and clothe them in a reasonable manner. I have left you something which, if you adhere to it, you will never go astray: The Book of Allah. You will be asked about me. What will you say? They said: ‘We bear witness that you have conveyed (the Message) and fulfilled (your duty) and offered sincere advice.’ He gestured with his forefinger towards the sky and then towards the people, (and said) “O Allah, bear witness, O Allah bear witness,” three times.
Sulaiman bin Amr bin Al-Ahwas narrated from his father who said:
“During the Farewell Pilgrimage, I hear the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying: ‘Which day is this?’ They said: ‘The day of Al-Hajj Al-Akbar.’ He said: ‘Indeed your blood, your wealth, your honor is sacred to each other, just as this day of yours is sacred in this city of yours. Indeed, no one commits a crime except against himself. Indeed none commits a crime for which his son is accountable, nor does a child commit a crime for which his father is held accountable. Indeed Ash-Shaitan has lost hope of ever being worshipped in this city of yours, but he will have compliance in what deeds of yours you consider insignificant, which he will be content with.” (Ibn Majah 3055)
This narration conclusively proves that Islam attaches the highest importance to protecting the life, honor and wealth of all people. Islam is a religion of peace. It does not allow the spilling of blood unlawfully. It does provide for killing the person that he has wrongfully killed another person. It only allows the killing of a person in cases where the Islamic Law provides for the death sentence.
We derive from the above mention Ahadith the followings:
- The Day of Hajj is highly respectable.
- Some days are superior to others; like the day of Eid, the days of Hajj; particularly the Day of Arafah, Friday among the weekdays, and the month of Ramadan among all the other months. The virtues and respect of these days entail paying more importance to worship and to avoid sinning.
- Killing a believer, taking his property unjustly, or humiliating him is a great major sin.
- Innocent relatives of a culprit cannot be punished for his wrongdoings.
- One should avoid committing minor sins because Satan will be pleased with them too, and they may lead to great sins.
- All kinds of usuries are forbidden since it is injustice, even if both parties involved in it willingly.
- The Prophet (PBUH) has conveyed all the matters of religion; there is no aspect of life regarding which the Shariah does not have guidance.
- The Prophet (PBUH) spoke clearly about all the principles bringing peace and harmony in the society, they are guarantor or running family and household matters smoothly and peacefully, also these principles generate peace and harmony, the fundamental element of a society. It is our misfortune that we have ignored them.
In another narration the Prophet (PBUH) said on Khutbah hajjatul wida (the Farewell Sermon):
“Have Taqwa of your Lord, and pray your five (prayers), and fast your month and pay the Zakat on your wealth, and obey those who are in charge of you, you will enter the Paradise of your Lord.” (At-Tirmidhi 616)
Although some misguided people in every age have doubted everything and wondered about the origin of the universe and its purpose, and they have many suspicious views about whether God exists or not, or whether there will be a Day of Judgment or not, the Glorious Book of Allah still challenges these doubters in every age, with its clear proof that can never be flawed and its light that eliminates the darkness and confusion, and turns it all into joy, tranquility, assurance and certainty. This Khutbah hajjatul wida (the Farewell Sermon) explains the true mission of the man who believes in his Lord and the Last Day, and in His revealed Books and sent Messengers, and follows the true Path of Muhammad (PBUH). It is to develop this world and fill it with justice, piety and righteous deeds, and through that to assure life of happiness in the Hereafter which is better and more lasting.
Moreover, man is a social being by nature, Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) reminded his companion and listeners on that great day and in every ear thereafter that the strongest bond between people is the bond of thought and high values, and the strongest values of all are those that are based on faith and noble morals.