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The Farewell Pilgrimage

After the campaign to Tabuk, there were no other major campaigns undertaken during the lifetime of the Prophet . The ninth and tenth year of Hijra saw, however, the arrival in Madina of many delegations from all over the Arabian peninsula, all pledging their allegiance to the Prophet .

In the ninth year, Abu Bakr was appointed to lead the hajj and about three hundred men accompanied him. It was during their absence in Makkah that the Prophet received a revelation banning idolators from the Kaaba after that year. The Prophet sent Ali from Madina to Makkah to tell the pilgrims of that most recent revelation.

In the tenth year, the Prophet decided to lead the pilgrims himself and word was sent out to all the tribes in Arabia that the Messenger of Allah would be performing the hajj. Thirty thousand men and women set out from Madina for Makkah with the Prophet in what turned out to be his last pilgrimage. While they performed the pilgrimage at Makkah, everyone carefully watched every move that the Prophet made, being eager to perform every part of the ritual just as he did it.

Believing that his time on this earth was drawing to an end, the Prophet delivered a khutba during the hajj that has come to be known as the farewell khutba. In this sermon he summarized all the basic beliefs of Islam and all the duties of a Muslim. He emphasized the oneness of Allah and the brotherhood of all mankind, with only good deeds serving to make one man superior to another. Even members of his own tribe could not depend on his intercession for them unless they led righteous lives.

He banned old pagan practices such as blood money and interest and spoke of the importance of women in Muslim society. He called for honest and fair dealings in money matters and in all matters of conduct towards others. He mentioned the concept that we are all accountable for our own actions and that no one else is responsible for them. He urged people not to bend the laws of Allah to fit their own needs. He called on Muslims to follow the dictates of the Holy Qur’an, to follow his own example, as recorded in the Sunnah, and to perform the five pillars of worship.

Following this story is an English rendition of the farewell khutba, as translated by S. F. H. Faizi. Its simplicity and eloquence speak for itself.


The Farewell Khutba

All praise is due to Allah, so we praise Him, and seek His pardon and we turn to Him. We seek refuge with Allah from the evils of ourselves and from the evil consequences of our deeds. Whom Allah guideth aright, there is none to lead him astray; and there is none to guide him aright whom Allah leads astray. I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, the One, having no partner with Him. His is the Sovereignty and to Him is due all praise. He grants life and causes death and is Powerful over everything. There is no God but Allah, the One; He fulfilled His promise and helped His servant and He alone routed the confederates.

O people, listen to my words! for I do not know whether we shall meet again and perform Hajj after this year.

O ye People! Allah says: O people we created you from one male and one female and made you into tribes and nations, so that you are known to one another. Verily in the sight of Allah, the most honored amongst you is the one who is the most God-fearing. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab and for a non-Arab over an Arab, nor for the white over the black nor for the black over the white except in piety. All mankind is the progeny of Adam and Adam was fashioned out of clay.

Behold! Every claim of privilege whether that of blood or property, is under my feet except that of the custody of Allah’s House and supplying of waters to the pilgrimage.

O people of Quraysh! Do not appear with the burden of the world around your necks, whereas other people may appear (before their Lord) with the rewards of the Hereafter. In that case I shall avail you naught against Allah.

Behold! All practices of the days of Ignorance are now under my feet. The blood revenges of the days of Ignorance are remitted. And the first claim on blood I abolish is that of Ibne Rabi’ah bin Al-Harith who was nursed in Bani Sa’d and who was killed by the Hudhayls. All interest and usurious dues accruing from the age of Ignorance stand wiped out. And the first amount of interest that I remit is that which Abbas bin Abdul Mutallib had to receive. Verily, it is being remitted entirely.

O people! Verily your blood, your property and your honor are sacred and inviolable until you appear before your Lord, as the sacred inviolability of this day of yours, this month of yours, and this very town (of yours). Verily, you will soon meet your Lord and you will be held accountable for your deeds.

O people! Verily, you have got certain rights over your women - and your women have certain rights over you. It is your right upon them that they must not allow anybody save you to come to your bed and admit none to enter your homes whom you do not like but with your permission. And it is for them not to commit acts of impropriety, which if they do, you are authorized by Allah to separate them from your beds and chastise them, but not severely, and if they refrain, then clothe and feed them properly.

Behold! It is not permissible for a woman to give anything from the wealth of her husband to anyone but with his consent.

Treat the women kindly, since they are your helpers and are not in a position to manage their affairs themselves. Fear Allah concerning them, for verily you have taken them on the security of Allah and have made their persons lawful unto you by words of Allah.

O people! Allah, the Mighty and Exalted, has ordained to everyone his due share (of inheritance). Hence there is no need (of special) testament for a heir (departing from the rules laid down by the Shari’ah).

The child belongs to the marriage-bed and the violator of wedlock shall be stoned. And reckoning of their deeds rests with Allah.

He who attributes his ancestry to other than his father or claims his clientship to other than his master, the curse of Allah is upon him.

All debts must be repaid, all borrowed property must be returned, gifts should be reciprocated and a surety must make good the loss to the assured.

Beware! No one committing a crime is responsible for it but himself. Neither the child is responsible for the crime of his father, nor the father is responsible for the crime of his child.

Nothing of his brother is lawful for a Muslim except what he himself gives willingly. So do not wrong yourselves.

And your slaves! see that you feed them with such food as you eat yourselves, and clothe them with the clothes as you yourselves wear.

Beware that you go not astray after me and strike one another’s necks. He who (amongst you) has any trust with him, he must return it to its owner.
If a mangled black slave is appointed your Amir, listen to him, and obey him provided he executes the Ordinance of the Book of Allah amongst you.
O people! There is no Prophet to come after me and there would be no Ummah to form after you.

Verily I have left amongst you that which would never lead you astray, the Book of Allah, and the Sunnah of His Messenger, which if you hold fast, you shall never be misled. And beware of transgressing the limits set in the matters of Deen, for it is transgression of (the proper bounds of) Deen, that brought destruction to many people before you.

Verily the Satan is disappointed at ever being worshipped in this land of yours, but if obedience in anything (short of worship is expected that is): he will be pleased in matters you may be disposed to think insignificant, so beware of him in the matters of your Deen.

Behold! worship your Lord; offer prayers five times a day; observe fast in the month of Ramazan; pay readily the Zakat (poor-due) on your property; and perform pilgrimage to the House of God and obey your rulers and you will be admitted to the Paradise of your Lord.

O people! Postponement (of a sacred month (the idolaters used to postpone a sacred month, in which war was forbidden, when they wanted to wage war and make up for it by hallowing another month)) is only an excess of disbelief whereby those who disbelieve are misled; they allow it one year and forbid it (another year) that they may make up the number of the months which Allah hath hallowed, so that they allow that which Allah hath forbidden. And verily the time hath adopted the shape of the day when Allah hath created the heavens and the earth. And Lo! The number of months with Allah is twelve months. Four of them are sacred. Three are consecutive months (Shawwal, Zeeqadh and Zil-Hijja) and the Rajab, in between the months of Jumadius sani and Sha’aban.
Let him that is present, convey it unto him who is absent. For many people to whom the message is conveyed may be more mindful of it than the audience.

And if you were asked about me, what would you say?


They answered: We bear witness that you have conveyed the trust (of Deen) and discharged your ministry of apostlehood and looked to our welfare.

Thereupon Allah’s Messenger ( - may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) lifted his forefinger towards the sky and then pointing towards the people said:

O Lord: Bear Thou witness unto it.
O Lord: Bear Thou witness unto it.
O Lord: Bear Thou witness unto it



Published: May 1997

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Last modified 08/12/05 09:25 AM - Iqra - ISSN #1062-2756