THE FAREWELL ADDRESS
(By Dr. Shabbir Ahmed)
In the year 632 CE (tenth year of Hijrah), the exalted Prophet came back to Makkah for the Final Pilgrimage. People had kept joinining the Noble Caravan on its way to Makkah and there was a congregation of 140,000 people whom the Prophet (S) addressed from a mountaintop:
“O mankind! I believe we will not meet in this Congregation again.
Remember, your blood (life), your property and your honor is sacred unto each other. Very soon you will have to explain your actions before Allah.
O People! Your Sustainer Lord is One and your ancestry is common. No black is superior to a white, and no white is superior to a black, and no Arab is better than a non-Arab and no non-Arab is better than an Arab. Honor is the birthright of every human being. The only criterion of superiority amongst you is nothing but good conduct.
Treat those under your care equitably. Be kind to your servants. Feed them what you eat and clothe them as you clothe.
This day, the ways of the Jahiliyyah (the Age of Ignorance) are trampled under my feet. All bloodshed of the Jahiliyyah is declared null and void.
This day, I revoke all previous warfare, contention, bloodshed, and chain revenge. I am the first one to forgive the murder committed against my family, that of Rabee’ah bin Harith.
All usury (interest on money) of Jahiliyyah is null and void from this day on. First of all, I revoke the interest owed to my family on behalf of my uncle Abbas bin Muttalib.
O Men! Be fearful of Allah in all matters concerning women. They have rights upon you as you have rights upon them. Treat them well and be kind to them. Remember, they are your companions, colleagues, and partners in life.
Just as you honor this month, this day and this place, likewise your blood and property is inviolable unto one another. All believers are brothers and sisters unto another. Nothing from a believer is permissible unto another unless it is given with cheerful consent.
Remember that everyone is a shepherd. You will be questioned about those under your care. If a non-Muslim were wronged in our State, I would personally plead on his or her behalf. Avoid extremes in religion. Peace, O Mankind! Peace.
O People! I am leaving behind one thing among you. If you hold it fast, you will never go astray. What is that thing? - The Book of Allah.
Even if an Ethiopian slave is chosen among you as Ameer (Ruler) and he takes you along the Book of Allah, obey him and follow him. Serve your Sustainer Lord by serving His creation and you will enter Paradise.
O People! Sincerity in action, working for the betterment of fellow humans, and unity among the Ummah are three things that keep the hearts refreshed and clean.
O Mankind! No prophet will come after me. And there is no Ummah (an Ideology-based Community) after you.
It is incumbent upon you to convey this Message of mine unto those who are not present here. Allah will ask you about me on the Day of Resurrection. Tell me, what you will say. The noble companions and the congregation repeating after a Sahabi’s voice proclaimed, “We witness that you have conveyed the Message of Allah and fulfilled your Trust.”
On hearing this, the Prophet (S) raised his hands and said, “O Allah! Be witness. O Allah! Be witness. O Allah! Be witness.”
At this point, Allah revealed again part of a verse to the exalted Prophet,
(5:3)—– This Day I have perfected your DEEN for you, completed My favor upon you, and chosen for you Al-Islam as the System of Life. —-.