Lessons Drawn from the Prophet’sFarewell Sermon

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “Today I have perfected your religion for you, completed My blessing upon you, and chosen as your religion Islam.” I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his Household, Companions and upon those who follow their path to the Day of Judgment.

The Almighty Allah sent His Messenger (PBUH) with guidance and the true religion to bring people out of darkness into light, and from misguidance into guidance, and to lead them into the path of salvation and happiness in this life and in the Hereafter. Thus, he (PBUH) called for the best values and sublime manners, and conveyed the Message of his Lord in the best way, devoting his entire life to promote human values through his sayings, actions, and practices.

When the Prophet (PBUH) performed the fifth pillar of Islam, i.e. Hajj, he (PBUH) stood on the mount of Arafat, at in the greatest human gathering at that time, explaining the rituals of Hajj to his Companions, and to the whole Muslim nation to come after them. He (PBUH)highlighted the human and moral values that he hadalwayes called for throughout his life, as he felt that he might die soon. Thus, his sermon (PBUH) included many great lessons and insights that represent a way of life for all humanity.

Among these lessons is establishing the principles of justice and equality among all people: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “O People! Verily your lord is One, and your father is one; an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab; a white has no superiority over a black, nor does a black have any superiority over a white; [none have superiority over another] except by piety and good action. The best among you in the sight of Allah is the most pious one…”  He (PBUH) made piety and good deeds the standards of preference, in accordance with the saying of Allah, “People, We created you all from a single man and a single woman, and made you into races and tribes so that you should recognize one another. In Allah’s eyes, the most honoured of you are the ones most mindful of Him.Allah is all Knowing, all Aware.” Thus, all people are equal in rights and responsibilities without any discrimination or racial prejudice. This is the meaning of justice which is the standard measure of nations’ uprightness. The Almighty Allah said, “When you speak, be just, even if it concerns a relative.” He, the Almighty, also said “And, if you judge between people, to do so with justice,” and “Do not let hatred of others lead you away from justice, but adhere to justice, for that is closer to awareness of Allah.”

Among these lessons also is: The inviolability of souls, properties, and honor. Abd Al-Rahman Ibn Abu Bakrah narrated on the authority of his father that “Once the Prophet (PBUH) was riding his camel and a man was holding its rein. The Prophet (PBUH) asked, “What is the day today?” We kept quiet, thinking that he might give that day another name.  He said, “Isn’t it the day of Nahr (slaughtering of the animals of sacrifice)” We replied, “Yes.” He further asked, “Which month is this?” We again kept quiet, thinking that he might give it another name. Then he said, “Isn’t it the month of Dhul-Hijja?” We replied, “Yes.” He said, “Verily! Your blood, property and honor are sacred to one another like the sanctity of this day of yours, in this month of yours and in this city of yours. Let those who are present inform those who are absent because those who are absent might comprehend (what I have said) better than the present audience.” In this situation, the Prophet (PBUH) drew the attention of his Companions, with this eloquent manner, to the sanctity and inviolability of blood, money, and honor. Thus, it is prohibited to transgress against them in any way. Islam calls for the promotion of safety, peace and security, and wishes that all people enjoy a stable life, without discrimination or differentiate between one individual and another, regardless of his gender, color, or religion. The Islamic Shari’ah guarantees these rights for every human being.  Allah, the Most High, said, “Do not take the life that Allah has made sacred, except by right. This is what He commands you to do: perhaps you will use your reason.”

The Shari’ah makes the killing of one soul without any legal justification as equal to killing all people as Allah said, “We decreed to the Children of Israel that if anyone kills a person- unless in retribution for murder or spreading corruption in the land- it is as if he kills all mankind, while if any saves a life it is as if he saves the lives of all mankind.”To stress the sanctity of blood, the Prophet (PBUH) warned again in this sermon against killing saying, “Do not revert to disbelief after me by striking (cutting) the necks of one another.”

Just as Islam forbids transgression against souls, it also forbids transgression against properties as the Almighty Allah said, “You who believe, do not wrongfully consume each other’s wealth but trade by mutual consent.” He, the Exalted, also said, “Do not consume your property wrongfully, nor use it to bribe judges, intending sinfully and knowingly to consume parts of other people’s property.” To preserve people properties in general terms, the Sharia’h has forbidden theft, imposing a deterrent penalty thereof, as the Almighty Allah says, “Cut off the hands of thieves, whether they are man or woman, as punishment for what they have done- a deterrent from Allah: Allah is almighty and wise.” The Shari’ah has also forbidden illegal usurping of land in any way, as our Prophet (pbuh) said, “Whoever usurps unlawfully even a hand span of land,his neck will be encircled with it seven times on the Day of Resurrection.”

Islam also prohibited violation of honors or defaming them in any way, affirming that there is no difference between Muslims’ honors and those of non-Muslims in this regard. Affirming the prohibition of fornication, Allah, the Almighty, says, “And go not nigh to fornication; surely it is an indecency and an evil way.” In the same connection, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) prohibited slandering of chaste women, and even counts it among the major sins “Avoid the seven destructive things.” It was asked: (by those present): “What are they, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “…and slandering chaste women who never even think of anything touching chastity and are good believers.” He (PBUH) further declared unlawful to verbally abuse others, and even considers it an act of Fusuq (disobedience to Allah), affirming “”Reviling a Muslim is Fusuq (disobedience of Allah) and killing him is (tantamount to) disbelief.”

One of the lessons deduced from the Farewell sermon is also calling for unity and warning against division. He (PBUH) is narrated to have said, “Satan has despaired of ever being worshipped in this land of yours, but he will be obeyed in some matters which you regard as insignificant, and he will be content with that.” So, we should unite and hold fast to the covenant of Allah in fulfillment of the Divine Order “And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited …” and “And obey Allah and His Apostle and do not quarrel for then you will be weak in hearts and your power will depart, and be patient; surely Allah is with the patient.” We should take into account that disunity is not of the Religion of Allah, “Surely they who divided their religion into parts and became sects, you have no concern with them …” Islam calls for unity and bans conflict and disunity.

As well, one of the lessons is to hold fast to the Book of Allah (the Almighty) and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) as he (PBUH) says, “I have left among you, that which if you hold fast to it, you shall not go astray: The Book of Allah; and you will be asked about me …” The Book of Allah (Most High) is the everlasting miracle that falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it; it is the Book that never ever changes. It is through the Qur‘an and the Sunnah that Allah totally eliminates all whims and differences. He, Most High, says: “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority from among you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle, if you believe in Allah and the last day; this is better and very good in the end.” Adherence to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet is a sign of faith and a proof of piety; Allah, the Almighty, says, “But no! By your Lord! They do not believe (in reality) until they make you a judge of that which has become a matter of disagreement among them, and then do not find any straitness in their hearts as to what you have decided and submit with entire submission.”

With that said, I ask Allah to forgive me and you


All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds; I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be him, his companions and family to the end of time.

Muslim brothers,

Out of the fact that the Farewell Sermon includes the human values that keep man’s dignity and secures his security and safety, it is considered the first universal declaration on human rights. One of the lessons deduced from the sermon is showing the ability to status of women and their position in the Islamic Shariah. Affirming the high status of women, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) recommended men to treat them well, since they are the counterpart of men, meaning that they have mutual rights and duties. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “You have rights over your women and your women have rights over you.”

Islam honors woman, be she a mother, a sister, a daughter, or a wife. It gives woman a number of rights that secures her happiness and prosperity in this life and the life to come, and preserves her dignity. When he (PBUH) was asked, “Who among people is most deserving of my fine treatment?” He (PBUH) replied, “Your mother.” He again asked, ”Who next?” “Your mother”, the Prophet (PBUH) replied again. He asked, “Who next?” He (PBUH) said again, “Your mother.” He again asked, “Then who?” Thereupon, he (PBUH) said,” Then your father.” He (PBUH) also said, “Whoever has three daughters and is patient with them, and feeds them, gives them to drink, and clothes them from his wealth; they will be a shield against Fire for him on the Day of Resurrection.” Another narration reads, “Whoever looks after two daughters, or three daughters, or two sisters, or three sisters until he passes away, he and I will be brothers like these two sisters, and he held up his forefinger and middle finger together.” Abu Hurayrah (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Act kindly towards woman, for woman is created from a rib, and the most crooked part of the rib is its top. If you attempt to straighten it, you will break it, and if you leave it, its crookedness will remain there. So act kindly towards women.” The word “good” in the Hadith is fully inclusive as it indicates that men should be characterized with all the traits of true men when dealing with women.

We are in dire need to apply these noble values that gathered all good for the entire humanity. They actually have no precedent in the human history, as they laid down the human rights and established the basic moral principles that, if carefully examined, will cause peoples’ happiness in this life and the life to come.

O our Lord, accept from us for you are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing; and show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.