The Biography of

Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam

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    Lesson 32

The Farewell pilgrimage

The mission of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was nearing completion. He was soon to bid farewell to his loving Sahabah. Allah finally permitted him to take them on pilgrimage and to witness the fruits of his twenty years of effort.

When the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam decided to go for the pilgrimage he made a public announcement and people started making preparations for the journey. Large numbers of Muslims came to Madinah as the news spread and more people joined the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam on the way.

Before performing the afternoon prayer the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam took a bath and Aishah Radhi Allahu Anha applied perfume on his body. The thick layer of perfume could be seen on parts of his hair and beard. He dressed in the Ihraam and performed a shortened afternoon prayer of two Rakaats. He then mounted his she-camel, Al-Qaswa, and began to move off. He set out from Madinah on 25th Zul Qa'dah after Zuhr. He recited the Talbiyah along the way with his Sahabah doing likewise in spiritual excitement. He rode with Abu Bakr Radhi Allahu Anhu on the same conveyance.

He proceeded till he approached Makkah. He spent the night at Dhi Tuwa and entered Makkah after performing the dawn prayer. He had a bath on Sunday morning, the fourth of Dhul-Hijjah. He had spent eight days on the way, which was normal at that time. As soon as he entered Masjid al-Haraam he performed the circuits around the Ka'bah and walked between As-Safa and Al-Marwah. He then took the sacrificial animals in order to slaughter them.

Those of his companions, who had no animals with them to sacrifice were ordered to remove themselves from Ihram after completing the ritual walk between Al-Safa and Al-Marwa. They, however, showed reluctance to do what they had been told. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam then said to them : "Had I known beforehand what I know now, I would not have brought the sacrificial animals and I would then have removed the Ihram." On hearing these words his companions obeyed his orders.

On the 8th he left for Mina where he performed the five congregational prayers till the next morning. When the sun rose he proceeded to Arafah and remained in the tent pitched at Namira. Later that day he went out and delivered a sermon to the people in which he explained the fundamentals of Islam :

"Your blood and your property are inviolable like the sacredness of this day in this month in this city of yours. Everything pertaining to the days of paganism is wrong and claims of blood vengeance belonging to the pre-Islamic period have been abolished. The first claim on blood I remit is that of Ibn Rabi'a Ibn al-Harith who was suckled among the Banu S'ad and killed by Hudhayl. The usury of the days of ignorance is abolished and the first of our usury I abolish is that of my own uncle, Abbas Ibn Abdul Muttalib.

Fear Allah concerning women. You have taken them under Allah's security and have made them lawful unto you by Allah's word. It is incumbent upon them that they must not bring into your houses anyone whom you dislike. But, if they do that then you have the authority to chastise them but not severely. You are responsible for providing them with their food and clothing in a kind manner.

I have left among you something, by which, if you hold to it, you will never go astray. What is that? It is the book of Allah. And you would be asked by Allah about me so what would you say?"

The Sahabah replied in a single voice : "We testify that you have conveyed the message and fulfilled your mission."

The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam then raised his forefinger towards the sky and said thrice : "O Allah, be witness." (1)

He performed the two congregational prayers, Zuhr and Asr. After sunset he proceeded to Muzdalifah and performed Maghrib and Esha together. Then he lay down till it was Fajr. After Fajr he made his way to Mina. As they passed the valley of Muhassar the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam hastened his pace, as it was the place where Allah's punishment had descended on the army of Abraha. At Mina he pelted the big Jamarah with seven pebbles saying 'Allah is the Greatest' each time.

Then he set off to sacrifice his animals. He sacrificed sixty-three camels with his own hands, and asked Ali Radhi Allahu Anhu to slaughter the remainder. He then had his hair shaved and distributed his hair to the people. He mounted his she-camel and returned to Makkah where he again performed the circuits around the Ka'bah and drank from the Zam Zam well. He performed the ritual walk between Al-Safa and Al-Marwa and returned to Mina the very same day. For the next three days he pelted the Jamarahs at Mina. He then returned to Makkah and made a final circuit of the Ka'bah. After completing the rituals of the pilgrimage he moved back to Madinah quickly to resume his missionary work. (2)



Lessons to Learn

The farewell sermon has a powerful lesson : the message of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was always one. When he started as one man and when he had a following of over a hundred thousand this did not change his attitude or his message. His message was consistent despite changes in circumstances and fortunes. Leaders of the world change over time. At many times power corrupts their purest intentions. In weakness they are like sheep. In power they are like wolves. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was far above all this.

Educative Aspect of the Pilgrimage

There were many reasons why the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam set out for this Haj. He had to bear witness to the truth and redeem his pledge to Allah. He had to meet the Muslims coming from far and near to teach them the meaning of the faith and the rituals of Haj. He had to advise them and give them final instructions. He had to take an oath from them to follow his teachings and to trample the last vestiges of the pagan past. His sermons during the journey spoke of the importance of human rights, marital relationships and the evils of oppression and interest dealings amongst other things.

His pilgrimage was, in truth, better than a thousand sermons and lessons. It was a travelling school and a training centre with the greatest teacher. The minutest details of this journey are recorded in the books of history. The Sahabah took note and related every detail. It is the most amazingly comprehensive record or memoir of any king or saint to be available to man.




(1) Sahih Muslim

(2) Zadul Ma'ad



Dua when wearing a new garment

Meaning : All praise be to Allah Who has clothed me with which

I may cover my shameand with which I add beauty to my life.

A Hadith

Gold and clothes of silk are allowed for Muslim women but forbidden for men. (Tirmidhi)