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Throughout his life, the Prophet (PBUH) was a splendid example of noble conduct. As Allah tells us in Surah Al-Anbiya, the Prophet (PBUH) was sent as a mercy for mankind. His companions recorded his sayings, and following the Prophetic Sunnah is a requirement of Islam. Throughout the Prophet’s (PBUH) life, he demonstrated how Islam should be practiced and shared immense wisdom with the believing people. His final sermon was one of the greatest examples of how he devotedly preached Islam.
The last sermon of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) took place a little while before he passed away. He delivered the iconic final sermon during the Hajj. It was both a reminder and a reprimand. Moreover, it signified the end of the Prophet’s (PBUH) mission.
The Prophet’s (PBUH) farewell pilgrimage was in the year 10 A.H. It was at this time that he gave the last sermon. The month of the sermon was Dhul Hijjah. A massive number of believers witnessed the Prophet’s (PBUH) final sermon. It is essential for Muslims to ponder over the message the Prophet (PBUH) conveyed in his historic final sermon.
Beginning of the Last Sermon
The Prophet (PBUH) glorified and thanked Allah and then asked the people to listen closely to what he said, as it could potentially be his parting address. He told them to absorb his speech and pass on what he said to those who were not present at the sermon. His order to the people to listen carefully to his words and share them with others who were not over there shows us that the last sermon was an event of tremendous importance, and all believers should take heed of the message it contains.
The life and property of Muslims should be considered sacred
The Prophet (PBUH) declared that the life and property of believers should be considered sacred. One who is trusted with another’s property should return it to the correct owner. A person should not cause pain to another in order to not receive pain in return. The Prophet (PBUH) urged the believers to be mindful of the fact that they will be accountable in front of Allah for their deeds.
He reminded the Muslims of the prohibition of interest, which necessitates the waiving of all usurious obligations. However, believers get to retain their capital. Muslims should not carry out or suffer any injustice.
Emphasis on women’s rights and the five pillars in the Last Sermon
The Prophet (PBUH) urged the Muslims not to follow the accursed Satan, even in minor matters. He then reminded the believing men that although they have certain rights over women, women also have rights men need to fulfill. He mentioned that wives who fulfill their husbands’ rights are entitled to food and clothing.
Muhammad (PBUH) called on the believers in the last sermon to be good to their women and show them kindness. He reminded them that women are their partners and devoted helpers. Then, the Prophet (PBUH) also stated that women should not befriend anyone their spouse disapproves of, and they should never be unchaste.
The Prophet (PBUH) also instructed the believers to worship Allah, perform the five daily obligatory prayers, fast in Ramadan, give Zakat, and perform Hajj if Allah bestows them with the means. Hence, he reminded the believers of the importance of the five pillars of Islam.
The Prophet (PBUH) addressed the issue of racism in the Last Sermon
Although the world continues to be plagued by the sickness of racism in the 21st century, the Prophet (PBUH) established the fact that all races are equal 14 centuries ago, another clear proof of Islam’s superiority over all other ideologies. The Prophet (PBUH) categorically stated that an Arab is no greater than a non-Arab. A white is no greater than a black. Neither is a black any greater than a white. The superiority of an individual over another is only determined by one’s piety and noble action.
The Prophet (PBUH) said that every Muslim is a brother to all his fellow Muslims, regardless of race, nationality, etc. The Muslims are all united as a brotherhood. No Muslim has a right over something that belongs to another Muslim unless it was willingly granted to him. The Prophet (PBUH) thus sternly warned against injustice in his last sermon.
The Prophet (PBUH) told the Muslims to adhere to the Quran and Sunnah
Muhammad (PBUH) reminded the believers that they will eventually meet Allah. When that happens, they will be answerable for their deeds. He then warned them not to stray from the straight path after his passing. The Prophet (PBUH) clearly stated that he is the last of all Prophets. No Prophet will follow him, and no new faith will replace Islam.
The Prophet (PBUH) told the believers in his last sermon to use their reasoning and comprehend everything he said to them. Furthermore, he said that he is leaving two things behind with the believers, which are the Holy Quran and the Prophetic Sunnah. As long as the Muslims adhere to the Quran and Sunnah, they will never leave the straight path.
Finally, the Prophet (PBUH) commanded the listening believers to convey all that he said to others. He acknowledged that those who were not present during his final sermon might comprehend his speech better than those who witnessed it. Then, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asked Allah to bear Witness that he delivered His message to the people.
With the conclusion of the Prophet’s (PBUH) last sermon, the verse in Surah Ma’idah was revealed, in which Allah declares that He has perfected our faith for us, finished his favor upon us, and selected Islam for us as our faith. Indeed, 14 centuries later, the Last Sermon of the Prophet (PBUH) is as relevant as ever. It is regularly covered in lectures, and the importance of its message cannot be stressed enough, as it contains many lofty Islamic principles that benefit society, which we are obligated to implement.