Friday Sermon: A Prophet's Final Admonition

By Babatunde Jose
Prophet Muhammad is an example for all of humanity.  He was a remarkable man at all times.  He excelled in all walks of life by being a prophet, ruler, statesman, orator, soldier, husband, friend, father and a grandfather.  He was a man of love, patience, courage, wisdom, generosity, intelligence and exemplary character who inspires over a billion lives throughout the world. Allah says in the Quran that he was sent as a mercy for the people of the world: “We sent thee not save as a mercy for the peoples.” (Quran 21:107)
Shortly before his death, Prophet Muhammad delivered a sermon during the Hajj, which came to be known as his “Final Sermon”.  This sermon was not only a reminder to his followers, but also the final admonition; it also heralded the end of his Prophetic Mission. Historically, the Farewell Sermon of Prophet Muhammad occupies an important place in Islam. The sermon consisted of summarized exhortations reflecting some of the core teachings of the Quran and Sunnah. The sermon exemplifies the Quran’s assertion that the prophet was but a warner: This was mentioned 57 times in the Quran.
Prophet Muhammad undertook his farewell and only pilgrimage in the year 10 A.H. and it has since been the model for performing the fifth pillar of Islam, the Hajj.
The Final Sermon:
“O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again.  Therefore, listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.
O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust.  Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners.  Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you.  Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds.  God has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived.  Your capital, however, is yours to keep.  You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity.  God has Judged that there shall be no interest, and that all the interest due to Al-Abbas ibn Abd’el Muttalib shall henceforth be waived…
Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion.  He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.
O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you.  Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under a trust from God and with His permission.  If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness.  Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.  And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.
O People, listen to me in earnest, worship God, perform your five daily prayers, fast during the month of Ramadan, and offer Zakat.  Perform Hajj if you have the means.
All mankind is from Adam and Eve.  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.  Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood.  Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.  Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.
Remember, one day you will appear before God and answer for your deeds.  So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.
O People, no prophet or apostle will come after me, and no new faith will be born.  Reason well, therefore, O people, and understand words which I convey to you.  I leave behind me two things, the Quran and my example, the Sunnah, and if you follow these you will never go astray.
All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and it may be that the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly.  Be my witness, O God, that I have conveyed your message to your people.”
Thus the beloved Prophet completed his Final Sermon, and upon it, near the summit of Arafat, the revelation came down: “…This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My Grace upon you, and have chosen Islam for you as your religion…” (Quran 5:3)
Indeed the meanings found in this sermon are astounding and it could rightly be described as the Prophet’s last Admonition. But how have we as his followers kept to his admonitions? We have kept to them in the breach: An incorrigible generation, hell bent on disobedience and trenchant iniquities, we kill our fellow men, we enslave our women in the name of Sunnah, we persecute people of other faiths and engage in terrorism and are unjust to peoples of other races and ethnic persuasions, we are intolerant and intemperate in our manners and speech and we are bigots and fanatical in our ways. We have gone against all the things in the admonitions. We are unjust, nepotic and consume usury; we even export hard drugs to the ‘House of God; child abuse, prostitution and other forms of iniquities that make Sodom and Gomorrah pale into insignificance. What will we not do for money? We dispossess the orphans and maltreat the widows. Sexual inequality which the Prophet preached against is still the order of the day; 1,387 years after the Prophet, the Saudis and their cohorts still treat women as chattels. The Admonition talks about equality of men but the Arab Moslems did not remember that when they came to enslave Africans, especially from East Africa. A generation of vile men and human anacondas, we even attempt to bribe God, but He refused to be mocked. On the Day of Qiyyauma they will reap their just recompense.
LA ILAHA ILLA ANTA SUBHANAKA INNI KUNTU MINAZ ZALIMEEN: “None has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allah)), Glorified (and Exalted) are You (above all that (evil) they associate with You). Truly, I have been of the wrong-doers.”(Quran 21:87)
Barka Juma’at and a happy weekend
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