The Farewell Sermon

By Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him) | Friday, March 9, 0632

The Farewell Sermon (Arabic: خطبة الوداع‎, Khutbatul Wada), also known as the Prophet's final sermon, is a famous sermon by Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him) delivered before his death, on the ninth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, 10 A.H. (632 CE), at the end of his first and final pilgrimage.

The Farewell Sermon is mentioned in almost all books of Hadith. Sahih Al-Bukhari refers to the sermon and quotes part of it. Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal has given the longest and perhaps the most complete version of this sermon in his Musnad.

Precursor to Sermon

The Prophet led the Pilgrims from Makkah through the Valley of Mina and up to the Mountain of Arafat and then stopped them in the Valley of Uranah. They stood in front of him silently as he sat on his camel; he delivered a sermon which was later to be known as the Farewell Sermon just as the pilgrimage itself was called the Farewell Pilgrimage. Although it was his first Pilgrimage, it was also his last and therefore his only pilgrimage. With such a large crowd, his voice could not reach out to all those who were present. He therefore asked Rab'ah Ibn Umayya Ibn Khalaf, who was known to have a loud voice, to repeat the sermon after him, sentence by sentence so that everyone could hear.

The Last Sermon

After praising, and thanking God, he said:

O People, listen well to my words, for I do not know 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 today.
O People, just as you regard this month, this day, and 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. Allah has forbidden you to take riba [usury, interest], therefore all interest obligations shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah has judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn 'Abd'al Muttalib [Prophet's uncle] shall henceforth be waived.
Every right arising out of homicide in pre-Islamic days is henceforth waived and the first such right that I waive is that arising from the murder of Rabi`ah ibn al Harith ibn `Abd al Muttalib.
O Men, the Unbelievers indulge in tampering with the calendar in order to make permissible that which God forbade, and to forbid that which God has made permissible. With God the months are twelve in number. Four of them are sacred, three of these are successive and one occurs singly between the months of Jumada and Sha`ban. Beware of Shaitan [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 Allah's trust 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 Allah, perform your five daily salāh [prayers], fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your zakāh [financial obligation]. Perform hajj [pilgrimage] if you can afford to.
All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor does a black have any superiority over white* 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 Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.
O People, no prophet or messenger 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 Qur’an 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 may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O Allah, that I have conveyed your message to your people.

As part of this sermon, Prophet Muhammad recited them a Revelation from Allah which he had just received:

Today the unbelievers have despaired
      of prevailing against your deen [religion].
   So do not be afraid of them but be afraid of Me [Allah].
Today I have perfected your deen [religion] for you
      and completed My blessing unto you
   and I am pleased with Islam as a deen [religion] for you.
The Qur'an (5:3).

Toward the end of his sermon, Prophet Muhammad asked "O people, have I faithfully delivered unto you my message?" A powerful murmur of assent "O Allah, yes!", arose from thousands of pilgrims and the vibrant words Allahumma na’m rolled like thunder throughout the valley. Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him) raised his forefinger and said: "Be my witness O Allah, that I have conveyed your message to your people."

* 1,336 years before Martin Luther King was assassinated. Where are these words of racial equality in The Bible or the Torah?


Last updated: Tuesday, December 28, 2010