Farewell Sermon

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Not to be confused with the Farewell Discourse by Jesus.
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The Farewell Sermon (Arabic: خطبة الوداع‎, Khuṭbatu l-Wadāʿ), also known as Muhammad's Final Sermon or The Last Sermon, was delivered by the Islamic prophet, Muhammad on the 9th of Dhu al-Hijjah, 10 AH (9 March 632) in the Uranah valley of Mount Arafat. There are two versions: one authentic (Al-Tabari's Version given below) and the other which has no source but is a popular one.

Muhammad al-Bukhari refers to the sermon and quotes part of it in his Sahih al-Bukhari. [1][2][3]Ahmad ibn Hanbal gave the longest version of this sermon in his Musnad.[citation needed]. Part of it is also present in Sahih_Muslim[4] Sunan_Abu_Dawood[5] Tabari gives the version accepted by all the major Muslim scholars.(English version is not available online)[6] (Original Arabic Volumes of his book are available)[7]

The sermon[edit]

Various versions of the sermon have been published, including several English translations.[8][9] The sermon consists of a series of general exhortations for Muslims to follow the teachings that Muhammad had set forth in the Quran and sunnah.

Universality of the speech[edit]

Muhammad directed his speech to all humankind. He used the term “O' People” seven times. He used the terminology “O' Men” once. In the farewell address, Muhammad did not use the terminology “O' Muslims” or “O' Believer." Muhammad's intention was to address all people, regardless of their religions, colors or times (his time or any time after him until the Day of Judgement or Yawm ad-Din). Muhammad's message was to every person everywhere for every moment forward in time.

Historian Al-Tabari's Version[edit]

This authentic sourced version of the sermon (unlike the popular yet fraudulent version given below which has no source) is from The History of Al-Tabari, Vol.9, pp. 112-113.(English version is not available online)[10] (Original Arabic Volumes of his book are available)[11]

O people, listen to my words. I do not know whether I shall ever meet you again in this place after this year. O people, your blood and your property are sacrosanct until you meet your Lord, just as this day and this month of yours are sacred. Surely you will meet your Lord and He will question you about your deeds. I have [already] made this known. Let he who has a pledge return it to the one who entrusted him with it; all usury is abolished, but your capital belongs to you. Wrong not and you shall not be wronged. Allah has decreed that there will be no usury, and the usury of Abbas b. Abd al-Muttalib is abolished, all of it. All blood shed in the pre-Islamic days is to be left unavenged. The first such claim I revoke is that of Ibn Rabiah b. al-Harith b. Abd al-Muttalib, who was nursed among the Banu Layth and was slain by the Banu Hudhayl. His is the first blood shed in the pre-Islamic days with which I shall set an example. O people, indeed Satan despairs of ever being worshipped in this land of yours. He will be pleased, however, if he is obeyed in a thing other than that, in matters you minimize. So beware of him in your religion, O people, intercalculating a month is an increase in unbelief whereby the unbelievers go astray; one year they make it profane, and hallow it another [in order] to agree with the number that Allah has hallowed, and so profane what Allah has hallowed, and hallow what Allah has made profane. Time has completed its cycle [and is] as it was on the day that Allah created the heavens and the earth. The number of the months with Allah is twelve; [they were] in the Book of Allah on the day He created the heavens and the earth. Four of them are sacred, the three consecutive [months] and the Rajab [which is the month of] Mudar, which is between Jumada and Sha’ban. Now then, O people, you have a right over your wives and they have a right over you. You have [the right] that they should not cause anyone of whom you dislike to tread on your beds; and that they should not commit any open indecency. If they do, then Allah permits you to shut them in separate rooms and to beat them, but not severely. If they abstain from [evil], they have the right to their food and clothing in accordance with the custom. Treat women well, for they are [like] domestic animals with you and do not possess anything for themselves. You have taken them only as a trust from Allah, and you have made the enjoyment of their persons lawful by the word of Allah, so understand and listen to my words, O people. I have conveyed the Message, and have left you with something which, if you hold fast to it, you will never go astray; that is, the Book of Allah and the sunnah of his Prophet. Listen to my words, O people, for I have conveyed the Message and understand [it]. Know for certain that every Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, and that all Muslims are brethren. It is not lawful for a person [to take] from his brother except that which he has given him willingly, so do not wrong yourselves. O Allah, have I not conveyed the message?[12][13]

Related Text[edit]

Narrated Amr ibn al-Ahwas al-Jushami: Amr heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say in his farewell address on the eve of his Last Pilgrimage, after he had glorified and praised Allah, he cautioned his followers: "Listen! Treat women kindly; they are like prisoners in your hands. Beyond this you do not owe anything from them. Should they be guilty of flagrant misbehaviour, you may remove them from your beds, and beat them but do not inflict upon them any severe punishment. Then if they obey you, do not have recourse to anything else against them. Listen! You have your rights upon your wives and they have their rights upon you. Your right is that they shall not allow anyone you dislike, to trample your bed and do not permit those whom you dislike to enter your home. Their right is that you should treat them well in the matter of food and clothing. Al-Tirmidhi Hadith, Number 104

It was narrated that: Sulaiman bin Amr bin Ahwas said: “My father told me that he was present on the Farewell pilgrimage with the Messenger of Allah. He praised and glorified Allah, and reminder and exhorted (the people). The he said: 'I enjoin good treatment of women, for they are prisoners with you, and you have no right to treat them otherwise, unless they commit clear indecency. If they do that, then forsake them in their beds and hit them, but without causing injury or leaving a mark if they obey you, then do not seek means of annoyance against them. You have rights over your women and you women have rights over you. Your rights over you women are that they are not to allow anyone whom you dislike on treat on your bedding (furniture), not allow anyone whom you dislike to enter your houses. And their right over you are that should treat them kindly with regard to their clothing and food. (Sahih Hadiith) Ibn Majah 3:9:1851[14]

You have rights over your wives and they have rights over you. You have the right that they should not defile your bed and that they should not behave with open unseemliness. If they do, God allows you to put them in separate rooms and beat them but not with severity. If they refrain from these things they have the right to their food and clothing with kindness. Lay injunctions on women kindly, for they are prisoners with you having no control of their persons. You have taken them as a trust from God, and you have the enjoyment of their persons by the words of God, so understand… Sirat Rasul Allah, p. 651

Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great. Qur'an 4:34[15][16]

Analysis of the Farewell Sermon[edit]

Muhammad begins by praising and thanking God.[citation needed] He then addresses those in attendance.

Share the message[edit]

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.

At the beginning of the address, Muhammad asked the people to pay close attention to what he was about to say. He demands that his message be delivered to all mankind, to be transported from place to place, and from generation to generation. That mandate was laid to the shoulder of those in attendance.[17] The task was fulfilled by the Meccan tribe's propensity for commerce and travel. One of the main businesses of the Meccan people at this time was trade. The Muslims merchants traveled from land to land for commerce, but also delivered the message of Islam as they were dealing with people in far corners from Mecca.

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 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. Allah has judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn 'Abd'al Muttalib (Muhammad's uncle) shall henceforth be waived...”

Muhammad gave examples with matters that the people at the gathering knew very well. Every one knew how sacred “this month” (Dhu al-Hijjah), “this day” (Day of Arafa), and “this city” (Mecca). Therefore, the life and property of people are sacred too.

Sanctity of life had been declared by God in the Quran. People were to be protected and their lives preserved. People were to be dignified, respected, and honored. Their properties are to be protected and saved. The sanctity of life is to remain well preserved until the Day of Judgment.[18]

The concept of economic exploitation is prohibited in Islam. Since usury is a form of economic monopoly and exploitation in a capitalistic system, the rich would become richer, while the poor become poorer. Muhammad, in his final sermon, abolished all type of economic exploitations. Usury was prohibited and people are not to deal with usurers, even if they have had agreement or a contract with someone prior to the introduction of Islam into the region.[19] Nobody is above the law under this mandate, and the uncle of Muhammad ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, who was around the same age as Muhammad, and who had been reared alongside Muhammad was waiving any usury due to him. Muhammad was saying that this mandate does not distinguish between his relatives and non-relatives.

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 Rabiah ibni al-Harithiah.

With this statement, Muhammad declared an end to the pagan ethos of tribal revenge in favor of Divine rules concerning law in Islam. Again, he cited a relative killed, which showed that there was no exception for relative and non-relative in the tribal society of the time.

O men! the unbelievers indulge in tampering with the calendar in order to make permissible that which Allah forbade, and to prohibit what Allah has made permissible. With Allah, the months are twelve in number. Four of them are holy, three are successive and one occurs singly between the months of Jumada and Shaban.

With this statement, Muhammad is setting forth a common yet broken norm of the time that states that there are twelve months per year in both the lunar and solar calendars. Muslims are to observe their sacredness; no one has the right to change them or to tamper with the calendar.[20] Muhammad also states that there are four holy months: Dhu al-Qi'dah, Dhu al-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab.

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.

Muhammad instructs humankind to worship and obey God, and to follow the rules and regulations as mandated in the Quran. Muhammad tells the people that Satan (Shayṭān) has lost hope in making people worship him, but has not lost hope in diverting man from practicing the teachings of Islam. Satan will create animosity among people, Muhammad states, and Satan will attempt to divert man's attention from the straight path set by God. Muhammad warns humanity from falling into the path of Satan.[21]

Rights of women[edit]

Here Muhammad talks about the rights of women and men over each other.

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.

[citation needed]

He then condemns being unchaste;

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.

[citation needed]

Muhammad mandates his best declaration for women's rights in his farewell address. He re-iterates much of what it says in the Quran, sura 4 (An-Nisa), ayah 34.[22] This part is only contained in the unauthenticated narration in the Ibn Ishaq biography; it is not contained in any authenticated version in any hadith collection. Neither Sunni or Shia tradition acknowledge the historical validity of this narration.

O People, listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.

Equality of mankind[edit]

According to some late sources (Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni writing in the 9th century, and Ghuyat Al-Miram, writing in the 12th century) Muhammad also made a statement about the equality of all mankind in his farewell sermon.[citation needed] The text is as follows:

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 a black has 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.

The earlier sources such as Ibn Ishaq and Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari do not record this part of the speech, however Islamic tradition does not source the sermon from these which are considered unauthentic, but from the hadith.

This is the most often-quoted portion of the Farewell Sermon. Muhammad spoke of the equality of mankind in the sight of God and in front of the law. Man is born from Adam (Adem) and Eve, Muhammad said, and both of these parents, and all of humans, are made of dust, and in this right, no one person is better than the other.

The concept of equality is based on justice: All are equal and no one can claim that he is more pious or even more righteous than the other except through piety and righteousness.[23]

Brotherhood in Islam[edit]

Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

Muhammad prohibited transgressions at all levels. With the above statement, he said that when a person commits injustice and transgresses his limits, the penalty will fall upon him, and him alone. Muhammad said that God does not like those who commit injustice, and he urged his community to stick to the right path at all times.[19]

Seal of prophethood[edit]

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 that I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur'an and my teachings and if you follow these you will never go astray.

Muhammad declared that neither a new religion nor another prophet would come after him. Muhammad urged Muslims to be united by taking only the Quran and hadith.[citation needed]

In a different version of this hadith in Sahih Muslim, Muhammad is quoted as having said:

I have left among you the Book of Allah, and my family, if you hold fast to them both, you will not go astray.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) at your fingertips". 
  2. ^ "The Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) at your fingertips". 
  3. ^ "The Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) at your fingertips". 
  4. ^ "The Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) at your fingertips". 
  5. ^ "The Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) at your fingertips". 
  6. ^ http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http://www.sunypress.edu/p-348-the-history-of-al-tabari-vol-9.aspx&date=2011-11-17
  7. ^ https://archive.org/details/tafseer-al-tabari
  8. ^ "The Farewell Sermon". Islami City. Retrieved July 2011. 
  9. ^ "Prophet Muhammad's Last Sermon: A Final Admonition". Religion of Islam. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  10. ^ http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http://www.sunypress.edu/p-348-the-history-of-al-tabari-vol-9.aspx&date=2011-11-17
  11. ^ https://archive.org/details/tafseer-al-tabari
  12. ^ http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http://www.sunypress.edu/p-348-the-history-of-al-tabari-vol-9.aspx&date=2011-11-17
  13. ^ https://archive.org/details/tafseer-al-tabari
  14. ^ http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http://sunnah.com/ibnmajah/9&date=2014-01-14
  15. ^ http://www.usc.edu/org/cmje/religious-texts/quran/verses/004-qmt.php#004.034
  16. ^ http://quran.com/4/34
  17. ^ Sakr, Ahmad H. (1998). Farewell Khutbah of the Prophet. p. 35. ISBN 0911119981. 
  18. ^ Sakr, 1998, p. 22
  19. ^ a b Sakr, 1998, p. 23
  20. ^ Sakr, 1998, p.p. 30, 31
  21. ^ Sakr, 1998, p. 26
  22. ^ Quran 4:34
  23. ^ Sakr, 1998, p. 19
  24. ^ Sahih Muslim, 7:2803