THE LAST SERMON The Divine Charter of Human Rights

(sarwar, Lahore)

This sermon was delivered on the ninth day of Zil Hajj 10 A.H. ( Friday, 6th March, 632 A.D.) in the Uranah valley of Mount Arafat (Makkah) to one hundred and forty thousand Companions of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) assembled to perform Hajj. The Prophet (Peace be upon him), after praising and thanks giving to Allah, the Lord, said:

“There is no deity save Allah. He is one and has no partner. Allah fulfilled His promise. He helped His servant (Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and He alone subdued all the combined forces of Evil.”

The Last Congregation

“O people! Listen to me. I do not think we shall ever meet in an assembly like this again and probably after this year I shall not be able to perform Hajj.”

All Are Equal – Only Piety Matters

“O people! Allah says, “O mankind! We have created you from one man and one woman and have divided you into tribes and nations so that you may be severely recognized. Of you the most dignified and honourable in the sight of Allah is he who fears Allah the most. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non- Arab, nor for a non- Arab over an Arab, nor for a Black over a White, nor a White over a Black; yes there is only one standard of dignity and superiority, and it is piety (the fear of Allah).”

All Claims Trampled

“All mankind is the progeny of Adam (May Allah shower His peace) and Adam (May Allah shower His peace) was fashioned out of clay. Now all claims of privileges and superiority and all demands of blood and wealth, all revenge feuds have been trampled under my feet, except for the Guardianship of the House of Allah and Supplying Water to the pilgrims remains in the same hands as before.”

Provisions For The Next World

“O people of Quresh! Beware lest you should come before Allah in a state that the burden of the world hangs on your necks, while others bring provisions for the next world. If this happens, I shall not be of any service to you.”

False Pride, Ancestors Achievements

“O people of Quresh! Allah has extinguished your false pride. There is no reason for you to take pride and feel pleasure over the achievements of your ancestors.”

Sanctity Of Life, Property And Honour

“O people! Your blood, wealth and honour have been prohibited to one another forever. These things are as sacred as this day (Day of pilgrimage) this month (Month of Zil Hajj) and this city (Makkah and surrounding areas). Beware; do not go astray after me lest you should shed each other’s blood. Return the goods entrusted to you, to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you.”

Accountability To Allah

“All of you will go before Allah and He will call you to account for your deeds.”

Brotherhood Of Muslims

“O people! Every Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, and all Muslims are brothers unto one another.”

Kindness To Slaves

“O People! Look after your slaves, yes look after your slaves; give them to eat what you eat yourselves and give them the same clothing as you put on yourselves. They are the servants of Lord and not to be treated harshly. ”

Neighbours Deserve Nice Treatment

“I advise you about your neighbour (the Prophet (Peace be upon him) repeated it many a time).”

Abolition of Practices Of Period Of Ignorance

“I have trampled under my foot all that belongs to the Period of Ignorance. All blood feuds of the days of Ignorance are abolished. The first vendetta, which I declare abolished, is of my family. I forgive the blood of the infant son of Rabia bin Al Haris whom Bani Hazeel had murdered.”

Usury Abolished

“The interest of the period of Ignorance stands liquidated. The first interest I declare liquidated is the interest due to the family of Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib. It is extinct now.”

Laws Of Inheritance

“O people! Allah the Mighty and Exalted has Himself assigned the due share of inheritance to every right holder. Hence no one should assign in his will any right to his heir.”

Prohibition Of Adultery

“The parentage of the child shall be attributed to him on whose bed it is born. Whoso is convicted of adultery, the penalty for him is stoning. The reckoning is with Allah.”

Change Of Parentage, Master Earns Curses

“Whoso changes his parentage or a slave who declares as his master anyone other than his real master, upon him be the curse of Allah, His angels and of all the people.”

Honour Your Commitments

“Debt is liable to be paid; a thing borrowed must be returned. A return must be made for the gift. Whoso becomes another’s guarantor must pay the damages”

No Injustices

“It is not lawful for a person to take anything from his brother, save by his consent and free will. Do not wrong yourself and wrong one another. Do not wrong one another. Do not wrong one another. Do not cut throats of one another.”

Obligations, Rights Of Women

“It is unlawful for a woman to give her husband’s wealth to anyone without his permission.”

“Look! Your women have rights over you. Similarly they owe obligations to you. Your right over women is that they should not call in to see them any man of whom you disapprove and they should not violate your trust; they should not indulge in open lewdness, but if they do, Allah permits you to give them little corporeal punishment; and if they mend, feed them and clothe them well.”

“Treat the women in a better way, for they are bound to you and cannot do anything for themselves. So fear Allah in dealing with them, for you took them in the name of Allah and in His name they become lawful unto you. Advise others to do good, in their matters.”

Comprehension Of Prophet’s (Peace be upon him) Message

“O people! Digest what I say. I have discharged the duty of preaching.”

Allah’ Book – Guidance for Ever

“I leave among you a thing, so that if you hold fast to it, you will never go astray, and that is Allah’s book.”

Avoid Exaggerations In Religion

“And look! Avoid exaggeration in matters of religion for the people before you were destroyed for such reasons.”

Guard Against Satan

“O people! Satan is dismayed that he would not be worshiped in this City. But still there is a possibility that in matters, which you deem as of little consequence, his prompting might be heeded and he is even content with this. So guard your religion and your faith against it.”

Worship Allah, Obey Other Obligations

“O people! Worship your Rabb (Lord). Offer prayers five times a day. Keep fast for the whole month (Ramzan). Zakat (poor tax) be paid willingly out of your wealth. Perform pilgrimage of your Lord’s House.”

Obedience Of Amir

“Obey those in authority with you thus you will be admitted to paradise.”

“O people! Listen and obey even if an ordinary Abyssinian slave is appointed over you as ‘Ameer’ provided he executes among you the Ordinances of the Book of Allah.”

Onus, Punishment Of Crime

“Henceforth the offender alone will be responsible for his offence.”

“Henceforth neither son shall be apprehended for the offence of his father, nor will the father be made to pay for his son’s offence.”

Propagation Of The Sermon

“Listen! Those who are present here should convey these ordinances and advice to those who are not here. It may be that one who is absent may better understand and retain them than you (who are present).”

The Companions Bear Witness

“O people! You will be questioned (before Allah) about me. Tell me what will you answer?”

“The people replied: “We shall testify that you delivered the truth (religion) and discharged the duty of Prophecy and did well.”

O Allah Thou Art Witness

On hearing the reply, the Messenger () of Allah raised his finger towards heaven and pointing to the people said:

“O Allah! Bear witness.”

”O Allah! Bear witness.”

“O Allah! Bear witness.”

After finishing his sermon, the Prophet adismounted from his Qaswa (she camel) and covered a little distance on foot. Then he offered Zohar and Asar prayers at the same hour.

The Last Revelation

Meanwhile at the same place i.e. Arafat the Last Revelation was received from Allah. The Revelation had two aspects: one; tiding of a great blessing from Almighty God on those who follow Islam, two; the news for the Companions that Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) had completed his mission. The verse (5: 3) revealed:

“This day I have perfected your religion (Deen) for you and completed My favor unto you, and have chosen for you Al- Islam (Complete submission to Allah’s order) as Deen (A complete code of life given to the humanity forever).”

The Crux Of Islamic Teaching

Muhammad (Peace be upon him) told the whole mankind (This included all those as well who would be born till Doom’s Day) that God is one and only He should be worshipped and to Him every one of us is answerable. Allah Almighty will, on the Day of Judgment, reward the believers according to their good or bad deeds. But the unbelievers, irrespective of their good or bad deeds in this worldly life, will be thrown into the inferno of Hell and stay there till endless time.

In the presence of the Last Sermon can some individual claim that Magnacarta of Human Rights is more comprehensive and affords better guarantee to the oppressed and ailing humanity? Women’s rights, much talked about in the West, are far more protected in Islam than in any other system prevalent in the world. The followers of Islam not only propagated the teaching of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) but also acted upon them in their lives.

The instructions contained in the Last Sermon, if put into practice in various spheres of our life, can help us to a great extent in alleviating the miseries of the ailing humanity. May God grant us courage to shun away our prejudices and remove all the misgivings spread about the holy Qur’an, Islam, the Last Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his followers. However, time is not far when such misgivings will die down. A reader is once again requested to go through the contents of the Sermon with an unbiased mind and decide at his / her own about the noble message contained in the Holy Qur’an, the traditions (Hadit) of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), his life history (Seerat) and the Last Sermon.

“O God! Exhort in us the courage to make correct and timely decision and thus save us and our future generations from a dreadful end. Aameen (May be it so)!”

Note Number 1: The author of the book “The Bible Leads To Islam.” has given heading to paragraphs for the convenience of the reader.

Note Number 2: The subject matter of this Chapter has been taken from:

1. Mian Abid Ahmad: The Glory Of Muhammad, Seerat International Research Center, Lahore, 1993, Pages 766- 773
2. Maulana Safi - ur - Rehman Mubarak Puri: (Urdu Translation) Al- Raheeq - ul - Hakhtoom, Al Maktaba – tul- Salfia, Lahore, 1995, Pages 614-620.
3. Allama Shibli Naumani: Seerat - un - Nabi, Volume I, Idara - I - Islamiat, Lahore, 2002, Pages 464- 472.
4. Justice (Ret) Muhammad Karam Shah: Zia - un - Nabi, Volume IV, Zia -ul - Qur’an Publications, Lahore, 1420 A. H., Pages 753- 758.
5. Mazhar ul Haq: A Short History of Islam, Book Land, Lahore, 1992, Pages 129-131.

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مزہبی کالم نگاری میں لکھنے اور تبصرہ کرنے والے احباب سے گزارش ہے کہ دوسرے مسالک کا احترام کرتے ہوئے تنقیدی الفاظ اور تبصروں سے گریز فرمائیں - شکریہ