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The Farewell Pilgrimage

Under category : The Farewell Pilgrimage
3154 2007/11/25 2024/04/23
Article translated to : العربية

after the accomplishment of the call, the proclamation of the message and the establishment of a new society on the basis of ‘there is no god but allâh,’ and on muhammad’s mission, a secret call uprose in the heart of the messenger of allâh [pbuh] telling him that his stay in the lower world was about to terminate. that was clear in his talk to mu‘adh whom he had dispatched to yemen in the tenth year of al-hijra: "o, mu‘adh! you may not see me after this current year. you may even pass by this very mosque of mine and my tomb." upon hearing that mu‘adh cried for fear that he would part with the messenger of allâh [pbuh].

allâh’s care was so bounteous as to let the prophet [pbuh] see the fruits of his call for the sake of which he suffered various sorts of trouble for over twenty years. those twenty years had elapsed actively. he used to spend his last days meeting, at the outskirts of makkah, members of tribes and their representatives who used to consult him and learn the laws and legislation of islam from him, and in return he used to exact their testimony that he had delivered trust and communicated the message and counselled the people.

the messenger of allâh [pbuh] announced an intention to proceed with this blessed pilgrimage journey himself. enormous crowds of people came to madinah, all of whom seek the guidance and imamate of the messenger of allâh [pbuh]in the pilgrimage (al-hajj). [sahih muslim 1/394] on a saturday of the last four days of dhul-qa‘dah, the prophet [pbuh] started the departure preparations procedure. [fath al-bari 8/104] he combed his hair, applied some perfume, wore his garment, saddled his camel and set off in the afternoon. he arrived at dhul-hulaifa before the afternoon prayer. he performed two rak‘a and spent the night there. when it was morning he said to his companions: 

"a comer, sent by my lord, has called on me tonight and said: ‘pray in this blessed valley and say: i intend ‘umrah combined with pilgrimage (‘umrah into al-hajj).[sahih al-bukhari 1/207]

before performing the noon prayer, he bathed for ihram (ritual consecration), and ‘aishah [r] perfumed him on both his body and head with her hand with a dharira (a plant) and with a perfume containing musk. the thick sticky layer of perfume could be seen among his parts of hair and beard. he left it unwashed, wore his loincloth and garment. he performed the noon prayer shortened, two rak‘a. he proclaimed pilgrimage procedure associated with ‘umrah at his prayer-place. he, then mounted his she-camel ‘al-qaswa’, and proclaimed: ‘there is no god but allâh’. when he moved into the desert, he acclaimed the name of allâh.

he proceeded with his journey till he approached makkah. he spent the night at dhi tuwa and entered makkah after performing the dawn prayer. he had a bath on sunday morning, the fourth of dhul-hijjah the tenth year of al-hijra. he spent eight days on the way, which was an average period. as soon as he entered al-haram mosque he circumambulated al-ka‘bah and walked to and fro (sa‘i) between as-safa and al-marwah. he did not finish the ihram (ritual consecration) because he was qarin (i.e. intending ‘umrah and al-hajj associated). he then took al-hadi (i.e. the sacrificial animals) in order to slaughter them. he camped on a high place of makkah — al-hajun. as for circumambulation, he performed only that of al-hajj (pilgrimage circumambulation).

those of his companions who had no hadi with them to sacrifice, were ordered to observe ihram (i.e. the state of ritual consecration) into ‘umrah (i.e. lesser pilgrimage), and circumambulate al-ka‘bah and stride ritually to and fro between as-safa and al-marwah. after that they could relieve themselves from ihram. they, however, showed reluctance to do what they had been told. thereupon, the messenger of allâh [pbuh] said: "had i known beforehand what i knew afterward, i would not bring hadi, and if i did not have hadi, i would break ihram. on hearing these words, his companions obeyed the orders to the latter.

on the eighth day of dhul-hijjah — that is the day of tarwiyah, he left for mina where he performed the noon, the afternoon, the sunset, the evening and the dawn prayers. — i.e. five prayers. then he stayed for a while till the sun rose up then he passed along till he reached ‘arafah, where there was a tent built for him at namirah. he sat inside till the sun went down. he ordered that al-qaswa’, his she-camel, should be prepared for him. they saddled it and had it ready, so he went down the valley where a hundred thousand and twenty-four or forty-four thousand people gathered round him. there he stood up and delivered the following speech:

" o people! listen to what i say. i do not know whether i will ever meet you at this place once again after this current year. [ibn hisham 2/603] it is unlawful for you to shed the blood of one another or take (unlawfully) the fortunes of one another. they are as unlawful, (haram) as shedding blood on such a day as today and in such a month as this haram month and in such a sanctified city as this sacred city (i.e. makkah and the surrounding areas)."

"behold! all practices of paganism and ignorance are now under my feet. the blood-revenge of the days of ignorance (pre-islamic time) are remitted. the first claim on blood i abolish is that of ibn rabi‘a bin harith who was nursed in the tribe of sa‘d and whom hudhail killed. usury is forbidden, and i make a beginning by remitting the amount of interest which ‘abbas bin ‘abdul muttalib has to receive. verily, it is remitted entirely."

"o people! fear allâh concerning women. verily you have taken them on the security of allâh and have made their persons lawful unto you by words of allâh! it is incumbent upon them to honour their conjugal rights and, not to commit acts of impropriety which, if they do, you have authority to chastise them, yet not severely. if your wives refrain from impropriety and are faithful to you, clothe and feed them suitably."

"verily, i have left amongst you the book of allâh and the sunnah (traditions) of his messenger which if you hold fast, you shall never go astray." [sahih muslim 1/397]

"o people, i am not succeeded by a prophet and you are not succeeded by any nation. so i recommend you to worship your lord, to pray the five prayers, to fast ramadan and to offer the zakat (poor-due) of your provision willingly. i recommend you to do the pilgrimage to the sacred house of your lord and to obey those who are in charge of you then you will be awarded to enter the paradise of your lord." [rahmat-ul-lil'alameen 1/263]

"and if you were asked about me, what wanted you to say?"

they replied: 

"we bear witness that you have conveyed the message and discharged your ministry."

he then raised his forefinger skywards and then moved it down towards people while saying:

"o allâh, bear witness."

he said that phrase thrice. [sahih muslim 1/397]

the one who repeated the prophet’s [pbuh]statements loudly at ‘arafat was rabi‘a bin omaiyah bin khalaf. [ibn hisham 2/605]

as soon as the prophet [pbuh] had accomplished delivering the speech, the following qur’ânic verse was revealed to him:

"this day i have perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you islam as your religion." [al-qur'an 5:3]

upon hearing this verse ‘umar cried. "what makes you cry?" he was asked. his answer was: "nothing succeeds perfection but imperfection." [rahmat-ul-lil'alameen 1/265]

bilal called for prayer after the speech, and then made the second call. the prophet [pbuh] performed both of the noon and the afternoon prayers separately, with no prayers in between. he then mounted his she-camel al-qaswa’, approached the location of the vigil, directed his face towards al-qiblah, kept on standing till sunset when the sky yellow colour vanished a bit and the disc of the sun disappeared. osamah added that the prophet [pbuh]moved onward to muzdalifa. where he observed the sunset and the evening prayers with one ‘first call’ and two ‘second calls’. he did not entertain the glory of allâh between the two prayers. then he lay down till it was dawn prayer time. he performed it with one first call and one second call at almost daybreak time. mounting on his al-qaswa’, he moved towards al-mash‘ar al-haram. he faced al-qiblah and started supplicating: "allâh is the greatest. there is no god but allâh." he remained there till it was clear morning and before the sun rose high, he made his way to mina. he walked a little and threaded the mid-road leading to the big jamrah where he stopped and pelted seven pebbles at it saying "allâh is the greatest" each time. they were like small pebbles hurled from the bottom of the valley. then he set off to the sacrificial place, where he sacrificed sixty-three camels with his hands, and asked ‘ali to slaughter the others, a hundred and thirty-seven altogether. he made ‘ali share him in al-hadi. a piece of meat from each slaughtered animal was ordered to be cooked in a pot and from which both men ate, and drank the soup.

then the messenger of allâh [pbuh] mounted his she-camel and returned to the house where he observed the noon prayer at makkah and there he came upon the children of ‘abdul muttalib were supplying drinking water to people at zamzam well. "draw up water, children of ‘abdul muttalib, i would draw up with you if i were not afraid that people would appropriate this honour after me." they handed him a pail of water and he drank to his fill. [sahih muslim 1/397-400]

at the daytime of the tenth of dhul-hijjah on the slaughtering day (yaum an-nahr) the prophet [pbuh] delivered another speech. that was at high time morning, while he was mounting a grey mule. ‘ali conveyed his statements to the people, who were standing or sitting. [abu da'ud 1/270] he repeated some of the statements that he had previously said the day before. the two sheikh (bukhâri and muslim) reported a version narrated by abi bakrah who said:

the prophet [pbuh] made a speech on yaum an-nahr (day of slaughtering) and said:

"time has grown similar in form and state to the time when allâh created the heavens and the earth. a year is twelve months. four of which are sacred months (hurum). three of the four months are successive. they are dhul-qa‘dah, dhul-hijjah, and al-muharram. the fourth month is rajab mudar, which comes between jumada and sha‘ban."

"what month is this month?" he asked. we said: "allâh and his messenger know best of all." he kept silent for a while till we thought he would attach to it a different appellation. "is it not dhul-hijjah?" he wondered. "yes. it is." we said. then he asked, "what is this town called?" we said: "allâh and his messenger know best of all." he was silent for a while till we thought he would give it a different name. "is it not al-baldah? (i.e. the town)" asked he. "yes. it is." we replied. then he asked again, "what day is it today?" we replied: "allâh and his messenger know best of all." then he kept silent for a while and said wondering: "is it not ‘an-nahr’ (i.e. slaughtering) day?" "yes. it is." said we. then he said:

"(shedding) the blood of one another and eating or taking one another’s provisions (unwillingly) and your honour are all inviolable (haram). it is unlawful to violate their holiness. they must be as sacred to one another as this sacred day, in this sacred month, in this sacred town."

"you will go back to be resurrected (after death) to your lord. there you will be accounted for your deeds. so do not turn into people who go astray and kill one another."

"have i not delivered the message (of my lord)?" "yes you have." said they. "o allâh! bear witness! let him that is present convey it unto him who is absent. for haply, many people to whom the message is conveyed may be more mindful of it than the audience,." said he. [sahih al-bukhari 1/234]

in another version it is said that the prophet [pbuh] had said in that very speech:

"he whoever plunges into misfortune will certainly aggrieve himself. so let no one of you inflict an evil upon his parents. verily satan has utterly despaired being worshipped in this country of yours; but he will be obeyed at your committing trivial things you disdain. satan will be contented with such things." [at-tirmidhi 2/38, 135; mishkat al-masabih 1/234]

the messenger of allâh [pbuh] spent at-tashreeq days (11th, 12th and 13th of dhul-hijjah) in mina performing the ritual teachings of islam, remembering allâh (praying), following the ways of guidance of ibrahim, wiping out all traces and features or polytheism. on some days of at-tashreeq he delivered some speeches as well. in a version to abu da’ûd with good reference to sira,’ the daughter of nabhan; she said: "the messenger of allâh [pbuh] made us a speech at the ru’us (heads) day in which he said: "is it not this the middle day of at-tashreeq days." [abu da'ud 1/269]

his speech that day was similar to that of an-nahr day’s. it was made after the revelation of surat an-nasr.

on the second day of an-nafr (i.e. departure) — on the thirteenth of dhul-hijjah, the prophet [pbuh] proceeded with an-nafr to mina and stayed at a high place of a mountain side at bani kinanah from al-abtah. he spent the rest of that day and night there — where he performed the noon, the afternoon, the sunset and the evening prayers.

then he slept for a short while and mounted leaving for the ka‘bah. he performed the farewell circumambulation (tawaf al-wada‘), after ordering his companions to do the same thing.

upon the accomplishment of his religious rituals he quickened his move to the purified madinah. he went there not to seek rest but to resume the strife and struggle in the way of allâh. [sahih al-bukhari 1/631, 2/631; ibn hisham 2/601-605; za'd al-ma'ad 1/196, 218-220]


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