Five Days before Death
on wednesday, five days before he died the prophet’s temperature rose so high signalling the severeness of his disease. he fainted and suffered from pain. "pour out on me seven qirab (water skin pots) of various water wells so that i may go out to meet people and talk to them." so they seated him in a container (usually used for washing) and poured out water on him till he said: "that is enough. that is enough."
then he felt well enough to enter the mosque. he entered it band-headed, sat on the pulpit and made a speech to the people who were gathering together around him. he said:
"the curse of allâh falls upon the jews and christians for they have made their prophets’ tombs places of worship." [sahih al-bukhari 1/62; mustta' imam malik p.360]
then he said:
"do not make my tomb a worshipped idol." [muatta' imam malik p.65]
then he offered himself and invited the people to repay any injuries he might have inflicted on them, saying:
"he whom i have ever lashed his back, i offer him my back so that he may avenge himself on me. he whom i have ever blasphemed his honour, here i am offering my honour so that he may avenge himself."
then he descended, and performed the noon prayer. again he returned to the pulpit and sat on it. he resumed his first speech about enmity and some other things.
a man then said: "you owe me three dirhams." the prophet [pbuh] said: "fadl, pay him the money." he went on saying:
"i admonish you to be good to al-ansar (the helpers). they are my family and with them i found shelter. they have acquitted themselves credibly of the responsibility that fell upon them and now there remains what you have to do. you should fully acknowledge and appreciate the favour that they have shown, and should overlook their faults."
in another version:
"the number of believers would increase, but the number of helpers would decrease to the extent that they would be among men as salt in the food. so he who from among you occupies a position of responsibility and is powerful enough to do harm or good to the people, he should fully acknowledge and appreciate the favour that these benefactors have shown and overlook their faults." [sahih al-bukhari 1/536]
"allâh, the great, has given a slave of his the opportunity to make a choice between whatever he desires of allâh’s provisions in this world, and what he keeps for him in the world, but he has opted for the latter."
abu sa‘îd al-khudri said: "upon hearing that, abu bakr cried and said: ‘we sacrifice our fathers and mothers for your sake.’ we wondered why abu bakr said such a thing. people said: ‘look at that old man! the messenger of allâh [pbuh] says about a slave of allâh who was granted the right between the best fortunes of this world and the bounty of allâh in the hereafter, but he says: we sacrifice our fathers and mothers for your sake!’ it was later on that we realized what he had aimed at. the messenger of allâh [pbuh] was the slave informed to choose. we also acknowledged that abu bakr was the most learned among us." [mishkat al-masabih 2/546]
then the messenger of allâh [pbuh] said:
"the fellow i feel most secure in his company is abu bakr. if i were to make friendship with any other one than allâh, i would have abu bakr a bosom friend of mine. for him i feel affection and brotherhood of islam. no gate shall be kept open in the mosque except that of abu bakr’s." [sahih al-bukhari 1/22, 429, 449, 2/638; mishkat al-masabih 2/548]