This week, we decided to bring to you the famous first and the last sermon of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) so that we can remind ourselves of not only the duties and responsibilities of a Muslim but also reassure us of the benefits and rewards of what we do.
This sermon was delivered when the prophet (s.a.w) first arrived in Quba-Madinah and before he (s.a.w) built his mosque in Madinah.
Ibn Ishaq reported on the authority of ‘Abdur-Rahman Ibn Ka’b Ibn Malik that he said (part of the narration): “After the Messenger of Allah arrived in Madinah and he stayed in Quba’ on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; he built a mosque, before he left on Friday, the time for Friday prayer overtook him in the land of Banu Salim Ibn ‘Awf, and so he prayed it. In the mosque which was in the middle of the valley before the building of his mosque.
Ibn Ishaq said: “It was the first sermon which he delivered; according to Abu Salamah Ibn ‘Abdur-Rahman – he said; …and we seek refuge with Allah from attributing to him anything which he did not say – he stood up among them and praised Allah and extolled Him, then he said:
“Oh, you people! Send forth for yourselves good deeds; you know for sure, by Allah, that a person among you will be struck down unconscious and he will leave his sheep without a shepherd, then his Lord will surely say to him – and there will be neither intermediary nor screen between them: “Did not My Messenger come to you and communicate (the Message), and did I not give you wealth and favor you?
And what did you send forth for yourself?” And verily, he will look right and left, but he will see nothing; then he will look in front of him and he will see naught but the Hell-fire. So whoever is able to shield his face from the Fire, even if it be only by giving a piece of a date in charity, let him do so; and whoever was unable to do so, let him shield it by saying a good word, for the reward of a good deed is multiplied by ten times seven hundred times. And may the Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you.”
Ibn Ishaq said: “Then the Messenger of Allah, delivered a second sermon, saying:
“All praise and thanks be to Allah, I praise Him and I seek His aid. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of ourselves and from the wickedness of our deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides, there is none can misguide him and whomsoever Allah sends astray, there is none can guide him. And I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, Alone, without partners.
The best of speech is the Book of Allah. He whose heart has been beautified with it by Allah and whom He has admitted to the fold of Islam after he had disbelieved will be successful, for he has chosen it (Allah’s Speech) over that of all of mankind. Truly, it is the best of speech and the most eloquent. Love what Allah loves; love Allah with all of your hearts.
Do not become tired of Allah’s Speech, nor of mentioning His Name and do not make your hearts hard towards it. Hence, amongst everything that Allah creates He chooses [something]; Allah would call it: His Khaerah (best) in terms of deeds; His favorite ones amongst the servants; that which is good and useful in terms of speech; So, worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him and fear Him as He should be feared and be sincere to Allah in the righteous words which pass your lips and love one another with Allah’s Spirit between you. Verily, Allah hates that His Covenant should be broken. And may the Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you.”
(Source: ‘Zad Al-Ma’ad’. Mentioned by Ibn Hisham in ‘As-Seerah An-Nabawiyyah’ from Ibn Ishaq, but without any chain of narrators. See ‘Zad Al-Ma’ad’ vol. 1, page 374 published by Maktabah Al-Manar Al-Islamiyyah)
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) delivered his last sermon (Khutbah) on the ninth of Dhul Hijjah (12th and last month of the Islamic year), 10 years after Hijrah (migration from Makkah to Madinah) in the Uranah Valley of mount Arafat. His words were quite clear and concise and were directed to the entire humanity.
After praising, and thanking Allah he said:
“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.
Oh People, just as you regard this month, this day, 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 (Prophet’s uncle) shall henceforth be waived…
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.
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, say your five daily prayers (Salat), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj 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 a black has any superiority over white except by piety (taqwa) 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.
Oh People, NO PROPHET OR APOSTLE 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 QURAN 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”.
(Reference: See Al-Bukhari, Hadith 1623, 1626, 6361) Sahih of Imam Muslim also refers to this sermon in Hadith number 98. Imam al-Tirmidhi has mentioned this sermon in Hadith nos. 1628, 2046, 2085. Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal has given us the longest and perhaps the most complete version of this sermon in his Masnud, Hadith no. 19774.)
One can heed words of wisdom and guidelines from the last sermon (khutbah) of the prophet (SAWS). His sermons emphasized on the following:
Sacredness of a Muslim’s life and property
The importance of propagating this message to all others (A Muslim’s responsibility thus does not end by following the religion)
A reminder that everyone is fully accountable for their deeds and Allah (God) will take every person into account. If everyone heeded to this fact alone, the world would be a much better place today.
“Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you.” These words of the prophet are self explanatory.
The prohibition of dealing with interest (Numerous accounts in Quran and Hadith prohibit taking, giving or being a part of any transaction dealing with interest).
“You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity.” These words of the prophet are self explanatory.
The awareness of satan and how satan can make you to deviate us from the right path and doing evil things.
Rights of women over men and rights of men over women.
Treatment of women with kindness.
Modesty and chastity in women.
The importance of worshiping Allah (saying your five daily prayers (Salat), fasting during the month of Ramadan, giving charity (Zakat) and performing pilgrimage (Hajj).
Equality amongst all (blacks, white, Arabs, non-Arabs, etc.)
The need to do justice and be fair to others.
These are what Islam and the Last prophet have taught us. Let’s do our part by following the Prophet’s message and propagating the message to others.