The Farewell Pilgrimage

The Farewell Pilgrimage

Everything had come about as willed by Heaven. The faith in One God had cleansed and illuminated the souls. The devil within had been cast away together with the vileness of the pagan past as had the false deities been removed from the house of God. Once again, the believers were smitten with the love of God and their hearts were set on going around the holy sanctuary for it was already a very long time since they had been there. The mission of the Prophet of God (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) was also nearing completion, as he was soon to bid farewell to his loving companions. And so, Allah permitted His Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) to take them for pilgrimage, and thus, it was the first Hajj of the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) in Islam.

The reason for the Prophet’s (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) setting out from Madeenah for the pilgrimage were many.He had to meet the Muslims coming from far and near; to teach them the observances of faith and the rituals of Hajj; to bear witness to the truth and thus finally redeem his pledge to God; to advise them as well as to give them final instructions: to administer them an oath to follow his teachings and to trample under his feet the last remnants of the pagan past. His pilgrimage was, in truth and reality, better than a thousand sermons and lessons. It was an itinerant school, a mosque on the move or an ongoing training center which imparted knowledge to the unenlightened, animated the languid and indolent souls and invested the weak in spirit with the power of faith. All this was achieved under the benevolent and affectionate care of the greatest teacher, the Prophet of God (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam).

Minutest details of the Prophet’s (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) journey have been preserved by the most trustworthy narrators, the companions of the Prophet (radiallahu ‘anhum). It is a record so authentic and detailed for never before did there exist any historical document of such comparable genuineness be that of an Emperor’s itinerary or of the memoirs of any saint or scholar.(64)

We give here a brief outline of this journey undertaken by the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) which is variously known as Hajjatul Wad’a, (Lit. Farewell Pilgrimage) Hajjatul Balagh (Lit. Instructive Pilgrimage) and Hajjatul Tamam, (Lit. Completive Pilgrimage) but actually it was all these and much more than can be given a single name. More than a hundred thousand companions went along with the Prophet of God (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) to perform the pilgrimage.

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) set out from Madeenah on Saturday, the 25th of Dhul Q’ada, after performing the four ra’kats(65) of Zuhr (66) prayer followed by a sermon in which he explained the essentials of putting on the Ihram.(67)

The Messenger of God (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) then went ahead raising his voice in praise of God: “At Thy service, O God, at Thy service, at Thy service; Thou hast no partner, at Thy service; praise and grace art Thine, and the Dominion: thou hast no partner.” The entire crowd chanted the Talbia(68) along with the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) where some curtailed a few words while others supplemented it with a few more in a tremor of excitement. But the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) did not admonish them. He kept on repeating the acclamation of God until he reached ‘Araj where he encamped. Abu Bakr (radiallahu ‘anhu) and the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) rode on the same dromedary.

The stages in the journey ahead were at al-Abwa, the wadi of Asfan, Saraf and then Dhi tawa where he stayed during Saturday night. It was now the 4th of Dhil Hijja. The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) offered the morning prayer at this place and also took a bath. The caravan now bent its steps towards Mecca and entered the valley from its heights. It was an hour or so before noon when his glance fell on the K’aba. He exclaimed “O God, increase the honor and estimation, deference and awe of Thy House.” And then lifting up his hands, he raised his voice to say,” God is Great”. Then he said: “Peace be upon Thee, O God; peace is from Thee; O Lord, cause us to live in peace.” The first thing he did on entering the sanctuary was to go straight to the K’aba. He kissed the Hajr Aswad, or the sacred black stone stationed in the south-east corner, and then moved on to encompass the K’aba seven times, commencing on the right and leaving the K’aba on the left. He went round at a slow pace.(69)

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) was walking at a quicker step but the paces were not long. The seamless garment in which he had wrapped himself was thrown loosely over one shoulder, the other being left bare. Each time he passed the Hajr Aswad, he touched it with a stick in his hand and kissed it. Thereafter he proceeded to the Maqamu Ibrahim and recited the Quranic verse:

“Take as your place of worship the place where Ibrahim stood (to prayer);”
[Qur’an 2:125] And then offered two Ra’kats of prayer. Going back to the Hajr Aswad after the prayer, he kissed it again and then he brought himself to As-Safa from the opposite door. On reaching near As-Safa the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said,

“Lo! As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the indications of Allah. [Qur’an 2:158] I begin with what Allah began with.” So he mounted it until he could see the House of God, declared God’s Unity and proclaimed His greatness facing the Qiblah. He affirmed: “There is no god but Allah alone who has no partner, to Him belongs the dominion, to Him praises is due, and He is omnipotent, there is no god but Allah who alone has fulfilled His promise, helped His servant and alone routed the confederates.”

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) remained in Mecca from Saturday to Wednesday. On Thursday morning he came to Mina along-with the Muslims, performed the Zuhr and ‘Asr(70) prayers and stayed there for the night. It was the night before Friday. After the sun had risen he moved for ‘Arafat where he saw the tent set up for him at Namira. God’s Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) rested in the tent and when the sun had passed the meridian he ordered Qaswa to be brought. When it was saddled for him he went down into the valley and addressed the people wherein he explained to them the fundamental principles of Islam and struck at the roots of polytheism and ignorance. He commanded to treat as inviolable and sacrosanct the life, honor and property of every man, as warranted by all the religions and declared that all the usages and customs of the pagan past were trampled under his feet. The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) abolished the usury of the pre-Islamic days although he allowed recovery of the original sums lent to the debtors. In his sermon, the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) addressed the rights of women, threw light on the mutual obligations of the husband and wife and bade the people to deal kindly and provide food and clothing to their spouses in a fitting manner.

Thereafter, referring to the Book of Allah he told his companions that if they hold fast to it they would never fall into error. Finally, he told them that on the Day of Judgement, Allah would ask them about him, so what reply would they give on that day. The entire congregation chorused, that they would testify that he had conveyed the message and fulfilled his mission.

Then, raising his finger towards the sky, the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, “O Allah, be witness”, repeating it thrice. He also asked those who are present to spread it out to those who were absent.

The sermon ended, and the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) asked Bilal to give the call to prayer. After the call was over, he performed the noon and afternoon prayers, making only two Ra’kats for each. It was then Friday, when the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) delivered this sermon.

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) then mounted his camel and came to Mauqif,(71) the place of standing, where he remained atop the camel till sunset, lamenting, beseeching and glorifying the Lord. He appeared to be tormented and disconsolate, repeatedly raising his hands in prayer to his chest, like a man bereaved and an indigent crying for his livelihood. He was heard saying:

“O God, thou hearest what I say; and seest where I am; and knoweth what I conceal or reveal. Nothing can remain hidden from Thee. I am tormented, indigent and miserable, seeking refuge with thee as one who is sorrow-stricken and horrified. I acknowledge my sins and confess my faults; I call upon Thee like a beggar and cry unto Thee like an abased sinner; I beseech Thee like one who is dismayed and harassed, falling prone before Thee, and shedding tears; like one who has thrown oneself at Thy feet and is licking the dust. O God, cause me not to fail isupplicatioto Thee; be Kind and Merciful unto me: Lo! Thou art the best of all those who are implored and the Most Generous of all the Bestower.”(72)

It was then that God sent down the revelation, “This day I have perfected your religion for you and completed My favor unto you, and have chosen for you as your religion Al-Islam.” [Qur’an 5:3]

When the disc of the sun had disappeared, the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) took Usama (radiallahu ‘anhu) up behind him and wended ahead slowly, holding the halter of his camel in a way that his head, lowered in submission to God, almost touched the saddle. The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) was repeating the Talbia: “At Thy Service, O Allah, at Thy Service…” and asking the people to proceed slowly and gently. He kept raising his voice in Talbia until he came to Muzdalifa. There he ordered Bilal (radiallahu ‘anhu) to give the call for prayers and performed the sunset prayer before the camels were rested and unloaded. He recited the night prayer after the camels were relieved and then went to take rest and slept till dawn.

Having performed the dawn prayer early in the morning, the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) mounted on Qaswa and came to Mash’ar al-Haram, the sacred site in Muzdalifah, where he faced the Qibla, supplicated God and declared His Greatness until the morning light was clear. Thus he glorified God before the sun had risen. Then he left Muzdalifa with Fadl b. ‘Abbas (radiallahu ‘anhu) up behind him on top of his camel, chanting the Talbia all the way. He asked Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallahu ‘anhu) to pick up seven small pebbles for Rami Jimar. (73) When he came to the middle of the valley of Muhassar, he urged his camel to go fast and passed the plain quickly for it was the place where punishment was inflicted upon the army of Abraha. The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) came to Mina and from there to the Jamratul ‘Aqaba (74) There he threw the pebbles after the sun had fully risen and ended it with the recitation of Talbia.

Returning to Mina, the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) delivered a resolute address in which he dwelt upon the sacredness of Yaum An-Nahr(75) and the significance Allah has assigned to the day. He elucidated the honor and distinction conferred by God on Mecca over all the cities of the world and called upon the people to follow whoever guided them in accordance with the Book of Allah. Then, asking the people present there to learn the rites of pilgrimage from him, the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) urged them not to revert to the ways of the infidels, beheading one another after him. He asked those present to convey everything he had told them to those who were absent. Thereafter, he said:

“Worship your Lord, offer prayers five times a day, observe fast for a month (in Ramadhan), obey those of you who are in authority and you shall enter the Paradise of your Lord.”

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) also said something to his companions on this occasion which alluded to his valediction and hence the pilgrimage came to be known as the Hajjatul Wad’a.

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) then went to the place of sacrifice in Mina and sacrificed sixty-three camels by his own hand – the number of sacrificial camels being analogous to the number of years he remained alive. He ordered ‘Ali to sacrifice the remaining excess number to make up a total of one hundred camels sacrificed in his behalf. The offering having been completed, he sent for the barber, got his head shaved and distributed his shaved hair among the people. Then he returned to Mecca on his mount and went round the K’aba again. After that he came near the well of Zamzam and drank its water without sitting down, and returned to Mina on the same day. He spent the night at Mina where he stayed until the sun had passed the meridian; then he proceeded to stone the Jamrahs and starting from the first one he went on to throw pebbles on the middle Jamrah and finally on the last one. The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) delivered two sermons at Mina, one on the Day of Sacrifice which has been mentioned earlier and the next on the day after.

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) remained at the place to perform the stoning of the Jamrahs on the three days after the Day of Sacrifice, known as Ayyam-I-Tashriq.(76) Thereafter he set forth for Madeenah.(77)

Having arrived at Ghadir Khum,(78) the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) addressed the people again and said: Whoever loves me should love ‘Ali also. O God, hold him dear who is attached to ‘Ali and be hostile to him who bears ill-will to ‘Ali.(79)The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) stopped over for the night at Dhul Hulaifa.

When the outskirts of Madeenah appeared, he raised his voice to say, “Allah is Great”, three times and then said, “There is no god but Allah. He is One, without any partner, to him belongs the dominion and the praise and He has power over all things. (We are) the returning and t he repenting and the submitting and the worshipping; God has fulfilled His promise and helped His bondman and alone routed the confederates.” (Zad al-Ma’ad, Vol. I, p. 249)

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) entered Madeenah in the broad daylight.

THE ADDRESSES OF THE PROPHET (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam)
The sermons delivered by the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) on the Day of Arafah and on the second day of Tashriq are presented here as both are fitting and eloquent as well as significantly instructive for all and good.

“Your blood and your property are inviolable sacredness of this day in this month in this city of yours. Lo! Everything pertaining to the days of paganism is wrongful. And claims of blood-vengeance belong to the pre-Islamic period have been abolished. The first claim on blood I remit is that of ibn S’ad Rabi’a b. al-Harith who was suckled among Bani S’ad and killed by Hudhayl.

“The usury of the days of ignorance is abolished, and the first of our usury I abolish is that of my own uncle, ‘Abbas b. ‘Abdul Muttalib, for all it is abolished.

“Fear Allah concerning women. Verily, you have taken them under God’s security and have made their persons lawful unto you by God’s Word. It is incumbent upon them that they must not bring into your houses anyone whom you dislike; but if they do that then you have authority to chastise them, yet not severely. You are responsible for providing them with their food and clothing in a fitting manner.

“I have left among you a thing, by which, if you hold to it, you will never go astray. What is that? It is the Book of Allah!

“And you would be asked by Allah about me so what would you say?”

The companions replied, with one voice, “We testify that you have conveyed the message and fulfilled your mission.”

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) then raised his forefinger towards the sky and said thrice, “O Allah, be witness.”(80)

The text of the other sermon, delivered by the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), on the second day of Tashriq, is as follows:

O people, do you know in which city you are, what month and what day is this?” asked the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) from his audience.

They replied, “This is the sacred month, the day has a great sanctity and the city is the holy city.”

Resuming his address the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, “Your lives and your property and your honour shall remain scared to the Day of Resurrection like this day, this month and this city. Behold! Take it from me so that you may live. Beware! Do no wrong. Beware! Do no wrong. Beware! do no wrong! It is not lawful for you to take anything from the property of a Muslim save by his consent. Every claim for blood-vengeance and bloodwit that was due since the days of ignorance is now abolished to the Day of Judgement. And the first claim of blood-vengeance that I remit is that of Ibn Rabi’a b. al- Harith b. ‘Abdul Muttalib who was suckled among Ibn Laith and killed by Hudhayl. The usury of the pagan past is abolished is that of ‘Abbas b. ‘Abdul Muttalib.

“Time has completed the cycle to reach the same point when God created the heavens and the earth.’ Thereafter he recited the Quranic verse:

‘Lo! The number of months with Allah is twelve months by Allah’s ordinance in the day that He created the heavens and the earth. Four of them are sacred: that is the right religion. So wrong not yourselves in them.’ [Qur’an 9:36]

“Behold! Do not become infidels after me, beheading one another. The devil has despaired of ever being worshipped of ever being worshipped by those who pray, but he will create dissensions among you. Fear Allah concerning women. You have claims on your womenfolk and they on you. They are saddled with the obligation not to bring in anyone whom you dislike, but if you suspect that you are dis, instruct and withdraw from the, and chastise them but lightly. You are obliged to provide them with food and clothing in a befitting manner for you have got them under God’s security, and have a right to their person by God’s word.”

“Behold! Whoever holds anything in trust should return it to the person who had trusted him with it.

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) then asked, “Have I delivered the message? Thereafter he said, “Let him who is present convey it to him who is absent, for many a one to whom a message is conveyed can better enshrine it in his memory. (Ahmad, on the authority of Abu Hurra ar-Raqashi)

[64] For details see Hajjatul Wad’a wa ‘Umarat an-Nabi Sallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam by Sheikh ul-Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariya and the introduction of the book by the writer.

[65] A section of the Islamic consisting of recitation of the Qur’an in the standing position, genuflexion and two prostrations. A prayer may consist of two more rak’ats.

[66] The for prayer offered when the sun has begun to decline.

[67] Lit. “Prohibiting.” The pilgrim’s dress consisting of two white cotton sheets of cloth, one of which is thrown over the back, exposing the arm and the shoulder, while the other is wrapped round the loins from the waist to the knee and tucked in at the middle.

[68] Lit. “Waiting or standing for orders.” It stands for the words, given here, recited during the pilgrimage to Mecca declaring one’s readiness to be present for the service of God.

[69] The act circumambulating the K’aba is known as ramal. For details see the books on rites of pilgrimage.

[70] The time for prayer performed midway between noon and sunset.

[71] Kinz ul-‘Ummal, on the uathority of Ibn ‘Abbas

[72] A place in ‘Arafat still known by that name.

[73] Throwing of the pebbles at the pillars, or Jamrah in Mina, which mark the spots where the Devilappeared to Ibrahim and Isma’il.

[74] There are three pillars, Ula, the first, Wat’a the middle and ‘Aqa’ba, the last.

[75] The Day of sacrifice, the tenth day of Dhil Hijja.

[76] Ayyam-I-Tasriq comprise five days, i.e. from the 9th to the 13th of Dhul-Hijja.

[77] The account of Farewell pilgrimage given here has been condensed from the detailed description given in the Zad al-Ma’ad (Vol. I, pp. 180-249). The matter pertaining to the legal aspect of the pilgrimage have been left out.

[78] A place midway between Mecca and Medina, about three Km. From Jahfa.

[79] On the authority of Ahmad and Nassai. The reason for what the Apostle said on this occasion was the certain persons who were displeased with ‘Ali had made a complaint against him to the Prophet. These persons had been with ‘Ali in Yemen and suspected him being unjust in some of his decisions although their complaint was unfounded and based on misunderstanding (Ibn Kathir, Vol. IV, pp. 415-16).

[80] Muslim, Abu Dawud and other books of Traditions, on the authority of Jabir b. ‘Abdallah.

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