In the year 10 A.H, our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ undertook his farewell pilgrimage to Mecca – this was by far one of the most significant events in history. On the ninth day of Dhull Hijjah, standing on the plains of Arafat, in front of one of the largest gatherings of Muslims at that time, our Prophet ﷺdelivered his farewell sermon – a sermon that was filled with lessons, treasures and commandments to be followed for thousands of generations to come, until the Day of Judgment.
Imagine – for a second – that you were giving your final speech to loved ones… what would you say?
“Hold on to this deen?”
“Forgive and move on?”
What did the Prophet ﷺ. say? Read on.
#1 “Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you.”
How profound are these words? Hurting others could be physical, emotional or psychological. Of course, we all know that hurting someone physically for no reason at all is a huge sin but have you thought about how your words could affect others? Teasing, backbiting, gossiping, throwing around harsh words or taunting others – these acts of yours are capable of creating the biggest wounds and scars upon people around us.
Unfortunately, we use the sharpness of our tongues against those closest to us – our parents, siblings, children or spouses and close friends. Stop for a moment and reflect upon the words of our Prophet ﷺ. He’s ﷺ asking us not to hurt others so *we* don’t get hurt in return. Makes sense doesn’t it? Do no evil and to protect yourself from evil.
But controlling our tongues is sometimes really hard to do. I understand that. So the next time you are thinking about winning word wars or building a verbal duel in your head, stop and ask yourself “Is this going to help me, my peace of mind…will this please Allah?” If the answers is “no”, then you probably know what to do.
#2 Stay away from usury (riba)
Riba – we find ourselves engulfed in riba. Anywhere we turn, any item we wish to buy or any transaction we wish to make – we find riba staring at us. Sometimes, utilizing riba seems a lucrative option to consider. Sometimes, you feel there is no escape from usury given how conventional bank systems work. But, we also know the evil effects of riba and how it can destroy our lives and leave us staring at Hellfire right in front of our eyes. So no matter how difficult your financial situation is or how tempting the Satan makes it seem, close your eyes and turn away from usury but don’t stop there.
Plead Allah asking Him to keep you steadfast. Beg Him at the depths of the night to help you find halal alternatives. Beseech Him asking His help to aid you in getting what you want without going down the usury route. A lot of Muslims know riba is haram, but end up indulging in it because they see no alternative. Well, did you ask Allah to show you an alternative?
#3 Satan can win with small things
We know Satan is our #1 enemy, so we obviously won’t fall for his tricks of prodding us to leave Islam or do kufr. Even a “not so practicing” Muslim will know that disbelieving in Allah or worshipping other idols is downright kufr and will refuse to do it. But Satan can win over us in small battles.
See how you missed your fajr today, or how you spoke rudely to your parents, how you lost your cool at work, how you cheated someone and told yourself it’s okay, how you indulged in some riba because everyone does it anyway, how you watched what you shouldn’t have…and the list is endless.
And remember, if Satan is not able to make you do any sins, he will force you to waste time! All those hours of sitting idle and browsing your multiple social media apps for hours together- these are tricks of Satan to make you turn away from the remembrance of Allah and waste your time on matters that are totally inconsequential. Imagine how you could have used those minutes to serve Allah, do some dhikr, read some Quran or do some isthighfar?
Yes, all of us need some time to de-stress ourselves and social media apps are great – but we need to set a time limit and not spend hours together on something that brings no benefit to us in this world or the next. Every second counts, and you will be asked about your free time on the Day of Judgment, so don’t let Satan win these small battles with you.
#4 No racism please
Superiority over skin color, financial status, or ethnicity is one of the biggest problems in our community even if we choose to brush it under the carpet or ignore it. Racism exists and we cannot deny it. But when you feel seeds of superiority enter your heart just because you belong to a higher class or whatever that is, ask yourself, “Am I better than this person in terms of deen? Do I worship Allah more than him? Do I rush to do more good deeds, more charity and more community based services when compared to him? Have I fasted more than him? Have I given more charity than him?”
If the answers are “no”, then know that this person is much closer and superior in the eyes of Allah than us. Let us compare and compete with each other to do more good.
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#5 Treat women kindly
Men, listen up. The Prophet ﷺ has some special words of advice to you. He’s asked you to treat the women in your lives with kindness and love. Belittling your wife in front of your family, friends or her family, showing no ounce of gratitude or love towards her because you think it’s her *duty* to work and slave it in the house for you, showing no respect to the person who is the mother of your children – these stuff does not make you a macho man. In fact, your behavior goes completely against what Allah and His Messenger ﷺ have to say. It may have been the cultural norm for centuries, but this culture is not going to save you on the Day of Judgment when Allah asks why you mistreated the women in your life. It may be difficult now but imagine the rewards in paradise!
Hold on to these gems, these timeless treasures that were passed on from one generation to another – words that hold true and relevant now, just as relevant as they were then. Live by his ﷺ words, and pass them on to your children and your grandchildren because it is these pearls of wisdom that will get you and your loved ones through, in times of ease and hardship, in times of trials and tribulations. For the one who lives by what Allah and His Messenger ﷺ have ordained will find this dunya to be a piece of cake to walk by.
Here’s the full sermon:
“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.
O 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 obligations 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 Abdul 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, perform your five daily prayers (salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in zakat (almsgiving). Perform Hajj if you can afford it.
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 does a black have any superiority over a white except by piety 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 for your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.
O 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”.