Salman Ahmed Shaikh
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) delivered His last sermon (known as Khutba-e-hajjatul-Wida) on the ninth of Dhul Hijjah in 10th year after Hijrah (migration from Makkah to Madinah). The sermon was delivered in the valley of mount Arafat.
It was the best example of eloquence, brevity, conciseness and the content of the message emphasized upon justice and equality. The message in the sermon was delivered more than fourteen centuries ago and is an essence of the true message and philosophy of Islamic faith.
In this brief write-up, we try to highlight few of the precious points of the sermon (quotes taken from Sirat Ibn-e-Hisham) which are still the guiding light for any society, even though the message was delivered a millennium and a half ago.
Following passage describes the importance of social equality in Islam:
“O’ ye people! Allah says: ‘We created you from one male and one female and made you into tribes and nations, so that you can know one another. Verily in the sight of Allah, the most honored among you is the one who is most God-fearing. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab and for a non-Arab over an Arab or for the white over the black or for the black over the white except in God-consciousness.’”
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) denounced interest taking and eliminated this evil which is one of the major causes of social and economic inequality.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
“All interest and usurious dues accruing from the times of ignorance stand wiped out. And the first amount of interest that I remit is that which Abbas ibn Abd-al Muttalib had to receive. Verily, it is remitted entirely.”
Describing the importance of private property rights, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
“O’ people! Verily your blood, your property and your honor are as sacred and inviolable as the sacred inviolability of this day of yours, this month of yours and this very town (of yours). Verily, you will soon meet your Lord and you will be held answerable for your actions.”
Describing the women rights in Islam, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
“O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. If they abide by your rights, 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.”
Describing the concept of Muslim brotherhood, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught:
“O’ People! Every Muslim is the brother of every other Muslim, and all the Muslims form one brotherhood. And your subordinates; see that you feed them with such food as you eat yourselves, and clothe them with the clothes that you yourselves wear.”
Thus, it can be appreciated that Islamic viewpoint on social equality, brotherhood, individual liberty and mutual cooperation is a guiding light for humanity as reflected from this last public sermon by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) which He gave to us fourteen centuries ago.