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As we find ourselves entering the Hajj season, the discussions fall upon the story of Hajj and its origins. The familiarity of the story of Ibrahim, Hajar and Isma’il (AS) seems to be in contrast to the lack of general awareness of the Seerah of the Prophet (SAW) and the context and realities of the single Hajj he (SAW) lead. Only by studying deeply, the political context in which the Prophet (SAW) embarked upon the farewell pilgrimage, can one understand the significance of the farewell sermon (Khutbatul-Wada).

In the 10th year of Hijra, the Prophet (SAW) announced his intention to make Hajj. With this news, people from all over Arabia started to gather for the opportunity to perform Hajj with the Prophet (SAW). Over a hundred thousand Arabs from every deep and distant valley of Arabia convened in the valley of Makkah. Only four years earlier, the Prophet (SAW) and his Sahaba (RA) were turned back from Hudaibiyah not being able to enter the sacred precincts of the Ancient House. However, that was, in the course of events, the great turning point upon which Allah (SWT) transformed the fortunes and fate of the nascent faith and the power of the new Islamic State.

A brief look at some key events that took place after Hudaibiyah gives us a picture of the fierce military and diplomatic struggle that the Prophet (SAW) was conducting across Arabia and far beyond. Late in the sixth year Hijri, on his return from Hudaibiyah, he (SAW) decided to send messages to the kings beyond Arabia. That included messages to the Ceasar, Chosroes, Negus, and Muqawqis to name a few. In Dhul Qa’da of 7 Hijri, he (SAW) set off with 2,000 men to perform the ‘Umra which had been left off the previous year. In Jumada al-Ula of 8 Hijri, the battle of Mu’tah took place, marking the beginning of the conquests of the land of the Christians. Later that year, in the blessed month of Ramadan, with a force of 10,000 strong, Allah (SWT) completed the great opening and conquest of Makkah. No sooner than 19 days after the conquest, the Muslims where again on the march for the battle of Hunain with a force of 12,000 men. In Rajab of 9 Hijri, the Prophet (SAW) assembled his greatest fighting force of 30,000 men to invade the Roman province at the battle of Tabuk. This also would be known as the Year of Delegations (Aam al-Wufud) in which perhaps 70 or more delegations came to embrace Islam or enter under the authority of the Islamic State. The Prophet (SAW) was so busy meeting the delegations, that he (SAW) appointed Abu Bakr (RA) to lead the first Hajj in Islam.

This very cursory look at some of the events that preceded the Farewell Hajj draws a picture of the pace and progress of the political and military struggle of the Prophet (SAW) to consolidate and complete the power and authority of the Islamic State over Arabia. It puts into context the Farewell Sermon (Khutbatul Wada).

The correct way to view the Khutbatul-Wada is to see it as an address of Allah (SWT)’s last Messenger (SAW) and the commander of the Islamic State and Ummah. The Ummah that has been tasked to complete the mission of the Prophet (SAW), by inviting all nations to enter the fold of Islam and unify the whole world under the dominion, peace and justice of Allah (SWT)’s Deen. “Indeed it is He, Who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Deen of Truth, that He may cause it to dominate over all others” [TMQ Surah At-Tawba:33]

With the above mentioned thoughts in mind we should look now at the details of the Farewell Khutba, its profound and far reaching message:

“Oh 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, and 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 ‘Abd’ al-Muttalib (Prophet’s uncle) shall henceforth be waived…”

“Oh 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.”

“Oh People, listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers (Salah), 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; learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim that belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.”

“Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet 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 Oh People! And understand words that I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur’an and the Hadith 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. Oh Allah, be my witness, that I have conveyed your message to your people.”

All these noble precepts mentioned in the Khutbatul Wada were not abstract notions or spiritual ideals for the Prophet (SAW) or the Qur’anic generation. He (SAW) established them in reality and put the seeds of a civilization that would embody, establish and convey those precepts for more than 12 centuries.

Following are some of the words from Seyidina ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (RA) in a khutba he gave on his last Hajj: “Nothing is dearer to Allah Almighty and of greater benefit to mankind than a ruler’s kindness based on true knowledge and insight. Nothing is more hateful to Allah than a ruler’s ignorance and stupidity.

By Allah, I do not appoint governors and officials in your provinces so that they will beat you up or take away your money. I send them to you to instruct you in your faith and teach you the way the Prophet (SAW) has shown us.

Whoever is treated differently should put their complaints to me. By Allah who holds my soul in His hand, I will ensure that justice is done to them. If I fail to do so, I become a partner in such injustice.

It is much better for me to remove a governor every day than to leave a despot in his position for an hour longer. To replace governors is much easier than to change the people. If setting things right for a community requires replacing their governor, then it is certainly easy.

Therefore, whoever is in a position of authority in any area of the Muslims affairs must fear Allah in the way he treats his people. To all these I say, do not beat people up to humiliate them. Do not deny them their rights, showing them little care, and do not place them in hardships making them feel lost.

My people, when you have completed your Hajj rituals, let the people of different regions meet me together with their governors and officials so that I can look into their situations. I will consider their disputes and give my judgment, making sure that the weak are given their rights and justice is done to all.”

From these speeches, we can clearly see that whilst performing Hajj and fulfilling all of its rites, venerating the House of Allah (SWT) hoping for Allah’s mercy and forgiveness, the hajj is a time to think of the situation of the Ummah and a time to think whether we have fulfilled our mission as an Ummah in conveying the message to mankind. “And proclaim to mankind the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform Hajj).” [TMQ Surah Al-Hajj 22:27]


Muslims from every near and far flung corner of the world, of every race and language, rich and poor, young and old, journey and converge to perform a unique event. Almost every Muslim in every part of the world knows someone who will be amongst the hujjaj – in this way the whole Ummah is connected to this one event in this one place. This makes Hajj a natural time to discuss the vital issues of this Ummah, its need for unity, liberation and leadership – and the resumption of the message and da’wa to mankind.

Allah (SWT) blessed this Ummah with the greatest symbol of unity to mankind. Anyone, Muslim or Non-Muslim who has watched the hujjaj perform the hajj and the salah at the Ka’ba in their millions, can’t help but be impressed and moved at the sense of complete unison, harmony, brotherhood and energy that radiates from such sights. The Hajj proves the power of Islam to transcend all the false barriers created to divide this Ummah. It gives proof to that fundamental concept we are indeed ‘One Ummah’


The Jama’ah

The Hajj is an action of collective Ibadah and expression of the Jama’ah, but today it has been atomized and stripped to a purely individual dimension.


Hujjaj feel very strongly the bonds and emotions of brotherhood and the uniting power of the Deen yet no avenue is allowed for the expression of these sentiments today.

Leadership of the Hajj

The very first Hajj of Islam was not led by the Messenger of Allah (SAW), but was delegated to Abu Bakr (RA) since it was the year of delegations. The affairs of state, the foreign policy of Islam, the meeting of the foreign ambassadors and spreading Islam beyond the frontiers of Arabia was too important to be delayed or neglected even for the first Hajj in Islam. This fact of the Seerah of the Messenger of Allah (SWT) is totally neglected today.

The Lessons of Sacrifice, Sabr and Tawakkal The story of Ibrahim, Isma’il & Hajjar (AS) is not just a story, it needs to be connected to our lives and the situation of the Ummah today. The whole message of the story is about making Allah (SWT) and the Deen of Islam the centre and pivot of our lives as individuals and as an Ummah. If the millions who visit the Ancient House year upon year actually took that message and idea onboard when they returned home, the situation of the Ummah and indeed the world could be transformed very swiftly. Yet most of the Hujjaj have been trained to have only the thought of forgiveness as a goal and not much more.

One Cause

Hajj is a symbol of our Unity as an Ummah. Less than 100 years ago, pilgrims were united under one leader – the Ameer ul-Mumineen (the leader of the Believers) – the Khaleefah of the Muslims – and not divided by artificial nationalities, passports and flags.

Yet still today, millions of men and women – young and old, of different colours, languages and means – still face the same Qibla in orderly lines, wearing the same ihram, all of which symbolises the way that only Islam can unite and bring order in the Muslim world.

Indeed, it was at the time of Hajj, Allah (SWT) told us that this Deen -combining beliefs, worships and values, as well as political, economic, social and judicial systems for society – was the perfect way for humanity to live together in order and harmony, when He (SWT) said: “Today the Unbelievers have despaired of overcoming your Deen. So do not fear them, fear Me. This day, I have perfected your Deen for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your Deen” [TMQ Surah Maida 5:3]

Let us reflect on the situation of the Ummah this Hajj. Where is the Amir ul Mu’mineeen of the Hajj today? Where is the leader of the Ummah today who would give the annual Khutbah of the Hajj addressing the various problems we are facing as an Ummah?

Surely it is time for us to change our whole perception of the Hajj to not only a time for individual forgiveness but a time to address the vital issues of the Ummah.

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GLOBAL UMMAH SOLIDARITY - by moeenyaseen - 08-23-2006, 11:07 PM

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