Friday, January 27, 2006

Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon: A Final Admonition

Beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was born in Makkah, Saudi Arabia around 570 C.E. He is an example for all of humanity. He was a remarkable man at all times. He excelled in all walks of life by being a prophet, ruler, philosopher, orator, soldier, husband, friend, father, uncle, nephew, and a grandfather. He was a man of love, patience, courage, wisdom, generosity, intelligence and magnitude who inspired millions of lives throughout the world.

God says in the Qur’an that he was sent as a mercy for the people of the world.

We sent thee not save as a mercy for the peoples. (The Holy Quran: Al-Anbiya:107)

His Prophetic Mission started when he was forty years old, around 610 C.E., and continued until 632 C.E. From the path of ignorance, mankind was lead to the straight path and was blessed with the guidance of Allah’s Last Prophet.

Shortly before his death, Prophet Muhammad delivered a final sermon. This final sermon was not only a reminder to his followers but also an important admonition. The final sermon confirms the end of his Prophetic Mission.

The tenth A.H. of the Islamic Calendar is considered to be one of the most significant years, for three reasons. Firstly, this was the year when the Prophet delivered his Last Sermon during his farewell pilgrimage to Mecca. Secondly, this was the year where number of deputation waited upon the Prophet to pay homage or to make peace with the Muslims. Thirdly, it was the golden period of Islam when multitudes of people embraced the faith by accepting the message of the Prophet.

Prophet Muhammed undertook his farewell pilgrimage in the tenth A.H. His farewell pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the most significant historical events in the minds of Muslims because it was first and last pilgrimage made by Prophet Muhammed and also it was the model for performing the fifth pillar of Islam, Al Hajj.

Prophet Muhammad's final sermon was delivered on 632 C.E., the ninth day of Dhul Hijjah (10A.H.) in the Uranah Valley of Mount Arafat(in Makkah), during his farewell pilgrimage. There were countless Muslims who was present with the prophet during his last pilgrimage when he delivered his last Sermon.


After praising, and thanking Allah the Prophet (pbuh) 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.

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 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 (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; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over 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 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".

Thus the beloved Prophet completed his Final Sermon. After the sermon, near the summit of Arafat the revelation came down:

"This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My Grace upon you, and have chosen Islam for you as your religion." (Al Qur’an: Al-Maeda :3)

Even today the Last Sermon of Prophet Muhammad is passed to every Muslim in every corner of the word through all possible means of communication. Muslims are reminded about Prophet’s last sermon at Masjids, Imams lectures. Many Muslims print posters of the Prophet’s last sermon and distribute copies of it. Many hang it on the walls of their houses as to remind them of the Prophet’s final Admonition.. Though the Prophet’s soul has left this world his words are still living in our hearts.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Being a Woman: Towards Self Understanding & Self Knowledge

As Salaamu Alaikum,

There was a Live Dialog on "Being a Woman: Towards Self Understanding & Self Knowledge "on Islam (IOL). Here is the link :

Being a Woman: Towards Self Understanding&Self Knowledge

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Ihsan: A Natural Flower with Sweet Fragrance (Part Two)

Faith (religion) has such a control that it keeps the whole humanity away from bended characteristics and mean deeds. It helps us to attain distinguishing morals. When we look into the Qur’an we always find whenever Allah called his servants towards virtue or wanted them to hate evil, He stated that it is an essential prerequisite of the faith in their hearts.

O you who believe! Be afraid of Allâh, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds (9:119)

Likewise when forbidding evil, Allah says:

O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), gambling, Al­Ansâb, and Al­Azlâm (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaitân's (Satan) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful.

Shaitân (Satan) wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allâh and from As-Salât (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain? (5: 90-91)

From the above verse shows us that Allah warns the people against immorality and substantiate that a Muslim must possess an excellent moral character. Today the morality of a Muslim is in an ambiguous condition. Our character has developed a number of defects due to which we have to face inevitable downfall.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “ Modesty and faith are twins. One who gives up anyone of these would lose the other as well.”
Modesty is divided in to three parts; decent speech, bashfulness and humility

A man who believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak good or keep quite [Bukhari]

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “By God he is not a Mu’min”, he, repeated this thrice. Then when asked about it, he said, “ He from whose misdeeds his neighbours are not safe” [Bukhari]

When someone asked the Prophet, “Which is the best thing given to man?” He replied, “Best moral character” [Trimidhi]

“On the Day of Judgement there will be nothing heavier in the balance/scale of a Mu’min than the goodness of character. Allah (swt) dislikes an obscene and a rude talker. The bearers of good moral character reaches to the level of the carrier of the prayer and fasting on account of his good character.” [Ahmad]

All the above hadith clearly states that it is required for a Muslim to have best Morals

One would have read the philosophies or ethical teachings of great Philosophers like Aristotle and others like him. They have outlined these philosophies after great difficulty. Their teachings seem to be perfect or complete only in certain aspects while in other aspects they appear incomplete but the tradition of Prophet Muhammad is complete in all aspects.

Once a Muslim learned man was asked, “ Have you read the principles of Aristotle?” for which he replied, “ No, I have read the principles of Muhammad bin Abdullah. What or whose principle or philosophy can be more perfect than the principles of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)?”

One of the purpose of the Prophet for being sent down to the world is mentioned in this hadith: -

“I have been sent only for the purpose of perfecting good morals.” [Al – Muwatta]

Prophet’s teachings show that Islam had come to illuminate the lives of the people with the light virtue and good manners. If we collect all the sayings of the Prophet about the importance of good moral character then a voluminous book can be prepared about which many of the great reformers will be ignorant of.

Some might say, “It is easy to teach others but did he follow.” Our answer to them is “Yes he practiced what he preached.”

Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Indeed in the messenger of Allah you have the best of example.” (33:21)

“The messenger of Allah was neither ill mannered nor rude. He used to say that the best people among you are those who are best in character. [Bukhari]

When we perform an act with Ihsan, it becomes a tool leads another person to Iman.
The following are some examples from the life of Sahabah who did deeds with Ihsan:

Once when Umar bin Abdul Azeez was fanned by his slave girl, he dozed off and then when he woke up he saw her sleeping. He took the fan and started fanning and when she woke up and asked him why he was fanning her, as she is just a slave and he is the leader. He said,” You are only a human like me, and the heat affects you as it affects me, so I wanted to fan you and wanted you to feel the soothing breeze as you did for me.”
Once a salaf became angry with his slave girl and decided to punish her. The slave girl said, “ Allah has praised those who suppress their anger.”
He right away said, ” I repress it.” She then said, “ Allah loves those who pardon.” He said, “ I pardoned you.” She also said, “ Allah loves those who do Ihsan.” He without delay said, “ You go now, I set you free.”

Through these acts of Ihsan they won Allah’s love and praise.

“And the emigrants and the helpers, the leaders and the pioneers and those who followed them in well doing, Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Allah. And he prepared for them garden under which rivers flow as abides there forever. That is the supreme success.” [9:100]

When we look at the Sahabah, we see that just like us they too had face excessive fitnah during their time but they were able to achieve success after the revelation of Qur’an, which is a divine mercy. They had the same Quran, same criteria, same surah that we have but our deeds are still incomplete and we are adamant not to recognize or rectify our defects. How can we win the Paradise when we have given in to these worldly pleasures?

Every religion has its characteristic symbol, which makes it distinct from every other religion. Good character is the symbol of Islam. If any nation loses its honour in the eyes of Allah, it so happens because it is losing good moral character and becoming deprived of decent and honourable traits.

“Corruption have occurred on land due to what men’s hand have earned.” [30:41]

When we possess Ihsan, it leads others to Iman, i.e. through Ihsan we invite people to Islam. The story of Julaybib (ra) is beautiful example for this. Therefore the ultimate result of Ihsan, it invited the other person to Iman.

The following verses from the Quran and hadith affirm that the deeds done with Ihsan will never go waste and will definitely be rewarded.

Aysha (ra) narrated that the Prophet (saw) said, “Allah is Ar- Rafeeq, the soft hearted. He likes Rifq, which means soft heartedness. The reward which He gives for soft heartedness does not give for hardness: -nay such a reward He gives for anything.” [Muslim]

Whenever they (the believers) suffer from thirst, weariness or hunger in the cause of Allah, whenever they tread a place, which enrages the unbelievers, a good deed is recorded in their favour. Allah does cause the work of the Muhsinoon to go waste.” [9:120]

Yes, but whoever submits his face (himself) to Allâh (i.e. follows Allâh's Religion of Islâmic Monotheism) and he is a Muhsin (good-doer i.e. performs good deeds totally for Allâh's sake only without any show off or to gain praise or fame, etc., and in accordance with the Sunnah of Allâh's Messenger Muhammad Peace be upon him) then his reward is with his Lord (Allâh), on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. [2:112]

Is the recompense for Ihsan something other than Ihsan.” [55:60]