Hajja-tul-Wad’a and the Farewell Khutbah
by Shaykh Ahmed Abdul Mujeeb Qasmi Nadvi (translated by Muhammad Owais Jafrey)
The battle between Faith and faithlessness, between light and darkness, and between Tawheed and Shirk, Oneness of Allah and polytheism was over as the sacred city of Makkah peacefully opened its gates to welcome the advancing Muslims. The mission for which Allah (SWT) had commissioned Prophet (SAW) was fulfilled. Tribes after tribes came to pay respect to Prophet (SAW) and embraced Islam in multitude as mentioned in Surah Al-Nasr:
“When Allah’s help comes and He opens up your way [Rasul Allah], when you see people embracing Allah’s faith in crowds, celebrate the praise of your Lord and ask for His forgiveness: He is always ready to accept repentance.”
The revelation of this Surah indicated that the time of Prophet (SAW)’s departure was close at hand. It became therefore imperative for him (SAW) to proclaim the fundamentals of Islamic Social Order before the world. That is why in the month of Dhul al’Qidah of the tenth year after Hijrah, Prophet (SAW) decided to perform Hajj. It was his first and last pilgrimage after it was made obligatory. His decision also signaled the successful completion of Allah’s Deen. The news of Prophet (SAW) intention spread like a wild fire and thousands passionately longed for the distinct honor to accompany their beloved leader. Jaabir (RA) says that as far as he could see to the left, right, behind and front, it was an overflowing ocean of mankind. According to a conservative estimate, at least hundred thousand people had joined that epoch making and spectacular caravan of Hujjaj. It was also an occasion for Prophet (SAW) to educate the Ummah in the rites of Hajj and show the magnificence of its performance by those, who proudly follow the Sunnah of Sayyidina Ibrahim (AS).
This must be remembered that Hajj was made obligatory in the ninth year after Hijrah. He (SAW) had sent Sayyidina Abu Bakr (RA) to Makkah as an Ameer to lead the Hajj that year. The pilgrimage of the 9th Hijrah was the harbinger of one performed in the 10th Hijrah. Prophet (SAW)’s wisdom in leading the Hajj the following year was to make it an ideal pilgrimage, a Hajj without any touch or trace of pre-Islamic and polytheistic custom. This pilgrimage under his (SAW)’s guidance mirrored the grace and perfection of an ideal Hajj.
This Hajj has been given the name of Hajja-tul-Wad’a. “Wad’a” means to say good bye. Since Prophet (SAW) bid adieu to his companions on this occasion, it was popularly called Hajja-tul-Wad’a. In Allama Aainee’s opinion it was given such a name because Prophet (SAW) had advised his companions in these words:
“O Men, listen well to my words, for I do not know whether I shall meet you again on such an occasion in the future.”
[Hajja-tul-Wad’a & Umraat-un-Nabi by Maulana Muammad Zakaria Kandhalvi]
The sermons which Prophet (SAW) gave at Mina and Arafat have paramount value for all times to come and occupy an important place in Prophet (SAW)’s traditions and biography. It is considered as an equivalent to the “Will” wasi’ah for the Ummah.
The companions of Prophet (SAW) have left for us even the minutest detail of his activities. No biography or travelogue can match its uniqueness in authenticity and perfection.
Prophet (SAW)’s co-riders were 38 in number. Not only their names, but even the name of his (SAW)’s barber is recorded with details as to who received Prophet (SAW)’s hair-clippings, and who were given from the right side and who from the left. The incident of spotting a snake couldn’t escape the microscopic observation of Prophet (SAW)’s companions and they recorded it to the utmost accuracy.
The historical passage of Hajjat-ul-Wad’a was in fact schooling on foot. It was disciplining, educating, and purifying the hearts, it was strengthening the bonds with Allah, solidifying the brotherhood and unity, enhancing belief and piety, explaining the fundamentals of religion, and refining the morals and behavior. It was on this occasion that Aayah 3 of Surah Al-M’aidah was revealed:
“…Today I have perfected your religion for you, completed My blessing upon you, and chosen as your religion Islam: [total submission to Allah]…”
Prophet (SAW) gave this farewell sermon to the entire humanity by addressing with Ya Ayy’u’han’naas, i.e. “O people”, which encompasses all mankind and the generations still to come. Aayah 28 of Surah Saba says:
“We have sent you [Rasul Allah] only to bring good news and warning to all people…”
Prophet (SAW) was the last of the Messengers as repeatedly told and as per Ayah 40 of Surah Al-Ahzaab:
“Muhammad (SAW)…is Allah’s Messenger and the seal of the prophets…” Prophet (SAW) was sent for the entire mankind. His (SAW)’s universal message will resound throughout present and future centuries, will always reverberate and its echo will outlast time.
Let us cast a cursory glance at the historic and immortal sermon.
Prophet (SAW) stayed in a woolen tent at “Namirah” in Arafat. Riding his camel Qaswa, he came to the plain in the afternoon and said: “I trample under my feet all the customs and rites of the days of ignorance.” Just by one stroke Prophet (SAW) erased the prevalent distinction between classes of people like the rich and poor, the ruler and the ruled, the black and white, and the slave and the master. He (SAW) added: “Every Muslim is a brother to another, and Muslims are brothers among themselves.”
The Holy Qur’an clearly says in Ayah 1 of Surah An-Nisa:
“People, be mindful of your Lord, who created you from a single soul, and from it created its mate, and from the pair of them spread countless men and women far and wide…”
Similarly Aayah 13 of Surah Al-Hujuraat says: “People, We created you all from a single man and a single woman, and made you into races and tribes so that you should recognize one another. In Allah’s eyes, the most honored of you are the ones most mindful of Him…”
And again in Aayah 10 of the same Surah, Allah (SWT) says: “The believers are brothers, so make peace between your two brothers and be mindful of Allah, so that you may be given mercy.”
Prophet (SAW) declared this principle of equality at a time when people of different faiths were claiming their superiority over others in different ways. Ayah 18 of Surah Al-Ma’idah refers to the claim of Jews and Christians in these words:
“The Jews and the Christians say, “We are the children of Allah and His beloved ones.”
The kings of Egypt considered themselves to be the sons of Sun god, the Khusroes of Persia believed that they have the blood of god running in their veins, and the Chinese considered their King as the son of god. Pre-Islamic Arabs believed themselves to be over and above all because of being the progeny of Ibrahim (AS), the citizens of Makkah plus the custodians of Bait-ulLah.
[Seerah of Prophet (SAW) by Ibn Hishaam]
People of the Quraish tribe used to maintain a distinction from the rest while performing Hajj. They considered it below their dignity to stay in Arafat. Their leaders taught them that they had special privileges for being the custodians of Bait-ulLah and the descendants of Ibrahim (AS).
This superiority complex was evident in all spheres of their life and they did not give their daughters in marriage to people belonging to the lower strata of society. Off spring from a marriage between an Arab with a non-Arab woman were looked down upon as inferior.
[Al-Mufassal fi Tareekh-il-Arab qablal Islam]
With regards to Qisaas, i.e. the law of retaliation, they believed that the murder of their tribe’s noble should be retaliated by not killing the criminal but by killing the noble of equal status from the murderer’s tribe.
To eradicate such prejudicial and ignoble customs and traditions, Prophet (SAW) declared in his sermon: “O people of Quraish! You have One Rub, you are from one father, you all are descendants from Adam, and Adam was from dust. No Arab is superior to a non-Arab, and no non-Arab excels an Arab, no black is superior to a red [i.e. fair complexion] and none of a fair complexion excels the black, but only through piety. Prophet (SAW) meant that the excellence and superiority is achieved through piety, the fear of Allah, and attributes and virtues of character, and not by social status and the color of skin.
May Allah (SWT) enable us to strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and may Allah guide us to overcome the distinction of cast, creed, color and the prejudices of race, ethnicity and nationality! May Allah enable us to perform Hajj, the way Prophet (SAW) has taught us to perform! Ameen!
SWT = Subhanahu Wa Ta'Ala
SAW = Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam
AS = AlehisSalam
RA = Radhiyallaho anhu
RAnha= Radhiyallaho anha
The Friday Khutbahs are published to enhance your knowledge of Islam. The references of Quran and Hadith are the approximate translation of the Arabic text. The editors have not verified the accuracy of the the English translation. The scholarly reader is encouraged to refer to the original Arabic script if there is any doubt. Kindly notify us if the translation can be enhanced.