The "Farewell Sermon" of Muhammad

The "Farewell Sermon" of Muhammad

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The "Farewell Sermon" of Muhammad



The apostle continued his pilgrimage and showed the men the rites and taught them the customs of their hajj. He made a speech in which he made things clear. He praised and glorified God, then he said:

"O men, listen to my words. I do not know whether I shall ever meet you in this place again after this year. Your blood and your property are sacrosanct until you meet your Lord, as this day and this month are holy. You will surely meet your Lord and He will ask you of your works. I have told you. He who has a pledge let him return it to him who entrusted him with it; all usury is abolished, but you have your capital. Wrong not and you shall not be wronged. God has decreed that there is to be no usury and the usury of `Abbâs b. `Abd al Muttalib is abolished, all of it. All blood shed in the pagan period is to be left unavenged. The first claim on blood I abolish is that of Ibn Rabî`a b. al Hârith b. `Abd al Muttalib (who was fostered among the Banû Layth and whom Hudhayl killed.) It is the first blood shed in the pagan period which I deal with. Satan despairs of ever being worshiped in your land, but if he can be obeyed in anything short of worship he will be pleased in matters you may be disposed to think of little account, so beware of him in your religion. "Postponement of a sacred month is only an excess of disbelief whereby those who disbelieve are misled; they allow it one year and forbid it another year that they may make up the number of the months which God has hallowed, so that they permit what God has forbidden, and forbid what God has allowed." [Koran 9:37] Time has completed its cycle and is as it was on the day that God created the heavens and the earth. The number of months with God is twelve; four of them are sacred, three consecutive and the Rajab of Mudar, which is between Jumâdâ and Sha`bân.

You have rights over your wives and they have rights over you. You have the right that they should not defile your bed and that the should not behave with open unseemliness. If they do, God allows you to put them in separate rooms and to beat them but not with severity.

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If they refrain from these things they have the right to their food and clothing with kindness. Lay injunctions on women kindly, for they are prisoners with you having no control of their persons. You have taken them only as a trust from God, and you have the enjoyment of their persons by the words of God, so understand my words, O men, for I have told you. I have left you with something which if you will hold fast to it you will never fall into error__a plain indication, the book of God and the practice of His prophet, so give good heed to what I say.

Know that every Muslim is a Muslim's brother, and that the Muslims are brethren. It is only lawful to take from a brother what he gives you willingly, so wrong not yourselves. O God, have I not told you?"

From Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah; translated by A. Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad (Oxford, 1955), pp. 650-652.
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