The Blessed Prophet’s First and Last Hajj: The Farewell Pilgrimage


What are first and last hajj? What is the farewell pilgrimage?

The first and last hajj attendedby the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- after it was decreed obligatory, was the Hajj’ul-Wada’, otherwise known as the Farewell Pilgrimage. That the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- bade farewell to Muslims during this pilgrimage led to an overall conviction, among the Companions, that it was a sign of his imminent departure, hence the name given to the pilgrimage.[1] The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, on the other hand, used to refer to it as the Hajjat’ul-Islam.[2]

All Muslims were invited to attend the pilgrimage corresponding to the tenth year of Hegira, at a time when, with entire Arabia succumbing to the guiding light, Islam was enjoying its zenith of sovereignty and splendor.

Hearts brimming over with the love of Allah, glory unto Him, and His Messenger, heeded this invitation. People flocked from every corner of the peninsula once the news was conveyed outside of Medina. There was no counting the amount of others who joined the masses of people on the way. Throngs of people had covered every distant spot on the horizon. The number of Believers who had rushed to make the most of the opportunity to perform hajj with the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- was around a hundred-and-twenty-thousand. All their hearts were beating as one, forming a sublime scene beyond imagination.

After providing some information on hajj and ihram, the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- departed. He took with him around a hundred camels to be sacrificed at pilgrimage. On the way, he spoke to the Believers about various aspects of hajj, expanding on what is essential and supererogatory to the deed. Upon reaching Dhul-Hulayfah, in the Aqiq Valley, he said the following to the Companions:

“Jibril, sent by my Lord, came to me at night and said to me, ‘Offer salat in this sacred valley and make an intention for both hajj and umrah.’” (Bukhari, Hajj, 16)

There, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- offered two rakahs of salat before enshrouding himself in ihram. Glorifying and thanking Allah, glory unto Him, and calling out takbir, he then prayed, “O my Lord! Render this for me an accepted and good hajj free of insincerity and conceit.” (Ibn Majah, Manasiq, 4)

He then enshrouded himself in ihram and began calling out talbiyah. (Bukhari, Hajj, 23) Afterward, he said, “Whoever wishes to intend on both hajj and umrah, let him do so!” Once the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- began repeating the talbiyah, he told the Companions that Jibril -upon him peace- came to him and said, “Command your Companions to raise their voices while calling out talbiyah, for it is among the signs of hajj!” (Ibn Majah, Manasiq, 16)

Heaven and earth were buzzing with the sounds of talbiyah. Spiritual awareness was weaving its peace, like a web, all around. The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- led the Believers in salat where he went. Later on, as a loving gesture of loyalty, masjids were built in each of the exact places where he led Muslims in salat.[3]

Upon seeing the Sacred House, the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- lifted his hands aloft and prayed, “O my Lord! Increase the honor, majesty, benevolence and grandeur of Your House! Increase also the honor, majesty, benevolence, grandeur and goodness of those who revere it through hajj and umrah!” (Ibn Saad , II, 173)

With his rida flung around his left shoulder from underneath his right, which left his right shoulder bare, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- entered Masjid’ul-Haram. He then approached Hajar’ul-Aswad and touched it. His eyes were filled with tears. He then kissed the Black Stone; and after placing his hands on it, he rubbed his hands on his face.

“O my Lord! I begin with iman in You, affirming Your Book and abiding by the laws of Your prophets”, he then prayed, after which he began circumambulating from the corner of the Black Stone. (Haythami, III, 240)

During the first three laps, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- shortened his steps and walked in a quick pace, swinging his shoulders. Each time he came level with Rukn’ul-Yamani and Hajar’ul-Aswad, he would recite the ayah:

“And there are some among them who say: Our Lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the fire.” (al-Baqara, 201)

After completing this leg of the circumambulation, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- again kissed Hajar’ul-Aswad, and placing his hands on the Stone, rubbed his face with his hands. Afterward, with some degree of difficulty, he managed to make his way through the large crowd of Believers to Maqam-u Ibrahim; and taking the Maqam between himself and Kaabah, he offered two rakat of salat. He then turned, once again, and touched the Black Stone and gave some advice to Omar -Allah be well-pleased with him- who was standing by. “Omar”, he said, “you are a man of strength. Do not inflict harm on the weak by pushing and shoving people to reach Hajar’ul-Aswad! Neither be discomfited, nor cause discomfort! If you see that it is vacant around, then touch Hajar’ul-Aswad and kiss it. Otherwise make a gesture from a distance and pass through saying La ilaha ill-Allah and Allah’u Akbar!”[4] (Haythami, III, 241; Ahmad, I, 28)

Then exiting Masjid’ul-Haram through the gate of Banu Mahzum, the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- went to the Safa Hill. As he approached it, he recited:

“Surely the Safa and the Marwa are among the signs appointed by Allah…” (al-Baqara, 158) He then said, “I begin from what Allah mentions first in the ayah” and moved closer towards Safa to begin the sa’y. Upon seeing Kaabah, he gazed at it and said La ilaha ill-Allah and Allah’u Akbar. Either three or seven times, he then declared, “There is no god but Allah, who is One, He has no associate or partner. Sovereignty is His, and to Him alone belongs gratitude. He revives and kills…He has power over all affairs. There is no god but Allah. Allah has fulfilled his promise. He has helped His servant and by Himself has routed all the armies that had gathered for hostility.” (Ibn Majah, Manasiq, 84)

From Safa, the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- then crossed over to the Hill of Marwa on foot. Around the half way mark of his walk he sped up, returning to his moderate walking pace afterwards, praying in the meantime, “O my Lord! Forgive me and have mercy on me! You are the most Glorious, the most Benevolent!” (Haythami, III, 248)

Upon reaching the Hill of Marwa, the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- repeated what he did on Safa. Going back and forth between the hills of Safa and Marwa seven times, he thereby completed his say’.

The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- stayed in Mecca for four days. On the fifth day, the day of tawriyah, after completing another circumambulation of Kaabah, he mounted his camel and went to Mina, where he remained until the next sunbreak, offering the salats of zuhr, asr, maghrib, isha and fajr as they came. In the morning, on the ninth of Dhilhijjah, he made a move towards Arafat, calling out the talbiyah throughout.

Following this personal demonstration of how the hajj was to be conducted thereafter by his ummah and after completing all the duties pertaining to the pilgrimage, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- then gave his Farewell Sermon, at Arafat, where the Namirah Masjid stands today:


Listen to my words with care! Who knows…this year may perhaps be the final time I am here with you!


Just as these days, these months and this town are sacred, so too are your lives, properties and chastity. All forms of violating them are forbidden.


Tomorrow, you shall meet your Lord and be surely held to account over all that you do today! Do not relapse into your ways of old and slaughter each other after me! Know that I shall go before you and wait for you by the Pool (of Kawthar)! I will exult over your numbers to other nations! Beware not to put me down (by falling into sin)!


Whoever has something entrusted with him, let him return it to its owner! All types of usury are abolished; they lay under my foot. But one is required to repay the loan. Neither oppress nor be oppressed! Indulging in usury is now forbidden by the command of Allah. All forms of this vile practice, the legacy of the days of Ignorance, are now under my foot. The first usury I abolish is that of (my uncle) Abbas ibn Abdulmuttalib.


Blood feuds sought in the days of Ignorance are, too, entirely abolished. The first blood feud I hereby abolish is that of Rabia, the grandchild of Abdulmuttalib.


Today the devil has forever lost his power of reestablishing his influence and sovereignty over these lands of yours. But he will still be satisfied, should you follow him in matters you see trivial, apart from what I have abolished. Abstain from those, too, to protect your religion!


Observe the rights of women! Treat them with love and compassion! I advise you to fear Allah in their regard! You have taken women as trusts of Allah; their chastity and honor in the name of Allah! You have rights over women and women have rights over you! The right you have over women is that they should not let anyone tread over your family honor! The right women have over you is that you should provide them, legitimately, their sustenance and clothes. It is not permissible for a woman to give anything of her husband’s belongings to anyone, without his permission.

As for your slaves, take care to feed them from what you feed yourselves, and clothe them from what you clothe yourselves. If they do something you cannot forgive, then allow them to leave! But do not ever persecute them; for they, too, are servants of Allah.


Hear my words out and learn them well! A Muslim is a brother of Muslim; hence all Muslims are brothers. It is not permissible to violate any given right belonging to your brother of religion, unless he gives it with his hearts content.


Do not oppress yourselves! Your selves have rights over you, too!


A culprit is personally culpable for the crime committed. No child may bear the punishment of his father’s crime! No father can be held responsible for the crime of his child!


To each rightful, the Almighty has given his due (in the Quran)! An inheritor does not stand in need of a will![5] In whoever’s bed a child is born, there is where he belongs. A fornicator is to be deprived. May the base who claims another lineage than that of his fathers or an ingrate slave who alleges to belong to another than his master[6] be inflicted with the wrath of Allah and the curse of the entire angels and Muslims! Neither does He accept the repentance of such people, nor their integrity and testimony.


Your Lord is One! So is your father; you are all the children of Adem; and Adem is of soil. The most precious of you in the sight of Allah is he who has the most taqwa for Him. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, except if it be with taqwa.


Time, which continues to revolve, has returned to the phase when Allah created the heavens and earth. A year amounts to twelve months. Four of these are inviolable (haram). Three of these are, in order, Dhil-qadah, Dhil-hijjah and Muharram, while the fourth is Rajab (between Jamazi’al-Akhir and Shaban). This year, the inviolable months have returned to their times of old. The hajj season has corresponded to the tenth of Dhil-hijjah.


I leave you a trust, to which as long as you clutch, you shall never go astray. That trust is the Quran, the Book of Allah.


Worship Allah! Offer the five daily salats! Fast during Ramadan and obey by my commands! You shall then enter Paradise.


Beware of excess! The reason why those before you perished was their excess in religion! Learn from me the rites of hajj! I do not know; I may not be able to meet with you again, here, after this year! Let those present deliver my words to those who are not! It could be that the delivered may better understand and protect my words than the deliverer.”

Just about then, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- asked the over one-hundred-thousand Companions present, “People…Tomorrow they shall ask you about me; what will you say?”

“We testify that you fulfilled your duty as the Messenger of Allah, warned and advised us”, the mass of Believers buzzed.

The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, following the testimony of the Believers, asked three times, “Have I fulfilled the tabligh, my Companions?” He received as many confirmations, after which lifting his hands aloft, he asked for Allah, glory unto Him, to stand witness.

“Bear witness, o Lord! Bear witness, o Lord! Bear witness, o Lord!” (Muslim, Hajj, 147; Abu Dawud, Manasiq, 56; Ibn Majah, Manasiq, 76, 84; Ahmad, V, 30; Ibn Hisham, IV, 275; Hamidullah, al-Wasaiq, p. 360)

The Farewell Sermon is an edict regulating social relations, an abridged account of Islam and, at the same time, a standard for human conduct and rights. Well before the proclamation of the famous Human Rights Declaration, La Fayette, the French philosopher renowned for being one of the masterminds of the French Revolution of 1789, after conducting a meticulous research of just about all the legal systems in the world, finally stumbled upon the Farewell Sermon of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-; and seeing it communicate principles of justice for entire humankind, he was forced to admit, “Muhammad the Magnificent…! You have attained to such a towering peak of justice that thus far it has been impossible, and so shall it remain, for anyone to surpass it!”[7]

In the Sermon, the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- spells out the rulings that are ought to be known by human beings; ignorance of which could serve as no excuse. The massive crowd there enabled the content of the Sermon to be broadcast to entire humankind.

Following the Farewell Sermon, Bilal Habashi -Allah be well-pleased with him- called out the adhan. The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- thereupon led the Believers in the salats of zuhr and asr, in succession (jam’), with a qamah before each salat. Then mounting his camel Qaswa, he went to the place of waqfah beneath the Jabal’u-Rahmah. He turned Qaswa towards the rocks, to the direction of Kaabah. He stood in waqfah until the sun completely set and lost its brightness.

During his waqfah, holding the reins of the camel with one hand while lifting aloft the other, the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- made a lengthy prayer, an expression of his sensitivity of heart and servanthood; some of which is as follows:

“O my Lord! Thanks to You in the way You have declared and in a way superior to how we express it! Allah…! My salat, worship, life and death are for You alone! To You is my return!

O my Lord! I seek refuge in You from the torment of the grave, the whispers of the heart and scatteredness of concerns! Allah…I seek refuge in You from the disasters brought by the winds!

O my Lord! Create a light in my eye, a light in my ear and a light in my heart! Allah…Give my chest breadth! Ease my affairs! Allah…I seek refuge in You from the conversion of health into illness, from Your punishment that comes without warning and from all Your wrath! Allah…Guide me to Your right path! Forgive my past and my future!

Allah, who increases ranks, who brings down abundances…Allah who has created the heavens and earth! Passionate voices of many languages rise towards You, making their pleas to You! And my plea is for You to remember me in the land of trial where I stand forlorn by the people of the world!

O my Lord! You hear my words, see where I am and know whatever I have, be it hidden or open! Nothing of my affairs is secret to You! I am helpless and poor; I plea for Your help and mercy! I am afraid; I confess my shortcomings! I ask from You in however manner a helpless person asks from You! I plea to You in however manner a base sinner pleas to you! I pray to You in however manner a servant of Yours, humbled in Your sublime presence, prays to you with tears pouring forth from his eyes, rubbing his face in dirt, who surrenders all his existence for Your sake! My Lord! Do not deprive me of the acceptance of my prayer! Be Compassionate and Merciful towards me…He who is the best of those solicited and the most generous of granters!” (Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah, V, 166-168; Haythami, III, 252; Ibn Qayyim, II, 237)

Below is a part of the prayer made by the righteous predecessors (salaf’us-salihin) at Arafat:

“Allah…Who can praise oneself to You? My Lord! My tongue is tied by sins…I have neither a worthy deed which I can use a means for You nor an intercessor apart from my desire! O my Lord…I know I have neither a standing in Your sight due to my sins nor a face with which I can ask for Your forgiveness! O my Lord…Even if I am not worthy of Your forgiveness, still, Your mercy can reach me, for Your mercy is vast enough to encompass everything! O my Lord…No matter how great my faults may be, they are still little compared to Your forgiveness! So my Benevolent Lord, please forgive them for me!

My Lord! If You are to forgive only Your devoted servants, then who shall the wrongdoers seek refuge in? Allah! If You are to have mercy only on Your righteous servants, then who shall the sinners ask help from?

I am in need of You at all times; but You stand in no need of me, ever! You can forgive me only as my Creator! Turn me back from where I stand with all my needs fulfilled, pleas answered and wishes realized!

O my Lord who has power over all the needs of those who ask! My Allah who knows what passes through the minds of those who remain silent! My Allah apart from whom there is no lord to expect help from! My Allah who has no creator standing above Him to be feared! My Allah who has no vizier we should call on, no doorkeeper we should bribe! My Allah whose generosity only grows the more pleas there are; whose benevolence only expands the more needs there are! O my Lord! You entertain all guests! We, too, are Your guests! Entertain us in Your Paradise!

O my Lord! All visitors are presented with gifts; all who insist are given their awards, while all guests are treated! Each person expecting rewards is duly given! We have all together come to your Sacred House! We have all stood on this great monument! We have all been present in this sacred land! Our hope is to attain to the rewards waiting in Your sublime presence! Do not, Allah, leave our hopes in vain!” (Ghazzali, Ihya, I, 337-338; Bayhaki, Shuab’ul-Iman, II, 25-26)

As the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- was still in Arafat, some people from the land of Najd approached him and asked, “What is hajj, Messenger of Allah, and how is it completed?”

Hajj is Arafat”, replied the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace-. “Whosoever makes it to Arafat before fajr salat on the night of Muzdalifah has made it to hajj. The days of Mina are three. There is no blame for him, who rushes it, and stays there only for two days; nor is there any blame for him who arrives late.” (Ibn Majah, Manasiq, 57)

[1] Bukhari, Hajj, 132.

[2] Haythami, III, 237.

[3] Ibn Saad, II, 173.

[4] Even Omar -Allah be well-pleased with him- used to make a gesture, from a distance, to the Black Stone, fearing he might hurt other pilgrims if he were to get closer. This is something Muslims going to hajj today must place a particular emphasis on. A pilgrim ought not to lay waste on the rewards reaped during hajj by hurting fellow Believers. In strict compliance with the advice of the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace-, one must totally refrain from pushing and shoving fellow Muslims just to get closer to Kaabah or the Black Stone. It is reported that Omar -Allah be well-pleased with him- kissed the Black Stone on one occasion and said, “I know you are only a stone; you can neither benefit nor harm. Neither would I have kissed you, had I not seen the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- do the same!” (Bukhari, Hajj, 50; Muslim, Hajj, 251) This serves as a proof to the necessity of following the Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- in all behavior, even if one does not reach to the bottom of understanding a given action.

[5] Before the ayah of legacy that ultimately laid down the rights of the inheritors by spelling out who was to inherit what was left from the deceased, it was obligatory for a Muslim to leave a will. Still, a Muslim is allowed to leave a will regarding a third of his wealth, to which the ruling may not apply.

[6] For some notes on slavery, see, p.83***???.

[7] See, Kâmil Mîras, Tecrîd-i Sarîh Tercemesi, IX, 289.

Source: Osman Nuri Topbaş, The Prophet Muhammed Mustafa the Elect II, Erkam Publications

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