The Valedictory Hajj

Hajj came again in the 10th year of Hijra. The Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.) called the people to perform the pilgrimage and informed them of his resolve to go himself to Mecca. The people hurried from all direction, far and near to perform hajj. Their number was 100,000 Muslims or more.

The Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.), accompanied by his wives and his daughter Fatimah (a.s.), marched at the head of these multitude towards Mecca. Imam Ali (a.s.) was not with him because he had been sent on a mission to Yemen.(105)

The multitude were repeatedly reciting the eternal, holy call:

"Here I am at Your service, O Lord, here I am. Here I am at Your service, there is no partner with You, here I am. Surely, praise, favours and the universe are Yours. There is no partner with You, here I am at Your service".

At a place near Mecca, Imam Ali (a.s.) joined the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.) to perform the rituals of hajj with him.

The Muslims, along with their great leader, entered Mecca and performed the ceremonies in accordance with the lines laid down by the Messenger (s.a.w.).

At Arafah, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) stood on his mount and delivered his well-known sermon. After praising and thanking Allah, he said:(l06)

"... O servants of Allah, I exhort you to fear Allah and urge you to obey Him, and beseech Allah's help to favour me with what is good...

"O people! Listen to what I will explain to you, for I do not know if I would meet you again after this year on such an occasion as this...

"O people! Your bood and honour are respectable for one another, like this day and this month, till the day on which you meet Allah, and every transgression in this behalf is unlawful. Have I delivered this message? O Lord, bear witness.

"Whoever has a trust he should give it back to who have entrusted him with it. And the usury of pre-Islamic era is invalid, and the first usury I begin invalidating is that of al Abbas bin Abdul-Muttalib. Blood-money of pre-Islamic era is invalid. And the first blood-money I begin invalidating is that of Amir bin Rabi'ah bin al-Harith bin Abdul-Muttalib. The memorable responsibilities of the pre-Islamic era are invalid except the guardianship of the La'ba and giving drinking water to the pilgrims. The killer who murders someone else intentionally should be put to death. And he who kills another one half-intentionally, as if by using a stick or a stone, he is obliged to give a hundred camels as blood-money, and who gives more it is, then, judged as an act of pre-Islamic era.

"O people! Satan has surely lost hope of his being worshipped in your land. How-ever, if you follow him in small matters he will be happy and pleased. So do not follow Satan.

"O people! 'postponing (of the sacred month) is only an addition in unbelief, wherewith those who disbelieve are led astray, violating it one year and keeping it sacred another, that they may agree in the number (of months) that Allah has made sacred...' Qur'an (9:37).

"Time has certainly returned to its shape when it was on the day Allah created the heavens and the earth. 'Surely the number of months with Allah is twelve months in Allah's ordinance since the day when he created the heavens and the earth, of these four being sacred,...' Qur'an (9:36).

"In the eyes of Allah the number of months is twelve and out of these He has declared four months to be sacred. They are the months of Dhul-Qi'dah, Dhul-Hujjah and Muharram, which are consecutive, and then the month of Rajab which comes between Jumadah and Sha'ban. Have I delivered the message? O Lord! Bear witness.

"O people! Your women have rights on you, and you have rights on them. As for your rights on them they should never sleep with anyone else in your bed, never let anyone in the houses without your permission, never commit an indecency. Should they do that Allah has allowed you to admonish them, not to sleep with them and beat them in a way that does not harm them. If they come to their senses and obey you, you should shoulder the responsibility of providing for them and clothing them in a reasonable way.

"You legalize sexual relations with them according to the divine covenant and make them your lawful wives in accordance with the Book of Allah. Fear Allah, then, in regard with women and advice others to treat them kindly.

"O people! 'Surely the believers are but brethren,...' Qur'an (49:10), and no one from the faithful is allowed to take his brother's money except after his brother agreed to that with a good grace. Have I delivered the message? O Lord Bear wit ness.

"So do not retrogress to infidelity, some of you killing the others, for I left behind among you what would never leave you go astray if you cling to: The Book of Allah and my progeny, my family. Have I delivered the message? O Lord, bear wit ness.

"O people! Your ord is certainly One, and your father is one. All of you are the sons of Adam and Adam was created from dust. 'No Arab is superior to non-Arab except on the basis of piety. Have I delivered the message?'

"Yes", the multitude said in unison.

Then he went on: "Then the present should tell the absent." "O people! Allah has allotted to every heir his share of the inheritance... He who claims some one else as his father, and who obeys a man other than his master, shall be cursed by Allah, the angels and all the people. And Allah shall not accept his good deeds and fair judgements.

"And peace and the mercy of Allah be upon you"