Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab - The Farewell Pilgrimage

Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab - The Farewell Pilgrimage

Early in A.D. 632 the Holy Prophet decided to proceed to Mecca to perform the Hajj. The pilgrimage was planed on a large scale. Messengers were sent to all parts of Arabia asking the Muslims to collect at Madina for the purpose of the pilgrimage. In response to this call over one lakh persons assembled in Madina.

Then the caravan of over one lakh persons started for Mecca. The Holy Prophet rode at the head. All his wives accompanied him. Then followed Abu Bakr and Umar accompanied by their families.

At Dhul Hulaifa the Holy Prophet and all his followers put on the Ihram. The Holy Prophet gave the signal call "Labbaik, Allabumma Labbaik--here I am at Thy service O Lord." This cry was repeated by all the one lakh persons in the congregation.

The party reached Mecca on the 4th of Zul Hajj, after a journey of nineteen days. On the 8th of Zul Hajj the party left Mecca for Mina and passed the night there. Next day the party proceeded to Arafat. After mid-day prayers on the 9th of Zul Hajj the Holy Prophet delivered his historic address.

After giving praise to God, the Holy Prophet said:

"O people, listen carefully to my words for I may not be among you next year, nor ever address you again from this spot. O people just as you regard this month 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 none may hurt you. Usury is forbidden. Satan has despaired of leading you astray in big things, so beware of obeying him in small things. Women have rights over you and you have rights over them. Be good to them. You may soon have to appear before God and answer for your deeds so beware. Do not go astray after I have gone. O people no prophet will come after me, and no new faith will be born. Worship your God, say your prayer, fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in charity. All Muslims free or enslaved have the same rights and the same responsibilities. None is higher than the other unless he is higher in virtue. Feed your slaves as you feed yourselves; clothe them as you clothe yourselves. Do not oppress them, nor usurp their rights."

Having spoken thus the Holy Prophet turned his face to the Heaven and said:

"Be my witness O God, that I have conveyed Your message to Your people."

And then all the people said:

"Yes, you have done so."

After the Holy Prophet had delivered his address, God revealed to him the verses:

"This day have We perfected for you your faith, And completed Our blessing upon you And have accepted for you Islam as religion."

As Umar heard these verses, he felt happy that God had perfected the faith for them. Umar called on Abu Bakr and found him very sad. Umar asked Abu Bakr the reason for his sadness when God had sent the tidings that their faith had been perfected. Abu Bakr said that the implication of these verses was that the mission of the Holy Prophet had been completed, and that the day when the Holy Prophet would depart to meet his Lord was not far off. Umar could not, however, share the fears of Abu Bakr that the Holy Prophet would not live long in their midst.

The party left Arafat in the evening and passed the night at Muzdalifa. The following day they went to Mina and sacrificed the animals. The Holy Prophet sacrificed 63 animals, one for each year of his life. Umar sacrificed 52 animals. The men next shaved their heads and the Hajj was completed. Thereafter the Holy Prophet and his followers returned to Madina.