21 The Farewell Hajj
THE PROPHET’S FAREWELL HAJJ:
When Allah had purified the Ka’bah from desecration and the idols were destroyed, the Muslims yearned to perform hajj again. The mission of the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah was also nearing completion and it was necessary for him to bid farewell to his loving Companions. So Allah gave permission to His Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) to take them for hajj. It was the first hajj for him since he began his mission.
He left Madinah for many reasons: to perform hajj; to meet Muslims from far and near; to teach them their faith and its rituals; to bear witness to the truth; to hand over the trust; and to give his final instructions, He would administer an oath binding on the Muslims to follow his teachings and to be rid of the last traces of Jahiliyyah. More than a hundred thousand Muslims performed hajj with him. This is known as Hajjat al-Wada’ (the ‘Farewell Hajj’) and Hajjat al-Balagh (the Hajj of Conveying’).
THE PROPHET PERFORMS HAJJ:
Once the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah had decided to go on hajj he informed the people of his intention and they started to prepare for the journey.
When news of it spread outside Madinah, people flocked to the city wanting to go on hajj with the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah. Huge throngs also joined him on the way. The crowds stretched in front of him, behind him, and to his right and left as far as the eye could see. He left Madinah on Saturday, 25 Dhu’l-Qa’dahl after praying four rak’ats for Zuhr. Before the prayer, in a sermon, he explained the essentials of putting on ihram, the pilgrim dress, and the obligations and sunan of the hajj.
As he departed he said the talbiyah: ‘At Your service, O Allah, at Your service! You have no partner. At Your service! Praise and Blessing are Yours and the Kingdom. You have no associate.’ The crowd chanted the talbiyah along with him as they continued their journey
He entered Makkah on 4 Dhu’l-Hijjah and went straight to the Masjid al-Haram. He performed tawaf of the Ka’bah and the sa’y between Safa and Marwah. He stayed in Makkah for four days and then on the Day of Tarwiyah, 8 Dhu’l-Hjjiah, he made for Mina with his Companions He prayed Zuhr and ‘Asr there and spent the night.
At sunrise on 9 Dhu’l-Hijjah, he left Mina and made for Arafat followed by all the pilgrims. It was a Friday. Down in the valley, he delivered a great khutbah to the people while seated on his camel. He confirmed the principles of Islam and struck at the roots of idolworship and jahiliyyah. He commanded the people to treat as inviolable and sacrosanct those issues on which all religions agree life, property, and honour.
He declared that all the customs of Jahiliyyah were trampled under foot and that all usury was eliminated and made void. He commanded that people treat women well and he mentioned the rights men have over women and those which women have over men, adding that it was obligatory to provide food and clothing for them.
He commanded his community to hold fast to the Book of Allah; as long as they did this they would not be misguided, he said. Finally, he told them that on the Day of Judgement Allah would ask them about him. He asked them to bear witness that he had conveyed to them the message as he had been commanded.
They replied as one voice, ‘We testify that you have conveyed the message and that you have fulfilled your task.
He pointed to the sky and called on Allah three times to bear witness to it. Then he commanded those Present to convey the message to those who were absent.
When the khutbah was over, he called on Bilal to give the adhan. Then the iqamah was given and he prayed Zuhr with two rak’ats and after the iqamah for ‘Asr had been given he prayed that, too, with two rak’ats.
When he had finished the prayers, he mounted his camel and rode until he came to Mawqif, the halting place at Arafat. Remaining on his camel, he made supplication, prayed and glorified Allah until sunset. In his supplication he raised his hands to his chest, like a pauper begging for food, and pleaded,
O Allah, You hear my words and You see where I am. You know my secrets and what I reveal. Nothing can be hidden from You. I am the poor unfortunate who seeks help and protection. I am fearful and apprehensive, confessing and acknowledging my wrong actions.
I ask You as a poor wretch asks and I entreat You with the entreaty of a humble, sinful person. I make supplication to You as a fearful, blind person does; one who bows low before You and whose eyes overflow with tears for You, whose body is humble and who is powerless against You. O Allah, do not make me despair in my calling on You, Lord. Be merciful and compassionate; to me, O best of those who are asked and best of` givers!
Then it was revealed to him: ‘Today I have perfected your religion for you, and I have completed My blessing on you, and I have approved Islam for your religion.'(5: 3)
At sunset, the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah moved from ‘Arafat to Muzdalifah. There he prayed Maghrib and ‘Isha’ and then slept until morning. At dawn he prayed Fajr for its first time then rode until he came to the Mash’ar al-Haram the sacred site at Muzdalifah. He faced the qiblah and began to make supplications. He recited the takbir (‘Allah is great’) and the tahlil (‘There is no god but Allah’). He left Muzdalifah before sunrise and travelled quickly to the jamrat al-Aqabah at Mina, and threw pebbles at this symbol of Shaytan.
He delivered a meaningful sermon in Mina in which he informed the Muslims of the sanctity of the Day of Sacrifice, of its inviolability and its favour with Allah. He also reminded them of the sanctity of Makkah over all other cities. He commanded them to obey their leaders according to the Book of Allah; to adopt the hajj practices he had used; and not to revert to being unbelievers after his time or to start fighting amongst themselves. He commanded that they pass on his words. ‘Worship your Lord, pray your five prayers, fast your month, and obey the One in command and you will enter the Garden of your Lord, ‘ he said. Then he bade the people farewell. Thus this hajj was named ‘The Hajj of’ Farewell.’
Next, the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah went to the place of sacrifice at Mina and sacrificed sixty-three camels, one for each year of his life. He commanded Ali to sacrifice the rest of the hundred camels brought from Madinah. When the prophet had finished making the sacrifice, he called for the barber and had his head shaved. He divided his hair between those who were near him. Then he rode to Makkah and performed tawafal-Ifadah, which is also called tawaf az-Ziarah. At the well of Zamzam he drank while standing before returning to Mina that same day where he spent the night. The next morning he waited until the sun had declined before going to perform the ritual stoning of Shaytan. He started with the stoning of Jamrat-al-‘Ula, then of Jamrat-al-Wusta and lastly of Jamrat-al-Aqabah. This was repeated over the three days of ayyam at-Tashriq following the Day of Sacrifice.
After the three days of Tashriq, he went to Makkah and performed the tawaf of Farewell before dawn. Then he asked his Companions to prepare for their departure to Madinah. On their return journey they stayed the night at Dhu’l-Hulayfah.
When he first saw Madinah on his return from Makkah, he recited the takbir three times and then said,
There is no god but Allah, alone with no partner. His is the kingdom and His is the praise. He has power over all things. We are returning, repenting, worshipping, prostrating to our Lord, and praising Him. Allah has been true to His promise and has helped His slave and defeated the enemies alone.’
He entered Madinah in broad daylight.