After the accomplishment of the call, the proclamation of the Message, and the establishment of a new society on the basis of `There is no God but Allah,’ and on Muhammad’s mission, a secret call rose in the heart of Allah’s Messenger telling him that his stay in the world was about to end. That was clear in his conversation to Mu`adh (May Allah be Pleased with him) whom he dispatched to Yemen in the 10th year of A.H: “O Mu`adh! You may not see me after this year. You may even pass by this very Masjid of mine and my grave.’’ Upon hearing that, Mu`adh (May Allah be Pleased with him) cried for fear that he would part with Allah’s Messenger (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
Allah’s care was so bounteous as to let the Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) see the fruits of his call for which he suffered numerous difficulties over twenty years. Such as during the time of Hajj, the people and representatives of the Arab tribes from the outskirts of Makkah gathered around him so that they may consult him and learn the laws and legislation of Islam from him. In return he would take their testimony that he had delivered the trust, communicated the Message, and counseled the people. So, that year, according to the wish of the Lord, Allah’s Messenger (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) announced his intention for the Hajj.
Enormous crowds of people came to Madinah, all of whom sought guidance and leadership of Allah’s Messenger (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in the pilgrimage (Al-Hajj). On a Saturday in the last four days of Dhul-Qa`dah, the Prophet began preparations for his departure. He combed his hair, applied perfume, put on his garments, saddled his camel, and set off in the afternoon. He arrived at Dhul-Hulaifah before the Asr prayer. He performed two units and spent the night there. When it was morning he said to his Companions:
``Someone, sent by my Lord, has called on me tonight and said: `Pray in this blessed valley and say: I intend `Umrah combined with Hajj.’’
Before performing the Dhuhr prayer, he bathed for ihram (sacred state of pilgrimage), and `Aishah applied perfume on his body and head with Dharirah (a plant) and with a perfume containing musk with her own hands. The thick sticky layer of perfume could be seen among his hair and beard. He left it unwashed, and put on his clothing for Ihram. He shortened the Dhuhr prayer and prayed it as two units. Still at his prayer-place, he proclaimed that he was about to perform Hajj associated with `Umrah, and then said: ‘‘Labbaik, Allahumma Labbaik (I am at Your service, O Allah, I am at Your service).’’ He then came out and mounted his she-camel alQaswa’, and uttered the Labbaik. When he moved into the open field, he again said Labbaik.
He proceeded with his journey until he came close to Makkah and spent the night at Dhi Tuwa. After performing the Fajr prayer he took a bath, and entered Makkah on a Sunday morning, the 4th of Dhul-Hijjah, 10 A.H. He spent eight days on the way, which was an average period. As soon as he entered Al-Masjid Al-Haram, he circumambulated the Ka`bah and walked to and fro (Sa’i) between Safa and Marwah. He did not exit from the Ihram (sacred state of pilgrimage) after it because he was performing Qarin (i.e., intending `Umrah and Al-Hajj associated) and had with him his sacrificial animals. After completing the Sa’i, he camped at al-Hajun, which was situated on a high place in Makkah.
He did not perform any circumambulation after that except the circumambulation of the Hajj (pilgrimage).
Those of his Companions who had no sacrificial animals with them to sacrifice, were ordered to change their ihram (the sacred state of pilgrimage) for `Umrah, and circumambulate the Ka`bah and walk ritually to and fro between Safa and Marwah. After that they could exit from the Ihram. They, however, showed reluctance to do what they had been told. Thereupon, Allah’s Messenger said: “Had I known beforehand what I came to know later, I would not have brought the sacrificial animals with me, and if I did not have them, I would have exited from it.’’ On hearing these words, his Companions obeyed his orders.
On the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah, the Day of Tarwiyah, he left for Mina and stayed there until the morning of 9th of Dhul-Hijjah. He performed the Dhuhr, the
Asr, the Maghrib, the Isha, and the Fajr prayers, meaning, all five prayers in Mina. Then he remained there for a while until the sun rose and moved out until he reached `Arafat, where a tent was pitched for him at Namirah. He sat inside until the sun declined from its zenith at which point He ordered that Al-Qaswa’, his she-camel, be prepared for him. The saddle was placed on it and it was readied for him. He went down the valley where a hundred and twenty-four or forty-four thousand people were gathering around him. He stood and delivered the following speech:
“O people! Listen to what I have to say, for I do not know whether I will ever meet you at this place after this year. Your blood, property, and honor are as sacred as this day, this month, and this city (i.e., Makkah and the surrounding areas).”
``Behold! All practices of paganism and ignorance are now under my feet. The blood revenge of the Days of Ignorance (pre-Islamic time) are remitted. The first claim of blood that I abolish is that of Ibn Rabi’ah bin Harith who was being nursed in the tribe of Sa`d and whom Hudhail killed. Usury is forbidden, and I make a beginning by remitting the amount of interest which `Abbas bin `AbdulMuttalib has to receive. Verily, it is remitted entirely.
``People, fear Allah concerning your women. Verily you have taken them on the security of Allah and have made their lawful for you by the words of Allah! It is incumbent upon them to honor their conjugal rights and, not to commit any acts of impropriety which, if they do, you have authority to chastise them, yet not severely. If your wives refrain from impropriety and are faithful to you, clothe and feed them suitably.
``Verily, I have left among you the Book of Allah, if you hold fast to it, you shall never go astray.
``O people, I am not succeeded by a Prophet and you are not succeeded by any nation. So, I recommend you to worship your Lord, to pray the five prayers, to fast during Ramadan, and to offer the Zakat (poor-due) of your provision willingly. I recommend you to perform the pilgrimage to the Sacred House of your Lord and to obey those who are in charge of you, then you will be awarded with the entrance of Paradise by your Lord.
``And when you are asked about me, what are you say?’’
``We bear witness that you have conveyed the Message and fulfilled your mission.’’
He then raised his forefinger skywards and then moved it down towards people while saying:
``O Allah, bear witness.’’
He said that three times.
The one who repeated the Prophet’s statements loudly at `Arafat was Rabi’ah bin Umaiyah bin Khalaf.
As soon as the Prophet finished delivering the speech, the following Qur’anic Verse was revealed to him:
“This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.’’ [5:3]
Upon hearing this Verse, `Umar began to cry. He was asked, “What makes you cry?’’ He replied, “Nothing succeeds perfection but imperfection.’’
Bilal, after the conclusion of the sermon, made the announcement for the prayer, and then he made the second announcement for it. The Prophet performed the Dhuhr prayer. Immediately afterwards, Bilal proclaimed another Iqamah (the second pronouncement for the commencement of the prayer) and the Prophet performed the Asr prayer. No prayer was performed between the two. He then mounted his she-camel, al-Qaswa’, and approached the location for his stay, directed his face towards the Qiblah, and remained in that position until sunset, when the yellow color of the sky vanished a bit and the disc of the sun disappeared. Then he took Usamah and placed him behind him and moved towards Muzdalifah, where he observed the Maghrib and Isha prayers with one Adhan and two Iqamahs. He did not offer any prayer in between the two prayers. Then he laid down until the time of the Fajr prayer. He performed it with one Adhan and one Iqamah close to daybreak. Mounting on Al-Qaswa’, he moved towards AlMash’ar Al-Haram. He faced the Qiblah and began supplicating: “Allah is the Most Great. There is no God but Allah.’’ He remained there until it was clear morning and then made his way to Mina before the sun rose high. This time he placed Fazal bin `Abbas behind him on his mount. He moved a little faster while in bottom of the Muhassir Valley, and then adopted the middle road leading to the Big Jamrah (Jamrah Kubra is also called Jamrah `Aqabah and Jamrah Ula) where he stopped and pelted seven pebbles at it saying: “Allah is the Most Great,’’ each time. These were small pebbles that he hurled them from the bottom of the valley. Then he set off to the sacrificial place, where he sacrificed sixty-three camels with his hands, and asked `Ali to slaughter the other thirty-seven, bring the total to one hundred camels. He made `Ali share with him in Hady. A piece of meat from each slaughtered animal was ordered to be cooked in a pot and from which both men ate, and drank the broth.
Allah’s Messenger (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) then mounted his she-camel and returned to the House, circumambulated it for the performance of the Tawaf Ifadah. He offered the Dhuhr prayer in Makkah. He then went towards Banu `Abdul-Muttalib, who were supplying drinking water to people at the well of Zamzam and said to them, “Draw water, O Banu `Abdul-Muttalib. I would have drawn it with you if I was not afraid that after me people would rush to take this honor from you.’’ They handed him a container of water and he drank to his fill from it.
During the daytime of the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah, on the Day of Slaught (Yaumun-Nahr), the Prophet delivered another sermon. That was late in the morning, while he was mounting a grey mule. `Ali conveyed his statements to the people, some of them were standing and some sitting. He repeated some of the statements that he had previously said the day before. The two Sheikhs (Bukhari and Muslim) reported a version narrated by Abi Bakrah who related that the Prophet made a speech on Yaumun-Nahr (the Day of Slaughtering) and said:
``Time has grown the same as it was when Allah created the heavens and the earth. A year is of twelve months. Four of which are the Sacred Months. Three of the four months are successive, they are Dhul-Qa`dah, Dhul-Hijjah, and Al-Muharram. The fourth month is Rajab Mudar, which comes between Jumada and Sha’ban.’’
“What month is this month?’’ He asked. We said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.’’ He remained silent for a while until we thought that he would attach to it a different appellation. He said, “Is it not DhulHijjah?’’ We said, “Yes, it is.’’ Then he asked, “What is this town called?’’ We said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.’’
He remained silent for a while until we thought that he would give it a different name. He asked, “Is it not al-Baldah (i.e., Makkah)?’’ We said, “Yes, it is.’’ Then he asked again, “What day is it today?’’ We replied,
“Allah and His Messenger know best.’’ Then he kept silent for a while and said wondering, “Is it not An-Nahr (slaughtering) Day?’’ We said, “Yes, it is.’’ Then he said:
“Your blood, property, and honor are as sacred as this day, this month, and this city (i.e., Makkah, and the surrounding areas).
“You will go back (after death) to your Lord and be resurrected. There you will be held accountable for your deeds. So, do not turn into people who go astray and kill one another.”
He said, “Have I not delivered the Message (of my Lord)?’’ They said, ``Yes, you have.’’ He said, ``O Allah, bear witness! Let him that is present convey it to him who is absent. For, to whom the Message is conveyed may be having more understanding of it than the audience.’’
In another version it is related that the Prophet said in his sermon:
``Any wrongdoer does not wrong another except himself. So, let no one of you be blamed for the acts of his father or his son. Verily, Satan has utterly been despaired of being worshipped in this city of yours; but he will be obeyed by you in things you will consider to be of no value. Satan will be content even by such things.’’
Afterwards, Allah’s Messenger spent the Days of Tashreeq (11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah) in Mina, teaching the people about Islam, remembering Allah (praying), following the ways of guidance of Ibrahim (Abraham), wiping out all traces and of polytheism. On one of the days of Tashreeq, he delivered a sermon. In a version reported by Abu Dawud, with a good chain of narration, Sarra’, the daughter of Nabhan, said: “The Messenger of Allah delivered to us a speech on the Ru’us Day (12th of Dhul-Hijjah) in which he said: `Is it not this the middle day of the days of Tashreeq?’ His speech that day was similar to that the one on the Day of An-Nahr. It was made after the revelation of Surat An-Nasr.’’
On the second day of An-Nafr (Departure), on the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah, the Prophet departed from Mina and stayed at an elevated place on a mountainside at Bani Kinanah from the valley of al-Abtah. He spent the rest of that day and night there, and he performed the Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha prayers there.
Afterwards he slept for a short while and then mounted his camel and left for the Ka`bah. He performed the Farewell Circumambulation (Tawaf alWada`), after ordering his Companions to do the same.
Upon the completion of his religious rituals he headed to Madinah. He went there not to seek rest but to resume the strife and struggle in the way of Allah.