The Final Sermon - The Essence of The Message
Character is the tree, personality is it’s shadow – Sarah Heider
The Prophetic message has always been a message of strength, faith, conviction, and a message of reform. The character of the prophets is shown by their level of dedication to their faith. These men God chose were not blank sheets of paper that God chose to write scripture upon, rather they were men with a story. They were men chosen because of their character and their desire to follow the straight path. If we look at the essence of their mission throughout all the Holy Books we see their ultimate purpose was to take divine revelation and all the scriptures written upon their hearts and speak this message to their people. They served to warn the people of their society so they could turn to the straight path. If we study religious text we see that we can trace our roots back to our very souls, and learn to live as best we can. Their message can be traced because the message was designed to teach us how to be human. They left a form of guidance to the people so that those following them can educate others by setting an example through their own lives.
In Islam we often remember the hadith of want for your brother what you would want for yourself. To do this though, you have to be connected to your brother. The connection we have with our brothers and sisters comes from our desire to reach out and grow that connection. This means we have to look across our communities and reach out, speak, and truly interact with our brothers and sisters. Show our compassion to see them as human, as they are, allow them to share their story as we listen with our hearts. Their stories are data with a soul. This becomes vital data to keep with us as we keep them in our prayers and start to heal our communities. This is something we as Muslims, but more than that, we as people can learn from this message that was soulfully a part of each prophet’s mission.
The final Prophet Muhammad PBUH left an excellent bookend that truly can be considered the purest form of the Prophetic message. The final sermon was a genuine and profound message that embodied God’s revelations through His prophets. God tells us that we as humans are one. We are all connected and the only thing that separates us are our deeds. We are advised to see the message and break away from our cultural differences and see our spiritual character. Our cultures are present so that we can learn from one another and know each other, a fact that God tells us through His revelation. The essence of the sermon serves as a conclusion of God’s teachings and wisdom He relayed through His final messenger. This sermon should be seen as the purest message of the Prophet pbuh because it embodies the essence of Islam, and it was literally this message that God Himself approved by revealing, “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” – Surah Al Ma’idah
The character of the Prophets is a tree that stands firm in faith and the essence of their personalities and teachings is a shadow this is shown by the Final Sermon of the Final Prophet. The human was created and then taught; taught by the pen to be eloquent. The first order given to the Final prophet was to “Read”. For this reason I’m placing here the Final sermon so anyone reading this message can read the sermon. May God’s blessings and peace be unto you.
“O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore, listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today. O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city 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 no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds. God has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. God has Judged that there shall be no interest, and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn Abd’al Muttalib shall henceforth be waived... Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things. O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under a trust from God and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste. O People, listen to me in earnest, worship God, perform your five daily prayers, fast during the month of Ramadan, and offer Zakat. Perform Hajj if you have the means. All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab; white has no superiority over black, nor does a black have any superiority over white; [none have superiority over another] except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.
Remember, one day you will appear before God and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone. O People, no prophet or apostle will come after me, and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O people, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Quran and my example, the Sunnah, and if you follow these you will never go astray. All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and it may be that the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O God, that I have conveyed your message to your people.”
It was then as the Prophet closed his sermon this message was revealed, “…This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My Grace upon you, and have chosen Islam for you as your religion…” (Quran 5:3)