There are four fundamental and practical principles of Islam: Prayers, Fasting, Poor-due (Zakah) and Haj. Of these each one has an “axis” round which the faith revolves.
Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur’an: “The Haj (pilgrimage) is (in) the well-known (lunar year) months ( i.e. the 10th month, the 11th month and the first 10 days of the 12th month of the Islamic calendar). So whosoever intends to perform Haj therein (by assuming Ihram), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Haj. And whatever good you do, (be sure) Allah knows it. And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness). So fear Me, O men of understanding.
“There is no sin on you if you seek the Bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage by trading). Then when you leave Arafat, remember Allah (by glorifying His Praises, i.e. prayers and invocations) at the Masha’r-il-Haram. And remember Him (by invoking Allah for all good) as He has guided you, and verily, you were, before, of those who were astray.
“Then depart from the place whence all the people depart and ask Allah for His forgiveness. Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (2:197-99)
The Haj of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) — and his everlasting message — is known as the Hijjat Al-Wida (the Farewell Pilgrimage). It is because, upon returning from Haj the Prophet (peace be upon him) left this world within three months. This Haj is also known with other names: It is called “Hijjat Al-Islam” because this is the only Haj that the Prophet performed after receiving the message of Islam.
It is also called “Hijjat Al-Balagh” because in this Haj the Prophet (peace be upon him) conveyed the final message of Islam. It is also called “Hijjat Al-Kamal and Hijjat At-Tamam” because in this Haj Allah revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) the good news that the message of Islam is perfected and Allah’s favor is fully granted to those who shall follow the way of Islam.
This Haj took place in the 10th Hijrah year. Many details about this Haj are available in the books of Ahadith and Seerah. One can prepare a whole diary of this Haj from Prophet’s departure and return to Madina.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) left Madina on 25th of Dhu’l Qa’dah. People kept joining him from all directions. When he arrived in Makkah, the number of those who joined him reached about 125,000 people. The Prophet explained to them at every step the basic rules and principles of Haj.
In Arafat he gave his famous sermon and then next day in Mina he repeated some of its points and gave some more points. The speech had many important aspects and it was communicated by different people in the crowd who would repeat after the Prophet (peace be upon him). The main theme of this famous speech can be summarized as: “Do not wrong any one.”
Here are some basic points of this speech:
“O People, do you know in what month, what day and in what city you are?” They said, “On a sacred day, in a sacred city and a sacred month.” He said, “Your blood, your properties and your honor is as sacred among you as the sacredness of this day of yours, this month of yours and this city of yours.”
Then he said, “Listen to me and you shall live (happily): Behold, do no injustice, Behold, do no injustice, Behold, do no injustice. ”
“It is not permissible to take the money of a Muslim without his/her good pleasure. Behold, every blood demand, every money demand or any special privilege that you held in the time of “ignorance” (before accepting Islam) are under my feet until the Day of Judgment. Every demand of interest is cancelled. You can only have your capital without doing wrong or being wronged. ”
“All people are equal like the teeth of the comb. All of you are descendants of Adam and Adam was created from dust. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab or for a white person over a black person except in the matters of piety.”
“A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim. All Muslims are one brotherhood. ”
“Behold, do not turn infidels after me by striking at the necks of each other. Behold, Satan has lost all hope that the people of Salah will worship him, but he shall still try to create dissensions among you. (So beware of Satan and his plots.) ”
“Be conscious of Allah concerning women. They are your helpmates. They have some rights on you and you have some rights on them. ”
“Behold, whosoever has any thing entrusted to him by someone else, he should give it back to the one who entrusted him.”
Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) spread his hands and he said, “Behold, I have conveyed. Behold, I have conveyed.” Then he said, “Let those who are present convey this message to those who are not here. Indeed some who may receive it later may follow it better than those who heard it.”
Here the Prophet (peace be upon him) emphasized the following principles:
* Honor the life, dignity and property of others.
* Do not do injustice and oppression.
* Be honest in your business and financial dealings.
* All human beings are equal.
* Muslims are brothers to each other.
* Do not fight each other.
* Avoid quarrels and disputes among yourselves.
* Recognize the rights of women.
* Fulfill the trusts.
* Convey the message of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to others.
This message was delivered more than 1,400 years ago and it is always needed. Muslims need it and the whole world needs it. This is the message that we have to live with and should convey to the world.