Archive | November, 2011

Human Dignity & Rights as per Prophet Muhammad’s PBUH Last Sermon

21 Nov

For last 1400 years, Islam grants the greatest importance to Human dignity & rights. The individuals & organizations blaming Islam for any evils around the world need to take a serious account & not molest the truth.

Below is an account of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) Hajj sermon & comments regarding its applicability to human dignity.

I thought this need to be highlighted to all societies.

[This sermon was delivered by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on the Ninth Day of Dhul Hijjah 10 A.H. in the ‘Uranah valley of Mount Arafat’ (in Mecca)]

After praising, and thanking Allah he said:

“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.

Here, the Prophet PBUH declared an obligation upon anybody who comes across this sermon, to ensure its transmission to other people who could not have knowledge of it. He didn’t want people to be running after others to get it, and asked to pass this on in a more dignified manner to those who were not present.

O People, just as you regard this month, this day, and this city as Sacred, so regard the life (dignity) and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust.

Here, He regarded the greatest value ever to a human being & his property in the history of mankind. He regarded them to be more sacred than the holiest month of Zil-Haj, day of Arafah & Makkah city.

Students of religion are well aware of the sanctity of 1st ten days of Zil-Haj, the day of Arafah / Hajj and sacredness of City of Makkah. Declaring a human being & his property more sacred than above indicates the esteem of Human Dignity beyond any virtually comprehendible limits. Can anybody give more sanctity or respect to a human?

Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners.

So that the lenders don’t have to feel embarrassed by running after to get their righteous assets back.

Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you.

There’s no question of hurting others by anyone who claims to be from Islam, rather we should focus on prevention of harm to others, which eventually will ensure our own security.

Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds. ALLAH 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. Allah has Judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn ‘Abd’al Muttalib (Prophet’s uncle) shall henceforth be waived…

The capitalism based on the interest system accumulates the money with few individuals, thereby denying the rightly admissible share of prosperity to the majority of hard-working labour class. The Prophet PBUH categorically shunned away this practice, surrendering his family’s benefit first of all, thereby setting an example to wave off interest.

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.

Satan leads us astray and creates frustration amongst us; as a reaction to which, we feel insecure & try to grab share of others to address our unknown fears. The Prophet PBUH advised us to remain aware of Satan’s tactics, as he will mis-guide us in minor issues, thus corroding the very roots of a welfare society, which will address the rights of selected ones only. If we understandably get guidance for all issues of our life from Quran & Authentic Hadith, Dignity of a common person will be automatically ensured.

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 Allah’s trust 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.

Islam is the first authentic source that granted more rights to women than even men. Before this women were treated like animals or consumable household things. The Prophet PBUH declared that provision of dignified rights, clothing & feeding be catered seriously by caretaker men.

O People, listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.

Here, He guides us to worship Allah alone, thereby denying any chance of human worship of any kind. As per authentic Hadith, “Agreeing to declaration of right or wrong laws by any human, including the scholars (without proper Islamic reference) tantamount to worshipping them”, thus required to be abstained from. It encompasses protection of human dignity by bowing before Allah alone. In a way, this discourages us to ignore following man-made laws that are in contradiction to the divine laws.

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white 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.

The dignity of human can’t be better emphasized than by declaring everybody to be equally related as a brother to other, except the one who does more good deeds. It has further been emphasized by declaring injustice to oneself, if one takes anything of other person illegitimately.

Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer 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.

Declaring Himself to be last of all Prophets has sealed any opportunity for us to take any other person superior than others, thus even not inferior, unless it is due to piety.

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.

According to few scholars, the decline of Muslims started when they stopped pondering upon Allah’s instructions. We need to reason about things that are in practice and trace their roots.

The Prophet instructed us to reason well for understanding the Divine instructions. Having Quran & Sunnah reference, everybody is equal to seek guidance & practice it.

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O Allah, that I have conveyed your message to your people”.

Its not just the Scholars, but everybody has the responsibility to convey this message to others.