Prophet (SAW)’s Last Sermon: First Ever Human Rights Declaration

Syed Mujtaba

It was 63rd year of the Prophet’s (PBUH) life which coincided with the close of 10th of Hijra, which in history goes by the name of Khutba-e-Hajjatul-Wada.
According to Renowned Islamic Scholar Khalid Aalvi:
“The Prophet (S.A.W.) now wanted to give final instructions to his followers because the end of his life was near, towards the end of the 10th Hijra.”
The sermon of the holy Prophet (PBUH) is not only noticeable for its eloquence but it contains an eye opening message for the whole of the human race. The world has not been able to establish better principles of ethics and morality than those enunciated in it. Every word of it breathes a spirit of brotherhood and humankind – irrespective of the divergences of their geographical, racial and colour backgrounds and provides a figure, outline of a social order, free from injustice and oppression – guaranteeing the Basic Human Rights and Needs for a truly free, and peacefully progressive society. The last sermon of the holy Prophet (PBUH) is a big remarkable document in human history in the perspective of Human Rights. It has very much significance because the text and language of the sermon is general not specific.
According to Maulana Safi-ur-Rehman; It was delivered in 632 A.D. /10 A.H. at the last Hajj of the holy Prophet (PBUH). The last sermon of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) teaches the importance of equality and fair treatment, and laid the outline for the First Human Rights declaration, many hundreds of years before the magna carta, Bill of Rights and UN Human Rights codes. The important Human Rights of the last sermon are given below:
These Rights has been summarized in this form in the famous book of the “Human Rights in Islam” written by a famous Author Shyakh-ul-Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri.
1. Equality of Human Rights:
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, and Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has not superiority over black nor, a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.”
2. Obedience of Rights.
3. Right of life: “O people just as you regard this month, this day, this city as sacred.”
4. Eradication of Ethnicism.
5. Right to property: “Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners your capital, however is yours to keep.”
6. Right of society members: “O people, every Muslim are the brother of the other Muslim, and all the Muslims form one brotherhood.”
7. Right of workers and servants: “And your slaves I see that you feed them with such food as you eat your selves, and clothe them with the same clothes that you, your selves wear.”
8. Eradication of lawlessness: “Behold! All practices of the days of ignorance are now under my feet. The blood revenges of the days of ignorance are remitted.”
9. Economic Rights: “All interests and usurious dues accruing from time to time of ignorance stand wiped out.”
10. Right of inheritance: “O people, Allah, the mighty and Exalted has ordained to everyone his due share (of inheritance). Hence there is no need of special testament for and heir (departing from the rules laid down by shariah).
11. Newborns Right of Ancestral Sanctity: “The child belongs to the marriage – bed and violator of wed lock shall be stoned and reckoning of their deeds rests with Allah.”
12. Right of Social Identity: “He who attributes this ancestry to other than his father claims his client ship to other them his master, the curse of Allah is upon him.
13. Rights to receive the debt: “All debts must be repaid, all borrowed property must be returned, gifts should be reciprocated and a surety must make good the loss to the assured.”
14. Right of ownership: “He who (amongst you) has any trust with him, he must return it to the owner.”
15. Women’s Right want of husbands and wives : “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 rights 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 allow anyone to enter your house whom you do not approve of as well as never to be unchaste.”
16. Constitutional Rights : “Verify I have left amongst you that which will never head you astray, the book of Allah and my example, the sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray.”
17. Rights of State : “Behold! Worship you lord; and obey your rulers, and you will be admitted to the paradise of your lord.”
18. Right of law observance.
19. Rights of justice: “Beware, no one committing a crime a responsible for it but him, neither the child is responsible for the crime of his father’s nor the father is responsible for the crime of his child.”
20. Right of Awareness for future generations: “Let him that who is present, convey it unto him who is absent, for many people to whom the message is conveyed may be more mindful of it than the audience.” The Farewell address is equally notable for the universal message it has for mankind as a whole.

1. There is the great stress on the priceless worth of human life without taking of human life cannot be tolerated and must be punishable by death.
Even of the life is taken by mistake. The Diyah” (blood ransom or compensation) must be paid to the relatives of the killed person.
Islam has accorded such a high value to human life that it declared that whoever kills one man deliberately, it is as if he has killed all of mankind.

2. The farewell address stressed the need and concern that women be treated kindly and compassionately. Divorce, while permissible as a last resort in Islam, must be avoided if at all possible of all the permitted acts. It is the most hated by Allah.
In this way, the Human Rights of the last sermon are more ancient than the UDHR by 1309 years. So the last sermon of the holy Prophet (PBUH) is the first universal character of Human Rights in the world. According to the Islamic teachings and Muslim Scholars point of view the last sermon of the Prophet (PBUH) is a complete code of Human Rights forever. As Dr. Sultan said in his book; After these facts, we can say that the last sermon of the Prophet (PBUH) is a comprehensive and complete charter of Human Rights.”

( The author is a Human Rights Defender from Kashmir . Views are his own

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