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I have a couple of questions about Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) last sermon. As there are different versions as well as variant translations of this sermon in circulation, I have included the copy I am asking about at the end of this question if anyone wants to go over it (I got it in an email).

Anyway, on to the questions:

  1. In the beginning of this sermon Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) talks about he not knowing if he'll be alive after that year. Did he know when he was going to die?

  2. In the sermon Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says to be aware of Satan because he cannot lead you astray in big things so be aware of following him in small things. What does he mean when he talks about big things vs. small things? For instance, what makes a sin big vs. small?


The Prophet's Last Sermon: (emphasis mine)

O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I don't know whether, after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you 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. Allaah has forbidden you to take usury (Interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived...

Beware of Satan, for your 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 right over you. 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 commit adultery.

O People, listen to me in earnest, worship Allaah, say your five daily prayers (Salaah), fast during the month of Ramadaan, and give your wealth in Zakaat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to. You know that every Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. You are all equal. Nobody has superiority over other except by piety and good action.

Remember, one day you will appear before Allaah and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not astray 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 my words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur'an 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 may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly.

Be my witness oh Allaah that I have conveyed your message to your people.

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    please mention the reference for this sermon. also please note shia and sunni have different version of this sermon. shia believe this sermon was at place of Ghadir and in it prophet SAWW talked about Imamat and declared Ali a.s. as Caliph after prophet to lead Ummah. – Battle of Karbala Oct 29 '12 at 6:13
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  • @Ahmadi, my bad. I thought there was only one version of the sermon. I received it in an email from someone that works at the Mosque I usually go to. I don't really have another reference for it. However, even if the sermons were a little bit different are the parts I mentioned for my questions different? – evthim Oct 30 '12 at 4:28
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Question 1: In the beginning of this sermon Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) talks about he not knowing if he'll be alive after that year. Did he know when he was going to die?

Yes, prophets, Imams and believers who are Wali (high rank believers) know the time and place of their death. They are told it before their death from God. In sleep dream or in an intuition or a prophet or Imam tell it to them.

Question 2: In the sermon Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says to be aware of Satan because he cannot lead you astray in big things so be aware of following him in small things.

This needs reference and could not be found in the text of this sermon. Also this is illogical. Why Satan cannot lead us to astray in big things. What are big things? There is nothing bigger than God and Tawhid. But still Quran says many of Muslims are Mushrik. So this does not seem to be authentic because is in conflict with Quran:

وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُ‌هُم بِاللَّـهِ إِلَّا وَهُم مُّشْرِ‌كُونَ

And most of them believe not in Allah except while they associate others with Him. http://tanzil.net/#12:106

(Shia Point of view)

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    Without reference, to my understanding 'big' could be taken as something obviously against Islam, 'small' could be taken as something subtle that might not be obviously against Islam. Sorry I am not a Muslim so I cannot give reference to state that is what it means for definite. – Mr. Mr. Oct 30 '12 at 13:13
  • You should have mentioned SHIA POINT OF VIEW in your answer as you are mentioning imams etc which is pure shia thing. – Zia Ul Rehman Mughal Feb 10 '16 at 10:18
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All perfect praise be to Allah.

Question 1: In the beginning of this sermon Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) talks about he not knowing if he'll be alive after that year. Did he know when he was going to die?

Answer: No one knows when he will die except Allah. A person don't even know he will have another breath or not. This is what life is.

After this being said. There is a hadith.

'Aa'ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, reported that: "Faatimah, may Allaah be pleased with her, came to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam walking in the same manner as he walked. Upon seeing her, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: "My daughter! welcome" then he sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam seated her on his right or left and whispered something in her ear until she cried. Therefore, I asked her: 'why did you cry?' Then the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam whispered in her ear again until she laughed. So I said to her: 'I have never seen happiness and sadness so close to each other as I have today.' Then I asked her what the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam had told her. She replied 'I do not wish to divulge something which the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam whispered to me.' After the death of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, I asked her the same question again and this time she replied: 'First of all, he sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said to me: "Jibreel reviews the Qur'aan with me once every year, but this year he did it twice - and I think this is because the time for my death has come. And you will be the next to die from my family." Therefore, I cried. Then, he sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said to me: "Are you not happy that you will be the best of all the ladies of Paradise… " so I laughed out of joy." (Bukhaari & Muslim).


So we can say he had an idea that his time is coming soon, but we cannot say for sure that he knew when will he die. Because their is no clear indicaion of that in Quran or Hadees.


Question 2: In the sermon Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) says to be aware of Satan because he cannot lead you astray in big things so be aware of following him in small things. What does he mean when he talks about big things vs. small things? For instance, what makes a sin big vs. small?

Sins are divided into major and minor sins as Allah, may He be Exalted, said:

And those who avoid the major sins and immoralities, and when they are angry, they forgive (Quran 42/37)

“If you shun the Greater Sins which you are forbidden, We will do away with your smaller sins and cause you to enter an honourable place of entering.” (Surah an-Nisā’ 4: 31)

And in a Hadees:

Sahl ibn Sa`d narrated that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: Beware of minor sins because the example of minor sins is like a group of people who camped in a valley. Then a person brought a stick and another brought a stick until they gathered a pile to cook their food. Likewise minor sins [their doers gather them one by one and], when their doers commit them, they destroy them. Reported by Ahmad (1/ 446)

From this link :

The most correct views in the definition of major sins is: It is the sin which there is a prescribed punishment for its doer or a promise of hell, curse, or wrath. Some people said: It is the sin whose doer shall not be belief or was accompanied by the Prophet's saying: He is not one of us. As for minor sins, it was said: It is the sin where there is no prescribed punishment for it either in the world or in the Hereafter. Others said: Minor sins are every sin that was not accompanied by curse, wrath, or fire. It was said: Minor sins are the sins where there is no prescribed punishment or threat for them in the Hereafter; this is the most correct view: Minor sins are the sins which do not entail prescribed punishment nor a threat in the Hereafter.

Now, we are clear about major sins and minor sins

Satan is pleased by sins that man regards as insignificant, therefore beware of him. The Prophet said: “Satan has lost hope that people would worship him in the Arabian Peninsula, but he is pleased to sow discard among you.” ِ

Now, there are many interpretations of this. the scholars have interpreted it in several ways:

1 – That the Shaytaan has despaired of ever getting all worshippers to unite on kufr.

This view was favoured by the great scholar Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali. Al-Darar al-Sunnah, 12/117.

2 – That this is a report of the despair that befell the Shaytaan when he saw the conquests and how the people entered the religion of Allaah in crowds. So the hadeeth is telling us what the Shaytaan thought and he expected to happen. Then what really happened was something other than that, for a reason decreed by Allaah.

This view was favoured by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him). Al-Qawl al-Mufeed, 1/211.

3 – That the Shaytaan despaired of the believers whose faith is complete, because the Shaytaan has no hope that they will worship him.

This view was favoured by al-Aloosi. See Da’aawa al-Munaawi’een, 224.

4 – That the “al-” in the word “al-musalloon” (worshippers) refers to a specific group of worshippers, and that what is meant is the Sahaabah.

All of these interpretations are close in meaning, and the most likely is the second. And Allaah knows best.

See Ahaadeeth al-‘Aqeedah allati yuwahham Zaahiruha al-Ta’aarud fi’l-Saheehayn, 2/232-238 . Ref

Allah knows Best!

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