Farewell Circumambulation

It was Dhul-Hijjah 14, Wednesday.

Before the morning prayer, the Messenger of God told his Companions that they would go to the Kaaba for circumambulation. Then, he went to the Kaaba and performed the Farewell Circumambulation.[1]

Returning to Madinah

After the Farewell Circumambulation, the Messenger of Allah and his Companions set off from Makkah to go to Madinah. They stopped in the valley of Ghadir al-Khumm. The Prophet led the noon prayer there. After the prayer, he said to his Companions, “O people! Know that I am a human being, too. It will not be long before I am called to the eternal realm by the envoy of my Lord. I shall answer that call. I will leave you soon.” Then, he added, 

“I am leaving for you two precious things and if you adhere to them both, you will never go astray after me. They are the Book of Allah, which contains guidance and light and my Ahl al-Bayt.”[2]

After these sentences, he held Hazrat Ali’s hand and said, “For whomever I am his friend (mawla), Ali is his friend.” Then, he prayed Allah as follows “O Allah! Love those who love him, and be hostile to those who are hostile to him.”[3]

The words of the Messenger of Allah above, which stated that he would soon pass away to the eternal realm, saddened the Companions a lot. The Messenger of Allah, for whom they were ready to sacrifice their souls, whom they loved more than their own selves, was going to leave them.

They regarded themselves as orphans and started to cry.

Arriving in Madinah

When Madinah was seen, the Prophet uttered takbir three times. Then, he said his usual prayer: “There is no god but Allah, Who has no partner, to Whom the sovereignty belongs, to Whom all praise is due, and Who is Able to do all things. We are those who return (in safety), feel penitence, worship Allah, prostrate before our Lord and praise Him.”[4]

When the Prophet arrived in Madinah, he went straight to the mosque. After performing a prayer of two rak’ahs there, he went to his house. 

This was the first and last hajj of the Messenger of Allah.

[1]Bukhari, ibid, Vol. 1, p. 82.

[2]It is significant that the Messenger of Allah mentions his Ahl al-Bayt as the second thing to be adhered to. It will be appropriate to quote what Badiuzzaman Said Nursi states regarding the issue:

“With his vision which penetrated the Unseen, the Most Noble Prophet (PBUH) saw that his Family would become like a light-giving tree within the world of Islam. The overwhelming majority of those who would perform the duty of guides instructing every level of the World of Islam in human attainment and perfection would emerge from his Family. He divined that his Community's prayer for his Family in the final section of the prescribed prayers: O God, grant blessings to our master Muhammad and to the Family of our master Muhammad, as You granted blessings to Abraham and to the Family of Abraham; indeed, You are Worthy of Praise, Most Exalted would be accepted. That is to say, like the vast majority of the luminous guides among the people of Abraham were prophets of the family and line of Abraham, he saw in his Community also, the spiritual poles of the Family of Muhammad performing the great duties of Islam, and in most of the paths and Sufi orders, like the prophets of Israel. Therefore, being commanded to say: قُلْ لَٓا اَسْئَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ اَجْرًا اِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ ﯺﰆالْقُرْبىٰ

(Say: I ask of you no recompense save love of close kin), he wanted his Community to love his Family.There are numerous narrations corroborating this fact. He repeatedly decreed: "I leave you two things. If you adhere to them, you will find salvation: one is God's Book, the other is my Family. For those who were the source and guardians of the Prophet's Practices, and were charged with complying with them in every respect, were his Family.

Thus, this is why this truth was made known in Hadiths under the heading of following the Book and the Prophet's Practices. That is to say, what was required from the Family of the Prophet in respect of the function of prophethood were the Practices of the Prophet. Just as someone who abandoned the Prophet's Practices could not truly be a member of his Family, so too such a person could not be a true friend to them.

Also, the reason he desired his Community to gather round his Family was that, with God's permission, he knew his Family were going to become very numerous with the passing of time, and that Islam was going to become weak. Therefore, an extremely strong and numerous mutually supportive group of people was necessary so that it could be the means to and center for the spiritual and moral progress of the World of Islam. With Divine permission, he thought of this, and desired that his Community should gather round his Family. Indeed, even if the members of the Prophet's Family were not greatly in advance of others in matters of belief and faith, they were still greatly ahead of them in regard to submission, partiality, and partisanship. For they were followers of Islam by nature, birth, and temperament. Even if natural partiality is weak and unworthy, or unjustifiable even, it cannot be given up. So, would it be possible for a person to give up his support for a truth to which all his forefathers—who were most strong, most constant and true, and most illustrious—had been bound, and through which they had won glory, and for which they had sacrificed their lives, a truth he felt clearly to be so fundamental and natural? Thus, due to this intense partiality and natural submission, the Family of the Prophet accepted the least hint in favor of the religion of Islam as though it was a powerful proof. For they were partial by nature. Others become partial after some powerful proof.” (Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Lem’alar (Flashes), p. 19-20); Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 367; Muslim, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 1873.

[3]Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 281, 368, 370; Tirmidhi, ibid, Vol. 5, p. 633.

[4]Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 187-189; Abu Dawud, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 91.