The Final Sermon: Conveying Religion

The words of our beloved Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) are full of rich lessons. Among them is his address during the farewell Hajj. This is the fourteenth in a series of articles on The Prophet’s Last Sermon, Lessons for Humanity.

“Then let whoever is present tell whoever is absent.”

The central religious duty that we have as a community is the preservation of religion. The greatest duty of the Prophetic community is to preserve what the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) has come with. 

First, we have to appreciate that preserving religion is a collective duty and the greatest voluntary good an individual could be engaged in after fulfilling their own personal duty to God. Secondly, this is done through learning soundly and thirdly, by conveying clearly and soundly. 

This relates to the believer’s sense of life and purpose. What were you created for?

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was commanded to tell them:

قُلۡ هَـٰذِهِۦ سَبِیلِیۤ أَدۡعُوۤا۟ إِلَى ٱللَّهِۚ عَلَىٰ بَصِیرَةٍ أَنَا۠ وَمَنِ ٱتَّبَعَنِیۖ

“Say, ‘This is my path: I summon to Allah upon the full light of insight, I and whoever truly follows me” [Quran, 12:108; tr. Keller, Quran Beheld]

The greatest thing you could dedicate yourself to in life is to be one of those who walk with the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in this life. If you walk with him in this life, then you are with him in the hereafter and that is the highest possible rank you can have. 

Of course, you call yourself first, and then you call others, with insight. Insight has four qualities: it is knowledge, with understanding, with wisdom, and with mercy.

Seek Knowledge

Wisdom is consideration of consequences. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Knowledge is only through study.” Study is what a student does with a teacher.

The scholars say that becoming a container for knowledge also entails paying attention to the state of the container. If you put clean water in a dirty container, the water may be clean, but the container will make it dirty. 

Most of the scholars dedicated their whole life to learning and the community supported them. But, so many scholars worked all their lives, learned and taught. Others did not learn a lot themselves, but they learned what they needed. However, they supported those who learned or they made their children into scholars. 

Have a sense of purpose, which is the Prophetic sense of purpose: “My community, my community.” That is what the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) will be saying on the Day of Resurrection. That was the subject of much of his supplication at night. Ummati. Ummati.

So much so that Jibril came multiple times to say: “O Muhammad, Allah has sent me to tell you, ‘We will not let you down with respect to your community.’”

Allah says:

وَلَسَوۡفَ یُعۡطِیكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرۡضَىٰۤ

“And verily your Lord shall give you full nobly, and you be satisfied beyond measure!” [Quran, 93:5; tr. Keller, Quran Beheld]