The Prophet Mohammed’s last instructions to his followers were to be good to women and avoid religious extremism and racism, this week’s sermon reminds worshippers.
The sermon reminds Muslims of the last Haj sermon the Prophet gave before he died – “hujjat Al wada’a”, which he delivered on the ninth of Dhu Al Hijjah, the day pilgrims spend on Mount Arafat.
“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,” the Prophet said.
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black any superiority over white except by piety and good action.”
These words set the basis of society on cooperation, humility and brotherhood, explains the sermon.
The Prophet reinforced women’s status in Islam, saying: “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.”
Women should be appreciated for their productive roles in society and have rights to education, inheritance and work.
The Prophet also warned Muslims against division from within and following Satan’s path: “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.”