After the accomplishment of the Call, the proclamation of the Message and the establishment of a new society on the basis of ‘There is no god but Allâh,’ and on Muhammad’s mission, a secret call uprose in the heart of the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) telling him that his stay in the Lower World was about to terminate. That was clear in his talk to Mu‘adh whom he had dispatched to Yemen in the tenth year of Al-Hijra: “O, Mu‘adh! You may not see me after this current year. You may even pass by this very Mosque of mine and my tomb.” Upon hearing that Mu‘adh cried for fear that he would part with the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him).
Allâh’s care was so bounteous as to let the Prophet (Peace be upon him) see the fruits of his Call for the sake of which he suffered various sorts of trouble for over twenty years. Those twenty years had elapsed actively. He used to spend his last days meeting, at the outskirts of Makkah, members of tribes and their representatives who used to consult him and learn the laws and legislation of Islam from him, and in return he used to exact their testimony that he had delivered trust and communicated the Message and counselled the people.
The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) announced an intention to proceed with this blessed pilgrimage journey himself. Enormous crowds of people came to Madinah, all of whom seek the guidance and Imamate of the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) in the pilgrimage (Al-Hajj). On a Saturday of the last four days of Dhul-Qa‘dah, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) started the departure preparations procedure. He combed his hair, applied some perfume, wore his garment, saddled his camel and set off in the afternoon. He arrived at Dhul-Hulaifa before the afternoon prayer. He performed two Rak‘a and spent the night there. When it was morning he said to his Companions:
“A comer, sent by my Lord, has called on me tonight and said: ‘Pray in this blessed valley and say: I intend ‘Umrah combined with pilgrimage (‘Umrah into Al-Hajj).
Before performing the noon prayer, he bathed for Ihram (ritual consecration), and ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) perfumed him on both his body and head with her hand with a Dharira (a plant) and with a perfume containing musk. The thick sticky layer of perfume could be seen among his parts of hair and beard. He left it unwashed, wore his loincloth and garment. He performed the noon prayer shortened, two Rak‘a. He proclaimed pilgrimage procedure associated with ‘Umrah at his prayer-place. He, then mounted his she-camel ‘Al-Qaswa’, and proclaimed: ‘There is no god but Allâh’. When he moved into the desert, he acclaimed the Name of Allâh.
He proceeded with his journey till he approached Makkah. He spent the night at Dhi Tuwa and entered Makkah after performing the dawn prayer. He had a bath on Sunday morning, the fourth of Dhul-Hijjah the tenth year of Al-Hijra. He spent eight days on the way, which was an average period. As soon as he entered Al-Haram Mosque he circumambulated Al-Ka‘bah and walked to and fro (Sa‘i) between As-Safa and Al-Marwah. He did not finish the Ihram (ritual consecration) because he was Qarin (i.e. intending ‘Umrah and Al-Hajj associated). He then took Al-Hadi (i.e. the sacrificial animals) in order to slaughter them. He camped on a high place of Makkah — Al-Hajun. As for circumambulation, he performed only that of Al-Hajj (pilgrimage circumambulation).
Those of his Companions who had no Hadi with them to sacrifice, were ordered to observe Ihram (i.e. the state of ritual consecration) into ‘Umrah (i.e. lesser pilgrimage), and circumambulate Al-Ka‘bah and stride ritually to and fro between As-Safa and Al-Marwah. After that they could relieve themselves from Ihram. They, however, showed reluctance to do what they had been told. Thereupon, the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) said: ”Had I known beforehand what I knew afterward, I would not bring Hadi, and if I did not have Hadi, I would break Ihram. On hearing these words, his Companions obeyed the orders to the latter.
On the eighth day of Dhul-Hijjah — that is the Day of Tarwiyah, he left for Mina where he performed the noon, the afternoon, the sunset, the evening and the dawn prayers. — i.e. five prayers. Then he stayed for a while till the sun rose up then he passed along till he reached ‘Arafah, where there was a tent built for him at Namirah. He sat inside till the sun went down. He ordered that Al-Qaswa’, his she-camel, should be prepared for him. They saddled it and had it ready, so he went down the valley where a hundred thousand and twenty-four or forty-four thousand people gathered round him. There he stood up and delivered the following speech:
“ O people! Listen to what I say. I do not know whether I will ever meet you at this place once again after this current year. It is unlawful for you to shed the blood of one another or take (unlawfully) the fortunes of one another. They are as unlawful, (Haram) as shedding blood on such a day as today and in such a month as this Haram month and in such a sanctified city as this sacred city (i.e. Makkah and the surrounding areas).”
“Behold! all practices of paganism and ignorance are now under my feet. The blood-revenge of the Days of Ignorance (pre-Islamic time) are remitted. The first claim on blood I abolish is that of Ibn Rabi‘a bin Harith who was nursed in the tribe of Sa‘d and whom Hudhail killed. Usury is forbidden, and I make a beginning by remitting the amount of interest which ‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul Muttalib has to receive. Verily, it is remitted entirely.”
“O people! Fear Allâh concerning women. Verily you have taken them on the security of Allâh and have made their persons lawful unto you by Words of Allâh! It is incumbent upon them to honour their conjugal rights and, not to commit acts of impropriety which, if they do, you have authority to chastise them, yet not severely. If your wives refrain from impropriety and are faithful to you, clothe and feed them suitably.”