By A. Zeynep Dönmez – Özlem Ata Translated from Turkish by Yılmaz Kaşo
A chapter from the book “Friday of the Youth” Sydney, AUSTRALIA
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِٱلْعَدْلِ وَٱلإحْسَانِ وَإِيتَآءِ ذِى ٱلْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ ٱلْفَحْشَاءِ وَٱلْمُنْكَرِ وَٱلْبَغْىِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ
“Indeed, God orders justice, good conduct, and giving to the relatives and forbids immorality, bad conduct, and transgression. He admonishes you so that you may use your knowledge.” (An-Nahl 16:90)
In the verse we read, the Almighty God has made clear what He orders people to do and what He prohibits. The concepts of good and evil are programmed into human beings during creation. In other words, every human being knows intuitively what is good and evil starting from puberty. Still, God sent messengers and revelations to remind humans of what is good and what is bad. This reminder is also a type of advice. It is the person’s choice to behave appropriately using this information obtained from both his/her common sense and revelations. Those who make the right choice will be rewarded in this world and in the hereafter, and those who deliberately make the wrong choice will be punished.
The revelation was delivered to Muhammad (PBUH) over a period of 23 years. It is accepted that this process was completed by the revelation of verse 3 of Chapter Al-Maidah. It is stated in the verse: “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion”. In the period after this verse was revealed, Muhammad (PBUH), the Messenger of God addressed the believers in places such as Arafat, Mina, and Aqaba during the Farewell Pilgrimage in the month of Dhil-Hijjah in 632 and gave short and concise advice. These speeches were compiled and called “the Farewell Sermon” since it was the first and the final Holy Pilgrimage (Hajj) that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had performed in his life. We will now read some parts of this speech. Let us remind you that all of these are wise words, that is, hadiths, extracted from the Qur’an by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):
“All Praise is due to God, so we praise Him and seek His pardon and we turn to Him. We seek refuge in God from the evil of ourselves and the evil consequences of our deeds. Whom God guides aright there is none to lead him astray. Whom God lets go astray there is none to lead him aright. I bear witness that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the messenger of God.
Remember that you will indeed meet your Master and that He will indeed reckon your deeds. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you.
Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners.
O, People! “No doubt, God has made your blood, your properties, and your honor sacred to one another like the sanctity of this day of yours in this month of yours in this town of yours.”
Every right arising out of homicide in pre-Islamic days is henceforth waived and the first such right that I waive is that arising from the murder of Rabiah Ibn al-Harithiah.”
God has forbidden you to take interest. Therefore, all interest obligations shall henceforth be waived. Your capital is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any injustice. God has judged that there shall be no interest and the first interest that I waived is due to Abbas Ibn ‘Aal-Muttalib.
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.
Therefore, O, People! Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will be able to lead you astray in big things so beware of following him in small things.
O, People! Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.
Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.
O, People! I leave behind me a trust which is the Quran and if you follow this you will never go astray
All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a White has no superiority over a Black nor a Black has any superiority over a White except by piety and good action.
You should listen to and obey your ruler even if he was an Ethiopian (black) slave whose head looks like a raisin as long as he rules according to the Book of God.
No one can be accused of anyone other than his own crime. Fathers cannot be blamed for the crimes of their children, and children cannot be blamed for the crimes of their fathers.
Beware that you will never do these four things:
– You shall never associate partners with God!
– You shall not kill a soul that God has made sacred unless it is for a rightful reason (as Qisas in return for the killing of a soul)!
– You shall not commit fornication!
– You shall not steal!”
One of the main goals of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) twenty-three-year struggle is to protect human rights and achieve justice. It should be known that the Farewell Sermon is the first universal human rights declaration ever that summarizes these fundamental rights. The information that popular culture will tell you today is that the first Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted at the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. However, the Farewell Sermon is a declaration that covered the fundamental rights and freedoms of humanity approximately 1300 years earlier than that.
We should appreciate the value of our Book Qur’an and our religion Islam. God knows human beings best. Therefore, it is God who will lead humans to the best path. We should learn the advice that God gives us by reading the Qur’an. Let’s not forget that God has given us the freedom of choice. Let us stay away from what God has prohibited us. Let’s refrain from committing evil in this world, thus protecting ourselves from the torment of fire in the hereafter. So, we hope that we will be among the saved ones.