While reflecting on International Women’s day, I would like to turn a spotlight on the last sermon of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (s).
Prophet Muhammad (s) undertook his farewell pilgrimage in the year 10 AH to Makkah, a most significant historical events in the minds of Muslims, for it was the first and last pilgrimage made by Prophet Muhammad, as well as being the model for performing the fifth pillar of Islam, the Hajj.
The last sermon was delivered during the Hajj of the year 632 CE, the ninth day of Dhul Hijjah, the 12th month of the lunar year, at Arafat, the most blessed day of the year. There were countless Muslims present with the Prophet during his last pilgrimage when he delivered his last Sermon.
After praising, and thanking God, the Prophet said:
“O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore, listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.”
[Skipped to part of his speech about Women…]
“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 a trust from God and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. I enjoin you to treat women kindly for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.”
If all men on earth could read, learn and remember his message there will be no need for such “Women’s day”. My beloved Prophet Muhammad (s), although your soul has left our world, your words are still living in our hearts.