SHAFAQNA – Ten years after the migration (hijrah), the Messenger of Allah [peace and blessings be upon him and his Progeny] ordered to his close followers to call all the people in different places to join him in his last pilgrimage. On this pilgrimage he taught them how to perform the pilgrimage in a correct and unified form.
This was first time that the Muslims with this magnitude gathered in one place in the presence of their leader, the Messenger of Allah [s]. On his way to Makkah, more than seventy thousand people followed Prophet [s]. On the fourth day of Dhu’l-Hijjah more than one hundred thousand Muslims had entered Makkah.
After completing his last pilgrimage (Hajjatul-Wada’), Prophet [s] was leaving Makkah toward Madinah, where he and the crowd of people reached a place called Ghadir Khumm (which is close to today’s al-Juhfah). It was a place where people from different provinces used to greet each other before taking different routes for their homes.
Revelation in the Quran:
In this place, the following verse of the Qur’an was revealed:
“O Apostle! Deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord; and if you don’t do it, you have not delivered His message (at all); and Allah will protect you from the people …” (Qur’an 5:67)
The last sentence in the above verse indicates that the Prophet [s] was mindful of the reaction of his people in delivering that message but Allah informs him not to worry, for He will protect His Messenger from people.
Upon receiving the verse, the Prophet [s] stopped on that place (the pond of Khumm) which was extremely hot. Then he sent for all people who have been ahead in the way, to come back and waited until all pilgrims who fell behind, arrived and gathered. He ordered Salman [r] to use rocks and camel toolings to make a pulpit (minbar) so he could make his announcement. It was around noon time in the first of the Fall, and due to the extreme heat in that valley, people were wrapping their robes around their feet and legs, and were sitting around the pulpit, on the hot rocks.
On this day the Messenger of Allah [s] spent approximately five hours in this place; three hours of which he was on the pulpit. He recited nearly one hundred verses from The Glorious Quran, and for seventy three times reminded and warned people of their deeds and future. Then he gave them a long speech.
The following is a part of his speech which has been widely narrated by the Sunni traditionists: