Ismaili History 332 - Farewell Pilgrimage
When peace and order had been restored throughout the Muslim realm and the period of warfare was over and the people joined Islam in multitude, till in the course of some two years, there was one and but one religion - Islam - throughout the vast Arabian peninsula with a few Jewish and Christian exceptions here and there. The cry of Allah-u-Akbar resounded on all sides. Now it took Muhammad but two brief years, not only to bring the whole of Arabia under the banner of Islam, but at the same time to work a mighty transformation, sweeping away all corruptions and uplifting the nation to the lifties height of spirituality.
In 10/632, Muhammad set forth with a large concourse of Muslims, ranging in strength between ninety to one lac and twenty thousand bound on a farewell pilgrimage to Mecca. On his arrival at Mecca, and before completing all the rites, he addressed the assembled multitude from the top of the Jabal-ul-Arafat in words which yet live in the hearts of all Muslims. H.G. Wells writes in 'The Outline of History' (London, 1920, p. 325) that, 'A year before his death, at the end of the tenth year of the Hegira, Muhammad made his last pilgrimage from Medina to Mecca. He made then a great sermon to his people....The reader will note that the first paragraph sweeps away all plunder and blood feuds among the followers of Islam. The last makes the believing Negro the equal of the Caliph....they established in the world a great tradition of dignified fair dealing, they breathe a spirit of generosity, and they are human and workable. They created a society more free from wide-spread cruelty and social oppression than any society had ever been in the world before.' In the terminology of Hadith, this historical journey is called hajjatul wida (the farewell pilgrimage) and at times it is also named hajjatul balagha (the pilgrimage of the delivery of message). On 18th Zilhaja, 10/March 16, 632, Muhammad after performing farewell pilgrimage, halted at the plain of Ghadir Khum, where he declared Ali bin Abu Talib as his successor.