Bismillaah Ar-RaHmaan Ar-RaHeem
As-Salaamu `Alaikum wa RaHmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh
According to Abdallaah bin Bakr bin Habeeb al-Sahmee: We were told by a man in the mosque of al-Junaabidh that `Umar bin `Abd al-`Azeez delivered a sermon to the people in Khunaasirah in which he said:
O people, you were not created in vain, nor will you be left to yourselves [see 75:36]. Rather, you will return to a place in which Allaah will descend in order to judge among you and distinguish between you. Destitute and lost are those who forsake the all- encompassing mercy of Allaah, and they will be excluded from Paradise, the borders of which are as wide as the heavens and the earth. Don't you know that protection, tomorrow, will be limited to those who feared Allaah [today], and to those who sold something ephemeral for something permanent, something small for something great, and fear for protection? Don't you realize that you are the descendants of those who have perished, that those who remain will take their place after you, and that this will continue until you are all returned to Allaah? Every day you dispatch to Allaah, at all times of the day, someone who has died, his term having come to an end. You bury him in a crack in the earth and then leave him without a pillow or a bed. He has parted from his loved ones, severed his connections with the living, and taken up residence in the earth, whereupon he comes face to face with the accounting. He is mortgaged to his deeds: He needs his accomplishments, but not the material things he left on earth.
Therefore, fear Allaah before death descends and its appointed times expire. I swear by Allaah that I say those words to you knowing that I myself have committed more sins than any of you; I therefore ask Allaah for forgiveness and I repent. Whenever we learn that one of you needs something, I try to satisfy his need to the extent that I am able. Whenever I can provide satisfaction to one of you out of my possessions, I seek to treat him as my equal and my relative, so that my life and his life are of equal value. I swear by Allaah that had I wanted something else, namely, affluence, then it would have been easy for me to utter the word, aware as I am of the means for obtaining this. But Allaah has issued in an eloquent Book and a just example (sunnah) by means of which He guides us to obedience and proscribes disobedience.
He lifted up the edge of his robe and began to cry and sob, causing the people around him to break into tears. Then he stepped down. That was the last sermon he gave before he died, may Allaah have mercy on him.
For variant versions of this sermon, see Ibn `Abd al-Hakam, Seerah 43-45, 132-33; Ibn Katheer, Bidaayah, IX, 199; This translation was taken from The History of al-Tabaree, Vol XXIV, by D.S.Powers/