36.3 The Last Speech
After thanking Allah and praying for the dead of Uhud, he said,
"Let the mission of Usama go through. You are criticizing his command as you have criticized his father's command before him. When he is worthy of it as his father was worthy of it."
He was quiet for a moment, and then spoke again.
"A slave of Allah who was asked to choose between this world and the eternal has chosen the eternal with Allah," he said.
He did not speak for a moment after it and all listened, waiting for the rest of his words. They thought he was giving them counsel and examples as he used to do. They did not realize he was bidding them farewell, all except Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr, his closest and dearest friend, could not bear the situation and burst into tears, saying,
"Nay, let us ransom you with ourselves, our wives and children."
Mohamed had much to tell them, and feared that Abu Bakr's emotion might move others so that they would not be able to grasp with cool brains what he had to say. So he made a gesture to him with his hand, charging him to be silent. Then he began to revise the basic precepts of Islam, pointing out the temptations and pitfalls before the few hours left to him on earth expired. Towards the end he asked to have all the doors leading onto the mosque from the adjacent houses closed, except the one from Abu Bakr's house. Then he said,
"I know of no man who was a better companion to me than Abu Bakr. If I were to choose a friend among men (meaning that the Friend is Allah) I would choose Abu Bakr in companionship, faith, and brotherhood until Allah brings us together in His realm."
Then he turned to the people and said,
"Emigrants, be good to the Supporters, for they were close to me - the refuge I sought. So extol the good in them and overlook their faults."
The next day Mohamed was too tired to lead prayers and asked that Abu Bakr should lead prayers instead. Aisha, the daughter of Abu Bakr, said,
"Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakr is a sensitive man. He cries when he reads the Koran."
She meant that in such a situation he would cry and no one would hear anything, but Mohamed insisted.