34.4 The Messenger's Last Pilgrimage
The year went round and it was once more time for the pilgrimage to Mecca. Mohamed decided to make the pilgrimage himself that year in order to teach people its rites, for they learned more easily by example. As soon as news spread that the Prophet was going on pilgrimage to Mecca, thousands began to flock towards Medina to go with him from all parts of the peninsula. A multitude of tents were erected for them around Medina for nearly one hundred thousand came in answer to this call. All came to worship in humility and brotherhood behind a leader they loved and trusted.
That year, contrary to all preceding travels and pilgrimages, the Prophet asked all his wives to accompany him. He wanted to make sure that they all performed the pilgrimage to Mecca, which is a duty that the Muslim owes his Lord once in a lifetime. Mohamed seemed to know that this would be the last time they would perform the pilgrimage with him. All his words to the pilgrims as well as his actions denote that he was saying his farewells to his people and to this world.