Imam Abdullah Antepli, the Muslim Chaplain at Duke University writes for the Huffington Post (2 February 2012) on the Prophet's (PBUH) last sermon, describing it as "earliest declarations of human rights in written history":
"For those who can drop their 21st century cultural baggage and read this sermon in its own historical context, one can't help but admire it as one of the earliest declarations of human rights in written history. Almost everything he says in this prophetic sermon was almost unheard of and inconceivable prior to the arrival of Islam. The prophet of Islam addresses some of the core universal values in a society where those values are long forgotten and violated in a systemic basis. The prophet didn't only say but transformed his society, in a very short period of time, remarkably in all the values and lessons that he talks about.
All human beings are equal, racial supremacy is unacceptable, women have rights, socio-economic inequality is despicable and should be fought against and so on. In twenty three years he united a deeply divided and polarized Arabian peninsula, stopped the ongoing bloodshed, restored the dignity of women, minimized the gap between the poor and the rich and more. In his lifetime former slaves become governors of provinces and generals. Centuries old, deeply rooted primitive patriarchal and oppressive cultural practices were wiped out, racism and tribalism were defeated. There is hardly any other religious figure who has been as successful both in religious terms as well as in secular terms as Muhammad.
In this sermon of Muhammad, Muslims find their deep commitment to the universal human values such as sacredness of life and property, equality, justice, peace and more. Upon these high universal values, the religion of Islam was built."
You can read a translation of the semon and the full article here.