Surah Luqman (31:12)
And indeed We bestowed upon Luqman Al-Hikmah (wisdom and religious understanding) saying: “Give thanks to Allah.” And whoever gives thanks, he gives thanks for (the good of) his ownself. And whoever is unthankful, then verily, Allah is All-Rich (Free of all needs), Worthy of all praise.
Luqman (may peace be upon him), was a very wise man. Most scholars believe he was not a prophet, but Allah (S.W.T) granted him Al-Hikmah (wisdom). He is believed to have been a black man from North Africa and sold into slavery. However, his slave master soon noticed how unique Luqman was. One day, Luqman’s master ordered him to slaughter a goat and bring him the best parts. Luqman did as he was told and brought the tongue and the heart. Another time, the master ordered him to slaughter another goat and throw away the worst parts. Luqman once again threw the heart and the tongue. Bewildered, his master said: “I ordered you to bring me the best parts and you brought me the tongue and the heart, and when I ordered you to throw away the worst parts you threw away the tongue and heart. How can that be?” Luqman said: “Nothing can be more pleasing than these if they are good, and nothing can be worse than these if they are bad”. (Narrated by Yazid Ibn Hamn and Waki’ after Abdul Ashhab after Khalid Ar-Rabi’i)
In another incident, it is narrated that while Luqman was preaching one day, a man who used to know him saw him and said: “Aren’t you the slave of so and so who used to look after my sheep not so long ago?” Luqman replied: “Yes”. The man said: “What raised you to this high state I see?” Luqman replied: “Lowering my gaze, watching my tongue, eating what is lawful, keeping my chastity, undertaking my promises, fulfilling my commitments, being hospitable to my guests, respecting my neighbours and discarding what does not concern me.” (Narrated by Ibn Wahb)
Luqman advises his son
Luqman is well known for his beautiful advice to his son. The Quran narrates this in detail in surah 31 (Surah Luqman) verses 12-19.
In the beginning, Luqman advices his son to worship only one God, and to never commit shirk. The Quran says: “And (remember) when Luqman said to his son when he was advising him: “O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.”
After this, Luqman advices him to respect his parents, with emphasis on a mother. The chapter continues: “And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years – give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.”
“But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not; but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do.”
This also means that no matter how terrible one’s parents are, it is a duty to take care of them and help them, as long as it does not involve disobeying Allah.
Luqman continues to remind his son about Allah being the All Hearing, the All-knowing. He said: “O my son! If it be (anything) equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Verily, Allah is Subtle (in bringing out that grain), Well-Aware (of its place).”
Then Luqman talks about Prayers, and how important it is to enjoin goodness and forbid wrong. He said: “O my son! Aqim-As-Salat (perform As-Salat), enjoin (on people) Al-Ma’ruf – (Islamic Monotheism and all that is good), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief in the Oneness of Allah, polytheism of all kinds and all that is evil and bad),” But upon this, he adds patience. That is because most times, one must be very patient when speaking the truth. People may hate you and fight you, so you must stand firm. “and bear with patience whatever befalls you. Verily, these are some of the important commandments (ordered by Allah with no exemption).”
Finally, he admonishes his son against pride. He says: “And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not any arrogant boaster.” And against raising his voice or walking arrogantly. “And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the braying of the asses.” (31:19)
Luqman was no Prophet as I mentioned earlier, but his wisdom and fear of Allah made him stand out. He did not however forget his family, and he gave them the best advice he could; teaching them to put Allah above everything. May Allah make us good parents. Ameen.
Surah Luqman (31:12)