The Story of Luqman in The Qur’an, The Wise Man
By: Ibrahim Hassan Gagale, (KON) - The story of Luqman is mentioned in The Noble Qur'an and Surat Luqman is named after him. Some Islamic Scholars say that Luqman was a prophet but the majority of scholars believe that Luqman was a pious man (religious man) granted with wisdom but not prophethood.
His full name is said to have been Luqman Ibn Anqa Ibn Sadun, others call him Luqman Ibn Tharan. According to some Islamic historians, Luqman was born in the Continent of Africa and belonged to the black people of Southern Egypt living in Nubia (Nubia is a region along the Nile river which is located in northern Sudan and southern Egypt). Others believe he was an Ethiopian slave who worked as a carpenter in Nubia. Only Allah knows the right answer. Luqman (May Allah be pleased with him) is mentioned in The Noble Qur'an and highly praised by Allah (S.W.T). It is believed Luqman had lived in Jerusalem about 3,100 years ago (Around 1,100 B.C) in the days of Prophet Dawud (David) and his son king Suleiman (Peace be upon them).
Allah (Most High, Glorious is He) says: "And indeed, We bestowed (granted) upon Luqman wisdom (Al-Hikmah 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 indeed, Allah is All-Rich (Free of all needs), Worthy of all praise." [Surat Luqman, Verse: 12].
Luqman (May Allah be pleased with him) was granted the wisdom because he was a great servant of Allah (S.W.T) and he had great unique qualities. It was reported that Luqman used to lower his gaze from women, watch his tongue, eat what was lawful, keep his chastity, undertake his promises, fulfill his commitments, be hospitable to guests, respect his neighbors, and discard what did not concern him. He was also self-restrained, deep-thinker, very eloquent, and no one had ever seen him laughing foolishly.
(A) The Boyhood and Abduction of Luqman: Luqman, The Wise Man, grew up in the thick jungles of Africa and walked barefooted with the lower part of his body covered with a cloth. His daily encounter with different kinds of wild animals and tough life in the jungle made him strong and fearless young man. One day, while sitting in the shade of a tree, he had fallen into a deep sleep and clearly and plainly saw Angel Gabriel before him giving him the good news that Allah (S.W.T) had blessed him. He was reportedly given a choice to either become a prophet or ask for wisdom. Luqman had chosen the wisdom. When he awoke, he became aware that his understanding had immensely increased grasping the inner meaning of things, beyond their physical reality. Instantly, he bowed down and thanked and praised Allah for the wonderful gift.
Luqman was captured and abducted from the black people of Southern Egypt (Nubia Region) by the Slave Traders of Africa. They sold him as a slave in the Middle East. Luqman understood that he was robbed of his freedom and could neither move nor speak freely. This was the first trial he had to bear suffering the bondage patiently, for his heart lighted with Faith and hope waiting for Allah's action to free him from the bondage. The man who bought him was a good and intelligent man. He treated Luqman with kindness detecting that Luqman was not an ordinary man and tested his intelligence.
According to Islamic Scholars, one day, the master instructed Luqman to slaughter a goat and bring him the most delicious two parts from it. Luqman slaughtered the goat and brought his master the tongue and the heart. The master asked: “Didn’t you find anything sweeter than the tongue and the heart?” Luqman said: “No!” Another day, the master ordered him again to slaughter another goat and to throw away two of the most harmful parts. Luqman slaughtered the second goat and threw away the tongue and heart. The master asked him again: “I ordered you to bring me the most delicious parts and you brought me the tongue and heart, and then I ordered you to throw away the most harmful parts and you threw away the tongue and heart, how can this be?” Luqman answered: “Nothing can be more pleasing than these if they are good and nothing can be more malicious than these if they are malignant (bad, wicked).”
The master smiled and was fascinated by Luqman's choice in both cases and realized that Luqman was trying to convey some deep meaning that he could not understand himself. From this moment, the master began to take more interest in Luqman because of his wisdom and showed more kindness to him. Due to his great wisdom, Luqman (May Allah be pleased with him) also achieved great respect from the community and many people consulted him for advice. The fame of his wisdom spread all over the country, especially in Jerusalem. Luqman was granted freedom and eventually settled among with the lsrael people. He was appointed judge during the rule of Prophet Dawud (Peace upon him) enjoying the respect of all for his wise and fair judgments. There, he married and raised a family.
The Noble Qur'an contains precious advices that Luqman offered his son. These advices are also important to any Muslim parents all over the world that they communicate Luqman's advices to their children, family, and members of the society in order to implement them. If these valuable advices are followed and implemented, then everyone will be on the straight path leading to Paradise. Luqman (May Allah be pleased with him) summed up in a few words (the advice) the way to succeed in this life and on the Day of Judgment.
(B) The Advice of Luqman to His Son: Allah (Most High, Glorious is He) tells us in the Noble Qur’an that Luqman gave precious advices to his son:
1. Luqman warns his son against the greatest injustice a man can do to Allah (S.W.T). Allah (Most High, Glorious is He) says: Luqman, advising to his son, said:
"O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Surely, joining others in worship with Allah is a great injustice indeed." [Surat Luqman, Verse: 13].
When Luqman says to his son: "My Son!" He intends to grab the attention of his son so that he may listen carefully to his father's advice. He calls his son's attention to the oneness of Allah and advises him against Shirk calling it the greatest injustice against Allah (S.W.T). Associating others with Allah in worship does indeed injustice to Allah, The owner and The Creator of the Universe, and the reward of Shirk is eternal punishment in Hell.
2. Luqman reminds his son of the rights that his parents have upon him and he describes the weakness and hardships that mothers face when bearing children. For that reason, he wants his son to be dutiful and obedient to his parents. Luqman also mentions the total dependence of infants on their mothers for two years. He tells his son to thank Allah first then his parents, and reminds him that the final destination is to Allah.
"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, to Me is the final destination." [Surat Luqman, Verse: 14].
3. Luqman tells his son that if the parents are Mushrikeen (Idolators), then do not follow their way, do not obey them, Allah's right comes first by far. Even so, for as long as they live in the world, treat your Mushrik parents with kindness.
"And if they both strive (try hard) 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." [Surat Luqman, Verse: 15].
4. Luqman then describes some of Allah's unchallenged Might to his son. He tells him that Allah's Knowledge is so perfect that the existence of anything, big or small, is controlled by Him. Luqman tries to impress his son reminding him of Allah's absolute control over His kingdom. Such might and power must not be challenged or ignored by anyone.
"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. Indeed, Allah is Subtle (in bringing out that grain), Well-Aware (of its place)." [Surat Luqman, Verse: 16].
5. A great advice to Luqman's son is to perform the Regular Prayer (As-Salat) with the best possible performance. He tells him that Prayer is the direct and the most important connection between a Muslim and his Creator and must not take it lightly. Luqman also tells his son to observe his duty to enjoin people the good and forbid the bad so evil and mischief will have no place in the Muslim society. Luqman recommends patience for his son in implementing The Commandments of Allah, and also in all matters of life. He tells his son that Patience is a righteous act ordered and rewarded by Allah so he has to be patient for whatever happens to him personally or for the consequences from people when ordering them the good and forbidding them the bad.
"O my son! Establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, (all) that is of the matters [requiring] determination." [Surat Luqman, Verse: 17].
6. Luqman advises his son against arrogance, as that is one of the attributes of Allah alone and not for man. Allah, The Creator and Owner of the universe, is the only One who deserves to be Arrogant and Proud. He reminds his son not to turn his face away from people arrogantly or walk on the Earth insolently. He tells him to be moderate for it is a great attitude that anyone can possess or have and reminds his son that Allah does not like the person who is arrogant and boastful. Allah threatens arrogant people with punishment in Hellfire.
"And do not turn your cheek (in contempt) away from people, nor walk through the Earth in insolence. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful”.
[Surat Luqman, Verse: 18].
7. Luqman also advises his son to be moderate in walking and talking on the Earth. He offers advice to his son on the importance of having good conduct in every aspect of life. He tells him to regulate his walk and his talk moderately as that produces the best behavior and generates respect. Luqman reminds his son that being talking harshly and loudly likens his voice to the braying of a donkey. Shouting does not win hearts but offends and repels people:
"And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice. Indeed, the harshest of all voices is the voice (braying) of the ass." [Surat Luqman, Verse 19]
(Story taken from Islamic Golden Book) Ibrahim Hassan Gagale
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