Luqman was a wise man whom Allah had blessed with wisdom. In Chapter 31 of the Noble Quran entitled ‘Luqman,’ (Surah Luqman) the wise father Luqman is found advising his son. The ten pearls of wisdom passed on from a father to his beloved son are timeless and would benefit any father who wanted to encourage his son. The God-given nature of man does not change, and this renders Luqman’s counsel ageless.
Every father is a shepherd to his family and will be answerable to Allah for their upbringing on Judgement Day. This makes it imperative that parents take heed of the comprehensive advice of their righteous and enlightened predecessor. Lest the children point towards their negligence when questioned on a day when no father would aid his son and vice versa.
It must be noted that the advice in question was delivered in a respectful and honorable manner. When advice is given in an overbearing way, it often has a negative effect. Luqman knew better. Let us examine the ten pieces of advice that can prepare any child, in any day and age, for attaining success in both worlds.
#1. Gem of advice: Unity in worship
In Surah Luqman, Luqman urges his son not to associate partners with Allah, warning him that doing so is a grave sin. Luqman first addresses his son affectionately to catch his undivided attention. He then proceeds to focus his attention on what is most pivotal to human existence-to worship Allah alone. He makes it abundantly clear to him that joining partners with Allah (Shirk) is the gravest of sins alongside disbelief.
Shirk is a sin with an outcome that is disastrous beyond doubt. An outright insult to the Creator and Sustainer of the mighty heavens and the earth. An injustice with far-reaching consequences of Allah’s wrath and eternal doom. In Surah An-Nisa, Allah informs us that the association of partners with Him is the only unpardonable sin in Islam.
#2. Gem of advice: Obedience to parents
In Surah Luqman, Allah commands us to obey our parents and treat them well. Allah SWT has mentioned the necessity of a child to be dutiful to his parents alongside belief in Him on numerous occasions in the Noble Quran. It is a child’s duty to love, honor, obey, and serve his parents to the best of his ability.
#3. Gem of advice: Luqman says nothing escapes Allah’s knowledge
As mentioned in Surah Luqman, nothing, however slight and insignificant it may be, escapes Allah’s Knowledge, as He is aware of all things. Luqman informs his son of Allah’s Omniscience and Omnipotence. Not only is Allah fully aware of His creation, but His power over His creation is to the extent of perfection personified. Allah has always known the past, present, and future and is not to be questioned.
#4. Gem of Advice: Perfect the prayer
Luqman wants his son to know that merely praying as a formality will not suffice. Apart from fulfilling an obligation, he must use prayer to remember Allah and stay away from sin. He should pray correctly and on time. Once he makes a connection with Allah in salah, he must not get distracted but put the world aside to be in communion with his beloved Creator.
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#5. Gem of advice: Enjoin good and forbid evil, says Luqman
As stated in Surah Luqman, it is incumbent on a believer to call to good and forbid evil. Remaining silence in the face of wrongdoing, sin, oppression, etc. makes the observer sinful in Allah’s eyes. Man is God’s vicegerent on earth and must remind believers whenever he sees them falling short. This should nonetheless be done as the situation demands, sometimes in public and other times in private.
As our Prophet (PBUH) outlined in a Hadeeth recorded in Sahih Muslim, one should firstly combat evil by physically changing it. If taking physical action is not possible, he should speak out against it. However, if he is unable to speak against it, he should despise it in his heart, which is the lowest of faith.
#6. Gem of Advice: Hold on to patience come what may
He then asks his son to remain content with Allah’s Decree come what may. If good happens to him, he must be grateful, and when faced with misfortune, he must be patient. He must know that after every hardship comes ease…
#7. Gem of advice: Avoid pride and remain humble, suggests Luqman
As stated in the Quran’s Surah Luqman, we should not ignore or shun others out of pride. Believers should live with each other with humility. Under no circumstances should they allow pride or arrogance to enter their hearts. Those are the traits of the accursed Shaytan who was condemned to Hell-fire due to them. In a hadith, the Prophet (PBUH) was known to have said that anyone who has even a mustard seed weight of pride will not enter Paradise.
#8. Gem of advice: Shun arrogance and embrace humility
As we learn in Surah Luqman, Allah wants us to be humble and not display arrogance in our ways and actions. All men on earth are equal in Allah’s eyes, and the only factor that renders anyone superior to another is their piety. To walk around, puffed up with pride, is undesirable. Since all bounties are from Allah SWT, boasting about them is despised by Him.
#9. Gem of advice: Luqman says to tread the earth with humility
We should walk in a moderate manner, as stated in Surah Luqman. This is to re-emphasize the points he made earlier. A believer is one who should be known for his humbleness, moderation, and compassion. He should know well that he came into the world empty-handed and will leave it empty-handed. Hence, there is no room for pride in the hearts of Allah’s righteous slaves.
#10. Gem of advice: To speak softly is a believer’s trait
Furthermore, in Surah Luqman, we learn that we should talk in a reasonable, low tone and not raise our voice like a braying donkey. Raising one’s voice or yelling is looked down upon and offends people. It is often said about such a person that he barks like a dog or brays like a donkey. Both are not complimentary analogies.
These ten gems of advice are endowed with enlightenment and wisdom. The father-son duo may have perished, but these precious gems shall forever remain enshrined in the pages of the Noble Quran.
Luqman was a wise and pious man, and his advice shows us exactly that. He is relatively lesser known among Muslims, but those who know about him about the advice that he gave to his son hold him in very high respect. According to the Tafsir, he may have been from Ethiopia. In many Islamic areas of the world, including the Arab lands, there are several stories about Luqman.
In Islam, we believe that Allah sent down a very large number of prophets. People often cite a Hadith that stated the number was 124,000. However, that Hadith is not an authentic one. Having said that, it’s undeniable that there were a lot of prophets that we don’t know about. Still, we can only affirm prophets if Allah tells us about them. Hence, it is wrong to call Luqman a prophet because Allah didn’t say anything in this regard in the Holy Quran.
The tafsir contains a story about Luqman’s wisdom. It says that he was a man well-aware of his surroundings, and he always tried to understand the things happening around him. Once, he was sleeping, and an angel arrived and told him that Allah would give him a gift. He had the choice of opting for wisdom vs. being a king, and he chose the former. After this, his sense and understanding suddenly improved; this was the effect of Allah’s blessings upon him.
Luqman’s short but impactful story in the Quran gives Muslims a lot of valuable information. Not only does it set a great example for Muslims to follow, but it is also full of practical advice that we can utilize in our day-to-day lives. The advice that Luqman gave his son can be beneficial for any child nowadays.