اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ بِجَمِیعِ مَحَامِدِه کُلِّهَا عَلَی جَمِیعِ نِعَمِهِ کُلِّهَا… اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ مالِکِ الْمُلْکِ مُجْرِی الْفُلْکِ مُسَخِّرِ الرِّیاحِ فالِقِ الاْصْباحِ دَیّانِ الدّینِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمینَ اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی حِلْمِهِ بَعْدَ عِلمِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی عَفْوِهِ بَعْدَ قُدْرَتِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی طُولِ اَناتِهِ فی غَضَبِهِ وَهُوَ قادِرٌ عَلی ما یُریدُ
All praise be to Allah with full gratitude for all His bounties. … All praise be to Allah: the master of the sovereignty, Who allows arks to flow [on seas], Who controls the winds, Who causes the day to break, Who administers the authority, and Who is the Lord of the worlds. All praise be to Allah for His forbearance despite His full knowledge. All praise be to Allah for His amnesty despite His full power. All praise be to Allah for the length of His respite during His wrath, while He is able to do whatever He wills.
و نشهد أن لا اله الا الله وحده لا شریک له، و أَنَّ محمداً عبده و رسوله ارسله بالهدی و دین الحق لیظهره علی الدین کله و لو کره المشرکون
We bear witness that there is no god but Allah. He is one and has no partners. We bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, whom He sent with guidance and the religion of truth that He may make it prevail over all religions, though the polytheists should be averse.
اوصیکم عبادالله و نفسی بتقوی الله و اتباع امره و نهیه، و اخوفکم من عقابه
I enjoin you, servants of Allah and myself, to have fear of God and comply with His commands and forbiddances, and warn you against His retribution.
The Practice of Luqman in the Quran
Luqman is a renowned moral figure known for his wisdom. While there is debate over whether he was also a prophet, the majority of Muslim exegetes of the Quran do not consider him to be one. Regardless, Luqman remains a significant and revered character in the history of humanity.
There are varying beliefs about the origins of Luqman. Some attribute him to the People of ʿAd, while others believe he was an Israelite. Another account suggests that he was an Abyssinian slave owned by a wealthy Israelite during the time of Prophet David. According to this narrative, Luqman’s master emancipated him due to his exceptional wisdom.
The Quran features a chapter named after Luqman, which details the advice he imparted to his son. This guidance, along with Luqman’s character, serves as a prominent theme in numerous Shiite and Sunni hadiths.
Hadiths describe Luqman as possessing various noteworthy traits, including profound contemplation, strong faith, a quiet demeanor, trustworthiness, truthfulness, and the ability to resolve disputes among people.
Value and Truth of Wisdom
The Quran says about Luqman:
وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا لُقْمَانَ الْحِكْمَةَ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِلَّهِ وَمَنْ يَشْكُرْ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ حَمِيدٌ
And We had certainly given Luqman wisdom [and said], “Be grateful to Allah.” And whoever is grateful is grateful for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever denies [His favor] – then indeed, Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy. (Luqman: 12)
This verse describes Luqman as a person who was given wisdom by God. The term “wisdom” (ḥikma) appears twenty times in the Quran. Indeed, the Quran describes impartment of wisdom as one objective of the prophets:
لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِنْ كَانُوا مِنْ قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ
Certainly did Allah confer [great] favor upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom, although they had been before in manifest error. (Al ʿImran: 164)
Wisdom is so valuable that the Quran describes this world, as vast as it is, as small and deceptive (“Say, The enjoyment of this world is little” [Nisa: 77] and “And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion” [Al Imran: 185]), but it describes wisdom as “much good”: “whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good” (al-Baqara: 269).
Imam ʿAli says: “wisdom is the life of the dead heart” (Nahj al-Balagha, sermon 133). As for the significance of wisdom, he says: “wisdom is the lost thing of the believer. So, get the wisdom even though from people of hypocrisy” (Nahj al-Balagha, hadith no. 80).
Luqman’s Ten Instructions
The Quran highlights Luqman’s guidance to his son in just five verses of Sura Luqman. Within this brief passage, Luqman imparts ten major instructions and profound human and social concepts:
The Quran quotes Luqman as telling his son:
وَإِذْ قَالَ لُقْمَانُ لِابْنِهِ وَهُوَ يَعِظُهُ يَا بُنَيَّ لَا تُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ
And [mention, O Muhammad], when Luqman said to his son while he was instructing him, “O my son, do not associate [anything] with Allah. Indeed, association [with him] is great injustice.” (Luqman: 13)
Polytheism is considered a grave injustice as it involves associating partners with the One and Only Transcendent Creator, which goes against the fundamental belief of Tawhid (monotheism). By committing such an act, the polytheist not only wrongs God but also deprives themselves of happiness in both this world and the hereafter.
In his guidance to his son, Luqman says:
يَا بُنَيَّ إِنَّهَا إِنْ تَكُ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِنْ خَرْدَلٍ فَتَكُنْ فِي صَخْرَةٍ أَوْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ أَوْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَأْتِ بِهَا اللَّهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَطِيفٌ خَبِيرٌ
O my son, indeed if wrong should be the weight of a mustard seed and should be within a rock or [anywhere] in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Indeed, Allah is Subtle and Acquainted. (Luqman: 16)
Belief in the Day of Resurrection and Judgment encourages individuals to uphold justice and fairness in their social relationships. Such individuals are inclined to respect the rights of others, do good deeds, and refrain from engaging in wars and bloodshed.
- Prayer, Enjoining the Right and Forbidding the Wrong, Patience over Problems
After monotheism and resurrection, Luqman makes recommendations about worships in this world:
يَا بُنَيَّ أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَانْهَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا أَصَابَكَ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ
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. (Luqman: 17)
Through his teachings, Luqman advises his son to establish a balanced relationship with both God and other people. He emphasizes the importance of not being indifferent towards the happiness or pain of those around him.
- Humbleness, Rationality, Avoidance of Arrogance
As for treatment of others in the society, Luqman tells his son:
وَلَا تُصَعِّرْ خَدَّكَ لِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ
And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful. (Luqman: 18)
The term “mukhtal” originates from “khiyal,” which refers to imagination or delusion. It describes a person who is excessively engaged in fantasies and lacks rational thinking, leading to self-delusion. On the other hand, “fakhur” is derived from “fakhr,” meaning to boast, and refers to a boastful person.
These are three essential social instructions that promote more humane relationships: humility towards others, adopting realistic attitudes rather than indulging in fantasies, and avoiding arrogance in decisions that impact others.
- Moderation in Life, Moderation in Speech
Two other instructions given by Luqman are as follows:
وَاقْصِدْ فِي مَشْيِكَ وَاغْضُضْ مِنْ صَوْتِكَ إِنَّ أَنْكَرَ الْأَصْوَاتِ لَصَوْتُ الْحَمِيرِ
And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys. (Luqman: 19)
Moderation or avoiding excess in lifestyle and speech should be observed in one’s lifestyle and speech. As human beings, we have been given the gift of language and reason to interact with others in rational terms. In situations where people act against our values or infringe on our rights, it is essential to engage in dialogue rather than resorting to war or bloodshed.