Luqman in the Quran

Luqman in the Quran

There are many important personalities discussed in the Quran that have been introduced as role models for the believers. One of these people is Luqman the Wise. In this article, we will try to discover the different aspects of the personality of Luqman in the Quran and try to understand why has he been revered in the words of God. To do so, there are a few questions that need to be answered such as:

Who is Luqman in the Quran?

 Luqman (لُقمان) who was known to be originally from Ethiopia or Nubia -today’s Sudan- was taken as a slave to Jerusalem and lived during the time of Prophet Dawud (David). In addition to exceptional wisdom, Luqman was said to have been blessed with a long life and to have been contemporary with 400 prophets. Historians describe him as having dark skin, bold lips, and a tall posture. He was the son of Unqa (عنقی) , son of Mazid (مزید) son of Sarun (صارون). Luqman’s owner is reported as a wealthy man from Bani Israel by the name Qain bin Hasar (قَیْن بن حسر) who later on released Luqman for his wisdom. Aside from his birth which took place in Africa, Luqman spent most of his life in the Middle East, mainly in Palestine and his final resting place is known to be in the country’s Eilat Gulf.

Was Luqman a Prophet?

Whether or not Luqman was one of the prophets of God is a topic debated by many scholars. The Quran states:

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا لُقْمَانَ الْحِكْمَةَ

Certainly We gave Luqman wisdom. 1

Some interpret hikmah (wisdom) as prophethood and believe that Luqman the Wise was in fact a messenger of God among the Children of Israel. However, other evidence tells us otherwise. There is no indication in the Quran to the fact that Luqman could have been anything more than a man whom God had blessed with immense wisdom and the accounts made of him throughout the verses of the Quran simply speak of his teachings to his son. This furthermore supports the argument of him not being a prophet because if he were a prophet then his mission would have been to preach and teach the entire society. However, the Quran makes no mention of that and only highlights Luqman mentoring his son and imparting words of wisdom and life lessons to him, as any father would. A hadith from the Prophet Muhammad states:

Worth to read!  Surah Fatiha

حقّا أقول لم یکن لقمان نبیّا و لکن کان عبدا کثیر التّفکّر حسن الیقین. أحبّ اللَّه فأحبّه و منّ علیه بالحکمه

I say the truth that Luqman was not a prophet but he was a servant who contemplated a lot and possessed great faith. He loved God and so God loved him and bestowed upon him the gift of wisdom. 2

With this said, it is clear that Luqman was not a prophet, though had a very high position in the eyes of God due to his valuable attributes and was thus favored with the gift of wisdom.

Verses of Luqman in the Quran

There are verses about Luqman in the Quran which are comprised in a chapter named after him. In these verses, Allah speaks of how He blessed this special servant with wisdom and how Luqman imparted it to his son with his teachings. The subjects which Luqman addresses are matters regarding:

Monotheism

وَإِذْ قَالَ لُقْمَانُ لِابْنِهِ وَهُوَ يَعِظُهُ يَا بُنَيَّ لَا تُشْرِكْ بِاللَّـهِ ۖ إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ

When Luqman said to his son, as he advised him: ‘O my son! Do not ascribe any partners to Allah. Polytheism is indeed a great injustice.’ 3

Day of Judgment

يَا بُنَيَّ إِنَّهَا إِن تَكُ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنْ خَرْدَلٍ فَتَكُن فِي صَخْرَةٍ أَوْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ أَوْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَأْتِ بِهَا اللَّـهُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَطِيفٌ خَبِيرٌ

‘O my son! Even if it should be the weight of a mustard seed, and [even though] it should be in a rock, or in the heavens, or in the earth, Allah will produce it. Indeed Allah is all-attentive, all-aware. 4

Salah

يَا بُنَيَّ أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ

O my son! Maintain the prayer 5

Enjoining the good

وَأْمُرْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

and bid what is right 6

Forbidding the bad

وَانْهَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ

and forbid what is wrong 7

Worth to read!  Isaac in the Quran

Patience

وَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا أَصَابَكَ ۖ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُور

and be patient through whatever may befall you. That is indeed the steadiest of courses. 8

Avoiding selfishness

وَلَا تُصَعِّرْ خَدَّكَ لِلنَّاسِ

Do not turn your cheek away disdainfully from the people 9

Humility

وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًاإِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ

and do not walk exultantly on the earth. Indeed Allah does not like any swaggering braggart. 10

Moderation in walking

وَاقْصِدْ فِي مَشْيِكَ

And walk moderately 11

Moderation in speech

وَاغْضُضْ مِن صَوْتِكَ ۚ إِنَّ أَنكَرَ الْأَصْوَاتِ لَصَوْتُ الْحَمِيرِ

and lower your voice. Indeed the ungainliest of voices is the donkey’s voice.’ 12

Other Quotes and Sayings of Luqman the Wise

There have been countless sayings and words of wisdom contributed to Luqman in addition to the verses mentioned in Chapter Luqman in the Quran. Most if not all these sayings are once again life lessons Luqman imparts on to his son which we must learn from as well. Some of these quotes are as follows:

عَلَيْكَ بِقَبُولِ الْمَوْعِظَةِ وَالْعَمَلِ بِها فَإِنَّها عِندَ الْمُؤْمِنِ أَحْلى مِنَالْعَسَلِ الشَّهْدِ وعَلَى الْمُنافِقِ أَثْقَلُ مِنْ صُعُودِ الدَّرَجَةِ عَلَى الشَّيْخِ الْكَبيرِ

It is upon you to accept advice and act upon it. Because [good] advice is sweeter than honey for a believer and for the hypocrite it is harder than an elderly person climbing a ladder. 13

مَنْ يُطِعِ اللّه َ خافَهُ، وَ مَنْ خافَهُ فَقَدْ أَحَبَّهُ، وَمَنْ أَحَبَّهُ اتَّبَعَ اَمْرَهُ، وَمَنِاتَّبَعَ اَمْرَهُ اسْتَوْجَبَ جَنَّتَهُ وَمَرْضاتَهُ

Whoever obeys God will be wary of Him, whoever is wary of Him will love Him, and whoever loves Him will follow Him and whoever follows Him, heaven and His satisfaction will be incumbent for Him. 14

يا بُنَىَّ لاتَعْدُ بَعْدَ تَقْوَى اللّه ِ مِنْ اَنْ تَتَّخِذَ صاحِبا صالِحا؛

O my son, after piety and God-wariness, do not forget to choose a good friend. 15

يَا بُنَىَّ اِذَا امتَلأََتِ المَعِدَةُ نَامَتِ الفِكْرَةُ وَ خَرِسَتِ الحِكْمَةُ وَ قَعَدَتِالاَعضَاءُ عَنِ العِبادَةِ

O my son, when the stomach is full the intellect sleeps and wisdom fails, and the body ceases from worship. 16

Topics and Attributes of Chapter Luqman in the Quran

Chapter Luqman is the 31st chapter in the Holy Quran which as mentioned before, gets its name from the life lessons Allah mentions therein which Luqman had taught his son. This luminous surah was revealed in the city of Mecca and is comprised of 34 verses and 550 words. Other topics which have been spoken of in this chapter are the position and greatness of the Quran, rights of parents, the intricate creation of the world, and theology. Another prominent attribute of this chapter is how it includes information in five fields regarding the knowledge of God which are:

  1. The time of Judgment Day
  2. Sending down of rain
  3. That which is conceived in a mother’s womb
  4. The destiny of each human individual
  5. The quality and place of death of each person
Worth to read!  Best Websites to Learn the Quran in 2021

A hadith narrated from the Noble Prophet states:

“Whoever recites Surah Luqman will have Luqman the Wise as his friend on the Day of Judgment and will receive ten times the reward of the people who have invited to good and forbidden the bad.” 17


References

  1. Quran 31:12 (Qara’i).
  2. Kanzud Daghaigh, vol. 10, p. 235.
  3. Quran 31:13 (Qara’i).
  4. Quran 31:16 (Qara’i).
  5. Quran 31:17 (Qara’i).
  6. Quran 31:17 (Qara’i).
  7. Quran 31:17 (Qara’i).
  8. Quran 31:17 (Qara’i).
  9. Quran 31:18 (Qara’i).
  10. Quran 31:18 (Qara’i).
  11. Quran 31:19 (Qara’i).
  12. Quran 31:19 (Qara’i).
  13. A’laamuddin, p. 79.
  14. Biharul Anwar, vol.13, p. 412.
  15. Al-Ikhwan, p.110, hadith no.25.
  16. Tanbihul Khawatir wa Nazhatun-Nawadhir, vol. 1, p. 102.
  17. Thawabul A’maal, p.110.

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Abu Mahdi
Abu Mahdi
I'm Abu Mahdi, one of the writers of this blog. I have a BA in English literature and an MA in English language teaching. I am also a teacher and reciter of the Quran in the field of reading the Quran, tajweed, and maqamat. Currently, we are working on a course for learning tajweed of the Quran here on Islam4u.

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