Feb 7, 2014

Luqman’s Advice to His Son Part 1

By Shazia Arif


The relationship between a father and a son is a delicate and beautiful one. It is the closest and beloved bond two people can have. In this relationship, it is crucial that both parties understand each other and build a friendship; we see a perfect example of this kind of bond presented to us in the Qur’an through the story of Luqman and his son.

Who was Luqman?

Majority of the scholars are of the opinion that he was not a prophet, rather a righteous man whom Allah subhana wa ta'ala had given wisdom to, with the wisdom given to him, he advises his son about different matters in life with love, passion and affection.

And We had certainly given Luqman wisdom...” (Luqman:12)

Yahya bin Sa`id Al-Ansari narrated from Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib that, "Luqman was from the black peoples of (southern) Egypt, and had thick lips. Allah gave him wisdom but withheld prophethood from him.''

Al-`Awza`i said, "`Abdur-Rahman bin Harmalah told me; `A black man came to Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib to ask him a question, and Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib said to him: "Do not be upset because you are black, for among the best of people were three who were black: Bilal, Mahja` the freed slave of `Umar bin Al-Khattab, and Luqman the Wise, who was a black Nubian with thick lips.''

Ibn Jarir recorded that Khalid Ar-Raba`i said: "Luqman was an Ethiopian slave who was a carpenter. His master said to him, `Slaughter this sheep for us,' so he slaughtered it.  His master said: `Bring the best two pieces from it,' so he brought out the tongue and the heart.  Then time passed, as much as Allah willed, and his master said: `Slaughter this sheep for us,' so he slaughtered it.  His master said, `Bring the worst two morsels from it,' so he brought out the tongue and the heart.  His master said to him, `I told you to bring out the best two pieces, and you brought these, then I told you to bring out the worst two pieces, and you brought these!'  Luqman said, `There is nothing better than these if they are good, and there is nothing worse than these if they are bad.' ''  [Taken from Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

What was his advice?

- Advice against greatest injustice; shirk
- Rights of Parents
- Describing Allah subhana wa ta'ala’s Might
- Establish Prayer
- Enjoin good and forbid evil
- Patience in implementing the commands
- Against pride/arrogance
- Be moderate in attitude
- Moderate in walking
- Against harsh voice

Advice #1

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)

The greatest injustice a person can do is shirk (associating partners with Allah subhana wa ta'ala) Why is this the greatest injustice? We can understand this through an example: you put a lot of effort into making a cake for your mother, and once you give it to her, instead of praising you, she ends up praising your sister who had no hand in making the cake. Similar is shirk, Allah subhana wa ta'ala made us, blessed us, but what have people done? They are showing their love, gratitude, and are praying to those beings that had nothing to do with any favours we’ve been blessed with.

So the first advice Luqman gives is of shirk. This is because it is the only sin that cannot be forgiven, and is the worst of the worst. We can see the care in the way Luqman advises his son, he delivers such a heavy message to his son in a light but understanding manner.  Luqman’s way of addressing his son helped with conveying the message.

We Learn

- The severity of shirk - The importance of staying away from shirk
- How to convey an important message
- How to advise your child
- The type of relation parents should have with their children
- Since Luqman’s advice is preserved in the Qur’an, we should benefit from it and teach our own children

Look out for the next advice coming soon!

Post other lessons you may have learnt below, and your comments are always welcome :)


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