Download PDF: [S] The Wisdom of Luqman
The words of wisdom and certain wise words of Luqman have also been recorded in the Qur’an. As a matter of fact, there is even a Surah which has been named after him. This Surah is named Surah Luqman.
Mohammed bin Ishaq, the compiler of the Al Maghaazi, records his family lineage as follows, “Luqman bin Ba’ur bin Bajur bin Tarakh. The last name is the actual name of the father of Nabi Ebrahim – peace be upon him.”
Some historians have mentioned that he is actually the nephew of Nabi Ayyub – peace be upon him. Some have said that he is in fact the cousin of Hadrat Ayyub – peace be upon him.
It is reported that Hadrat Luqman lived nearly a thousand years until he even met Nabi Sulayman – peace be upon him – and actually acquired some knowledge from this Prophet. Before the arrival of Nabi Daud – peace be upon him – he was considered as a Mufti among the Bani Isra’eel, however, when Nabi Daud – peace be upon him – announced his Prophethood, he stopped issuing any Fatawah.
In some books it is written that Hadrat Luqman has stated that, “I presented myself to nearly four thousand Prophets and from the blessed teachings of these Prophet, I will always remember eight important lessons:
- When you perform the Salaah, then protect your heart.
- When you consume food, then protect your throat.
- When you live in the house of another person, then protect your eyes.
- When you are in the company of people, protect your tongue.
- Always remember the Allah Almighty.
- Always remember your death.
- Forget the favours which you have performed.
- Pardon the oppression of others.
Who was Luqman?
Hadrat Sayyiduna Ikramah – may Allah be pleased with him – and Ima Shu’bah – may Allah be pleased with him – and many other scholars say that he was not a Prophet. In fact he was a Hakeem or a wise person. Among the Bani Israeel, he was also a person with high status, a person with Imaan and very famous for his piety.
Allah Almighty had also filled his chest with wisdom. In surah Luqman (31), verse 12, the Qur’an declares:
وَلَقَدْ اٰتَیۡنَا لُقْمٰنَ الْحِکْمَۃَ اَنِ اشْکُرْ لِلہِ ؕ وَمَنۡ یَّشْکُرْ فَاِنَّمَا یَشْکُرُ لِنَفْسِہٖ ۚ وَمَنۡ کَفَرَ فَاِنَّ اللہَ غَنِیٌّ حَمِیۡدٌ ﴿۱۲﴾
“And undoubtedly, We bestowed to Luqman wisdom saying, ‘Be grateful to Allah’. And whoever is grateful, is grateful for the good of his own and whoever is ungrateful then certainly Allah is Self Sufficient, All praised.”
He spent his entire life giving advice to people. In Tafseer Fathur Rahman, it is mentioned that he is near Ramallah. Hadrat Sayyiduna Qatadah – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that his grave is in Ramallah and is in between the Masjid and a bazaar. In this place, nearly seventy Prophets are also buried. After this, this is when the Jews were evicted from the Baitul Muqaddas. Most of them also died with extreme thirst and hunger. On his grave, there is a huge sign and people come from all over to visit his grave. (Ruhul Bayaan, 7/77; Saawi, 3/210)
What is “Hikmah” or wisdom?
“Hikmah” is considered to be intelligence or the power of thought and analyses. Some people have explained that “Hikmah” means discerning and being able to reach a proper conclusion in any matter. Some have said that “Hikmah” is such a thing which if Allah Almighty places in someone’s heart, that heart becomes enlightened.
It is reported that Allah Almighty had suddenly blessed Luqman with wisdom while he slept. Whatever be the actual meaning, wisdom like Prophethood is something which is bestowed. No one can acquire wisdom through his own personal effort. In like manner, no one can become a Prophet without it been bestowed by Allah Almighty. There is also no doubt that the status of Prophethood is far superior to the status of Hikmah. (Ruhul Bayaan, 7/75)
Lukman also had a son called An’am and some of the words of wisdom which he passed on to his son is also mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. This is to be found in Surah Luqman. Besides this, there are also many words of wisdom attributed to him which is to be found in various other treatises.
It is well-known that he was actually a tailor. Some have said that he was a shepherd. Consequentially, once he was delivering some words of wisdom when someone said to him, “Are you not that certain shepherd?” He replied, “Yes, why not, I am indeed that certain shepherd.” The person then asked him how he had arrived at such a lofty state of wisdom. He replied, “By speaking the truth, by protecting the trust of someone and then giving it to that person safely and by refraining from useless speech and conversation.” (Tafseer Saawi, 3/211)