Thank you for sending in your question to our website, brother Mohammed.
There are two opinions about Luqman, the wise man, among Muslim scholars. One is that he was a prophet of Allah, and the other is that he was a righteous man, not a prophet.
The majority of scholars favor the latter view. As for the identity of Luqman, there are three aspects: his ethnicity, the land he dwelled in, and his occupation.
As far as his ethnic lineage is concerned, he is reported to have been an Ethiopian slave: Yahya bin Saeed Al Ansari narrated from Saeed bin Al Musayyib:
Luqman was from the black peoples of (southern) Egypt, and had thick lips. Allah gave him wisdom but withheld prophethood from him.
According to the above narration, Luqman was a man with black skin, and he hailed from the south of Egypt. Furthermore, Abdullah bin Zubayr said:
I said to Jabir bin Abdullah: ‘What did you hear about Luqman?’ He said: ‘He was short, with a flat nose, and came from Nubia‘:
According to encyclopedia Britannica, Nubia is:
an ancient region in northeastern Africa, extending approximately from the Nile River valley (near the first cataract in Upper Egypt) eastward to the shores of the Red Sea, southward to about Khartoum (in what is now Sudan), and westward to the Libyan Desert.
In order to read more about the exact location of Nubia, you can refer to Wikipedia about it.
Lastly, as far as his occupation was concerned, Luqman is reported to have been a carpenter. Ibn `Abbas narrated:
Luqman was an Ethiopian slave who was a carpenter.
The same has been narrated by Ibn Jarir, from Khalid Al Rabai.
As for your question about the present-day people who inhabit the region from which Luqman hailed, they are known as “Nubians”. According to Wikipedia:
Today, people of Nubian descent primarily live in Sudan, and inhabit the region between Wadi Halfa in the north and Al Dabbah in the south.”
About the modern-day Nubians, it states that:
The descendants of the ancient Nubians still inhabit the general area of what was ancient Nubia. Today, they live in what is called the former Old Nubia, which is mainly in modern Egypt.
To sum up, we can conclude that today, southern Egypt is the land from which Luqman hailed, and it is still occupied by the descendants of the ancient Nubians, although they have also moved into neighboring Sudan.
For more information, including professional photos, about the life and culture of the people who inhabit this region today, you can read this article: What Life Is Like In Egypt’s Nubian Society.
Allah knows best. I hope that this information answers your question, brother Mohammed.
Please stay in touch.
Reference for quoted ahadith: Tafsir ibn Kathir
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