The wise man, known as Luqman, gave 10 pieces of advice to his son. Advice that is applicable now and can be followed and used by any parent wanting to raise a child in the light of Islam.
It is said that if all parents implemented Luqman’s advice then there would be no need to worry about the fate of the children in the Hereafter because they have been shown the path that leads to Paradise.
In the few short verses of the Quran that contain Luqman’s advice to his son is the key to success in this life and on the Day of Judgment.
…O my son! Join not in worship others with God. Verily! Joining others in worship with God is a great wrong indeed. (Quran 31:13)
Luqman calls his son “my son” rather than by name so as to emphasis the familial bond. He catches his attention encouraging him to listen carefully to what he is about to say. He then calls his son’s attention to what is the most important thing in the eyes of God.
The one who associates others with God, he says, does the biggest wrong or injustice to the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. That person also does a great wrong to himself because he offers himself up to the possibility of God’s anger and an eternal punishment.
And we have enjoined on man to be dutiful and good to his parents… (Quran 31:14)
In the Quran God mentions the rights of parents in the same sentence as the most important aspect of Islam, worshiping God alone. This indicates that being kind to parents, honoring and respecting them, is extremely important in the way of life that is Islam.
In the following part of Chapter Luqman, 31:14, God clarifies the difficulties mothers in particular go through raising their children and demands that the child gives thanks to his parents. God reminds us then that it is to Him that we will return so our first allegiance is to God alone, followed by devotion and kindness to our parents.
O my son! If it be (anything) equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth… (Quran 31:16)
Luqman then advises his son to remember the might and power that belongs to God. God’s knowledge is perfect, anything that happens or will happen in this world is already known by God.
God’s might is absolute and should not be questioned, challenged or ignored by anyone.
O my son! Offer prayer perfectly… (31:17)
Luqman advises his son to pray regularly and in the right time frame. All parents should teach their children not only how to pray but why we pray and its importance. The Arabic word for prayer is salah and the word denotes connection. Prayer is our way of connecting with and maintaining a connection with God. Prayer at fixed times serves as a reminder of why we are here and helps to direct thoughts and actions away from sin and onto the remembrance of God.
…enjoin on people all that is good and forbid them from all that is evil… (31:17)
…and bear with patience whatever befalls you… (31:17)
Luqman advises his son to pray perfectly, enjoin good and forbid evil and then recommends patience when dealing with people for this purpose and in all matters. Remembering God and contemplating His greatness is the key to patience, and patience is a key to Paradise everlasting, therefore this was a wise advice indeed.
And turn not your face away from men with pride… (31:18)
Try not to act as if you are better than everybody else. Humility is a much desirable quality for any believer to aspire to. Humility can guide us to Paradise, just as its opposite, arrogance, can lead us into Hell. Satan’s arrogance or lack of humility caused not only his expulsion from Paradise but condemned him and his followers to Hell. Prophet Muhammad did not behave towards others as if he was better than they, nor did he spurn manual work. One of his companions reported that Prophet Muhammad worked happily with servants or workers.
…nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not any arrogant boaster. (31:18)
Walking with insolence through the land is another form of arrogance. It is as if Luqman wanted to emphasize the importance of humility. All people are equal in the eyes of God; the only thing that sets them apart is piety. Prophet Muhammad, his companions and the early generations of Muslims understood the concept of humility.
And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking… (Quran 31:19)
A native American proverb tells us that “we will be known by the tracks we leave”. Luqman is advising his son to walk gently on this earth and not to crash into situations with heavy boots. He is advising that patience and humility should be a person’s normal, or as we say these days, default demeanor. Believers should be known for the humility, gentleness and mercy in their behavior.
…and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the braying of the asses. (31:19)
And finally, Luqman advises his son to lower his voice. Being loud and harsh, he says, makes one’s voice sound like the braying of donkeys. Shouting does not win hearts, it offends and alienates people.
Luqman the wise counsels his son with 10 pieces of advice. It is important to note that Luqman begins with the most important lesson; belief in One God. He also makes clear that joining others in worship with God is the only unforgivable sin.
Next, after laying the foundations of faith, Luqman reminds his son of the essential values a believer must strive to acquire, while simultaneously shunning pride and arrogance.
When parents can convey these 10 pieces of advice to their children they are laying the foundations for a happy life. If children can model this behavior as demonstrated by their parents and caregivers it is even better.
Abridged from Islam Religion.