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Surah Luqman: Wise Man Advises His Son

Luqman (may Allah be pleased with him) was one of the very few individuals who were quoted by Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala in the Quran. Although he was not a prophet, he was a famous person in the Arabic literature renowned for his wisdom and wise quotations.

Luqman was mentioned in the glorious Quran and was highly praised by Allah the Almighty Who narrates his most famous sayings and his advice to his son.

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When a parent speaks to his children, it is usually genuine advice which stems from a caring father or mother. Integrity is significant in making sure that our family is guided first, before preaching to the masses.

The Surah summarizes Luqman’s wisdom instructing us to care about our families and to direct our utmost attention to raising them by basically teaching them faith, morality and the very purpose of life.

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Gratitude: The Epitome of Wisdom

Some people may be uncertain with the true meaning of wisdom; they use unclear words and grandiose expressions which they may or may not understand.

The Arabs however define wisdom as simply possessing suitable knowledge and acting upon it. Wisdom according to them is not about accumulating knowledge but also understanding and applying it.

Luqman’s wisdom had this practical sense: it was focused on gratitude as revealed in the verse:

{We endowed Luqman with wisdom: ‘Be thankful to God: whoever gives thanks benefits his own soul, and as for those who are thankless––God is self-sufficient, worthy of all praise} (Luqman 31:12)

Luqman’s advice to his son:

1. Worship none but Allah:

{My son, do not attribute any partners to God: attributing partners to Him is a terrible wrong} (Luqman 31:13)

The more you learn about Allah and His magnificence and reflect on His blessings your faith will be boosted and you will remember that He watches you all the time. So, Luqman teaches his son:

{My son, if even the weight of a mustard seed were hidden in a rock or anywhere in the heavens or earth, God would bring it [to light], for He is Subtle and Well-Aware} (Luqman 31:16)

2. Parent’s rights:

He who does not thank people will not truly thank Allah and the people who deserve your appreciation the most are your parents. Luqman here emphasizes the importance of being dutiful to one’s parents. Without understanding and implementing this concept, you will not truly understand the beauty of gratitude.

{We have commanded people to be good to their parents: their mothers carried them, with strain upon strain, and it takes two years to wean them. Give thanks to Me and to your parents– all will return to Me} (Luqman 31:14}

At the same time, when there is a disagreement between your parents’ wishes and the rights of Allah, definitely Allah comes first (Verse 15).

3. Establish the prayer and help build a righteous community

{Keep up the prayer, my son; command what is right; forbid what is wrong} (Luqman 31:17)

4. Be patient and strong

{Bear anything that happens to you steadfastly.} (Luqman 31:17)

5. Do not become arrogant

{Do not turn your nose up at people, nor walk about the place arrogantly, for God does not love arrogant or boastful people} (Luqman 31:18)

Don’t Follow Parents Blindly

While it is important to have a strong and healthy relationship with your parents, the Surah warns against blindly following parents. While being dutiful to one’s parents is significant, it does not include accepting their wishes to deviate from the right path.

{When they are told, ‘Follow what God has sent down,’ they say: ‘We shall follow what we saw our forefathers following. What! Even if Satan is calling them to the suffering of the Blazing Flame?} (Luqman 31:21)

It also reminds us that no family member can benefit you on the Day of Judgment if you disbelieve:

{People, be mindful of your Lord and fear a day when no parent will avail their child, nor a child avail their parent in any way. God’s promise is true, so do not let the present life delude you, nor let the Deceiver delude you about God} (Luqman 31:33)

Taken with permission and with some modifications from Dr. Mohannad Hakeem’s blog.

About Dr. Mohannad Hakeem
Dr. Mohannad Hakeem is an educator, activist, and author who has studied traditionally under multiple scholars in the Muslim world for the past 20 years. He is originally from Lebanon and currently resides in Dearborn, MI, USA, where he has helped establish multiple community initiatives and organizations, with a focus on youth empowerment and education. His most recent book, "The 40 Hadith on Community Service," draws inspiration from the Quran and the Sunnah to provide young Muslims with an "algorithm" for success and excellence in both the worldly life and the afterlife. In his professional career, Dr. Hakeem earned a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. In this role, he has taught several students, conducted research, and authored 80+ patents and technical papers.