A commentary on the advice of Luqman (A.S) to his son;

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In the era of this evolving world, the people have forgotten the purpose of life especially, the youth that has lost the right track and is facing a lack of passion, compassion, and motivation in their lives. The youth of this current era is facing depression, anxiety, and many other mental health issues which are continuously growing. When we look for advice and motivation, we just find a bunch of people online who are just selling worldly desires on the label of motivation and bringing people towards the love and luxuries of this world rather than motivating them towards the success that will be beneficial for both, this world as well as hereafter? The one who can advise us the best is the one who created us, our originator, our creator, and our sustainer. Allah Almighty has filled the Holy Quran with advice for mankind so they ponder over it, act upon it so that they become successful. Allah Almighty says in the

Holy Quran:

 “Indeed, We have made the Qur’ān easy for seeking advice. So, is there one to heed to the advice?” (Quran 54:32)

Allah Almighty has mentioned the advice of a person who was so wise that Allah Almighty Himself has mentioned him in the Holy Quran. That person was Luqman A.S and these pieces of advice were given by him to his son. Each of the pieces of advice contains an in-depth meaning which contains the success of this world and in the hereafter. Allah Almighty mentioned Luqman A.S in the Holy Quran and said:

We gave wisdom to Luqmān, and said, “Be grateful to Allah;” and whoever is grateful is, in fact, grateful for his benefit, and whoever is ungrateful, then Allah is free of all needs, worthy of all praise.” (Quran 31:12)

His sources of wisdom can be identified through a Hadith mentioned in Muwatta of Imam Malik that someone asked “What has brought you to what we see?” meaning his high rank. Luqman said,

 “Truthful speech, fulfilling the trust, and leaving what does not concern me.” ( Muwatta Imam Malik)

The advice of Luqman A.S to his son has been discussed in the Holy Quran in Surah Luqman. These advises coming from a wise who has been mentioned by Allah in His book, itself is a significant thing to ponder upon.

First Advice:

(Remember) when Luqmān said to his son, while he was advising him,

“My dear son, do not ascribe partners to Allah. Indeed, ascribing partners to Allah (shirk) is a grave transgression.”

The first piece of advice is very critical and significant as it clearly states that do not join partners with Allah Almighty because joining partners with Him is the most heinous and grave sin in Islam. Associating partners with Allah Almighty is known as Shirk and it is the most sensitive issue in the sight of Allah Almighty because this sin won’t be forgiven by Allah Almighty on the Day of Judgment as it is stated in the Quran:

“Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him, but He forgives anything else, to whomHe pleases, to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin most heinous indeed” (Quran An-Nisa 4:48).

Tawheed is the fundamental principle of Islam and it is stated to worship and call upon Allah Almighty alone. It is like a pillar on which the whole religion of Islam stands and if a Muslim has a clear understanding of it, then, he or she would be following the right path, but if someone doesn’t understand what Tawheed is, then he or she would be deviated from the right path and will fall into the traps of evils. Thus, this first piece of advice is crucial which must be taught by every parent to their children from a very young age so that they don’t deviate from the right path of Tawheed. A beautiful Hadith on Tawheed is mentioned in Sahih al-Bukhari:

Narrated Mu`adh bin Jabal: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “O Mu`adh! Do you know what Allah’s Right Upon His slaves is?” I said, “Allah and His Apostle know best.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “To worshipHim (Allah) Alone and to join none in worship with Him (Allah). Do you know what their right upon Him is?” I replied, “Allah and His Apostle know best.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Not to punish them (if they do so). (Sahih al-Bukhari 7373)

Second Advice ;

“And we have enjoined on man to be dutiful and good to his parents”

Allah Almighty mentions in the Quran to be dutiful to parents and this is what Luqman A.S advised to his son as well. Islam teaches mankind to be highly respectful towards parents and honor them because they are the ones who care for us and help us to grow in our lives. Allah Almighty mentions in Quran:

“Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents”

(Quran, 4:36)

In another verse, Allah Almighty states:

“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor.” (Quran, 17:23)

The intensity of respect and honoring them can be easily understood from these verses. The intensity can be analyzed from the fact that Allah Almighty stated the right of parents right after worshipping Him alone, so this shows how significant it is to be respectful and loving towards the parents. Abdullah bin Amir narrated that: The Prophet ﷺ said:

“The Lord’s pleasure is in the parent’s pleasure and the Lord’s anger is in the parent’s anger.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1899)

Imagine the reward of obeying the parents as Prophet ﷺ said that Allah’s pleasure is the parent’s pleasure as when our parents will be satisfied with us, then indeed Allah Almighty will be satisfied with us as well and consequently if one disobeys his/her parents, then indeed he/she will displease Allah Almighty.

Third Advice

 “O my dear son! ˹Even˺ if a deed were the weight of a mustard seed—be it ˹hidden˺ in a rock or the heavens or the earth—Allah will bring it forth. Surely Allah is Most Subtle, All-Aware.”

This advice of Luqman A.S states that all power and everything in the heavens and earth belongs to Allah Almighty. Nothing is out of His knowledge and everything that happens in the universe is known to Allah. This fact is also mentioned in the Holy Quran as Allah Almighty says:

“And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darkness of the earth and no moist or dry [thing] but that it is [written] in a clear record.” (Quran 6:59)

Everything in the heavens and earth belongs to Him alone and He alone is the master and controller of the earth and heavens. The mightiest and the smallest, the seen and the unseen, each and everything are under the control of Allah Almighty. He alone is the sustainer and provider for the whole creations of the universe. He has already written what has happened so far and what will happen afterward, this knowledge of the unseen is only with Him and He knows what we think, what we desire, and what we do. Not a single thing is out of his supreme knowledge.

Fourth Advice:

“O, my dear son! Establish prayer”, encourage what is good and forbid what is evil, and endure patiently whatever befalls you. Surely this is a resolve to aspire to.

Prayer is also one of the most significant pillars of Islam. Prayer is a spiritual connection of a person with his creator and maintaining this connection is the need for a Muslim to be righteous and God-fearing. Allah Almighty mentions the importance of prayer in many verses of the Holy Quran. A few are mentioned below:

 “And establish prayer and give Zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience].” (Quran 2:43)

And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah]. (Quran 2:45)

Prayer is a massive weapon for a Muslim which connects him with his Lord and helps the person in times of difficulty and desires. Allah Almighty Himself said in the above-mentioned verse that to seek help through patience and prayer because this is a form of worship that shows the person declaring his will to Allah Almighty and asking Him alone for help. Allah Almighty indeed is the mightiest and the only helper for the person, by whom decision, a person can come out of a calamity, otherwise, it won’t be possible for him/her to recover without his decision. Prayer is a form of worship that declares whether the person is a believer or non-believer as it is stated in the following Hadith:

Jabir reported: The Prophet, peace, and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, between a man and idolatry and unbelief is abandoning the prayer.” (Sahih Muslim no. 82)

The advice also mentions encouraging what is good and forbidding what is evil. This is the quality of a Muslim that he encourages good in society, he brings people towards goodness by teaching them about Islam, bringing them towards prayer and other good deeds, and on the same side, he forbids the people from evil such as stopping them from every kind of evil deed such as neglecting prayer, using abusive language, listening to music. The person helps the community around him by following and spreading goodness, and forbidding evil in society. This quality is also mentioned by Allah Almighty in the Holy Quran:

 “Let there be a group among you who call ˹others˺ to goodness, encourage what is good, and forbid what is evil—it is they who will be successful.” (Quran 3:104)

Furthermore; patience is also another piece of advice which is mentioned by Luqman A.S to his son. Patience is the quality of a true Muslim that whenever a calamity falls upon them, they solely depend on the help from Allah Almighty and accept that whatever has befallen upon them, is indeed a decision from Allah Almighty with unseen goodness in it. Despite complaining about their situation, they keep themselves patient and expect help from Allah alone. Allah Almighty Himself has promised to the ones to keep themselves, patient, as it is stated in the Holy Quran:

“O ye who believe! seek help with patient perseverance and prayer; for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.” (Quran 2:153)

The virtues of patience are also described through the following Hadith:

Narrated `Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet ﷺ) Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it, even though it were the prick he receives from a thorn.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 5640)

Shaddad ibn Aws reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said,

“Verily, Allah Almighty says: When I put one of my faithful servants to trial and he praises Me despite his trial, he will rise from his bed free of sin like the day he was born from his mother. The Almighty Lord says: “I have confined My servant and put him to trial, so he will be rewarded the same as he used to do when he was healthy.” (Musnad Aḥmad 17118)

Fifth Advice

“And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people1 and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful.”

A human has no right to be arrogant on the face of the earth as he is the creation of Allah Almighty. The absolute pride only belongs to Allah alone and it is also one of his names, Al Mutakabir, (the supreme). Even the Prophets who were sinless, never showed any side of arrogance and pride in their lives, so who are we to be arrogant in our lives? Being arrogant is one of the grave sins in Islam as described in the following Hadith e Qudsi:

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said, “Allah Almighty said: Grandeur is My cloak and pride is My garment. Whoever competes with Me in one of these two, I will cast him into the Hellfire.” (Sunan Abī Dāwūd 4090)

Showing arrogance in this world means the person is trying to imitate the quality of Allah Almighty which belongs to Him alone. Thus, we must not show a single sign of arrogance in our lives and must try to be humble and modest in our lives. Following Ahadith reflects the intensity of this sin: Abdullah Ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said,

“Whoever weighs a mustard seed of arrogance in his heart, Allah will throw him down on his face in Hellfire.” (Musnad Aḥmad 7015)

Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Prophet, peace, and blessings be upon him, said, “The arrogant will be gathered on the Day of Resurrection as tiny particles in the form of men. Disgrace will be cast over them from every direction. They will be dragged to a prison in Hell named Balus, to be submerged in the fire of all fires, drinking the bile of the people of Hellfire and driving them into madness.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2492)

The condition of the arrogant person described in the hadith mentioned above shows the intensity of how grave this sin is and what will happen if we don’t humble ourselves in our lives. The advice of Luqman A.S is significant especially in this era where everyone is busy showing off and trying to show how powerful and better they’re from everyone else. Just imagine that the person who is showing arrogance is trying to copy the quality that belongs to Allah Almighty alone. Such a person will be in the flames of Hell’s fire on that day of judgment and will face one of the worst punishments as mentioned in the Hadith above. May Allah Almighty make us humble and modest till our death, (Ameen).

Sixth Advice;

Be moderate in your pace. And lower your voice, for the ugliest of all voices is certainly the braying of donkeys.

At last, Luqman heartens his child to speak with a softer tone. Being boisterous and unforgiving, he says, makes one’s voice sound like the bawling of donkeys. Screaming and shouting don’t win hearts, it annoys and distances individuals. A true Muslim takes care of other while talking and while doing something so that none of his/her actions hurt or annoy the other person. This quality is also described by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in the following Hadith:

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr: The Prophet ﷺ said, “A Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue and hands.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 10)

Being harsh with people is not the quality of a Muslim as it only causes distances and quarrels between people. A lot of issues can be resolved with the sweetness of words and by remaining calm and patient rather than shouting at people. We can learn this quality by the life of Prophet ﷺ as how he dealt with the people who stood against him, yet he remained calm and never talked loudly. The character of Prophet ﷺ itself is a role model for all the mankind as Allah Almighty states in the Holy Quran:

“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah, you have an excellent example to follow for him who hopes in

Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much.” (Quran 33:21)

Moreover; Allah Almighty addresses to the Prophet ﷺ that:

“And you are truly ˹a man˺ of outstanding character”. (Quran 68:4)

Being soft and lenient with the people attracts their hearts towards goodness and this is what is required whenever you’re resolving any issue or guiding someone or preaching to them. A soft tone will attract and persuade their hearts towards goodness as we have multiple examples from the life of our Prophet ﷺ.

Narrated `Abdullah bin `Amr: The Prophet (ﷺ) never used bad language neither a “Fahish nor a Mutafahish. He used to say “The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 3559)

Conclusion:

The advice of Luqman A.S holds significant respect because the pieces of advice are coming from a really wise person who has been mentioned by Allah Almighty in His Holy Quran about which Allah

Almighty says:

 “This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah.” (Quran 2:2)

Thus, the advice mentioned in the book of guidance shows how vital they’re for us. If we ponder over it in-depth, we can see that they teach the best of moral and ethical values as it teaches to fulfill the duties from Allah Almighty as well as fulfill the rights of people as well. Each piece of advice is life-changing for a person as following it will lead to success in this world as well as in the hereafter.

In my opinion, instead of seeking motivation from those who desire for this world, we must take guidance from the one who is being mentioned by our creator and our Lord. If someone truly applies these to their lives, then they’ll surely succeed in this world as well as in the hereafter. Allah Almighty is our major guide and without His guidance, we can never succeed and enjoy our lives. We must read, understand and apply the Quranic principles to ourselves because this is a life-changing and ultimate guideline for humanity. Understanding the Quran must be our daily routine so that we can adapt its teachings as quickly as possible.

Our major aim must be Jannah rather than making this world our main goal. We must make this our objective to follow it in our lives so that we achieve the ultimate success that is Jannah and become the best in the sight of Allah. May Allah Almighty make us able to act upon it and make us able to preach it to others as well. (Ameen)

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