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Luqman Print E-mail
Written by Ibn Kathir   
Friday, 10 November 2006

Luqman

The Salaf differed over the identity of Luqman; there are two opinions: was he a Prophet or just a righteous servant of Allah without the prophethood The majority favored the latter view, that he was a righteous servant of Allah without being a Prophet. Sufyan Ath-Thawri said, narrating from Al-Ash`ath, from `Ikrimah, from Ibn `Abbas, "Luqman was an Ethiopian slave who was a carpenter. `Abdullah bin Az-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.''' Yahya bin Sa`id Al-Ansari narrated from Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib that "Luqman was from the black peoples of (southern) Egypt, and had thick lips. Allah gave him wisdom but withheld prophethood from him.'' Al-`Awza`i said, "`Abdur-Rahman bin Harmalah told me; `A black man came to Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib to ask him a question, and Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib said to him: "Do not be upset because you are black, for among the best of people were three who were black: Bilal, Mahja` the freed slave of `Umar bin Al-Khattab, and Luqman the Wise, who was a black Nubian with thick lips.'' Ibn Jarir recorded that Khalid Ar-Raba`i said: "Luqman was an Ethiopian slave who was a carpenter. His master said to him, `Slaughter this sheep for us,' so he slaughtered it. [His master] said: `Bring the best two pieces from it,' so he brought out the tongue and the heart. Then time passed, as much as Allah willed, and [his master] said: `Slaughter this sheep for us,' so he slaughtered it. [His master] said, `Bring the worst two morsels from it,' so he brought out the tongue and the heart. His master said to him, `I told you to bring out the best two pieces, and you brought these, then I told you to bring out the worst two pieces, and you brought these!' Luqman said, `There is nothing better than these if they are good, and there is nothing worse than these if they are bad.''' Shu`bah narrated from Al-Hakam, from Mujahid, "Luqman was a righteous servant, but he was not a Prophet.'' Allah's saying:

[وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا لُقْمَانَ الْحِكْمَةَ]
(And indeed We bestowed upon Luqman Al-Hikmah) means, understanding, knowledge and eloquence.

[أَنِ اشْكُرْ للَّهِ]
(saying: "Give thanks to Allah.'') means, `We commanded him to give thanks to Allah for the blessings and favors that Allah had given to him alone among his people and contemporaries.' Then Allah says:

[وَمَن يَشْكُرْ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ]
(And whoever gives thanks, he gives thanks for (the good of) himself.) meaning, the benefit of that will come back to him, and Allah's reward is for those who give thanks, as He says:

[وَمَنْ عَمِلَ صَـلِحاً فَلاًّنفُسِهِمْ يَمْهَدُونَ]
(and whosoever does righteous good deeds, then such will prepare a good place for themselves. ) (30:44)

[وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِىٌّ حَمِيدٌ]
(And whoever is unthankful, then verily, Allah is Rich, Worthy of all praise.) He has no need of His servants and He will not be harmed by that, even if all the people of the earth were to disbelieve, for He has no need of anything or anyone besides Himself. There is no God but He, and we worship none but Him.

[وَإِذْ قَالَ لُقْمَانُ لابْنِهِ وَهُوَ يَعِظُهُ يَبُنَىَّ لاَ تُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ - وَوَصَّيْنَا الإِنْسَـنَ بِوَلِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْناً عَلَى وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِى عَامَيْنِ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِى وَلِوَلِدَيْكَ إِلَىَّ الْمَصِيرُ - وَإِن جَـهَدَاكَ عَلَى أَن تُشْرِكَ بِى مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلاَ تُطِعْهُمَا وَصَـحِبْهُمَا فِى الدُّنْيَا مَعْرُوفاً وَاتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ مَنْ أَنَابَ إِلَىَّ ثُمَّ إِلَىَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ]
(13. And when Luqman said to his son when he was advising him: "O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily, joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.'') (14. And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years -- give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.) (15. But if they strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not; but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do.)

Luqman

The Salaf differed over the identity of Luqman; there are two opinions: was he a Prophet or just a righteous servant of Allah without the prophethood The majority favored the latter view, that he was a righteous servant of Allah without being a Prophet. Sufyan Ath-Thawri said, narrating from Al-Ash`ath, from `Ikrimah, from Ibn `Abbas, "Luqman was an Ethiopian slave who was a carpenter. `Abdullah bin Az-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.''' Yahya bin Sa`id Al-Ansari narrated from Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib that "Luqman was from the black peoples of (southern) Egypt, and had thick lips. Allah gave him wisdom but withheld prophethood from him.'' Al-`Awza`i said, "`Abdur-Rahman bin Harmalah told me; `A black man came to Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib to ask him a question, and Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib said to him: "Do not be upset because you are black, for among the best of people were three who were black: Bilal, Mahja` the freed slave of `Umar bin Al-Khattab, and Luqman the Wise, who was a black Nubian with thick lips.'' Ibn Jarir recorded that Khalid Ar-Raba`i said: "Luqman was an Ethiopian slave who was a carpenter. His master said to him, `Slaughter this sheep for us,' so he slaughtered it. [His master] said: `Bring the best two pieces from it,' so he brought out the tongue and the heart. Then time passed, as much as Allah willed, and [his master] said: `Slaughter this sheep for us,' so he slaughtered it. [His master] said, `Bring the worst two morsels from it,' so he brought out the tongue and the heart. His master said to him, `I told you to bring out the best two pieces, and you brought these, then I told you to bring out the worst two pieces, and you brought these!' Luqman said, `There is nothing better than these if they are good, and there is nothing worse than these if they are bad.''' Shu`bah narrated from Al-Hakam, from Mujahid, "Luqman was a righteous servant, but he was not a Prophet.'' Allah's saying:

[وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا لُقْمَانَ الْحِكْمَةَ]
(And indeed We bestowed upon Luqman Al-Hikmah) means, understanding, knowledge and eloquence.

[أَنِ اشْكُرْ للَّهِ]
(saying: "Give thanks to Allah.'') means, `We commanded him to give thanks to Allah for the blessings and favors that Allah had given to him alone among his people and contemporaries.' Then Allah says:

[وَمَن يَشْكُرْ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ]
(And whoever gives thanks, he gives thanks for (the good of) himself.) meaning, the benefit of that will come back to him, and Allah's reward is for those who give thanks, as He says:

[وَمَنْ عَمِلَ صَـلِحاً فَلاًّنفُسِهِمْ يَمْهَدُونَ]
(and whosoever does righteous good deeds, then such will prepare a good place for themselves. ) (30:44)

[وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِىٌّ حَمِيدٌ]
(And whoever is unthankful, then verily, Allah is Rich, Worthy of all praise.) He has no need of His servants and He will not be harmed by that, even if all the people of the earth were to disbelieve, for He has no need of anything or anyone besides Himself. There is no God but He, and we worship none but Him.

[وَإِذْ قَالَ لُقْمَانُ لابْنِهِ وَهُوَ يَعِظُهُ يَبُنَىَّ لاَ تُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ - وَوَصَّيْنَا الإِنْسَـنَ بِوَلِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْناً عَلَى وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِى عَامَيْنِ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِى وَلِوَلِدَيْكَ إِلَىَّ الْمَصِيرُ - وَإِن جَـهَدَاكَ عَلَى أَن تُشْرِكَ بِى مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلاَ تُطِعْهُمَا وَصَـحِبْهُمَا فِى الدُّنْيَا مَعْرُوفاً وَاتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ مَنْ أَنَابَ إِلَىَّ ثُمَّ إِلَىَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ]
(13. And when Luqman said to his son when he was advising him: "O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily, joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.'') (14. And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years -- give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.) (15. But if they strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not; but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do.)

 
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