In order to live a successful life, we need proper guidance and guidelines. Without such guidance a person will be lost in the darkness of ignorance. Allah (SWT) bestows this guidance and wisdom upon whoever He wishes. Al-Baqarah # 269
He grants Hikmah to whom He pleases, and he, to whom Hikmah is granted, is indeed granted abundant good. But none remember (will receive admonition) except men of understanding.
Who are these men of understanding? Al-Zumar # 18
Those who listen to the Word and follow the best thereof (i.e. worship Allah Alone), those are (the ones) whom Allah has guided and those are men of understanding.
One of such men of understanding was Luqman. Luqman # 12
And indeed We bestowed upon Luqman Al-Hikmah (wisdom and religious understanding) saying: “Give thanks to Allah.” And whoever gives thanks, he gives thanks for (the good of) his ownself. And whoever is unthankful, then verily, Allah is All-Rich (Free of all needs), Worthy of all praise.
Hence when Allah (SWT) bestowed wisdom upon Luqman, he is advised to be thankful to Allah (SWT) for this favour. In other words, thanking Allah (SWT) is itself the highest form of wisdom. Allah (SWT), however, does not gain anything from your expression of thankfulness to Him. Thanking Allah is for our own benefit. Whosoever is unthankful to Allah then verily Allah is free of all wants. Allah (SWT) is rather worthy of all praise.
Luqman invited his son and gave him the six pieces of advice which serve as a complete prescription for a successful life. Luqman # 13
And (remember) 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.”
1. The most important thing in Islam is ‘Tawheed’ or worshiping one God without making any partners with Him in any form. Those who indulge in making partners with Allah (SWT) are called ‘Mushrik’. Allah does not forgive Mushrik. Allah does forgive other sins except shirk. An-Nisa # 116
Verily! Allah forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners (in worship) with Him, but He forgives whom He wills sins other than that, and whoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, has indeed strayed far away.
That’s why Luqman warns his son about this sin before giving him any other advice.
2. In Luqman # 14,15 Allah (SWT) tells us about the respect for our parents. Childern must obey their parents except when the parents happen to be involved in any form of shirk. Luqman # 14,15
And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years – give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination. But if they (both) 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.
3. Allah knows everything in the universes however subtle or insignificant that thing may be. Luqman # 16
“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. Verily, Allah is Subtle (in bringing out that grain), Well-Aware (of its place).”
Hence don’t forget about the accountability on the day of judgment of various things you do. This is further emphasized in Saba # 3
Those who disbelieve say: “The Hour will not come to us.” Say: “Yes, by my Lord, the All-Knower of the Unseen, it will come to you; not even the weight of an atom (or a small ant) or less than that or greater escapes His Knowledge in the heavens or in the earth but it is in a Clear Book.”
4. Luqman reminds his son about some of the important and mandatory commandments of Allah (SWT). Fulfilling these commandments will be a matter of supreme achievement. Luqman # 17
“O my son! perform As-Salat, enjoin (on people) all that is good, and forbid (people) from all that is evil and bad, and bear with patience whatever befalls you. Verily, these are some of the important commandments.”
First of all, we must fulfill our duty to Allah (SWT). We must also strive hard to improve the general public. Of course it requires lot of patience and steadfastness.
5. Luqman teaches his son how to treat other people. Luqman # 18
“And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not any arrogant boaster.”
Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “I am sent to perfect the good manners.” (Mwattah Imam Malik)
Abdullah bin Omar (RU) narrated that I asked Prophet Mohammad (SAS), “Who is the most respected muslim in the eyes of Allah (SWT)?” Mohammad (SAS) said, “The one who has the best manners.” (Baihaqi)
Anas (RU) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (SAS) said, “A person can achieve high levels of paradise with his good manners even if he is not very strong in ‘Ibadat’ or worshipping Allah. (SWT) On the contrary, a regular worshipper of Allah (SWT) would be thrown in hellfire because of his poor behavior with other people.”
Buraida (RU) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (SAS) said, “Allah will not look towards a person with His mercy who drags his clothes on the ground due to arrogance.” (Muslim)
6. Finally Luqman informs his son how to conduct himself on the land. Luqman # 19
And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the braying of the asses.
Allah (SWT) describes this in Al-Isra # 37 in a very fascinating way. Al-Isra. # 37
And walk not on the earth with conceit and arrogance. Verily, you can neither rend nor penetrate the earth, nor can you attain a stature like the mountains in height.
On the contrary, the obedient servants of Allah (SWT) walk in the land with great modesty humility and humbleness. Al-Furqan # 63
And the (faithful) slaves of the Most Gracious (Allah) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness, and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness.
Among other manners, Luqman teaches his son not to be harsh to the people in talking and in his communications with them.
Hence the following four things are very important in conducting ourselves on this land.
(i) Not to be arrogant.
(ii) Not to walk on land with chips on our shoulders.
(iii) To walk with a medium pace.
(iv) Not to speak harshly to others.
Hussain (RU) said that I asked my father Ali (RU), “How did Prophet Muhammad (SAS) use to conduct himself when he was with the people?” Ali (RU) said, “Prophet Muhammad (SAS) always appeared cheerful. He was gentle in his manners and made others feel at home. Neither his talk nor his disposition was harsh. He never talked very loudly. He also never mentioned unbecoming things. He was not a miser and never used to blame others. He would show indifference to what he disliked and simply kept himself quiet in that case. He never indulged in the following three things.
1. To quarrel with others.
2. To be arrogant.
3. To indulge in something which happens to be useless.”
Allah (SWT) said in Al-Baqarah # 83
And (remember) when We took a covenant from the Children of Israel, (saying): Worship none but Allah (Alone) and be dutiful and good to parents, and to kindred, and to orphans and the poor, and speak good to people and perform As-Salat and give Zakat. Then you slid back, except a few of you, while you are backsliders.
Talk to people nicely.
When Allah (SWT) sent Musa (AS) and Haroon (AS) to Firaun, they were instructed: Ta-Ha # 44
And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear (Allah).
Note that no present speaker can be better than Musa (AS) and Haroon (AS) and no audience can be worse than Firaun. Hence every speaker must speak nicely to his audience.
By following these pieces of advice of Luqman to his son, one can definitely lead a successful life. In order to draw our attention to these important pieces of advice of Luqman, Allah (SWT) has named this chapter of Quran as Luqman.
I hope that every father reminds his children about these words of wisdom.