Surah Luqman is named after a very wise man. Some narrations say that this man was not a prophet but he was a wise man and worth mentioning in the revelation of Allah (SWT). Luqman (A.S) was from Sudan according to some narrations.
The Surah begins with;
"تِلْكَ ءَايَاتُ الْكِتَابِ الْحَكِيمِ"
"These are the verses of the all wise book. "
Luqman was " hakeem" (wise) so this surah begins with hakeem.
"وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا لُقْمَانَ الْحِكْمَةَ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِلَّهِ وَمَنْ يَشْكُرْ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ حَمِيدٌ"
"And certainly We gave wisdom to Luqman, saying: Be grateful to Allah. And
whoever is grateful, he is only grateful for his own soul; and whoever is
ungrateful, then surely Allah is Self-sufficient, Praised. "
You should ask Allah for knowledge as well as wisdom, as Knowledge means to
know something but wisdom is knowing how to use that knowledge.
Some of the advice Luqman gave to his son was so important that Allah spoke
about it as verses in the Quran and we are still repeating them till this day.
Allah says remember the advice of Luqman:
"وَإِذْ قَالَ لُقْمَانُ لِابْنِهِ وَهُوَ يَعِظُهُ يَابُنَيَّ"
"Behold, Luqman said to his son by way of instruction: "O my young son!.."
When Luqman was advising his son he said "oh my young son", the word that
is used is "يَابُنَيَّ". This is the most eloquent term , that can be used to describe your own son. He spoke to his son with lots of love, yet he was giving him a powerful message. He showed his son that he was very dear to him and that way his son would listen to him.
1) Never associate partners with Allah (shirk)
لَا تُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ
"join not in worship (others) with Allah: for false worship is indeed the highest wrong-doing."
The first piece of advice from Luqman was not to associate any partners with Allah. Allah made me and you to worship him alone. The biggest crime you can commit is shirk (association of partners with Allah). If you die without repenting from shirk then Allah, the most merciful is telling you there is no hope for you, he will not forgive it.
2) Be good & respect your parents. Be grateful to me & them.
The second piece of advice is the treatment of your parents:
وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْنًا عَلَى وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِي عَامَيْنِ
"And We have enjoined man in respect of his parents-- his mother bears him
with fainting's upon fainting's and his weaning takes two years".
Your parents are a test for you. Giving birth & raising children could
have been easy but Allah made it difficult so that you can see the value of a
human. Also for you to appreciate the pain of your mother and the sacrifice of
This will allow you to be grateful to your parents. They looked after you
at a time when you were unable to & had they have left you then only Allah
knows what would have happened to you. Hence Allah says:
"أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ إِلَيَّ الْمَصِير"
"Be grateful to Me and to both your parents; to Me is the eventual
Here Allah is saying watch your link with me first then make sure you give
your parents their rights. What an excellent piece of advice.
However allah says :
"وَإِنْ جَاهَدَاكَ عَلى أَنْ تُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا"
"And if they contend with you that you should associate with Me what you
have no knowledge of, do not obey them"
If your parents are telling you to do something that is against the laws of Allah then do not follow them. If it involves polytheism, shirk & sin then do not obey them in that, However the advice is:
"وَصَاحِبْهُمَا فِي الدُّنْيَا"
"keep company with them in this world kindly." So if don't obey
their orders as they against Allah's, you still treat them kindly.
3) Follow the path of those who have turned to Allah
" وَاتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ مَنْ أَنَابَ إِلَيَّ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ"
"and follow the way of him who turns to Me, then to Me is your return, then will I inform you of what you did."
You should follow the path of those who have turned to Allah, as ultimately you will return to Allah & he will inform you of what you did.
4) Do not sin as You cannot hide anything from Allah. Luqman is advising his son:
"يَابُنَيَّ إِنَّهَا إِنْ تَكُ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِنْ خَرْدَلٍ فَتَكُنْ فِي صَخْرَةٍ أَوْ فِي السَّمَوَاتِ أَوْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَأْتِ بِهَا اللَّهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَطِيفٌ خَبِيرٌ"
"O my son! surely if it is the very weight of the grain of a mustard-seed, even though it is in (the heart of) rock, or (high above) in the heaven or (deep down) in the earth, Allah will bring it (to light); surely Allah is Knower of subtleties, Aware."
The message behind this is that even if something is the weight of a mustard seed, which is inside a rock Allah will bring it forth. Whether it is in the heavens or the earth Allah will bring it forth. So don't think you will hide from Allah. There is no way to hide from him. Allah knows everything you do no matter how small it is.
5) Establish your A'Salat (Prayer)
"يَابُنَيَّ أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ "
"O my son! establish regular prayer. "
How often do you read your salaah? If you are a parent do you lead by example? How important is it for you. For Luqman it was very important hence it was mentioned in the advice to his son. How often do you advise your children to pray salaah.
6) Enjoin that which is good and forbid evil
"وَأْمُرْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَانْهَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ"
"enjoin the good and forbid the evil"
You should instruct people to do good and remind them to abstain from bad.
Don't be shy to tell people what they are doing wrong. You shouldn't judge but
you should advise. Advise them as you are one of them. Never think you are
better than them. As you may have bad habits which they may not have. You
may have a deed in private that may lead you to hell. Or they may have a deed in
private which will lead them to heaven.
Try to develop a secret dead between you and Allah that you continue doing
only for Allah's sake. This will help you spiritually and benefit you intensively.
However sometimes when you advise certain people they may abuse you, but
the advice is:
"وَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا أَصَابَكَ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ"
"bear patiently that which befalls you; surely these acts require courage."
Try to be patient when a test or a loss befalls on you & when people make your life difficult.
So far Luqman has spoken about:
-Your link with Allah
-Your link with your parents
-How you cannot hide anything from Allah
-Encouraging good and discouraging evil & bearing patience.
Now he progresses to mention your link with the rest of the human beings.
Imagine how holistic & beautiful this advice is.
7) Do not posses any arrogance and pride , be humble.
"وَلَا تُصَعِّرْ خَدَّكَ لِلنَّاسِ "
"And do not turn your face away from people in contempt"
Luqman says to his son that do not turn your cheek to the people, hence don't be arrogant, be humble & calm. Some people when they get a lot they become more arrogant but the winner is the one who stays humble even though he has so much from Allah. The biggest loser is the one who is arrogant when he has absolutely nothing.
Whether Luqman was known by the people of his city or not, we do not know.
Nevertheless we know that Allah loved him & Allah mentioned him. Hence when you do good, Allah mentions you by name to the angels. When you sit in a gathering and you mention Allah , then Allah mentions you to creatures better than those who you mentioned Allah too.
"وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ"
"nor walk in insolence through the earth; for Allah doesn't love any
And do not walk with arrogance and pride on earth. People will love you
more for your humility. They will respect you more and Allah will love you more.
So Luqman is advising his son on how not to walk, then he follows it with a
solution on how to walk & talk:
8) Walk with humbleness and talk with humility.
"وَاقْصِدْ فِي مَشْيِك وَاغْضُضْ مِنْ صَوْتِكَ "
"And pursue the right course in your going about and lower your
You should walk with humbleness and humility and speak with a proper
correct voice and tone. Make sure you talk to people well, with humbleness
And Allah (SWT) ends the words of Luqman by saying the worst sound is the
loud & harsh cry of a donkey:
"إِنَّ أَنْكَرَ الْأَصْوَاتِ لَصَوْتُ الْحَمِيرِ"
"surely the most hateful of voices is braying of the asses"
This is because you don't know what they are saying. Whatever the scenario
or situation they sound the same. Unfortunately this is the same for some people
who give them they will still be ungrateful you do something for them they still
be ungrateful No matter what you do or don't do it will still be the
These are the words of Luqman, this is his advice. The reason why Allah
called him "the wise" is because what he has said has so much wisdom in it and
it is so powerful. If it was not powerful or valid it would not have been in the
So we need to reflect on these beautiful words and more importantly let
these words penetrate into our hearts, in order for us to implement them
into our daily lives.
Notes taken from Mufti Menk's lecture of surah Luqman
The Islamic Ummah