|Luqman (the wise) alaihissalam is a well-known sage, whose advice to his son has been mentioned in the Holy Quran. It is said that he was a dark-complexioned slave from Abyssinia. Allah Ta'ala bestowed His favors upon him and he came to be known as Luqman the wise. According to some traditions, Allah Ta'ala gave him a choice between kingship and wisdom. He said that he preferred wisdom. Another Hadith says; " Allah Ta'ala asked Luqman whether he liked to be a king and justly rule over the people. " He submitted " O my Lord, If it is a command from you, I must obey; for , in that case I shall be assisted by You. but if I am granted the choice to accept or to decline, I would rather be excused; I do not like to undertake this onerous responsibility". The angels questioned him about it; he said to them, "A ruler is always in difficult situation. Tyranny and other evils surround him on all sides, and everything depends upon whether he is Divinely aided or not. If he rules justly, ha can attain to salvation, if not, he is led astray from the path leading to Jannah. And, it is far better to lead a humble life rather than to lead an easy life in this world and do harm to one's life in the Hereafter. He who prefers this world to the Hereafter (Aakhirat) suffers double loss: this world forsakes him, sooner or later, and he has no values in the Hereafter (Aakhirat)." The angels were greatly surprised at his remarks. after this , Luqman went to sleep and Allah Ta'ala bestowed wisdom upon him (Durre Manthur).
Luqman's sayings and word of advice, he gave to his son, contain rare wisdom, and quite a number of tradition's refer to 'Luqman's advice to his son'. One of these run like this: "O my dear son, sit in the company of Ulama frequently and listen carefully to what the wise men say, for Allah Ta'ala gives life to the dead hearts by the 'Nur' of wisdom, just as He revives the dead earth by heavy life-giving rains."
They relates that once a stranger passed by Luqman alaihissalam while he was sitting among his followers. The man said, addressing Luqman, "Aren't you the bondman of such and such tribe"? He replied , "Yes, I was a slave boy of that tribe". The stranger asked again, "Aren't you the one who used to graze the goats near such and such hill?" Luqman replied, "Yes, I am the same person". The man said, 'Then what has brought you to this noble position?" Luqman alaihissalam replied, "I was very particular about a few things and I observed them on all occasions, viz. fear of Allah Ta'ala, truthfulness in speech, fulfilling a trust and avoiding useless talk."
He says: "My son entertain good expectations from Allah without losing fear of His punishment. A fear of His punishment should not make you despair of his mercy". His son said, "The heart is one; how can it contain hope and fear at one and the same time"? Luqman alaihissalam replied, "A Mo'min is such as if he possessed two hearts: one teeming with hope and other equally full of fear." He advices his son to recite " O my Lord forgive my sins" frequently. For, there are certain hours during which Allah's special favours descend upon His men and everybody is granted whatever he asks from Allah Ta'ala". He says : My dear son , no one can perform good deeds unless he possesses a firm belief in Allah Ta'ala. If a person's belief is unsound , he is very weak in performing good actions. My dear son , if shaitan (the Devil) were to create doubts in your mind, let your firm belief overpowers him and silence his whispers; and if he tempts you to be negligent in virtues, defeat him by the remembrance of grave and the Day of Resurrection; if he (the Devil) tempts you towards joy of this world or make you afraid of the hardship of this life, say to him, 'One must inevitably leave this world' (neither the luxuries nor the hardship of this life are enduring). He says: My dear son , he who tells a lie loses the freshness of the face, he who cultivate bad habits will ever remain sad; it is far easier to move huge mountains from one place to another than to reform the ignorant stupid." He says: "My dear son, abstain from telling lies; for lies soon arouse enmity and hatred for the liar. My dear son, be very particular about attending funeral prayers and avoid attending festivities. For, funerals remind one of the Hereafter and festivities divert one's attention toward this world. My dear son do not eat anything when your stomach is full; it is better to put food before a dog than to over-eat. My dear son, don't be so sweet that people swallow you up, nor so bitter that they spit you out. My dear son, do not be less capable (in devotion) than a cock which starts crowing at early dawn and you be lying asleep in bed. My dear son, do not delay Taubah (Repentance), for death may take you unawares. My dear son, do not make friends with stupid people, lest you should develop a liking for their foolish talk. And do not incur the enmity of a wise man, lest he should turn away from you in disgust (and you should be deprived of getting benefit from his wisdom. My dear son, let no one but the pious partake of your food and always consult Ulama in your affairs."
Someone asked Luqman Alaihissalam, "Who is the worst of men?" He replied, "The one who does not mind being watched while doing an evil deed".
He says: My dear son, associate frequently with the pious for, in this way alone, you can attain the virtues that they possess. Besides, when Allah's special favors descend upon these beings you will also be able to receive your share of blessing; for when it rains it showers fall on all sides of the house. My dear son, avoid the company of the wicked people, for no good can be expected to come out of associating with them. Moreover, if at any time, Allah's punishment befalls them, you will also be affected by it". He says : "A father's punishment is as beneficial for a child as is the water for the fields". He says: "My dear son, since the day you were born, everyday, you are getting closer to the Hereafter (Aakhirat) with your towards this world. So, your abode in the Hereafter is far nearer to you (because you are advancing toward it everyday, at all times) than your house in this world (because you are moving farther and farther away form it day by day)".
He says, "My dear son, avoid incurring debts; for a debt is a humiliation by the day and grief by night, (One is disgraced when the creditors make demands by day, and one spends the night in the grief, worrying about his debts). My dear son, entertain hopes of mercy from Allah Ta'ala, but let not your hopes make you bold in committing sins; be fearful of Allah but not your fear makes you despair of His mercy. My dear son, if someone comes to you with complaint that so and so has taken out both his eyes and you actually see both his eyes missing, do not form any judgment about the person until you have heard the other side. For, this man might have hit other person first and taken out four eyes earlier". (Durre Manthur).
The legist (Faqih) Abu-ul-Laith (Rahmatullah alaihe) relates that, when the last hour came for Luqman (alaihissalam), he said to his son, "My dear son, I have given you lot of advice during my life-time; now that I am leaving the world, I would like to advise you about the six points:-
1. Busy yourself in the affairs of this world to the extent of the remaining period of your life (which is nothing when measured up against the eternity of the Aakhirat).
2. Worship Allah Ta'ala according to the measure of your dependence on Him (and, obviously, one needs His help in everything).
3. Make preparations for the Hereafter (Aakhirat) according to the extent of your stay in that world (and, obviously, one shall have to stay there eternally, for there is no other place to go to after death).
4. Continue to struggle for redemption from Hell-fire till you are sure you have attained it. (It is common knowledge that, if someone is under trail for a grievous offence, he continues to make effort for his acquittal till he is sure that the case is going to be decided in his favour).
5. If you have the audacity to indulge in sins, do so to the extent that you can endure Hell-fire (for, punishment of sins is dictated by law and you are never sure whether the sovereign, however infinite His mercy may be, will grant you mercy petition).
6. When you want to commit a sin, look for a hiding place that is not being watched by Allah Ta'ala and His angels (for, everybody knows the consequences of engaging in a revolt before the eyes of the sovereign Himself or in the presence of His secret agents). (Tanbeeh-ul-Ghafileen).
Book: Fazail-e-Sadaqaat (Click here for a pdf version)
Author: Mulana Muhammad Zakariyya Kaandhlawi