In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Wisdom and Knowledge from the Quran

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:"Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave"

Luqman the Wise


The 31st sura (chapter) of the Qur'an, is name "Luqman"

And verily We gave Luqman wisdom, saying: Give thanks unto Allah; and whosoever giveth thanks, he giveth thanks for (the good of) his soul. And whosoever refuseth - Lo! Allah is Absolute, Owner of Praise." (Quran 31:12)

Luqman was a great wise man of Allah(swt), he was born in the Continent of Africa(c. 1100 BC), his real name was Luqman Ibn Anqa Ibn Sadunhe, according to some, Luqman was among the people of Aylah (Jerusalem), some accounts describe him as an Ethiopian slave who worked as a carpenter. Because of his wisdom people went to him to settle their affairs and therefore he was also known to be a judge. The Qur'an does not state whether or not Luqman was a prophet, but some people believe him to be a prophet and thus write Alayhis salaam (A.S.) with his name, while others consider him to be a person full of great wisdom.

Luqman was described as a perceptive man, always watching the animals and plants of his surroundings, and he tried to understand the world based on what he saw. One day, whilst sleeping under a tree, an angel came to him and said Allah wanted to bestow a gift upon Luqman: either wisdom or prophecy. Luqman chose wisdom, and when he woke from his slumber, he was aware that his senses and understanding had sharpened. He felt in complete harmony with nature and could understand the inner meaning of things, beyond their physical reality. Immediately he bowed down, thanked and praised Allah for this wonderful gift. Unfortunately, Luqman was captured by slavers and sold as a slave.

As a slave, Luqman was deprived of his freedom. He could neither move nor speak freely. This was the first trial he had to bear. He suffered his bondage patiently, for his heart was lit with faith and hope, and he was waiting for Allah's action.The man who bought him was a good as well as an intelligent man. He treated Luqman with kindness. He was able to detect that Luqman was not an ordinary man and tried to test his intelligence. He ordered Luqman to slaughter a sheep and to bring its worst part to him. Luqman slaughtered the sheep and took its heart and tongue to his master. On receiving them his master smiled, fascinated by Luqman's choice of the 'worst'. He understood that Luqman was trying to convey some deep meaning, though he could not make out exactly what. From this moment his owner began to take more interest in Luqman and showed more kindness to him. A few days later, Luqman was again instructed to slaughter a sheep, but this time he was asked to take the best parts of the animal to the owner. Luqman slaughtered a sheep, and to his master's amazement, again brought the same organs (the heart and the tongue). His master asked Luqman how the heart and the tongue could be both the worst and the best parts. The wise Luqman answered: The tongue and the heart are the sweetest parts if its owner is pure; and if he is wicked, they too are as wicked ! Thereafter, Luqman's owner held him in great respect. Luqman was consulted by many people for advice, and the fame of his wisdom spread all over the country.

Luqman's advise to his son

Luqman the wise (A.S) is a well-known sage, whose advice to his son has been mentioned in the Holy Qur'an. Luqman's sayings and the words of advice he gave to his son, contain rare wisdom, and quite a number of Traditions refer to "Luqman's advice to his son".

And [mention, O Muhammad], when Luqman said to his son while he was instructing him, "O my son, do not associate [anything] with Allah . Indeed, association [with him] is great injustice.(Quran 31:13)

"[And Luqman said], "O my son, indeed if wrong should be the weight of a mustard seed and should be within a rock or [anywhere] in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Indeed, Allah is Subtle and Acquainted."(Quran 31:16)

"O my dear son! Establish worship and enjoin kindness and forbid iniquity, and persevere whatever may befall thee. Lo! that is of the steadfast heart of things."(Quran 31:17)

"O my son, perform Salat. (Prayer) [Observing it on time with all of its requirements humbly and conscientiously]."

"O my dear son, sit in the company of the Ulema (religious scholars) frequently and listen carefully to what the wise men say, for Allah gives life to the dead hearts by the 'Nur (light)' of wisdom, just as He revives the dead earth by heavy life-giving rains."

"He exhorts his son to recite "Rebi Aghfirlee" (O my Lord, forgive my sins) frequently. For, there are certain hours during which Allah's special favors descend upon His men and everybody is granted whatever he asks from Allah."

"My dear son, if Satan (the Devil) were to create doubts in your mind, let your firm belief overpower him and silence his whispers; and if he tempts you to be negligent in virtues, defeat him with remembrance of the grave and the Day of Resurrection; if he (the Devil) tempts you towards the joys of this world or makes you afraid of the hardships of this life, say to him, 'One must inevitably leave this world (neither the luxuries nor the hardships of this life are enduring)"

"Once Luqman said to his son, "Oh son! Do not tie your heart in seeking the pleasure of people. You are not likely to succeed. Do not pay attention to what people say. Instead tell yourself always to seek the pleasure of God."

"My dear son no one can perform good deeds unless he possesses a firm belief in Allah. If a person's heart is unsound, he is very weak in performing good actions."

"My dear son, he who tells a lie loses the freshness of face, he who cultivates 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."

"My dear son, avoid incurring debts; for a debt is a humiliation by day and a grief by night . (One is disgraced when the creditors make demands by day, and one spends the night in grief, worrying about his debts.)"

"A father's punishment is as beneficial for a child as is the water for the fields."

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."

"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 the benefit of his wisdom)."

"My dear son, don't be so sweet that people swallow you up, nor so bitter that they spit you out."

"My dear son, don't delay Taubah (Repentance), for death may take you unaware."

And there are three sings of the hypocrites: His tongue does not corroborate his heart, his heart does not corroborate his character and his outward appearance is different from his inner self. "

There are three signs of a sinner: He misappropriates people's wealth, tells lies and acts contrary to his words.

There are three signs of a Riyaakaar (one who make a show): He is slack in his worship while he is alone but makes a show of full attentiveness in worship while in public and he does it so that people may praise him.

The envious has also three signs: He backbites people and flatters them on the face, feels happy when people are in trouble. There are three sings of extravagant: He eats things which are beyond his capacity and so also he wears likewise, and he feeds others crossing his limits of capacity.

There are three signs of a indolent (lazy): He is slack in doing good deeds and he postpones good deeds until and unless he is threatened and he becomes so lazy that the job is spoiled and thus he becomes a defaulter.

There are three signs of a negligent man: He is doubtful in his worship, becomes careless in matter of remembering his Lord and he forgets good deeds.

"O my son! Do not quarrel with the quarrelsome nor argue with any wise and learned person. Do not make the rich your enemy and do not keep company of the oppressors and do not cultivate brotherhood with a sinner nor sit with a disgraced and notorious person."

He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good. And none will remember except those of understanding." (Quran 2:269)

Allah subhana wa ta'ala, teaches us through Luqman(A.S) that true wisdom, knowledge, guidance, and everything good is from Allah(swt) alone, and he bestow them on whom he will, Allah is the one that instruct and teach man of things he has absolutely no knowledge of, Allah(swt)says in the Holy Quran:

"Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists). He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood). Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not" [Quran, 96: 1-5]

and say: "My Lord! Increase me in knowledge" [Quran, 20:114]

Allah subhana wa ta'ala, also teaches us that, a person is appreciated, honored, and respected by whom he is as a person, not how a person looks like and how much wealth he/she may have. Wisdom, knowledge and a good heart is from Allah(swt), and everything good that Allah(swt) gives, is more valuable than any wealth in this world.