Luqmān al-Ḥakim (Arabic: لُقْمان الحکیم) is among figures in the Qur'an who lived before Islam. Luqman was famous for his wisdom, consults and moral stories and a sura of the Qur'an is named after him. His monotheism, humility before people, graceful manner in walking, moderate behavior in life, having characteristics of a good companion, learning the good manner from the impolite are among famous wise sayings of Luqman. In hadiths, it has been mentioned that he was not a prophet.
Luqman al-Hakim is recognized as a famous moral and knowledgeable personality by historians; even though he has been mistaken by some historical and legendary figures such as the legendary Luqman b. 'Ad, Aesop, Bal'am Ba'ura (Balaam son of Beor), Ahqyar and Luqman Mu'ammir. There is a disagreement about the lineage and race of Luqman. Some sources related him with the people of 'Ad. Some sources considered him from Israelites and some others considered him a Abyssinian slave who belonged to a rich Israelite living at the time of Prophet David (a) and that his master freed him because of his wisdom and knowledge.
Luqman al-Hakim was also famous among Arabs before Islam. They had some of his sayings in written form. It is said that Suwayd b. Samit responded to the invitation of the Prophet (s) to Islam by referring to sayings of Luqman he had and said, "what I have is the same as what you have."
The fame of Luqman al-Hakim among Muslims is due to the existence of a sura of the Qur'an named after him and the ten wise sayings God quoted from him telling his son. Luqman's wills to his son and his personality are the topics of many Shi'a and Sunni hadiths. In hadiths, contemplation, faith and complete certainty, silence, trust-keeping, truthfulness and reconciling between people are mentioned as the characteristics of Luqman. In hadiths, it is mentioned that he did not reach the prophethood, but collaborated with prophet David (a) in judgment.
Luqman's Wise Sayings
Luqman al-Hakim is known for his wise sayings and moral consults. Some of his sayings to his son are mentioned in the Qur'an and hadiths.
In verses 13 to 19 of Qur'an 31,[Note 1] some consults are quoted from him. Luqman's wills to his son are ascribing no partner to God, establishing prayer, enjoining the good, forbidding from evil, being patient upon calamities, humility before people, graceful manner of walking, being moderate in life and speaking in low voice.
In hadith sources, in addition to describing the characteristics of Luqman al-Hakim, some of his wills to his son are mentioned:
- Manners of traveling: consulting in works, always smiling, generosity in provisions, helping companions, accepting invitations, testifying upon the truth and giving consultation to them are among the manners of traveling Luqman advised his son about.
- Good companion: in the views of Luqman, a good companion is a person who always remembers God, because their knowledge is beneficial for human being and God's mercy upon them includes others as well.
- Preference of silence over speech is like preference of gold over silver.
- To Luqman, having a thousand friends is considered few and having one enemy is regarded as many.
- Qur'an 31 (Sura Luqman)
- Zarrīnkūb, "Luqmān-i ḥakīm", p. 245; Muwaḥḥidī, "Barrasī-yi shakhṣīyyat-i tārīkhī-yi Luqmān", p. 115.
- Muwaḥḥidī, "Barrasī-yi shakhṣīyyat-i tārīkhī-yi Luqmān", p. 117-142.
- Zarrīnkūb, "Luqmān-i ḥakīm", p. 245.
- Masʿūdī, Murūj al-dhahab, p. 70.
- Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, p. 124; Suyūṭī, al-Durr al-manthūr, vol. 5, p. 160.
- Ibn Qutayba, al-Maʿārif, p. 55.
- Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra al-nabawīyya, p. 427.
- Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra al-nabawīyya, p. 427.
- Qurʾān, 31:12-19.
- Ṣadūq, Man lā yaḥḍuruḥ al-faqīh, vol. 2, p. 282; Mufīd, al-Amālī, p. 292.
- Suyūṭī, al-Durr al-manthūr, vol. 5, p. 160; Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 16.
- Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 16, p. 222; Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 8, p. 494.
- Barqī, al-Maḥāsin, vol. 2, p. 374.
- Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 39.
- Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 114.
- Ṣadūq, al-Amālī, p. 669.
- Ṣadūq, al-Khiṣāl, vol. 1, p. 121.
- Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 13, p. 408.
- When Luqman said to his son, as he advised him: 'O my son! Do not ascribe any partners to Allah. Polytheism is indeed a great injustice.' (13) We have enjoined man concerning his parents: His mother carried him through weakness upon weakness, and his weaning takes two years. Give thanks to Me and to your parents. To Me is the return. (14) But if they urge you to ascribe to Me as partner that of which you have no knowledge, then do not obey them. Keep their company honorably in this world and follow the way of those who turn to Me penitently. Then to Me will be your return, whereat I will inform you concerning what you used to do. (15) 'O my son! Even if it should be the weight of a mustard seed, and [even though] it should be in a rock, or in the heavens, or in the earth, Allah will produce it. Indeed Allah is all-attentive, all-aware. (16) O my son! Maintain the prayer and bid what is right and forbid what is wrong, and be patient through whatever may befall you. That is indeed the steadiest of courses. (17) Do not turn your cheek away disdainfully from the people, and do not walk exultantly on the earth. Indeed Allah does not like any swaggering braggart. (18) Be modest in your bearing, and lower your voice. Indeed the ungainliest of voices is the donkey's voice.' (19)
- Barqī, Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-. Al-Maḥāsin. Edited by Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥaddith. Qom: Daftar-i Nashr-i Islāmī, 1371 AH.
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- Ibn Qutayba, ʿAbd Allāh b. Muslim. Al-Maʿārif. Cairo: al-Hiyʾa al-Miṣrīyya al-ʿĀmma li-l-Kitāb, 1992.
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