Sura Luqman

Priority: b, Quality: b
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This article is an introduction to the Sura Luqman; to read its text see text:Sura Luqman.
Sura Luqman
Sura Number31
Revelation Number57
Verse Count34
Word Count550
Letter Count2171\

Sūra Luqmān (Arabic: سورة لقمان) is the thirty first sura of the Qur'an. It is a Makki sura located in juz' twenty one. This sura is called "Luqman" because it mentions the name of Luqman and his pieces of advice to his son. This sura mentions the life of Luqman and his moral and wise words and also discusses issues such as the Unity of God, attributes of good-doers, attributes of rejecters and despots, inviting to God-wariness and description of the Day of Judgement.

Verse nineteen gives one of the consults of Luqman to his son and verse twenty two called "Urwat al-Wuthqa" is one of the famous verses of this sura. In the interpretation of verse six of this sura, jurists have mentioned discussions about lahw al-hadith (entertaining talks) and ghina (forbidden enrapturing music).

About the merits of recitation of this sura, it is mentioned that whoever recites Sura Luqman, will be friend with Luqman on the Day of Judgement and will be rewarded ten times of a person who observes doing good and avoids bad deeds.


  • Naming

The name of this sura is adopted from its verse twelve. The name of "Luqman" is mentioned twice in this sura and not mentioned in any other suras.[1] This sura is named Luqman, because it contains Luqman's consults to his son.[2]

  • Order and Place of Revelation

Sura Luqman is a Makki sura. It was the fifty sixth sura revealed to the Prophet (s). It is the thirty first sura of the Qur'an now located in juz' twenty one.[3]

  • Number of Verses and Other Features

Sura Luqman has thirty-four verses, 550 words and 2171 letters. It is the seventeenth sura of the Qur'an beginning with Muqatta'a letters. It is also the sixth sura of the seven Lammat suras which begin with Muqatta'a letters Alif-lam-mim (ألم). It is among Mathani suras and is little less than one hizb.[4] Some believe that the two verses of twenty seven and twenty eight of this sura were revealed in Medina.[5]


Like most Makki suras, Sura Luqman generally contains invitation to wisdom and morality under Divine Unity, belief in the hereafter and acting upon the general principles of religious law.[6]

Minor issues discussed in this sura are:

  • Mentioning the glory and importance of the Qur'an in guiding humans
  • Categorizing humans to good-doers and depots and mentioning their destinies
  • Discussions on the creatures of God
  • Arguments for belief in the origin and the hereafter
  • Mentioning the knowledge specific to God, such as the time of death and occurrence of the Day of Judgement[7]
Content of Sura Luqman[8]
Only follow the orders of the One God in life
First speech: verses 1-11
Following the orders of One God, the cause of happiness
Second speech: verses 12-19
Monotheistic consults of Luqman the Wise to his son
Third speech: verses 20-24
The importance of submission to the order of God
Fourth speech: verses 25-32
Arguments for Unity of God
Fifth speech: verses 33-34
Invitation to God-wariness and servitude of God
First issue: verses 1-5
Salvation of good-doers by following the Qur'an
First advice: verses 12-15
Polytheism is the greatest oppression
First issue: verse 20
All blessings are from God
First argument: verse 25
Natural belief of human beings in the Unity of God
First issue: verse 33
The influence of servitude of God in salvation of human beings in the hereafter
Second issue: verses 6-7
Miserliness of disbelievers due to turning their back to the signs of God
Second advice: verse 16
Considering the accurate reckoning of deeds
Second issue: verse 21
Polytheists' turning away from the orders of God
Second argument: verses 26-27
True possession of God over the world of creation
Second issue: verse 34
God's knowledge to humans' deeds
Third issue: verses 8-9
Eternal paradise, the reward of believers
Third advice: verse 17
Observation of prayer and enjoining the good
Third issue: verses 22-24
Being obedient to God leads to salvation
Third argument: verses 28
Knowledge and power of God over creation of human being
Fourth issue: verses 10-11
Creation and management of the world by the One God
Fourth advice: verse 18
Avoiding arrogance toward people
Fourth argument: verses 29-31
Management of the world in the hand of God
Fifth advice: verse 19
Inviting to moderation in life
Fifth argument: verse 32
Human's entreaty to God in calamities

Occasion of Revelation of Some Verses

  • Verse six

About the revelation of this verse, two occasions are mentioned:

  • Some said that the verse was revealed about Nadr b. Harith. He went to Iran for business and learned their stories and narrated them for Quraysh and said, "Muhammad (s) tells the stories of Ad and Thamud and I tell the stories of Rostam and Esfandiyar"; therefore, Quraysh gave up listening to the Qur'an and listened to him.[9]
  • Some others considered the revelation of the verse about a man from Quraysh who had bought a female servant who sang and people went to hear her singing and did not listen to the Prophet (s).[10] Some others considered this verse about those who went to buy male and female servants who sang.[11]
  • Verse twenty seven

This verse was revealed about the dialogue of the rabbis of Medina with the Prophet (s) about verse eighty five of the Qur'an 17.[12] Chiefs of Jews asked if verse eighty five of the Qur'an 17 was about them (Jews) or Muslims; and the Prophet (s) answered, "It is about everyone." Jews said, "You yourself said that God revealed the Torah for us and there is knowledge of everything in it"; and then, this verse was revealed in answer to them.[13]

  • Verse thirty four

About the occasion of revelation of verse thirty four of this sura, it is said that a person called Wurath from Banu Mazan tribe went to the Prophet (s) and said, "O Muhammad! When is the Day of Judgement? Our towns are inflicted with drought, when would we have abundant blessings? Also, when I came to you, my wife was pregnant, when would she deliver her child? I know what I have done today, what would I do tomorrow? I know where I was born, you tell me where I will die." Then, this verse was revealed and said that the knowledge of all these issues is with God.[14]

Famous Verses

  • Verse nineteen

The word "qasd" is interpreted as "observing moderation in anything"[15] and the word "ghadd" is interpreted as "lowering the gaze and voice".[16] Therefore, the two first parts of the verse are translated to moderation in walking and lowering the voice.[17]

Many exegetes have considered observation of moderation in walking in this verse only one of the examples of moderation and consider observation of moderation, a general order to be observed in all affairs.[18]

In this verse, the phrase saying "the ungainliest of voices is the donkey's voice" is considered the reason for not raising the voice, as if saying that, "do not raise your voice because raising the voice is not the sign of humans' majesty and power, because we see that the voice of donkey is the highest of voices, but it is neither a sign of perfection, nor majesty; but rather, it is a sign of the ugliness of the voice and the highness of the voice in donkeys is together with the ugliness of its voice." It is to note that mentioning such attributes in the Qur'an is only due to likeness and are accepted by everyone; and with regards to lack of understanding and intellect in these animals, these should be considered as mere examples in which there is no insult or humiliation.[19]

  • Verse twenty two

Regarding the meaning of "al-urwa al-wuthqa" in this verse, exegetes have mentioned different opinions: some of them believe that faith and righteous action are the firmest means which lead to human salvation.[20] In Tafsir al-Qummi, the author refers to a hadith and interprets "al-urwa al-wuthqa" as wilaya.[21] In Tafsir al-Burhan, some hadiths are transmitted from the Prophet (s) and Infallibles (a) and interprets "al-urwa al-wuthqa" as wilaya of Imam Ali (a) and Imams (a) and loving them.[22] In Tafsir al-Kashif too "al-urwa al-wuthqa" is interpreted as performing obligations, abandoning forbidden issues and doing good to others.[23]

Verse of Ruling

In the interpretation of this verse in Zubdat al-bayan, al-Muqaddas al-Ardabili defined "lahw" as any vain issue which keeps humans away from goodness and human values and mentions examples for it including superstitions, ghina (forbidden enrapturing music) and baseless stories and considers them forbidden.[24] In Majma' al-bayan, al-Tabrisi claimed that most exegetes believe that "lahw al-hadith" in this verse means ghina and singing;[25] but in Tafsir al-kashif, Muhammad Jawad Mughniya transmitted a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a) which considered "lahw" any disregard for the truth.[26] Jurists also made a extensive discussion about the examples of "lahw al-hadith" including ghina.[27]

Merits and Benefits

About the merits of recitation of this sura, it is mentioned that whoever recites Sura Luqman, will be friend with Luqman on the Day of Judgement and will be rewarded ten times of a person who observes doing good and avoids bad deeds.[28] Also, it is transmitted that whoever recites Sura Luqman at night, God orders some angels to keep him safe at that night from Satan and his army and if one recites it during the day, they keep him safe until night from Satan and his army.


External Links


  1. Ṣafawī, "Sūra Luqman", p. 799.
  2. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 17, p. 6.
  3. Thaʿlabī, al-Kashf wa l-bayān, vol. 7, p. 309.
  4. Ṣafawī, "Sūra Luqman", p. 799.
  5. Fakhr al-Rāzī, al-Tafsīr al-kabīr, vol. 25, p. 114.
  6. Ṣafawī, "Sūra Luqman", p. 799.
  7. Qarāʾatī, Tafsīr-i nūr, vol. 9, p. 225.
  8. Khamagar, Muhammad, Sakhtar-i suraha-yi Qur'an-i karim, Mu'assisa-yi Farhangi-yi Qur'an wa 'Itrat-i Nur al-Thaqalayn, Qom: Nashra, ed.1, 1392 Sh.
  9. Qummī, Tafsīr al-Qummī, vol. 2, p. 161.
  10. Ibn al-ʿArabī, Aḥkām al-Qurʾān, vol. 3, p. 1494.
  11. Wāḥidī, Asbāb nuzūl al-Qurʾān, p. 356.
  12. Ṭabarī, Jāmiʿ al-bayān, vol. 21, p. 51.
  13. Wāḥidī, Asbāb nuzūl al-Qurʾān, p. 358.
  14. Suyūṭī, al-Durr al-manthūr, vol. 5, p. 169.
  15. Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī, al-Mufradāt, under the word «قصد»
  16. Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī, al-Mufradāt, under the word «غض»
  17. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 16, p. 219.
  18. Qarāʾatī, Tafsīr-i nūr, vol. 7, p. 280; Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 17, p. 57-58; Fakhr al-Rāzī, al-Tafsīr al-kabīr, vol. 25, p. 123.
  19. Kāshānī, Manhaj al-ṣādiqīn, vol. 7, p. 212.
  20. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 17, p. 68.
  21. Qummī, Tafsīr al-Qummī, vol. 2, p. 166.
  22. Qummī, Tafsīr al-Qummī, vol. 2, p. 166.
  23. Mughnīya, al-Kāshif, vol. 6, p. 166.
  24. Ardibīlī, Zubdat al-bayān, p. 413.
  25. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 8, p. 490.
  26. Mughnīya, al-Kāshif, vol. 6, p. 157.
  27. Fiyḍ nasab, Āyāt al-aḥkām, p. 679-692.
  28. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 8, p. 488.
  29. Ṣadūq, Thawāb al-aʿmāl, p. 110.


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