Question: Though Hadrat Luqmân’s name appears in the Qur’ân al-karîm, why is there a disagreement as to whether he was a prophet or not?
Not everyone whose name appears in the Qur’ân al-karîm is a prophet. It is not necessary to know whether Luqmân ‘alaihis-salâm was a prophet or not. If it were necessary, our religion would have clearly communicated it.
Hadrat Luqmân lived at the time of Dâwud ‘alaihis-salâm. Being an Abyssinian slave, he was freed and attained high ranks. Allahu ta’âlâ asked Luqmân ‘alaihis-salâm which one, of the wisdom or prophethood, he wanted to prefer. He preferred wisdom. When he was inquired why he chose wisdom, he answered:
“Allahu does not let a person whom He has bestowed prophethood exercise an option. His letting me exercise an option compelled me to choose wisdom.”
The Qur’ân al-karîm purports:
(We granted Luqman hikmah so that he would give thanks to Allah. Whoever gives thanks, gives thanks for his own good.) [Sûrat-u Luqmân 12]
Hikmah refers to knowing the essence, attributes, and properties of things. People of hikmah own a sound wisdom. They live up to their knowledge. People asked him:
“What do you say about prophethood?”
“Prophethood bristles with ordeals and tribulations. Prophets undergo calamities.”
“Though you are not a prophet, how do you know it?”
“He who occupies a position of judgment is always in distress.”
“How did you attain this rank?”
“By telling the truth, being faithful to trusts, and giving up speaking useless words.”
“What is the sign of bliss?”
“Veracity, good manners, mildness, and trustworthiness.”
“Of good manners, nobility, property, and knowledge, which one is superior?”
“Good manners are better than nobility; knowledge is better than property.”
His words of advice to his son
* O my son! Do not learn knowledge in order to assume an arrogant air to scholars, argue with the unwise, and show off.
* The world is like a sea. Many people drowned in it. If your ship is piety, your load is faith, and your state is trust in Allahu ta’âlâ, you will be saved.
* Is a cock wiser than you? While it is making remembrance every morning, you should not be sleeping.
* While you are giving advice to people, do not forget yourself. Do not be like a candle, for it burns and melts itself when it is giving light.
* Strictly beware of telling a lie because it undermines your religion and diminishes your merit in the sight of people. You will lose your value and post as a result of it.
* Do not be sorrowful all the time. Do not let your heart be overcome with grief. Refrain from casting a covetous eye on what people possess. Be content with the Decree and satisfied with the sustenance Allahu ta’âlâ has given you.
* The world is transitory and short. The worldly life, on the other hand, is little of a little. Most of this little has passed, and little of it has been left.
* Do not defer repentance to the morrow. Death comes suddenly and seizes you.
* A person who keeps silent will not regret it. If speech is silver, silence is gold.
* Sit with scholars, and listen to the words of people of wisdom. As Allahu ta’âlâ revivifies soil with spring rain, so He revivifies dead hearts with the lights of wisdom.
* If you have any doubts about death, do not lie and sleep. As sleeping is unavoidable, so is death. If you have any doubts about the Resurrection, do not wake up at all then. As you wake up, so you will be resurrected after death.
* Protect yourself against poverty. The religion and mind of a person who has fallen into poverty weakens, and his merit dissipates.
* Instead of being overwhelmed by the burden of debt, prefer carrying stone.
* When you intend to embark on a piece of work, consult with experienced people who tried it out before, for they will give you correct opinions free of charge that cost them dear.
* Work and earn. He who does not work and is dependent on others will have deficiency in his religion and in his mind.
* Hikmah (wisdom) is to skate over what does not concern us and not to investigate what is secret.
* The best trait is being religious. If these traits are two, they are being religious and having property. If they are three, they are being religious, having property, and being bashful. If they are four, they are being religious, having property, being bashful, and having good morals. If they are five, they are being religious, having property, being bashful, having good morals, and being generous.