Allah informs us of the commandments of Luqman to his son, not just to be a mere piece of information or knowledge, but to be an unerring methodology which has great upbringing guidelines for many aspects in life. Such methodology highlights the great responsibility of bringing up children and a heavy obligation which requires advice, knowledge, understanding and insight.
Thus, it is worthy for every parent, teacher and educator to stop by such commandments and equip themselves with its wisdom and indications, so they can bring up children according to insightful wisdom and knowledge of the religion of Allah .
The commandments of Luqman to his son were gentle sermons and flowing words that came in the style of a preaching mentor. We shall summarize them in the following order:
This was the first thing Luqman commanded his son with, as mentioned in the following Qur’anic verse,
“And 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.” (Luqman, 31:13)
- The command of honoring one’s parents:
“And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination. But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do.” (Luqman, 31:14-15)
If children understood the importance of honoring their parents and obeying them, upbringing is bound to be successful in sha Allah.
- Being grateful to Allah:
This is derived from the previous verse, when Allah says the meaning of “Be grateful to Me”, as upbringing ones children on being grateful to Allah is of highest importance, because the one who is not grateful to Allah is never satisfied with anything, and their life is filled with worries and distress.
- Acknowledging that Allah is All seeing and All Hearing:
“[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.”(Luqman, 31:16)
- Establishing prayer:
“O my son, establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, [all] that is of the matters [requiring] determination.”(Luqman, 31:17)
Ibn ‘Ashoor said, “Luqman moved from teaching his son the fundamentals of Creed to teaching the fundamentals of righteous deeds, beginning with establishing prayers, to submit to Allah with praise and prayer in specific times, due to his knowledge that prayer is the pillar of righteous deeds as it includes the admittance of obedience to Allah and asking His guidance to further righteous deeds.”
- Ordering virtue and forbidding vice:
This is also mentioned in the previous verse. Abu Ashoor said, “Ordering virtue includes all righteous deeds in general, forbidding evil requires avoiding all evil deed. They also require for the one who orders them to initiate ordering good deeds and forbidding evil from themselves first, because the one who does so already knows what good such deeds bring and how evil deeds reflect from corruption.”
Ash-sha’rawi said, “Faith and the completeness of faith is to love for your brother what you love for yourself, thus be occupied after completing establishment of your prayer with ordering virtue and forbidding evil, because when you establish prayer, you have completed a righteous deed in yourself, and when ordering virtue and forbidding evil, you transfer completeness to others, and in such is the perfection of faith, because when you order virtue and forbid vice, you do it not out of favor to others, but you are doing a deed that brings goodness and blessings to yourself, thus finding relief, tranquility and self satisfaction. You have accomplished obligations where others failed and slacked, and it is without doubt that when others commit to Allah’s path is a relief in itself for you, otherwise the whole of community will suffer with such few who are away from the path of Allah .”
Luqman said to his son, “…and be patient over what befalls you” mentioned in the previous verse as well. To educate on patience is a great deal. Ibn Ashoor said, “Followed by ordering virtue and forbidding vice, Luqman orders his son with patience, knowing that ordering virtue and forbidding vice requires patience as well, due to the hostility it may bring from some people or even some harm, and so, if such people were not patient from what is inflicted upon them from harm due to calling to virtue and forbidding evil , then it is more likely that they would leave such righteous deeds and the benefit of patience with great reward is compromised.”
- Warning against arrogance and ego:
From the commandments of Luqman to his son is to avoid arrogance and self-delusion.
“And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful.” (Luqman, 31:18)
Here, Luqman teaches his son the ethics of dealing with people, forbidding him from despising and belittling people and priding himself above them, which requires from him to show his equality to people and consider himself as one of them.
- Being moderate in pace and talk:
“And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys.” (Luqman, 31:19)
Ibn Ashoor said about this verse, “After clarifying the ethics of dealing with people, he followed it with the good ethics of dealing with one’s own self, and those ethics come within walking and talking, because they are the most clear of what comes out as a result from the individual’s inner ethics.”
Such commandments are great educational guidelines from a father to his son, and there are many other verses related to child upbringing and education, such as the story of Zachariah with Maryam, and the stories of Moses .
If every father were to implement such matters in upbringing their children, after praying to Allah to provide them with a righteous off-spring, it will have success in sha Allah. We know that as humans, we have no ability to guide whom we love because it is Allah who guides whom He Wills. An example of this could be seen in the case of Prophet Noah when he addressed his son.
“And Noah called to his son who was apart [from them], “O my son, come aboard with us and be not with the disbelievers.[But] he said, “I will take refuge on a mountain to protect me from the water.” [Noah] said, “There is no protector today from the decree of Allah, except for whom He gives mercy.” And the waves came between them, and he was among the drowned.”(Hud, 11:42-43)
Therefore, I pray and ask Allah to turn our affairs towards what pleases Him and what He loves, to make our children righteous so they abide the Qur’an and Sunnah, and to guide the fathers who neglect upbringing of their children or those who are bringing them up through the wrong means.
Please share what lessons you’ve learned from this article in the comments section below. 🙂