31. Surah Luqman

Name

The Surah has been named Luqman after Luqman the Sage, whose admonitions to his son have been related in vv. 12-19 of this Surah.

Period of Revelation

A perusal of the subject matter shows that it was sent down in the period when persecution to suppress and thwart the invitation to Islam had begun and every sort of machination had started being employed for the purpose. This is borne out by vv. 14-15, in which the young converts to Islam have been told that although the rights of the parents are the uppermost after God, they should not listen to them if they prevented them from accepting Islam, or compelled them to revert to the creed of shirk and polytheism. The same thing has been said in Surah Al-Ankabut, which indicates that both these Surahs were sent down in the same period. A study of the style and subject matter of the two Surahs on the whole, however, shows that Surah Luqman was sent down earlier, for one does not see any sign of the antagonism in its background though, contrary to this, while studying Surah Al-Ankabut one can clearly feel that the Muslims were being severely persecuted during the period of its revelation.

Theme and Subject matter

In this Surah the people have been made to understand the meaninglessness and absurdity of shirk and the truth and reasonableness of Tauhid, and they have been invited to give up blind imitation of their forefathers, consider with a cool mind the teachings which the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) is presenting from the Lord of the worlds, and see with open eyes the manifest Signs found in the universe around them and in their own selves, which bear evidence to its truth.

In this connection, it has also been pointed out that this is not a new teaching which might have been, presented in the world, or in the land of Arabia, for the first time, and with which the people might be unfamiliar. The learned and wise people of the past ages said and taught the same thing which Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) is teaching today. It is as if to say, "O people! In your own country there has lived a wise man, named Luqman, whose wisdom has been well known among you, whose proverbs and wise sayings are cited in your daily conversation and who is often quoted by your poets and orators. Now you should see for yourselves what creed and what morals he used to teach."


Surah 31. Luqman(1-19)
 
 

Surah 31. Luqman(1-19)

الم﴿31:1﴾ 
(31:1) Alif. Lam. Mim.

 
تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ الْحَكِيمِ﴿31:2﴾ 
(31:2) These are the verses of the wise Book, *1
*1 That is, "verses of the Book which is full of wisdom and whose every teaching is based on wisdom."
 
هُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّلْمُحْسِنِينَ﴿31:3﴾ 
(31:3) a Guidance and Mercy for the righteous people *2
*2 That is, "These verses give guidance to the Right Way and have been sent down as a mercy from God. But the people who can profit by this mercy and guidance are only those who adopt a righteous attitude, who wish to become good, who crave for their own well-being, whose quality is that they avoid the evil when they are warned of it, and follow the good when they are shown the ways to it. As for the wicked and mischievous people, they will neither profit by this guidance nor receive any share from this mercy. "
 
الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُم بِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ﴿31:4﴾ 
(31:4) who establish the Salat. pay the Zakat and fully believe in the Hereafter. *3
*3 It does not mean that "the righteous people" bear only these three qualities. By using the common epithet of "righteous" for them, it has been pointed out that they refrain from aII those evils which this Book forbids and practise aII those good things which this Book enjoins. Then, the three qualities of the "righteous" have been especially mentioned in order to show that alI other good acts depend on these three things. They establish the Salat which engenders God-worship and piety as a permanent habit with them; they pay the Zakat which strengthens the spirit of sacrifice in them, subdues the love of the world and arouses a desire for the goodwill of Allah; and they believe in the Hereafter, which instils the sense of responsibility _and answerability, which does not allow them to live like an animal, which is free to graze at will in the pasture, but like a man who is fully conscious of the fact that he is not independent but the slave of a Master before Whom he is answerable for all his activities of life. Owing to these three qualities, these "righteous" people are not the kind of the righteous persons who happen to do good just by chance, who may commit evil as often and as freely as they would do good. Contrary to this, these qualities inculcate in them an enduring system of thought and morality owing to which goodness issues forth from them in a regulated and systematic manner, and the evil, if at alI committed, is committed just by chance. They do not have any deep-rooted motives, which might be arising from their own system of thought and morality and leading them on to the evil way under their own nature impulse.
 
أُوْلَئِكَ عَلَى هُدًى مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ﴿31:5﴾ 
(31:5) They are the ones who are on the right path enjoined by their Lord, and they are the ones who will attain true success *4 .
*4 At the time when these verses were sent down, the disbelieves of Makkah thought, and said so openly, that Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) and those who accepted his message were wasting and mining their lives. Therefore, it was rejoined with full force and emphasis: "..these are the ones who will attain true success." That is, 'They will not ruin themselves as you seem to dunk in your ignorance, but they in fact are the ones who alone will attain true success, and the utter failures will be those who have refused to adopt this way."
Here the one who regards 'true success" as confined to the world, in the sense of material prosperity, will be wholly missing the Qur'anic concept of it. To understand the real concept of the true success one should study the following verses of the Qur'an along with the relevant E.N.'s: AI-Baqarah: 2-5, AI-'Imran: 102, 130, 200, AI-Ma'idah: 35, 90, AI-An'am: 21, AI-A'raf; 7, 8, 157, At-Taubah: 88, Yunus: 17, An-Nahl: 116, Al-Hajj: 77, Al-Mu'minun: 117, An-Nur: ,51, Ar-Rum: 38.
 
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْتَرِي لَهْوَ الْحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَيَتَّخِذَهَا هُزُوًا أُولَئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ﴿31:6﴾ 
(31:6) And there is among the men such a one also *5 , who buys alluring tales *6 so that he may lead the people astray from Allah's Way, without any knowledge, *7 and make a mockery of the invitation to it. *8 For such people there is a disgraceful torment. *9
*5 That is, "On the one hand, there is this Mercy and Guidance sent down by Allah, of which some people arc taking full advantage, and on the other, there are also some unfortunate people living side by side with the fortunate ones, who are adopting this sort of attitude as against the Revelations of Allah. "
*6 The words lahv al-hadith in the Text imply such a thing as may allure and absorb a listener completely and make him heedless of everything else around him. Lexically, there is nothing derogatory in these words, but in custom and usage they apply to evil and useless and vain things, such as gossip, nonsensical talk, joking and jesting, legends and tales, singing and merry-making, etc.
"To buy" alluring tales may also mean that the person concerned adopts falsehood instead of the Truth, turns away from the guidance and turns to those things which can neither benefit him in the world nor in the Hereafter. But this is the metaphorical meaning. The real meaning of the sentence is that a person should purchase an absurd and useless thing for his money, and this is supported by many traditions. Ibn Hisham has related on the authority of Ibn Ishaq that when the disbelievers of Makkah could not stop the message of the Holy Prophet from spreading in spite of their best efforts, Nadr bin Harith said to the people of Quraish: "The way you are counteracting this man will avail you nothing. He has lived a lifetime among you. Until now he was the best of your men morally: he was the most truthful and the most trustworthy person among you. Now you say that he is a sorcerer and enchanter and a poet and a madman. Who will believe aII this? Don't the people know the way the sorcerers talk? Don't they know the enchanters and the way they conduct their business? Are they unaware of poetry and of. the states of madness? Which of these accusations sticks to Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) by exploiting which you would turn the people's attention away from him? Look! I will tell you how to deal with him." Then he left Makkah for Iraq and managed to get from there legends and tales about the kings of Iran and Rustam and Isfandyar and started to arrange tale-telling parties to distract the people from the Qur'an and to absorb them in the tales. (Ibn Hisham. vol. I, pp. 320-321). The same tradition has been cited by Vahidi in Asbab un Nazul on the authority of Kalbi and Muqatil. And according to Ibn 'Abbas, Nadr had bough singing girls also for the purpose. Whenever he heard that someone was coming under the Holy Prophet's influence, he would impose a singing girl an him with the instruction: "Feed him and entertain him with your songs so that he is absorbed in you and distracted from the other side." This was the same device which the arch-criminals of the nations have been employing in every age. They try to get the common people so absorbed in fun and sport and musical entertainment's in the name of culture that they are left with no time and sense to attend to the serious problems of life, and in their heedlessness they do not even feel what destruction they are being driven to.
The same commentary of lahv al-hadith has been reported from a large number of the Companions and their immediate followers. 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud was asked, 'What does lahv al-hadith mean in this verse ?" He said thrice emphatically. 'By God! it means singing." (Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Shaibah. Hakim, Baihaqi). Similar traditions have been reported from scholars like 'Abdullah bin' Abbas, Jabir bin 'Abdullah, Mujahid, 'Ikrimah, Said bin Jubair, Hasan Basri: and Makhul. Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim and Tirmidhi have related on the authority of Hadrat Abu Umamah Baheli that the Holy Prophet said, "It is not lawful to buy and sell and trade in singing girls nor is it lawful to take their price." In another tradition, the last sentence is to the effect: ... it is unlawful to eat their price" . Yet another tradition from Abu Umamah is to the effect: To teach music to slave-girls and to trade in them is not lawful and their price is forbidden." AII these Ahadith also elucidate that the verse containing lahv al-hadith was sent down in this very connection. Qadi Abu Bakr Ibn al-'Arabi has related in the Ahkam alQur'an a Hadith from Hadrat 'Abdullah bin Mubarak and Imam Malik on the authority of Hadrat Anas, saying, that the Holy Prophet said: 'He who hears the song of a singing-girl in a musical concert, will have molten lead poured into his ear on the Day of Judgement" (In this connection, one should also note that the culture" of music in those days flourished almost entirely through the slave-girls: Free women had not yet become "artists" . That is why the Holy Prophet spoke about trading in slave-girls, and described their wages and earnings as their price. and used the word qaynah for the singing-girl, which is specifically used for a slave-girl in Arabic).
*7 "Without any knowledge" may be connected with "buys" and also "lead...astray". In the first case, it would mean: 'The ignorant foolish person buys this alluring thing and dces not know that he is buying a ruinous thing at the cost of a highly valuable thing. On the one hand, there are the Divine verses which are full of wisdom and guidance, which he can obtain without any cost, but he turns away from them. On the other, there are these absurd things, which are disastrous for his morals and he is expending his wealth to obtain them. " In the second case, it would mean: "He has come out to guide the people without any knowledge: he does not know what burden of sin he is taking on himself by trying to lead the people astray from Allah's Way."
*8 That is, This person wants to make fun of the Divine Revelations by alluring and absorbing the people in legends and tales and music. He intends that the invitation of the Qur'an should be derided and ridiculed and laughed away. He plans to fight the Religion of God with the strategy that as soon as Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) should come out to recite Revelations of God to the people, there should be a charming, sweet-voiced damsel giving her performance in a musical concert. on the one hand, and a glib-tongued story teller telling tales and legends of Iran, on the other, and the people should become so absorbed in these cultural activities" that they may not be in a mood to hear anything about God and the morals and the Hereafter. "
*9 This punishment will be in accordance with their crime. They want to debase and disgrace Go's Religion, His Revelations and His Messenger; God will rake His vengeance on them by giving them a disgraceful torment.
 
وَإِذَا تُتْلَى عَلَيْهِ آيَاتُنَا وَلَّى مُسْتَكْبِرًا كَأَن لَّمْ يَسْمَعْهَا كَأَنَّ فِي أُذُنَيْهِ وَقْرًا فَبَشِّرْهُ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ﴿31:7﴾ 
(31:7) When Our Revelations are recited to huh, he turns his face away disdainfully as though he did not hear theta, as though his ears were deaf. Well, give him the good news of a painful torment.

 
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتُ النَّعِيمِ﴿31:8﴾ 
(31:8) However, for those who believe and do good works, there are blissful Gardens *10
*10 Instead of saying 'There are blessings of Paradise (Gardens) for them," it has been said, there are blissful Gardens for them." In the first case, it would have meant this: "They will enjoy the blessings but the Gardens will not belong to them." In the second case, it automatically becomes evident that the whole Gardens will be handed over to them, and they will take advantage of their blessings as an owner does of his own possession, and not like the one who is allowed to use something without giving him ownership rights over it."
 
خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقًّا وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ﴿31:9﴾ 
(31:9) wherein they shall live for ever. This is a true promise of Allah: He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. *11
*11 That is, "Nothing can withhold Him from fulfilling His promise, and whatever He does, He does strictly according to the demands of wisdom and justice. The object of mentioning these two attributes of Allaln after saying: This 'is a true promise of AIIah", is to stress that AIIah neither violates His promise wilfully nor is there in this universe any such power as can prevent Him from fulfilling His promise. Therefore, there can be no chance that one may not receive what AIIah has promised to give as a reward for faith and righteous deeds. Moreover, Allah's open promise to bestow this reward is wholly based on His wisdom and His justice. He does not misjudge: it cannot be that He may deprive a deserving person of his reward, and reward a non-deserving one instead. The people characterised by taste faith and righteous deeds indeed deserve this reward and AIIah will bestow this on them only."
 
خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ بِغَيْرِ عَمَدٍ تَرَوْنَهَا وَأَلْقَى فِي الْأَرْضِ رَوَاسِيَ أَن تَمِيدَ بِكُمْ وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ وَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء فَأَنبَتْنَا فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ زَوْجٍ كَرِيمٍ﴿31:10﴾ 
(31:10) He *12 created the heavens without pillars that you could see; *13 He set mountains in the earth lest it should tilt away along with you *14 ; He scattered all kinds of animals in the earth, and sent down rainwater froth the sky and caused a variety of bounteous vegetation to grow in it.
*12 After the above introductory sentence, the discourse now turns to the real theme, i.e.., the refutation of shirk and the invitation to Tauhid.
*13 The actual words bi -ghair i amad-in tarauna-ha in the Text may havc two meanings: (1) "You can see for yourself that they stand without pillar"; and (2) 'they stand on the pillars which you cannot see" Ibn 'Abbas and Mujahid havc favoured the second meaning, and many other commentators take the first meaning. If the meaning is expressed in terms of the natural sciences of the present day, it can be said that the countless stars and planets in the heaven have been established in their positions and orbits without any visible support and prop: there are no strings and wires which might have tied them together; there are no iron bars which might be withholding them from falling on one another. It is the law of gravitation which is supporting the system. This interpretation is according to the present-day knowledge. It may be that tomorrow some new addition to our knowledge enables us to interpret the reality better.
*14 For explanation, see E. N . 12 of Surah An-Nahl .
 
هَذَا خَلْقُ اللَّهِ فَأَرُونِي مَاذَا خَلَقَ الَّذِينَ مِن دُونِهِ بَلِ الظَّالِمُونَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ﴿31:11﴾ 
(31:11) This is Allah's creation: now, show Me what have these others created? *15 The fact is that these wicked people are involved in manifest error. *16
*15 "These others" 'the beings whom you havc set up as your deities, whom you regard as makers and un-makers of your destinies, whom you have been worshipping as such persistently"
*16 That is, "When they do not point out in this universe any creation of anyone else than Allah, and obviously they cannot, their setting up the noncreators as associates in Godhead and bowing before them in worship and invoking them for help, is nothing but mere stupidity, because their foolish conduct cannot be explained in any other way. Unless a person has taken leave of his senses he cannot commit the folly that he should himself admit before you that his deities are non-creators and that AIIah alone is the Creator, and yet insist on their being the deities. If somebody has a little of the common sense, he will inevitably think how the one who has no power to create anything, and who has no share whatever in the creation of anything in the earth and heavens, can be our deity. Why should man bow before it and adore it as a deity? Does it possess any power that it could fulfil one's needs and requirements? Even if it hears one's prayers, whet could it do to answer them when it did not havc any power to create anything? For, evidently, afflictions can be removed only by him who can create something and not by him who can create nothing."
 
وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا لُقْمَانَ الْحِكْمَةَ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِلَّهِ وَمَن يَشْكُرْ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ حَمِيدٌ﴿31:12﴾ 
(31:12) We *17 had bestowed wisdom on Luqman that he may be grateful to Allah. *18 Whoever is grateful, his gratefulness is for his own good, and whoever is ungrateful, then Allah is indeed Self-Sufficient and Self-Praiseworthy. *19
*17 After presenting a rational argument to refute shirk the Arabs arc being told that this rational point of view is not being presented before them for the first time, but the wise and learned people before them also have been saying the same thing, including their own famous sage, Luqman. Therefore, they cannot refute the Holy Prophet's message, saying, "If shirk was an irrational creed, why didn't it strike so to somebody else before?"
Luqman was well known as a wise and Iearned man in Arabia. He has been mentioned in the poetry of the pre-Islamic poets like Imra'ul-Qais, Labid, A'asha, Tarafa and others. Some educated Arabs also possessed a collection of the wise sayings of Luqman. According to traditions, three years before the Hijrah the very first person of Madinah to be influenced by the Holy Prophet was Suwaid bin Samit. He went to Makkah for Hajj. There the Holy Prophet was as usual preaching Islam to the pilgrims coming from different places, at their residences. When Suwaid heard his speech, he submitted, "I have also got a thing similar to what you preach," When the Holy Prophet asked what it was, he said, "The roll of Luqman." Then on the Holy Prophet's instance, he read out a portion of it, whereupon the Holy Prophet said, "This discourse is fine, but that which I have is better still.' Then he recited the Qur'an to him, and Suwaid admitted that that was certainly better than the wisdom of Luqman. (Ibn Hisham, vol. II, p. 3781. According to the historians, this person (Suwaid bin Samit) was known by the title of Kamil (Perfect) in Madinah on account of his ability, bravery, nobility and poetry. Bet when after his meeting with the Holy Prophet he returned to Madinah. He was killed in the battle of Bu'ath, which was fought some time afterwards. His tribesmen were of the opinion that he had become a Muslim after his meeting with the Holy Prophet
Historically. Luqman is a disputed personage. In the dark centuries of ignorance there was no compiled history. The only source of information were the traditions that were being handed down since centuries. According to these, some people thought that Luqman belonged to the people of 'Ad and was a king of Yaman. Relying on these traditions, Maulana Sayyid Suleman Nadvi has expressed the opinion in the Ard al-Qar'an that Luqman was a descendent of the believers who remained safe with the Prophet Hud after the destruction of the people of 'Ad by a Divine torment, and he was one of the kings of Yaman when it was ruled by the 'Ad. But other traditions which have been reported from sane Iearned Companions and their immediate followers do not support this view. Ibn 'Abbas says Luqman was a negro slave, and the same is the opinion of Hadrat Abu Hurairah, Mujahid, 'Ikrimah and Khalid ar-Rabi. According to Hadrat Jabir bin'Abdullah Ansari, he belonged to Nirbah. S'id bin al-Musayyib says that Ire was an Egyptian negro. These three sayings closely resemble one another. The Arabs generally called the black people negroes (Habashis) in those days, and Nirbah is the country south of Egypt and north of Sudan. Therefore, calling the same person an Egyptian and a Nubian and a negro, in spite of the difference in words. is one and the same thing. Then the elucidations made by Suhayli in Raud al-Unuf nd Mas'udi in Muruj adh-Dhahab also throw some light on the question as to how the wisdom of this Sudanese slave spread in Arabia. They both agree that this person though originally a Nubian was an inhabitant of Madyan and Aylah (modern, 'Aqabah). That is why he spoke Arabic and his wisdom spread in Arabia. Besides, Suhayli also elucidates that Luqman the Sage and Luqman bin 'Ad were two different persons, and it is not correct to regard them as one and the same man. (Raud al-Unuf, vol. I, p. 266; Mas'udi, vol. I, p. 57).
Another thing may also be made clear here. The Arabic manuscript from the Library of Paris, which the orintalist Derenbourg has published under the title Amthal Luqman Hakim (Fables De Luqman Le Sage) is a fabricated thing which has nothing to do with the Roll of Luqman. These Fables were compiled by somebody in the 13th century A.D. Its Arabic is poor, and a perusal shows that it is, in fact, a translation of some other book in a different language, which the author or translator has himself ascribed to Luqman the Sage. The orientalists make such researches with a special object in view. They bang out such forged and fake things in order to prove that the narratives of the Quran are unhistorical legends and therefore unreliable. Anyone who reads B. Helle's article on 'Luqman" in the Encyclopeadia of Islam will not fail to understand the real motive of these people.
*18 That is, "The very first demand of the wisdom and knowledge, insight and sagacity, granted by AIIah was that man should have adopted the attitude of gratefulness and obedience before his Lord, and not of ingratitude and thanklessness. And this gratefulness should not have merely been lip-service but expressed and translated in thought and word and deed. One should have the conviction in the depths of one's heart and mind that whatever one has got, has been given by God. One's tongue should always be acknowledging the favours of God; and practically also one should be trying to prove by carrying out His Commands, by avoiding sins, by striving to achieve His good-will, by conveying His blessings and favours to His servants and by fighting those who have rebelled against Him that one is really a grateful servant of one's God."
*19 That is,"The one who is ungrateful and unbelieving, his unbelief is harmful to his own self. Allah does not lose anything. He is Independent and does not stand in need of anyone's gratitude. The gratitude of someone dces not add anything to His Godhead, nor does anyone's ingratitude and disbelief change the factual reality that whatever the servants have got, has been granted by Him. He is Self-Praiseworthy whether someone praises Him or not. Every particle in the universe bears testimony to His Perfection and Beauty, His Creativity and Providence, and every creature is paying homage to His glory perpetually."
 
وَإِذْ قَالَ لُقْمَانُ لِابْنِهِ وَهُوَ يَعِظُهُ يَا بُنَيَّ لَا تُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ﴿31:13﴾ 
(31:13) Remember the time when Luqman was admonishing his son, saying, "My son, join not another as an associate with God: *20 the truth is that joining associates (with God) is a grave iniquity" . *21
*20 This particular admonition from the wisdom of Luqman has been cited here for two reasons: (1) He gave this admonition to his son, and obviously, no one can be insincere to one's own children. A person may deceive others, may behave hypocritically towards them, but no one, not even a most depraved person, will try to deceive and defraud his own children. Therefore, Luqman's admonishing his son thus is a clear proof of the fact that in his sight shirk was indeed the most heinous sin, and for that very reason he first admonished his dear son to refrain from this iniquity. (2) The second reason for this narration is that many parents from among the disbelievers of Makkah were compelling their children to turn away from the message of Tauhid being preached by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) and remain steadfast on the creed of shirk, as is being stated in the following verses. Therefore, those foolish people are being told, as if to say, The well-known sage of your own land had wished his children well by admonishing thetas to avoid shirk, now you should judge it for yourself whether you arc wishing your children well or ill when you compel them to follow the same creed of shirk."
*21 Zulm means to deprive someone of his right and to act unjustly. Shirk is a grave iniquity because man sets up such beings as equals with his Creator and Providence and Benefactor as have no share whatever in creating him, nor in providing for him, nor in bestowing the blessings on him, which he is enjoying in the world. There could be no greater injustice than this. The Creator's right on man is that he should worship Him alone, but he worships others and so deprives Him of His right. Then, in whatever he does in connection with the worship of others than Allah, he exploits many things, from his own mind and body to the earth and heavens, whereas, all these things have been created by Allah, the One. and man has no right to use any of them in the worship of any other than Allah Then, the right of man's own self on him is that he should not debase and involve it in punishment. But when he worships others than his Creator. he debases his self as well as makes it deserving of the punishment. Thus, the entire life of a mushrik becomes Zulm in every aspect and at all times and his every breath becomes an expression of injustice and iniquity.
 
وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْنًا عَلَى وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِي عَامَيْنِ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ إِلَيَّ الْمَصِيرُ﴿31:14﴾ 
(31:14) And *22 the fact is that We have Ourself enjoined on man to recognize the rights of his parents: his mother bore him in her womb with weakness upon weakness and his weaning took two years. *23 (That is why We admonished him to the effect: "Give thanks to me and to your parents: to Me you have to return.
*22 The whole passage from lure to the end of the paragraph is a parenthesis, which AIIah has inserted as a further explanation of the saying of Luqman.
*23 From these words, Imam Shafe'i, Imam Ahmad, Imam Abu Yusuf. and Imam Muhammad have drawn the conclusion that the suckling period of the child is two years. If a child has been suckled by a woman within this period, they will be forbidden for each other, but if outside and beyond this period, they will not be so. A saying of Imam Malik also supports this. But Imam Abu Hanifah has proposed the period of two and a half years as a precaution, and has added that it' the child has been weaned after two years, or even earlier, and it is no longer dependent upon suckling for its food, no woman would be forbidden for him If she gave him suck after that period, However, if the real food of the child is still milk. suckling during the period will render him and her forbidden for each other in spite of his eating the other food in a more or less quantity. For, the verse does not mean that the child should be suckled necessarily for two years. In Surah AI Baqarah it has been said: 'The mothers shall suckle their children for two whole years, if the fathers desire the suckling to be completed." (v. 233). Ibn 'Abbas from these words has concluded, and other scholars have agreed with him in this, that the shortest period of pregnancy is six months, for the Qur'an at another place says: "His bearing (ita the womb) and his weaning took thirty months." (Ahqaf: 15) This is an important legal point which helps resolve many disputes concerning legitimate and illegitimate births.
 
وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ عَلى أَن تُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا وَصَاحِبْهُمَا فِي الدُّنْيَا مَعْرُوفًا وَاتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ مَنْ أَنَابَ إِلَيَّ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ﴿31:15﴾ 
(31:15) But if they press you to join with Me another about whom you have no knowledge, *24 do not obey them at all. Treat them kindly in the world, but follow the way of him who has turned to Me. Then to Me will all of you return; *25 then I shall tell you what you had been doing. *26
*24 That is, "About wham you have no knowledge that he is My associate."
*25 "All of you": the children as well as the parents.
*26 For explanation, see E. N.'s 11 and 12 of Surah Al-'Ankabut.
 
يَا بُنَيَّ إِنَّهَا إِن تَكُ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنْ خَرْدَلٍ فَتَكُن فِي صَخْرَةٍ أَوْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ أَوْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَأْتِ بِهَا اللَّهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَطِيفٌ خَبِيرٌ﴿31:16﴾ 
(31:16) (And Luqman *27 had said:) "My son, even if a thing be equal to a grain of mustard seed and hidden in a rock, or in the heavens, or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. *28 He is Knower of subtleties and is All-Aware.
*27 The other admonitions of Luqman are being narrated here to imply that like the basic beliefs, the teachings pertaining to morals that the Holy Prophet is presenting, are not anything new in Arabia.
*28 That is, "Nothing can escape Allah's knowledge and His grasp. A seed in the rock may be hidden for you, but it is known to AIIah. A particle in the heavens may be very distant for you, but for AIIah it is very near. A thing lying in the layers of the earth may be lying in darkness for you but for him it is in full light. Therefore, you cannot do anything good or bad, anywhere or any time, which may remain hidden from AIIah. He is not only aware of it, but when the time for accountability coms, He will place before you a full record of each act of yours. "
 
يَا بُنَيَّ أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَانْهَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا أَصَابَكَ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ﴿31:17﴾ 
(31:17) O my son. establish the Salat, enjoin good, forbid evil and bear with fortitude every affliction that befalls you. *29 These are the things which have been strictly enjoined. *30
*29 In this there is a subtle allusion to this that whoever will enjoin good and forbid evil, will inevitably have to face and undergo afflictions and hardships in the world.
*30 Another meaning can be: "These are things which require courage and resolution. To rise for the reformation of the people and to brave the hardships of the way cannot 1>e the job of a mean-spirited and cowardly person."
 
وَلَا تُصَعِّرْ خَدَّكَ لِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ﴿31:18﴾ 
(31:18) And do not speak to the people with your face turned away, *31 nor walk proudly. on the earth, for Allah does not love any self-conceited, boastful person. *32
*31 Tusa'ir in the original is from se 'ar. a disease in the camel's neck clue to which it keeps its face turned to one side. The idiom implies the attitude of a person who shows arrogance and vanity, turns his face away and treats others with scant respect.
*32 Mukhtal in the original implies a person who has an over-high opinion of himself, and fakhur is the one who boasts of his superiority over others. A man becomes haughty and arrogant and vain in his gait only when he is puffed up with pride, and wants that others should feel his superiority.
*33 According to some commentators it means this: 'Walk neither fast nor slow but at a moderate pace :" but the context shows that here the pace or the rate of walking is not the question. There is nothing morally wrong with a fast or a slow pace in itself, nor can there be a rule made for it. When a man is in a hurry. he has to walk fast, and there is nothing wrong if one walks slow when walking for pleasure. Even if there is a standard for the moderate pace, it cannot be made a law for every person at aII times. What is actually meant by this is to reform the state of the self under which a person walks haughtily. The haughtiness and arrogance of a person inevitably manifests itself in his gait and style of walking, which shows the state of his mind and also the cause of his pride and haughtiness. Wealth, authority, beauty. knowledge, power and such other things cause a man to became proud and vain, and each of these gives him a special style of gait. Contrary to this, manifestation of humility in the gait is also the result of one or the other morbid mental state. Sometimes the hidden conceit of the self of a man takes on the form of ostentatious humility, piety and godliness and this is shown by his gait; and sometimes man really feels so embittered by the frustrations of the world that he adopts a sick man's gait. What Luqman means to say is this: "Avoid these states of the mind and self and walk the gait of a simple, honest and noble person, which neither shows any vanity and haughtiness nor weakness nor ostentatious piety and humility."
The taste of the Holy Prophet's great Companions in this regard can be judged from a few instances. When Hadrat Umar once saw a man walking with his head hung down, he shouted out to him, saying, "walk with your head raised up. Islam is not sick. "He saw another person walking like a weak, sick man, and said, wretch! Do not sully our religion! " Both these incidents show that in the sight of Hadrat 'Umar religious piety did not at aII require that one should walk cautiously. like the sick man and show undue humility by one's gait. Whenever he saw a Muslim walking such a gait, he would have the apprehension that it would misrepresent Islam and would depress the other Muslims. A similar incident was once met with by Hadrat 'A'ishah. She saw a person walking as if run down and exhausted. She asked what was the matter. It was said, 'He is one of the reciters of the Qur'an (i e a person who remains engaged in reciting and teaching the Qur'an and in worship)." At this she said, 'Umar was the chief of the reciters of the Qur'an, but as it was he would walk with a firm foot, and he would speak with force and strength, and he would give a good beating if he had to." (For further explanation. see E.N. 43 of Bani Isra'il and E.N. 79 of AI-Furqan).
 
وَاقْصِدْ فِي مَشْيِكَ وَاغْضُضْ مِن صَوْتِكَ إِنَّ أَنكَرَ الْأَصْوَاتِ لَصَوْتُ الْحَمِيرِ﴿31:19﴾ 
(31:19) Be moderate in your gait, *33 and lower your voice, for the most disagreeable of all voices is the braying of the asses" . *34
*34 This does not mean that one should always speak in a low voice and should never raise one's voice. By citing the braying of the asses, it has been clearly indicated what son of the tone and voice in speech is meant to be discouraged. One kind of lowness and loudness„roughness and softness, of the rove and voice is that which is needed under natural and genuine requirements. For example, when speaking to a man close at hand, or to a small group of the people, one would speak in a low voice, and when speaking to a man at a distance or to a large number of the people, one would inevitably have to speak loudly. Similar is inevitably the difference in tones depending on the occasion and situation. The tone of praise has to be different from the tone of condemnation. and of the expression of goodwill from that of indignation. This thing is in no way objectionable. Nor does the admonition of Luqman imply that one should always speak in a soft and low voice and tone regardless of the occasion and requirement. What is objectionable is that one should shout oneself hoarse and produce a voice like the ass's braying in order to bully and debase and browbeat the other person.