Islamic History Podcast 1-9: Luqman The Wise

Islamic History Podcast 1-9: Luqman The Wise


Difference of opinion about whether Luqman was a prophet or not

  • What is a prophet?
  • Difference between a prophet and a messenger
  • Majority opinion is that Luqman was not a Prophet
  • However, it is strange for a regular person to be quoted so extensively in Quran

  • Some say he was a slave and carpenter
  • Story of sheep tongue and heart
  • Don’t really agree with idea of him being a slave
  • Some say he may have been Aesop from Aesop’s fables
  • Islamic scholars probably got Luqman/slave idea from European depictions of Aesop
  • Ancient, mostly fictional tale called Aesop’s Romance depicts his life and describe him
    as an ugly slave who uses cunning to get his freedom and become an royal advisor
  • Medieval historians thought the name Aesop came from the word Ethiopian
  • Modern historians say that is not true and they are not connected
  • Most likely, ancient Muslim scholars came across stories of Aesop and made them one person
  • That is a problem with Islamic scholarship
  • Surah 31 is named after Luqman and contains a lecture he gave his son
  • Allah describes Luqman, commands him, and then quotes him
  • He’s described as being wise, commanded to be grateful, 31:12-13
  • Then Allah quotes the conversation with the boy

10 advices Luqman gave his son

  1. Do not commit Shirk (most important) 31:13
  2. Allah is aware of all things and nothing is hidden from Him 31:16
  3. Establish the prayer 31:17
  4. Command what is good 31:17
  5. Forbid what is wrong 31:17
  6. Be patient with what happens to you 31:17
  7. Do not treat others with contempt 31:18
  8. Do not walk with pride and arrogance 31:18
  9. Walk with moderation 31:19
  10. Lower your voice 31:19

Five Things Only Allah Knows

End of the Surah also has sound advice and mentions five things that only Allah knows:

Next to last verse reminds that father and son cannot help each other in next life, connection to
Luqman’s advice to his son 33:33

  1. The Hour
  2. Where beneficial, productive rain will fall
  3. What is in the wombs
  4. What each soul will earn in the future
  5. In which land it will die 33:34
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