Wisdom provides us with the capacity to solve real life problems. So, acquiring wisdom becomes a must if we want to live meaningful lives. As we live through life and its experiences, it is vital that we reflect on such experiences to make our subsequent steps in life easier. As Immanuel Kant, a famous philosopher said that “Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.”
So, if wisdom enables a person to make more sound decisions, take a shortcut path to success, recalibrate values for the better, and simply live a better life, then why not spend time reflecting on our own experiences as well as learning from others? As Will Durant, a renowned philosopher and Pulitzer Prize winner stated, “A wise man can learn from another man’s experience; a fool cannot learn even from his own.”
The words of the Quran and teachings of our prophet Muhammad guide us to a wealth of wisdom and knowledge. In fact,Allah calls Quran the “Book of wisdom” in many places in the Quran. He says:
“A.L.R. These are the ayats of the Book of wisdom.”
(Yunus, Chapter -10, Verse -1).
The Almighty also says:
“We have sent it down as an Arabic Quran, in order that ye may learn wisdom.” (Yusuf, Chapter #12, Verse #2)
Quran emphasizes the importance of wisdom throughout its text. Allah sent prophets and messengers to propagate that wisdom.
He says in one of such verses:
“A similar (favor have ye already received) is that We have sent among you a Messenger of your own, rehearsing to you Our Signs, and sanctifying you, and instructing you in Scripture and wisdom, and in new knowledge.” (Al-Baqara, Chapter -2, Verse -151)”
In its text, Quran also teaches wisdom through the words of a person named Luqman. Although not a prophet, Allah had granted him enormous wisdom. He was wise enough to have an entire chapter named after him. He was a pious person and according to the Quran was granted wisdom by Allah. As Allah says in the Quran: And indeed We bestowed upon Luqman AlHikmah (wisdom and religious understanding, etc.) saying: “Give thanks to Allah,” and whoever gives thanks, he gives thanks for (the good of) his ownself. And whoever is unthankful, then verily, Allah is All Rich (Free of all wants), Worthy of all praise. (Luqman: 12)
In his book “Stories of the Prophet”, Ibn Katheer writes that Luqman’s real name was known as “Luqman Ibn ‘Anqa’ Ibn Sadun” or according to some “Luqman Ibn Tharan” who was from among the people of Aylah (Jerusalem) (Stated by As-Suhaili from Ibn Jarir and Al-Qutaibi). Some accounts describe him as an Ethiopian slave who worked as a carpenter. Because of his wisdom people went to him to settle their affairs and therefore he was also known to be a judge.
Although Quran makes no reference regarding him being as a prophet, it is narrated by some as described by Ibn Katheer in his book “Stories of the Prophet” that he was offered to become one. Ibn Katheer mentions, Sa’id said: I heard Qatadah as saying: It was said to Luqman: “How did you prefer wisdom to Prophethood when you were enabled to choose between them?” He said: “If Allah were to assign me with Prophethood, I would accept it and try hard to win His Pleasure, but He enabled me to choose. I feared of being too weak for Prophethood, so I chose wisdom.”Luqman’s Wisdom The following are the words of wisdom of Luqman as described in the Quran. Later, another section quotes his wisdom as narrated by other reliable narrators as mentioned by Ibn Katheer in his book “Stories of the Prophets”.Luqman’s wisdom in the Quran Luqman’s wisdom in the Quran is described in the context of him explaining it to his son. It is described in the Quran in the following verses.
* Regarding not to associate anyone in the worship and oneness of Allah –
And (remember) when Luqman said to his son when he was advising him: “O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily! Joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zoolm (wrong) indeed. (Quran: Luqman: 13)
* Being dutiful to ones parents – And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination. (Quran: Luqman: 14)
* Being dutiful to ones parents except where they tell you to deviate from the Right path –
But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not, but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do. (Quran: Luqman: 15)
* Every person is accountable for everything that he does – “O my son! If it be (anything) equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Verily, Allah is Subtle (in bringing out that grain), WellAware (of its place). (Quran: Luqman: 16)
* Enjoining Prayers “O my son! perform AsSalat (prayers), enjoin (people) for Al-Maroof (Islamic Monotheism and all that is good), and forbid (people) from AlMunkar (i.e. disbelief in the Oneness of Allah, polytheism of all kinds and all that is evil and bad), and bear with patience whatever befalls you. Verily! These are some of the important commandments ordered by Allah with no exemption.(Quran: Luqman: 17)
* Do not be arrogant and proud “And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not each arrogant boaster. (Quran: Luqman: 18)
* Be humble and lower your voice “And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the voice (braying) of the donkey.” (Quran: Luqman: 19)