Luqman and his words of wisdom - Part 2

Some of the admonitions given by Luqman to his son are:

O My son! From the very day you have arrived in the world you have turned your back to the world and verily turned your face toward the Hereafter (you have started your journey toward the Hereafter from the very moment you were born), and you are passing various stages of that journey. Hence the house towards which you have turned your face is coming nearer and nearer to you and the house in which you are now is getting more and more away from you every day. O my son! Be a companion of the wise and sit with them and do not argue with them that they may prevent their knowledge from you. Take from this world only that which is essential and enough for you. Also do not give up earning in this world that you may become needy (and others may have to care for you). Also do not get involved so much in this world that you may lose your Hereafter. Fast to an extent your passions are controlled. Do not fast so much that you may not have strength enough even for performing your prayer because Allah loves prayers more than fasting. This world is a deep ocean. Innumerable people have drowned in it and destroyed due to it. So it is essential for you to make faith your ship for saving yourself from the dangers of this world. You should make ‘Reliance on only one Allah’ the sail of your ship. You provision in the ship should be avoidance of the illegal and the undesirable. Thereafter if you are saved it is due to Allah’s Mercy and if you get destroyed it is because of your sins. According to another narration, “O Son! Make the fear of Allah your ship and that the capital you should put in it should be faith in Allah, His Prophets and their Words. The sail of your ship should be reliance on Allah; the captain must be intelligence which should direct its course; its guide ought to be knowledge and its anchor should be refraining from the prohibited and patience for bearing the hardships in obeying Allah.

O Son! If you learn discipline in childhood you will benefit from it after you grow up. One who knows the grace of good behavior tries to achieve it and who cares to achieve it also tolerates the hardships of that path and the one who achieves virtues like this also makes great efforts in maintaining them and when he obtains those virtues he adorns himself with them and when he becomes the embodiment of those virtues he gets their benefits in both this life and in the Hereafter. So be habituated with good habits so that you may prove to be the heir of the virtuous and benefit those who come after you, that they may follow your footsteps and your friends may hope for good from you and your enemies remain afraid of you. Never remain slack in the matter of attaining virtue nor pay any attention to anything except good behavior and habits. If people defeat you and snatch away the world (material things) from you, do not worry. Rather try to assure that you may not be defeated in the otherworldly (spiritual) matters; that no one may be able to snatch away the Hereafter from you that is, you may not obtain knowledge from where it should be obtained. You must set aside some hours in the day and night for achieving knowledge because there is nothing which can destroy man’s knowledge. The example is that of giving up learning. It means, giving up learning is the results of your losing whatever knowledge you have learned. (So be after it and continue learning). Do not quarrel with the quarrelsome nor argue with any wise and learned person. Do not make the rich your enemy and do not keep company of the oppressors and do not cultivate brotherhood with a sinner nor sit with a disgraced and notorious person and keep your knowledge hidden just as you hide your wealth.

My precious son! Fear Allah, as He deserves to be feared. Be afraid of Him even if you have at your credit all the virtues and good deeds done by all men and jinn if you have to stand before Him for giving account of your deeds. You should always be afraid of His chastisement. Similarly also remain hopeful of His Mercy even if you have sinned totaling the sins of all men and jinn and be hopeful that He will forgive you. Hearing this, the son said, My respected father! From where can I get enough strength to entertain both hope and fear together when I have only one heart in my chest? Luqman said, My son! If a faithful heart is cut open two rays will come out o it. One light of the fear of Allah and the other light of hope from Allah. If both the lights are weighted neither will weigh either more or less even by the weight of an atom. So one who believes in Allah, also testifies to His Words and the one who testifies His Words also acts according to His commands and if someone does not act according to the word of Allah then surely he did not understand (believe) the words of Allah because some of the virtues give witness of some other virtues. So the one who has truly and sincerely believed in Allah will surely act honestly for Allah with a hope for good. One who acts in this way really believes in Allah and the one who believes in Allah also fears Him and the one who fears Him loves Him and the one who loves Him also obeys Him and the one who obeys Him makes himself eligible for His pleasure and Paradise and the one who does not want Allah’s pleasure makes His punishment swift upon him and I seek Allah’s protection from His punishment.

O my dear son! Do not have a wish for the world and do not engage yourself in it because no creation of Allah is more worthless than the world in the sight of Allah. Do you not see that Allah has not made the worldly bounties the reward of His obedient nor has He made the worldly hardships the punishment of His disobedient and the sinners?
According to another reliable tradition, Imam as-Sadiq said that Luqman said (as a will) to his son: O my son! You must keep a weapon ready by which you can fell (defeat) your enemy and that weapon (tactic) is that you should shake hands with him and show pleasure to him without separating from him, without showing enmity to him so that he may reveal to you what is hidden in his heart about harming you.