Luqman and his words of wisdom - Part 5

O my son! The worst restlessness is disruption of intellect. The greatest sin is a sin against religion and the greatest calamity is the danger to faith and the most profitable wealth is the wealth of heart. So enrich your heart with knowledge, faith, good morality and rest content on whatever you get in this world. Remain pleased and happy on what Allah has fixed for you, because, whoever pilfers people’s property does not get legal and permissible provision as Allah stops it from him, as fixed by Him and such persons earn only sins. A man who is patient, gets halal (permissible) provision and he is protected from the chastisement of both this world and of the Hereafter.

O My son! Make your obedience pure and let it not be contaminated by any act of sin and adorn your obedience by following the truthful because following the truthful follow Allah. Beautify it with knowledge and wisdom. Protect your knowledge through tolerance which should not be senseless. Collect your knowledge through humility, which must not have folly in it. And strengthen its gate through farsightedness, which should not have meekness and mix your farsightedness with kindness, which must not have harshness and rigidity in it.
O My son! Do not engage an ignorant person for conveying any message anywhere. If you do not find a wise man then convey your message yourself. My Son! Keep away from evil so that it may itself remain away from you.

Amir al-Mu’minin said, “People asked Luqman who was the best of the people. He replied, ‘A rich faithful.’ They asked, ‘You mean richness of money?’ He said, ‘No, of knowledge, so that when need be people may benefit from his knowledge. If people do not require his knowledge then he can pull on with his own knowledge.’ People asked, ‘Who is the worst among us?’ He replied, ‘The one who does not care if people see him sinning.’” Luqman told his son: O My Son! Whenever you travel with a group of people take their advice very often regarding your problems and so also about their affairs. Do not smile much in front of them and be generous in your expense.

Go to them whenever they call you and give them assistance whenever they call for it and be ahead of them in three matters viz. in silence, in prayers and in generosity of wealth and in manliness. Whenever they ask for your witness to someone’s right then be their witness and whenever they seek your advice make utmost efforts for their benefit, and good. Do not make haste in giving your opinion in their favor until your think over it deeply and do not give your reply in that consultation until you get up from there, move, sleep, offer prayers and spend all your intelligence in their consultation because, if a man does not make his well-wishing pure, Allah snatches away his intelligence and removes honesty from him. (My son!) when you see your companions traveling on foot you too should walk with them. When they are busy, you also should participate in their work.

Also accompany them when they testify something or give loan to someone. Listen to the one who is elder than you in age and do not refuse if they ask you to do something or ask something from you because refusal is an illness of soul and a sign of incompetence. Stop traveling when you lose your path and make mutual consultation. If you meet a lone person and ask him the way do not trust his reply because a lonely person puts people in doubt in a forest. Sometimes it so happens that a person is a spy of thieves or is a Satan (devil) who wants you to misguide you and to put you to trouble. Also avoid if they are two unless you find signs of truthfulness in them, which I cannot describe. So rely on them because when an eye observes something it finds out the truth of it and the one who is present and observes knows what an absent person cannot know and see.

My son! When the time for prayer comes do not postpone it because of your engagement in some other work. First finish the prayers satisfactorily because prayer is the base of religion and do not miss a congregational prayer even under a sword and do not sleep on the animal’s back as it can hurt and is not a wise act. Of course you may sleep in a pannier if you like but keep your body joints straight and when the destination is near, get down from the animal and walk on foot. After reaching there first feed the animals. When you intend to camp, select a land which is good in color, softer and has more grass and when you are about to camp, first offer two Rak’ahs (units) of prayer. When you have to answer call of nature go to a far from the people. When you leave the place salute (say ‘salaam’) to the residents of that place because there are angels on every piece of land and, if possible, do not eat before giving anything as alms. It is necessary to recite the Book of Allah so long as you are riding and keep remembering and praising (hallowing) Allah in every work. It is also necessary to pray on conclusion of every job and never start your journey in the first part of the night. You should travel from midnight until dawn and must not raise your voice in the way.

It is recorded in reliable sources that Imam al-Baqir said, “People asked Luqman: what among your problems and your wise actions is such on which you have utmost faith and which you never leave?” He said, “I do not take up any issue for which Allah Himself has already become a guarantor on my behalf and I do not spoil a work which He has left to me.”

According to the same source Luqman told his son: My son! Be friendly with a hundred persons but do not make even a single one your enemy. My Son! Nothing except your morals and good behavior will benefit you. Your character between you and your God is your religion. Your behavior between you and your people is your contact (with them). Therefore, Do not create enmity with others but always show a pleasing behavior. O My Son! Become a slave of good people but never prepare to be the son of the evil persons. My Son! If anybody gives you anything as a trust return it as it is so that your world and the Hereafter may by protected. Be honest so that you may remain rich and needless.

It is mentioned in a reliable tradition that Imam al-Ka¨im said, Luqman told his son: O My Son! How is it that people do not fear the divine chastisement which has been promised to them even though they are becoming weaker and lower day by day? How they do not remain ready for Allah’s promise of the hour of death though their age is speedily approaching end. My Son! Do not acquire knowledge to show pride over the learned and the wise nor to quarrel with the fools and the unwise nor to make a show of yourself in gatherings. But also do not give up learning because they caution.

 

PART SIX TO BE CONTINUED INSHA’ALLAH