Luqman and his words of wisdom - Part 6

O My Son! Attend meetings and gatherings and look around with and eye ready to get lessons and if you see a group busy in remembering Allah then sit with them because, if you are learned your knowledge will benefit you and your knowledge will increase and if you lack knowledge you will gain knowledge from them. Maybe Allah’s Mercy descends on them and it may envelop you too.
It is mentioned in a reliable tradition from Imam Muhammad al-Baqir that one of the admonitions given by Luqman to his son is that, “My Son! If you have at all any doubt about your impending death then remove sleep from you. You cannot do it. And if you have any doubt about rising up again after death them avoid awaking after your sleep. You cannot ever do it. So if you ponder over these two things you will realize that your life is in the hand of someone else; that sleep is like death and awakening is like rising up after death.

My Son! Do not develop more than necessary relations with people so that they may cause separation and create enmity. Nor remain far away from others otherwise you will become disrespected and dishonored. Every living thing loves its category but man does not love man. Do not be extra kind to anyone but who desires it. Just as a sheep cannot be friendly with a wolf so a good man cannot be friendly with a bad person. Whoever nears the evil also develops some of that evil in him. Similarly a man who keeps company with a bad character also learns some of the latter’s evils. The one who likes to quarrel with others gets abused and the one who enters the gathering of bad people gets allegation. A man who mixes up with evildoers remains safe from their evils. The one who does not control his tongue feels ashamed. My Son! Always be honest and trustworthy because Allah does not love the dishonest. My Son! Pose yourself before others as if your heart is sinful and that you are terrified by Allah’s anger.”

According to another narration Luqman said, “The man who says that evil can be removed by evil and corruption by corruption is not correct. If he thinks that he is correct then he should ignite a fire and see whether fire extinguishes fire. (Never). But patience, tolerance and good behavior stems evil and corruption just as water extinguishes fire. O My Son! Sell your world for the Hereafter so that you may be benefited in both this world and in the other. Do not sell the Hereafter for this world otherwise you will suffer loss at both the places.”

It is said that Luqman lived alone most of the time. Once a man went to him and said, “Sir, you remain mostly in solitude. If you mix up with others it will increase affection.” He replied, “Loneliness gives more scope for thinking and thinking leads towards paradise.”

It is reported reliably from Imam as-Sadiq that Luqman, in his will asked his son: My Son: People before you gathered wealth for their family members. Then neither they lived nor their wealth lasted nor those for whom it was gathered. You are a laborer who has been ordered to do some jobs on fixed remuneration. So carry out your duties, take your remuneration and not to live in this world like a sheep which goes to a field and grazes so much that it becomes fat and then it is slaughtered because of its obesity. But you should pass through this world like crossing a bridge that is built over a river. After crossing it you never return to it. Do not develop your worldly habitation because you are not commanded to do so and remember that when you will be made to stand before your Lord on the Day of Judgment you will be questioned about four things: About your youth as to how you spent it, about your age (life) as to how you finished it, about your wealth as to from where you earned it and for that you used it. So be ready to answer these queries and never be sorry for the loss of worldly wealth because little wealth does not last long and one should not be carefree of the big troubles. So always be away from the evils of this world and be busy with the deeds for the Hereafter. Remove the blindfold from your eyes and admit yourself in the happiness of your Lord through good deeds. Always repent in your heart and make efforts for achieving virtues until you have time and before they (angels) target you and Allah’s will turns toward you and these things become a barrier between you and your desires.

It is said in another narration that Luqman said, “O My Son! If the wise and the learned people hit you and harm you it is better for you compared to the (compared to) situation in which the ignorant anoint you with oil and perfumes.”

It is said that someone asked Luqman, “Were you not a slave of such and such family?” He replied, “Yes, I was.” They asked, “What made you reach this (high) status?” He replied, “Because I always remained truthful, never breached a trust, avoided every word and deed which would not benefit me, I closed my eyes from seeing the things prohibited by my Lord, I stopped my tongue from uttering nonsense and ate only lawful provision. These things led me to this stage. So now the one who will act more than me on these lines will overtake me, the one who will act less than me will remain behind me and the one who will act just like me will be like me.”

And Luqman said, “My Son! Never delay repentance because death arrives all of a sudden without warning. Do not criticize anybody about his death because death will come to you also. Do not ridicule a man who falls in trouble and never stop doing good to others. My Son! Be honest so that you may remain needless of others’ wealth. My Son! Consider piety as a business which will give you profit without investing any capital. If you commit a sin send a donation in advance (spend to help the needy or do a good deed) which may remove that sin. My son! Admonition seldom impresses a fool just as it is difficult for an old person to climb a height. My Son! If be you not be kind to the one whom you are oppressing, be kind to yourself because you are harming yourself through that oppression. When your position of power invites you to oppress somebody then remember the Power of Allah. My Son! Learn from the learned what you do not know and teach others what you know.”

It is mentioned in another tradition that when Luqman left his city he (first) camped in a village called Maas in Moosal. When he found no follower and nobody agreed with him he became disheartened. He closed the door of his house and cornered himself with his son. Advising him he gave him several admonitions. Some of them are:
O My Son! Talk less and remember Allah at all places because He has warned you of His chastisement and has made you a wise observer.

O Son! Take admonition from other people so that they may take advice from you. Be cautioned by little trouble before a big calamity comes down on you and then you may not be able to avoid it.