Advice from Lukman to his Son
Surah Lukman verse 12-19
Some commentary on these verses from Tafseer Ibn Katheer.
*About Lukman there are different interpretation about him. He was most likely a righteous man of African descent and was a distinguished man among his people. There were three probabilities of where he came from. He was either from the area of Ethophia (Habshah), Nuba (south of Egypt) or Sudan. He was believed to live during the time of Prophet Dawuud (AS).
12. And indeed We bestowed upon Lukman Al-Hikmah (wisdom and religious understanding, etc.) saying: "Give thanks to Allah," and whoever gives thanks, he gives thanks for (the good of) his own self. And whoever is unthankful, then verily, Allah is All-Rich (Free of all wants), Worthy of all praise.
13. And (remember) when Lukman 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 Zulm (wrong) indeed.
*Verse 13 informed us to obey and worship Allah and not to associate anything with Him. Shirk or making partner with Allah is a great transgression.
14. 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.
*From verse 14 Allah (SWT) make it a significant obligation to take good care of our parents which come right after the order of worshipping Him and not making Shirk.
(Children need to be reminded of how hard it is for the parents especially the mother to take care of them, especially when they were small and helpless)
15. 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 obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do.
*From verse 15, we need to treat the children with kindness while asking them to treat us with kindness. We ourselves have to show kindness to our parents at all times even if they asked you to disobey Allah’s order.
16. "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), Well-Aware (of its place).
*From verse 16, we need to emphasize to the children that even small deeds, good or bad will receive its reward or punishment and all will be brought out by Allah (SWT) on the Day of Judgment. This will encourage them to pay extra attention to and be more careful of the consequences of their behavior.
17. "O my son! Aqim-is-Salat (offer prayer perfectly), enjoin (people) for Al-Ma’ruf - (Islamic Monotheism and all that is good), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (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.
*Verse 17. Lessons here include encouraging children to make salah on time. Keeping in mind that we, the parents are PRIME examples. Making the salah according to what is prescribed by the Prophet SAW. Encouraging them to do good and forbid evil to the best of their ability and be patient while doing this because not everybody will respond positively to them and some people may make fun of them instead, so it is best to remind them of this often.
18. "And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not each arrogant boaster.
*Verse 18. Encourage them to have good manners. To be gentle, helpful, and to treat people with respect. Be humble and avoid arrogance.
19. "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 ass."
*Verse 19. Teach them not to walk with pride, not to walk too fast or too slow and do not raise their voices unless it is necessary.