Monday, April 4, 2011

Sura 31 - Luqman

The name of this sura comes from v. 12. Luqman is recounted in this sura as a man of wisdom.

Date, Context and Theme

The scholars say that it could be a Meccan or Medinan sura so I am not sure. It felt like it was dealing with Meccan issues to me. The theme is wisdom. The Qur’an and Islamic worship are portrayed as the wise way to live.


v. 1, Mystery letters, Alif. Lam. Mim.

Vv. 2-3, the Qur’an is introduced as wisdom.

Vv. 4-11, Those who believe in the here-after will receive this guidance but the unbelievers turn away and will receive doom.

Vv. 12-34 The story of the wisdom of Luqman and it application to Muhammad’s situation.

* vv. 12-13 Luqman’s receives wisdom from God.

* Vv. 14-15 Luqman’s wisdom applied to Muhammad’s situation.

* vv. 16-20 Luqman’s conversation of wisdom to his son.

* Vv. 21-34 Luqman’s wisdom applied to Muhammad’s situation.

What I found interesting.

1. This sura was quite short and had an easy structure. My Muslim friends tell me that Luqman is a famous name in Islamic culture for wisdom. Lugman is not a person from the Christian and Jewish scriptures. Thus the Qur'an is not bound to the Jewish and Christian scriptures.

2. It is interesting to see that the word for Jihad is used of those (Meccans?) who are trying to turn the Muslims away from Allah.
But if they strive (jihad) with thee to make thee ascribe unto Me as partner that of which thou hast no knowledge, then obey them not. ... 31:15

3. We learn about what the pre-Islamic Meccans believe in these verses.
And if it be said unto them: Follow that which Allah hath revealed, they say: Nay, but we follow that wherein we found our fathers. What! Even though the devil were inviting them unto the doom of flame? 31:21

If thou shouldst ask them: Who created the heavens and the earth? they would answer: Allah. Say: Praise be to Allah! But most of them know not. 31:25

4. Some Muslims have said to me that John 21:25 is a bit ridiculous,
Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. John 21:25

But there is a similar description in the Qur’an.
And if all the trees in the earth were pens, and the sea, with seven more seas to help it, (were ink), the words of Allah could not be exhausted. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise. 31:27

5. I want to think more on this verse.
Your creation and your raising (from the dead) are only as (the creation and the raising of) a single soul. Lo! Allah is Hearer, Knower. 31:28

When it talks about creation and a “single soul” is that referring to Adam or is it describing the ease with which Allah creates and resurrects?

6. I thought that this verse beautifully preserves the ancient view that ships lead to discovery and wonder, in this case Allah's wonders. I think we do not view ships this way any more, though we may view space ships this way?
Hast thou not seen how the ships glide on the sea by Allah's grace, that He may show you of His wonders? Lo! therein indeed are portents for every steadfast, grateful (heart). 31:31


  1. Hi Samuel,
    I appreciate your work and debates and thoughts here.

    I am the guy who asked about the quote from Al Ghazzali that Abdullah Kunde made in your debate.

    Did you ever find the quote?
    Did you publish it somewhere?

    Do Salafis and other Muslims accept Al Ghazzali, who is, I guess, more of a Sufi; or is that correct?

    Ken T.

  2. Ken, can you remember which debate that was from?

    I will ask about Salafis and Al Ghazzali. Maybe a Muslim can answer this for us?

  3. It was in the debate you had with Abdullah Kunde on "Savior of the World: Jesus or the Qur'an?

    Abdullah said Allah cannot be "forced" or "obligated" to keep His promise, as Al Ghazzali said, . . . " (something like that) - it was in the Question and Answer section.

  4. Ken, please email me

  5. >Do Salafis and other Muslims accept Al Ghazzali, who is, I guess, more of a Sufi; or is that correct?

    Al Ghazali is a sunni jurist and well respected. I do not know what status he has amongst salafis so I wont attempt to answer. But, while respected, he does not have any theological status amongst shias.

  6. Quran is contained from the stories of the very early eras, and all that is not for the understanding or to inform us from the life of those nations and people but to take the lessons from those stories which are stated in Quran.
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  8. We have published Bangla Translation of Holy Quran. For information about our Quran Translation, please visit our blog: Bangla Quran - Translation of Holy Quran in Easy Bangla Language

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  10. We have published Bangla Translation of Holy Quran. For information about our Quran Translation, please visit our blog: Bangla Quran

  11. We have published Bangla Translation of Holy Quran. For information about our Quran Translation, please visit our blog: Bangla Quran - Translation of Holy Quran in Bangla

  12. Its a nice blog we are also provide the quran in mp3 format thank you so much for blogging keep sharing...
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  13. I read your post and I like it. I also have a blog related to Online Quran Classes and a website for Learn Quran Online. We have Quran available in 24 languages to download for free.

  14. Hazrat Luqman was a man of wizdom. I have found a website which offers Quran for kids online classes for children. No need to have a Webcamera or Video camera for Quran class. You need Mic and Headphone set. They use Skype software.

  15. Good Surah Luqman reading. See my article about Learning Quran for kids as well. JazakAllah khairan.

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    (Be sure to Google this article)
    614-1096 C.E.
    From the Accession of the Mahomedans to that of the Europeans.
    By Rabbi Joseph Schwarz, 1850

    Rabbi Shallum, son of the then Resh Gelutha, in Babel, aka Abu Bachr al Chaliva al Zadik, Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, was in fact: [A JEWISH RABBI] Rabbi Shallum, son of the then Resh Gelutha, in Babel, perceiving this dreadful predicament, went to Mohamed, and offering him his submission, friendship, and services, endeavored to enter with him into a friendly compact. Mohamed accepted his proposition with pleasure, conceived a great affection for him, and took his daughter, a handsome young girl (A 6 YEAR OLD CHILD), for wife; he made him also a general in his army, and gave him the name of Abu Bachr al Chaliva al Zadik, literally:

    The father of the maiden, the descendant of the righteous; this means, that of all his wives, who were either widows or divorced women, this one was the only one who had never been married before, and then she was the granddaughter of the celebrated chief of the captivity; therefore, the descendant of the righteous. This occurrence induced Mahomed to give up his terrible intention to destroy the Jews in his country, and thus did Rabbi Shallum save his people.


    [Why Muhammad hated alcohol]

    Abu Bachr and Aliman now resolved among themselves to remove the dangerous enemy of the Jews, Bucheran. One evening Mahomed, Bucheran, Aliman, and Abu Bachr, were drinking together; the latter two soon saw that Mahomed and the astrologer were strongly intoxicated, and lay stretched out in a deep and profound sleep. Abu Bachr thereupon drew the sword of Mahomed from its scabbard, cut off therewith Bucharan’s head, and put the bloody sword back into its receptacle, and both then lay themselves down quietly near Mohamed to sleep. When Mohamed awoke and saw his friend lying decapitated near him, he cried out in a fury: “This terrible deed has been done by one of us three in our drunkenness!” Abu Bachr thereupon said quite unconcernedly: “Let each one draw his sword, and he whose weapon is stained with blood, must needs be the murderer!” They all drew their swords, and that of Mohamed was completely dyed with fresh blood, which proved thus clearly to his satisfaction that he had murdered his friend. He was greatly grieved at this discovery; cursed and condemned the wine which was the cause of this murder, and swore that he never would drink any more, and that also no one should do so who wishes to enter heaven. This is the cause why wine is prohibited to the Mohammedans.

    At a later period, Mohamed learned the whole transaction, and that his father-in-law was the perpetrator of the bloody deed; wherefore, he lost his favor, and he would not permit him to come before him. Abu Bachr went thereupon and conquered sixty places, which had not yet submitted to Mohamed, and presented them to him, through which means he became again reconciled to him, was received in favor, and remained thereafter at court.

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  21. I have read your post about Surah Luqman and trust me it was all worth written and you have mentioned it really well.