Quran Tafsir : Sura Luqman : The wisdom in parental advisory.

Sura Luqman is the 31st sura in the Holy Quran and has been revealed in Mecca.

The sura derives its name from Prophet Luqman(as) who is also descendant of Prophet Abraham(as). The main message in the sura is what Luqman(as) gives his son as an advice and tells him to stay away “shirk”, which he claims as “one big tyranny”. Shirk is accepted as the biggest sin in Islamic faith and it is a term broadly encompasses polytheism and every form of idolatry.

Everyday, every kind of people can give advice to everyone, regardless of their relative or amicable bond. It is safe to assume that the most sincere advice, especially an advice of wisdom, can be given from a father to a son, since a father would never want to see his child to follow the wrong path. The father would also keep a objective balance to warn his child from the dangers of “polytheism”. Whereas a mother who would be more “compassionate” to let a child do whatever he wants.

Here Prophet Luqman(as) warns his son very strictly. He instructs him that polytheism is the highest wrong-doing or grievous iniquity. In Quranic terms polytheism is “zulmun azeemun”, Azeem is grand and “zulm” is tyranny.

Isn’t this “style” of instruction a bit “severe” and firm for a father and son conversation? Maybe so, from a “modernist” point of view. However, by setting the example of a father-son relationship, we should understand that it is every father’s responsibility to warn their children against the pitfalls of misguidance in “faith matters”

A father doesn’t have the luxury to say “I’ll let my son to think and behave whatever he wants”. In most cases, this line of thinking poses as “liberal”, but in facts it serves to hide the “selfishness of a parent” who doesn’t want to bother “going into details of such concepts” that require deep thinking.

However, Holy Quran says this is the kind of message parents should give to their children. Allah(j.j) is very direct about this suggestion, as we are presented Prophet Luqman(as) as father. 

This sura has been revealed at a time where many of the Mecca youth started to express interest in Prophet Muhammad’s(saw) message. The polytheist crowds and parents of Mecca did their best to prevent their youth from listening to the divine call. Here, this sura sets a good example for them, what kind of “parental advice” is fundamental according to Holy Quran.

It is clearly instructed in this sura that every child is obliged to be thankful to their parents and obey them in every case, except the case of polytheism. It is the child’s duty to reject their parents ideas and diversion if they force children away from “tawhid”, which is complete opposite of polytheism. Tawhid means  doctrine of Oneness of Alla(j.j) in Islamic aqeedah. How can a child know to “object” idolatry. Only if the parent is as cautionary and exemplary as Prophet Luqman(as)

As usual, this sura is full of other kinds of wise “parental advices” but in this article we want to focus on “how a father suggests his son to stay away from polytheism.” 


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