Surah Luqman (Luqman ) 31 : 20
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and amply bestowed
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
The third presentation of this central issue of faith employs a different style, showing us in the first place the universal proof as it relates to human life, interests and livelihood. It speaks of God’s blessings, visible and subtle, which people enjoy. Nevertheless, they continue to engage in arguments about God, who gives them all these blessings. The sūrah then follows the same pattern in presenting the central theme of faith as already discussed in the first two presentations.
This remark occurs repeatedly in the Qur’ān. Conveyed in different ways, it appears new every time, because the universe appears new whenever we contemplate its secrets and reflect on its unending wonders. Indeed, it takes far longer than man’s lifetime to review these wonders. Yet every time he looks at them, they appear to have a different colour and a different tone.
The sūrah portrays these from the viewpoint of harmony between man’s needs in his life on earth and the construction of the universe. This leaves no possibility for such harmony to have been achieved by mere coincidence. It is inevitable, therefore, that we should acknowledge the single will that makes such harmony a reality.
Planet earth is no more than a little particle when compared to the universe. Compared to the size of the earth, man is a tiny and weak creature. Moreover, the earth contains forces as well as animate and inanimate beings in comparison to which man appears no more than a tiny creature in size, weight and strength. By His grace, however, and by breathing into him of His own spirit and honouring him above many of His creatures, God has given man a special position in the universal system. Indeed, He has given him the ability to use many of the forces and resources of this universe. This is what the sūrah describes as ‘making things subservient’ to man within the context of granting him countless blessings that are subtle and apparent, inward and outward. These blessings go beyond making things in the heavens and earth subservient to man. Mere human existence is a blessing, as are man’s powers, abilities, talents and skills. Sending human messengers with divine messages is an even bigger and greater blessing. The breathing of God’s spirit into man at the time of his creation is also an aspect of blessing. Indeed, every breath man draws, every heart beat, every sigh, sound, feeling and thought is a blessing which he could not have had without God’s grace.
God has made what is in the skies available and subservient to man. Thus, he is able to benefit from the sun’s rays, the moon’s light, the guidance provided by the stars, rain, air and birds that fly. He also enabled him to benefit and use what is on and in the earth. This is even easier to note and reflect upon. Man is placed in charge of this vast kingdom, and given the ability to use all the resources of the earth, some of which are clear and apparent while others are subtle and hidden; some are known fully to man, some he knows only by their effects, and some he benefits from without even knowing what they are. In every moment of the night and day man is given the great abundance of God’s blessings, the extent and form of which he does not fully know. Yet in spite of all this, some people are ingrate, do not reflect on the world around them and do not appreciate the blessings they enjoy: “Yet some people argue about God without having any knowledge, without guidance, and without any light-giving revelations.”
This argument sounds singular in the light of this universal proof. Considering that God’s grace is so great and abundant, man’s denial looks both absurd and ugly. Both human nature and conscience find it repugnant. The type of person who argues about the truth of God, and what this means, is deviant, unresponsive to the inspiration the universe shines with, denies God’s grace, and unashamedly argues about the One who has granted all these blessings. What is worse is that in their argument, such people do not rely on any true knowledge, have no proper guidance, and refer to no guiding revelation.
2. Linguistic Analysis[ edit ]
4. Miscellaneous Information[ edit ]
5. Connected/Related Ayat[ edit ]
6. Frequency of the word[ edit ]
7. Period of Revelation[ edit ]
An examination of the subject matter shows that it was sent down in the period when persecution to suppress and thwart the invitation to Islam had begun. Every sort of plotting had started being employed for this purpose. This is borne out by v.14 in which the young reverts to Islam have been told that although the rights of the parents are the uppermost after God they should not listen to them if they prevented them from accepting Islam or compelled them to revert to the creed of polytheism (Shirk). The same thing has been said in Surah 29: al-‘Ankabut (The Spider) which indicates that both these Surahs were sent down in the same period. A study of the style and subject matter of the two Surahs on the whole however shows that Surah Luqman was sent down earlier for one does not see any sign of the antagonism in its background, though contrary to this while studying Surah 29: al-‘Ankabut (The Spider) one can clearly feel that the Muslims were being severely persecuted during the period of its revelation.