Surah Luqman >> Currently viewing Surah Luqman Ayat 12 (31:12)

Surah Luqman Ayat 12 in Arabic Text

وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا لُقْمَـٰنَ ٱلْحِكْمَةَ أَنِ ٱشْكُرْ لِلَّهِ ۚ وَمَن يَشْكُرْ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِۦ ۖ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَنِىٌّ حَمِيدٌۭ
Wa laqad aatainaa Luqmaanal hikmata anishkur lillaah; wa many yashkur fa innamaa yashkuru linafsihee wa man kafara fa innal laaha Ghaniyyun Hameed

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 12

Sahih International
And We had certainly given Luqman wisdom [and said], “Be grateful to Allah.” And whoever is grateful is grateful for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever denies [His favor] – then indeed, Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy.

Yusuf Ali
we bestowed (in the past) Wisdom on Luqman: “Show (thy) gratitude to Allah.” Any who is (so) grateful does so to the profit of his own soul: but if any is ungrateful, verily Allah is free of all wants, Worthy of all praise.

Abul Ala Maududi
We bestowed wisdom upon Luqman, (enjoining): “Give thanks to Allah.” Whoso gives thanks to Allah, does so to his own good. And whoso disbelieves (let him know that) Allah is All-Sufficient, Immensely Praiseworthy.

Muhsin Khan
And indeed We bestowed upon Luqman Al-Hikmah (wisdom and religious understanding, etc.) saying: “Give thanks to Allah,” and whoever gives thanks, he gives thanks for (the good of) his ownself. And whoever is unthankful, then verily, Allah is All-Rich (Free of all wants), Worthy of all praise.

Pickthall
And verily We gave Luqman wisdom, saying: Give thanks unto Allah; and whosoever giveth thanks, he giveth thanks for (the good of) his soul. And whosoever refuseth – Lo! Allah is Absolute, Owner of Praise.

Dr. Ghali
And indeed We already brought Luqman (the) wisdom, saying, “Give thanks to Allah. And whoever gives thanks (to Allah), then surely he gives thanks only for himself; (i.e., for his own benefit) and whoever disbelieves, then surely Allah is Ever-Affluent, Ever-Praiseworthy.”

Abdel Haleem
We endowed Luqman with wisdom: ‘Be thankful to God: whoever gives thanks benefits his own soul, and as for those who are thankless––God is self-sufficient, worthy of all praise.’

Quran 31 Verse 12 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Luqman ayat 12, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(31:12) We[17] bestowed wisdom upon Luqman, (enjoining): “Give thanks to Allah.”[18] Whoso gives thanks to Allah, does so to his own good. And whoso disbelieves (let him know that) Allah is All-Sufficient, Immensely Praiseworthy.[19]


17. After presenting a rational argument to refute shirk, the Arabs are being told that this rational point of view is not being presented before them for the first time, but the wise and learned people before them also have been saying the same thing, including their own famous sage, Luqman. Therefore, they cannot refute the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) message, saying, “If shirk was an irrational creed, why didn’t it strike so to somebody else before?”

Luqman was well known as a wise and learned man in Arabia. He has been mentioned in the poetry of the pre- Islamic poets like Imraul-Qais, Labid, Aasha, Tarafa and others. Some educated Arabs also possessed a collection of the wise sayings of Luqman. According to traditions, three years before the Hijrah the very first person of Al-Madinah to be influenced by the Prophet (peace be upon him) was Suwaid bin Samit. He went to Makkah for Hajj. There the Prophet (peace be upon him) was as usual preaching Islam to the pilgrims coming from different places, at their residences. When Suwaid heard his speech, he submitted, “I have also gotten a thing similar to what you preach,” When the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked what it was, he said, “The roll of Luqman.” Then on the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) insisting, he read out a portion of it, whereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “This discourse is fine, but that which I have is better still.” Then he recited the Quran to him, and Suwaid admitted that that was certainly better than the wisdom of Luqman. According to the historians, this person, Suwaid bin Samit, was known by the title of kamil (perfect) in Al-Madinah on account of his ability, bravery, nobility and poetry. But after his meeting with the Prophet (peace be upon him), when he returned to Al-Madinah. He was killed in the battle of Buath, which was fought some time afterwards. His tribesmen were of the opinion that he had become a Muslim after his meeting with the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Historically, Luqman is a disputed personage. In the dark centuries of ignorance there was no compiled history. The only source of information were the traditions that were being handed down since centuries. According to these, some people thought that Luqman belonged to the people of Aad and was a king of Yaman. Relying on these traditions, Maulana Sayyid Suleman Nadvi has expressed the opinion in the Ard al-Qaran that Luqman was a descendent of the believers who remained safe with the Prophet Hud (peace be upon him) after the destruction of the people of Aad by a divine torment, and he was one of the kings of Yaman when it was ruled by the Aad. But other traditions which have been reported from some learned companions and their immediate followers do not support this view. Ibn Abbas says Luqman was a negro slave, and the same is the opinion of Abu Hurairah, Mujahid, Ikrimah and Khalid ar-Rabi. According to Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari, he belonged to Nirbah. Said bin al- Musayyib says that he was an Egyptian negro. These three sayings closely resemble one another. The Arabs generally called the black people negroes (Habashis) in those days, and Nirbah is the country south of Egypt and north of Sudan. Therefore, calling the same person an Egyptian and a Nubian and a negro, in spite of the difference in words. is one and the same thing. Then the elucidations made by Suhayli in Raud al-Unuf nd Masudi in Muruj adh-Dhahab also throw some light on the question as to how the wisdom of this Sudanese slave spread in Arabia. They both agree that this person, though originally a Nubian, was an inhabitant of Madyan and Aylah (modern, Aqabah). That is why he spoke Arabic and his wisdom spread in Arabia. Besides, Suhayli also elucidates that Luqman the Sage and Luqman bin Aad were two different persons, and it is not correct to regard them as one and the same man.

Another thing may also be made clear here. The Arabic manuscript from the Library of Paris, which the orientalist Derenbourg has published under the title Amthal Luqman Hakim (Fables De Luqman Le Sage) is a fabricated thing which has nothing to do with the Roll of Luqman. These fables were compiled by somebody in the 13th century A.D. Its Arabic is poor, and a perusal shows that it is, in fact, a translation of some other book in a different language, which the author or translator has himself ascribed to Luqman the Sage. The orientalists make such researches with a special object in view. They bang out such forged and fake things in order to prove that the narratives of the Quran are unhistorical legends and therefore unreliable. Anyone who reads B. Helle’s article on Luqman in the Encyclopedia of Islam will not fail to understand the real motive of these people.

18. That is, “The very first demand of the wisdom and knowledge, insight and sagacity, granted by Allah was that man should have adopted the attitude of gratefulness and obedience before his Lord, and not of ingratitude and thanklessness. And this gratefulness should not have merely been lip-service but expressed and translated in thought and word and deed. One should have the conviction in the depths of his heart and mind that whatever he has gotten, has been given by God. One’s tongue should always be acknowledging the favors of God; and also practically, one should be trying to prove by carrying out His commands, by avoiding sins, by striving to achieve His good-will, by conveying His blessings and favors to His servants and by fighting those who have rebelled against Him that he is really a grateful servant of his God.”

19. That is, “The one who is ungrateful and unbelieving, his unbelief is harmful to his own self. Allah does not lose anything. He is Independent and does not stand in need of anyone’s gratitude. The gratitude of someone does not add anything to His Godhead, nor does anyone’s ingratitude and disbelief change the reality that whatever the servants have gotten, has been granted by Him. He is self- Praiseworthy whether someone praises Him or not. Every particle in the universe bears testimony to His Perfection and Beauty, His Creativity and Providence, and every creature is paying homage to His glory perpetually.”

Ibn-Kathir

12. And indeed We bestowed upon Luqman Al-Hikmah saying: “Give thanks to Allah.” And whoever gives thanks, he gives thanks for (the good of) himself. And whoever is unthankful, then verily, Allah is All-Rich, Worthy of all praise.


Luqman

The Salaf differed over the identity of Luqman; there are two opinions: was he a Prophet or just a righteous servant of Allah without the prophethood The majority favored the latter view, that he was a righteous servant of Allah without being a Prophet. Sufyan Ath-Thawri said, narrating from Al-Ash`ath, from `Ikrimah, from Ibn `Abbas, “Luqman was an Ethiopian slave who was a carpenter. `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr said, “I said to Jabir bin `Abdullah: `What did you hear about Luqman’ He said: `He was short with a flat nose, and came from Nubia.”’ Yahya bin Sa`id Al-Ansari narrated from Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib that “Luqman was from the black peoples of (southern) Egypt, and had thick lips. Allah gave him wisdom but withheld prophethood from him.” Al-`Awza`i said, “`Abdur-Rahman bin Harmalah told me; `A black man came to Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib to ask him a question, and Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib said to him: “Do not be upset because you are black, for among the best of people were three who were black: Bilal, Mahja` the freed slave of `Umar bin Al-Khattab, and Luqman the Wise, who was a black Nubian with thick lips.” Ibn Jarir recorded that Khalid Ar-Raba`i said: “Luqman was an Ethiopian slave who was a carpenter. His master said to him, `Slaughter this sheep for us,’ so he slaughtered it. ﴿His master﴾ said: `Bring the best two pieces from it,’ so he brought out the tongue and the heart. Then time passed, as much as Allah willed, and ﴿his master﴾ said: `Slaughter this sheep for us,’ so he slaughtered it. ﴿His master﴾ said, `Bring the worst two morsels from it,’ so he brought out the tongue and the heart. His master said to him, `I told you to bring out the best two pieces, and you brought these, then I told you to bring out the worst two pieces, and you brought these!’ Luqman said, `There is nothing better than these if they are good, and there is nothing worse than these if they are bad.”’ Shu`bah narrated from Al-Hakam, from Mujahid, “Luqman was a righteous servant, but he was not a Prophet.” Allah’s saying:

﴿وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا لُقْمَانَ الْحِكْمَةَ﴾

(And indeed We bestowed upon Luqman Al-Hikmah) means, understanding, knowledge and eloquence.

﴿أَنِ اشْكُرْ للَّهِ﴾

(saying: “Give thanks to Allah.”) means, `We commanded him to give thanks to Allah for the blessings and favors that Allah had given to him alone among his people and contemporaries.’ Then Allah says:

﴿وَمَن يَشْكُرْ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ﴾

(And whoever gives thanks, he gives thanks for (the good of) himself.) meaning, the benefit of that will come back to him, and Allah’s reward is for those who give thanks, as He says:

﴿وَمَنْ عَمِلَ صَـلِحاً فَلاًّنفُسِهِمْ يَمْهَدُونَ﴾

(and whosoever does righteous good deeds, then such will prepare a good place for themselves. ) (30:44)

﴿وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِىٌّ حَمِيدٌ﴾

(And whoever is unthankful, then verily, Allah is Rich, Worthy of all praise.) He has no need of His servants and He will not be harmed by that, even if all the people of the earth were to disbelieve, for He has no need of anything or anyone besides Himself. There is no God but He, and we worship none but Him.

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