The Wisdom of Luqman (31:13) - 17th Safar 1435/2013

Al-fatiha. Bismil-Lah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim. Al-hamdulil-Lah Rabb al-'Alamin, Bari' al-khala'iqi ajma'in, Ba'ith al-anbiya'i wa al-mursaleen, wa as-salatu wa as-salam 'ala ashraf al-anbiyya'i, wa sayyid al-mursaleen, Abil Qasim Muhammad. Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad. Wa 'ala Aali Rasulihi al-mukhtar al-abrari wa al-athaar lasiyama al-Husayn al-madhloom al-maqtool al-majrooh al-'atshaan al-madhboohi min al-qafa, fi yawmi Ashura fi ardhi Karbala bila jurmin wa la khata' alladhi ghusluhu damu wa kafanahu rimalu Karbala.

As-salamu 'alayka ya Aba Abdillah wa 'ala al-arwaah allati hallat bi fina'ik, 'alayka minni jami'an salamu Allah, abadan ma baqitu wa baqiya al-layl wa al-nahar, wa la ja'ala Allahu akhir al-hadi minni li ziyaratikum. As-salamu 'ala al-Husayn, wa 'ala Ali ibn al-Husayn, wa 'ala awlaadi al-Husayn, wa 'ala ashabi al-Husayn.

Qal Allahu Al-Hakim fi kitabihi al-kareem, Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim."Wa laqad atayna Luqman al-Hikmah" (31:12). Sadaqa Allahu al 'Aliyu al-'Adheem. Salawat [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad].

Seldom in the Holy Qur'an does Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala take the names of individuals other than the anbiya', because if you look in the Holy Qur'an, all the six thousand odd verses of this Holy book, most of the names mentioned in this book are of Prophets. For example, Nabi Hud salamu Allahi 'alayh, and Nabi Salih, Nabi Nuh and Nabi Ibrahim, Nabi Isa and Nabi Musa and of course, our Holy Prophet of Islam, salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam . The names that are mentioned in the Qur'an, therefore, are mainly of anbiya' and mursaleen, messengers and prophets, that Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala sent.

However, there are some names of individuals who are not anbiya', who are not mursaleen, who are not messengers of Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, yet Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala still takes their names. For example, Sayyida Maryam salamu Allah alayha is one of those individuals. She is the mother of a Nabi, she is not a Nabi herself. And Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala has named a Surah of the Holy Qur'an under her name. In the same way you had, for example, Ya'juj and Ma'juj. Not anbiya'. They, of course, weren't very good people, virtuous people, but Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala mentions them in the Holy Qur'an by their name.

Some individuals, however, have a very important part within the Qur'an, yet their names are not mentioned. For example, Asiya salamu Allah alayha, the wife of Fir'awn, her name can be found nowhere in the Holy Qur'an. Rather, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala says "Imra'atu Fir'awn", the wife of Fir'awn. Or, for example, "Imra'atu Nuh", "Imra'atu Loot", Hajira and Sarah - "Imra'atu Ibrahim".

There is one individual, however, who is not a Nabi, who is not a Prophet, who is not a Rasul. But Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala mentions this individual in the Qur'an by name, and Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala mentions, or calls a Surah by this individual's name, and he is called Luqman Al-Hakim. Luqman, as we know, was not a Prophet. Yet Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala mentioned his words of advice within the Qur'an, his advice to his son. And Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala calls Surah thirty-one by the name of Suratul Luqman.

Our lecture therefore, tonight is based on this verse: "Wa laqad atayna Luqman al-Hikmah" (31:12). And so the title of this lecture is "And Surely To Luqman We gave wisdom". Because this one verse of the Holy Qur'an, verse thirteen of this Surah tells us a lot, number one, about what type of person Luqman salamu Allahi 'alayh was, as well as what Hikmah is, what wisdom is, and how wisdom is different from what we call 'ilm.

The first thing to understand from this verse, as I may have highlighted in the first lecture of this series, was "Wa laqad". "Laqad" as I mentioned, is what we call "ta'keed lafdhee". "Ta'keed lafdhee", for example the Qur'an will say "Laqad karramna bani Adam wa hamalnahum fil birri wal bahr wa razaqnahum min al tayyibaat" (17:70). Or the Qur'an says, "Laqad kana lakum fi Rasul Allah uswatun hasana" (33:21). Or the Qur'an says: "Laqad manna Allah 'ala al-Mu'minin" (3:164) . This "Laqad" is ta'keed, it is for emphasis. It is an emphatic. When "Laqad" is used in a verse, this means verily, certainly, definitely.

So this verse starts by saying "Wa laqad". Certainly We gave to Luqman Hikmah. However, when Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala mentions the verb of giving, He says "Wa laqad atayna". As you know and as you are aware, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala sometimes uses what is known as "dhameer", "dhama'ir", pronouns. He sometimes will use the pronoun which is jam', which is plural, and sometimes He will use the pronoun known as mutakallim. Sometimes mutakallim, sometimes ma' al gheyr. Sometimes Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala will say "Inni", "Surely I". Sometimes Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala will say "Inna", "Surely We." For example, Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala says: "Inna anzalnahu fi laylat il-Qadr" (97:1) . Or: "Inna anzalnahu fi laylatin mubarka" (44:3). Surely We send this on the blessed night.

As you are aware, I am sure, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala when He uses this "we", He does it for a certain reason or certain reasons and asbab are found. For example, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala will say "Surely We" or will say "We send this", "We gave this", when there is a whole system involved. For example, when it came to speak about revelation of the Qur'an, there is a system involved. It goes through Jibra'il then to the Holy Prophet of Islam. This system involved means that Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala says "Inna", "Surely We." When there is no system involved, Allah still may use "Inna". For example, Allah is proud of a certain thing, He says "Surely We gave it to him", "We". "Surely We gave to Luqman wisdom.

However, when Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala in the Holy Qur'an wants to show that only He is in charge of a certain thing, He will say "Inni". When He wants to show that only I am in charge of X, Y, Z, He would say "Inni". For example, Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala says: "Inni ja'ilun fil ardhi khaleefa" (2:30) , or: "Inni ja'iuluka li 'n-nasi Imama" (2:124). Why did Allah use "inni" here? For a very important reason. Allah says "Surely I made Ibrahim an Imam" and "Surely I will send a caliph on this earth." Here Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala by saying "inni" showed us that khilafa and Imama, the appointment of this, is only Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala's job. If He had said "Inna", this means anyone else can also elect an Imam. He said "Inni", only I, Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala will elect the Imam and the khalifa.

When however, there is a group involved or a system Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala may say "inna" or "atayna": "laqad atayna Luqman al-Hikmah"(31:12). Surely We. Allah is proud that He gave Luqman this Hikmah and wisdom. Surely We gave to Luqman Hikmah. Luqman, by the way, is one of the very interesting characters of history. And yes, there is very little known about the life of Luqman, and you will find the books of tafasir mention in Ibn Katheer and in our own books, Tasifr al Nemuneh, for example, mention about Luqman and his life.

The first thing to understand, which many people do not know about the life of Luqman, is that Luqman was from Africa. He was a black individual. Luqman al-Hakim, the Wise, that the Qur'an praises, the Ahl al-Bayt 'alayhum as-salam mention the words of wisdom of Luqman. Imam al-Sadiq salamu Allahi 'alayh, would talk about the will of Luqman to his son. This individual was from Africa. He was a slave in the area of Nubia. And it he said he had very thick lips. What does this have to do with our discussion? What this has to do with our discussion is that Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala mentions this individual in the Qur'an by name. He mentions a Surah under this individual. This individual was not an individual with blond hair and blue eyes and white skin. He was an individual who was black from Africa.

Because unfortunately, people that call themselves Muslims think that Islam as a religion is only for the Arabs or the Iranians or the Pakistanis or the Indians or this or that. Islam says we have not come for any color. We have come for one thing, no color have we come to appoint or touch or address. We have come for one thing, and that is known as values. If an insaan has those values within him, we will mention him in the Qur'an. Which is why Luqman, a black individual, thick lips. It is said he was ugly, some narrations mentioned this, whether it is true or not is a different story. Luqman al-Hakim was a black individual.

Because this issue of racism and 'asabiyya and prejudice is an issue that has gone long back. For example, during the time of the Holy Prophet of Islam, salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam. As we know, Salman, we call him Salman Al-Farsi. When we say Salman al-Farsi we say it out of love. He was from Iran. When they would say Salman al-Farsi, they said Salman al-Farsi in a way of taunting him. He is from Iran. He is from Persia. So Rasul Allah said, 'Call him Salman Muhammadi. Salman is one day within the Masjid. And of course, the Masjid was packed, filled with believers, nonbelievers, hypocrites, Mu'minin, whatever. And the Arabs had certain qualities that they were expert in. One of the qualities was Silsilatull Nasab. One of their qualities was genealogy. It is said the Arabs would also know the genealogy of their dogs. If they had a dog, his father, his father, it came from here, it came from there, it did this, it did that, his grandfather, this dog, used to eat a lot of meat, whatever. They were experts in their own genealogy and genealogy of animals. And they would have a lot of pride. I am the son of Amr, who is the son of Obeid, who is the son of Hisham, who is the son of Muslim who is the son of whatever.

So one day an individual stands up in the middle of the Masjid. I am this, this, this, whatever, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, he mentions all of his forefathers that he can remember. So some Arabs were sitting there and said, let us have a little game with this Salman. We know what his Silsilatull Nasab, what his genealogy is like. Let us make fun of him. 'Salman. Oh Farsi. Salman al-Farsi. Tell us your Silsilat un-Nasab, your genealogy as well.' They were proud. My father was a great poet. My father was a great horseman or a great archer. Whatever. 'Salman, tell us.'

Salman stands up in front of everyone. He says, 'Look, I know what you are trying to do. Forget about my Silsilatull Nasab, forget about my genealogy, I used to be a mushrik. Now I am not a mushrik. That is all that matters. I used to be someone who used to worship the fire. Now I am not. Now I am a companion of the Holy Prophet of Islam. That is all that matters.' When Rasul Allah hears of this, he says, 'Really, they try to make fun of my Salman? Salman minna Ahl al-Bayt. Salman is from us, Salman is from Ahl al-Bayt 'alayhum as-salam.'

When we hear that Luqman al-Hakim was an individual who was black, whether he was black, white, Chinese, whatever, it doesn't matter. Because Ahl al-Bayt 'alayhum as-salam said whoever is pure, he is from Ahl al-Bayt 'alayhum as-salam. "Salman minna Ahl al-Bayt".

And here there is a Hadith from Usul al-Kafi which explains this slightly in a better way that, the Hadith says: "Man kana fi qalbihi habbatun min khardalin min 'asabiyya ba'athahu Allah yawm al-qiyyamati ma' a'raab al-jahiliyyah". Whoever in his heart or her heart has the mustard seed size of asabiyya, prejudice within his or her heart, Allah will bring that person up on the day of Qiyama with the Jahil Bedouin Arabs. Where are they going to be? In hell. If any individual even has a speck of hate, for example, of a different race, Allah says you will be thrown into the pits of hell.

And Luqman faced this because he was a black individual. He was made into a slave. When Luqman was made into a slave, someone comes to him. "How ugly is your skin?" Astaghfirullah. "How ugly is your skin?" Luqman says "You are insulting this skin of mine, this face of mine. But are you insulting the inscriber or the inscribed?" Allahu Akbar. I paint a picture, it is rubbish, you are insulting me. He says, you are insulting my skin, you are actually insulting Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala.

The first important thing that people don't know is Luqman al-Hakim, the Wise, was from Africa. He was a black individual. Islam was not confined to the Arabs. Fidhdha, salamu Allahi 'alayha, the great servant. Where was Fidhdha from? Fidhdha was originally from India. She had moved to Africa. Then she came to Arabia. Islam, the jewels of the religion of Islam, were not just Arabs or individuals confined to one area. They were from all over the world.

The second thing about Luqman that we understand is that Luqman was not a Prophet. And the proof of this is twofold. Number one, there is a hadith from Rasul Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad], where he says, I am telling you one hundred percent fact that Luqman was not a prophet." Hadith. End of it. The Holy Prophet of Islam says that he was not a prophet. He was given wisdom.

The second proof, look at all of the prophets within the Holy Qur'an. Nuh, Hud, Salih, whatever. Every single one of them salamu Allahi 'alayhim, the Qur'an will mention how they went to their people, how they were attacked by their people, how the people were ignorant, what happened with them. For example, the Qur'an will say, "and we sent Isa to his people", "and we said Nuh to his people." Never in the Qur'an, when they mention Luqman, does it say "and we sent Luqman to his people". And never in the Qur'an does it say, "Luqman went to this group of people and he preached". Nothing like this is in the Qur'an with regards to Luqman al-Hakim.

What is in the Qur'an, however, with regards to Luqman is his will with his son. And we are not going to talk about that today. InshaAllah you can read within the Holy Qur'an in Surat Luqman. For example, he says: "Inna al-shirka la dhulmun 'adheem" (31:13), and: "Aqimi as-salaat"(31:17), etcetera, etcetera.

What we understand about Luqman therefore is that he was offered to get, to accept prophethood. Jibra'il comes to him and says, "Luqman, you are a wise man, Allah has given you this wisdom, Allah has given you piety and taqwa. Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala wants to give you the burden of risala and prophethood." He says, "Oh Jibra'il, if Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala is saying definitely I have to accept it and there is no choice, I will accept it. However, if Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala says I have a choice, I would rather not accept prophethood from Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala."

Question. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? To accept prophethood, isn't that a good thing? Does this not show that Luqman is a weak individual? That he is not accepting prophethood? He says, I don't want prophethood because he is scared of himself. The answer is given by a statement. This statement was by Sheikh Murtadha Ansari, rahmatullah 'alayh. Sheikh Murtadha Ansari, author of Makasib al Rasa'il and other risalat in Fiqh. Very big name in Fiqh and Usool al Fiqh. Sheikh Murtadha says to his students, one day it is said that he said to his students, that if your niyya and intention is not pure when you are teaching, because they were scholars, if your niyya and intention is not pure when you are teaching, still teach. So if you know that there is fifty percent sincerity, fifty percent you are teaching for another reason, still teach. Because you will help your students. Then, he says, and if you - and only lead Salah when you are one hundred percent sure of your niyya. So if you are not sure and you are teaching, still teach. Only lead Salah when you are one hundred percent sure of your niyya. And then he says, and if you are 100 percent sure of your niyya, still never become a judge. They said, Why, what is wrong with the judge, if I know one hundred percent, I am being a judge and a Qadhi for the right reason. He said, because being a judge is a very big burden on the individual.

This is why Luqman al-Hakim if he became a Prophet, he would have to be a Qadhi and a judge. He says, Ya Allah if I can opt out of it, I know I have yaqeen and conviction and ikhlaas, but if I can opt out from being a prophet, I would rather not be a prophet. Therefore, Luqman as we are told, was not a prophet. He was a wise man and he was made a slave.

And the first part of our discussion, we have looked at "wa laqad" and we have looked at "atayna", Luqman and Hikmah. These are the two parts of our discussion. The first part deals with what we understand from his life as a slave and how his relationship was with his master. Sallu 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad].

Because they say that there was a very rich Arab individual. This very rich Arab takes Luqman, black individual, tall, lived in Nubia near Egypt, takes him to become his slave. When he takes this individual called Luqman from Africa, he thinks, I don't know, he could be ignorant, he could be someone with Hikmah and wisdom and 'aql. Let me test him out. So what happens is that, he says, "Luqman, come here." Luqman comes "Yes, my master." He says, "I have slaughtered a cow, it is in the garden, go to that cow and bring the two best organs from that cow, whichever best organs, best body parts of that cow, you find are the best, bring them to me." Luqman goes, he takes the tongue, he takes the heart, he says "These two are the best organs of this animal, of any animal. Best organs, the tongue and the heart." He says "Fine. Well done."

Next day, "Luqman. There is another cow there in the garden. Now, choose for me the two worst organs of that animal." He goes, he takes the tongue and the heart he brings them, puts them there. Luqman, where is your 'aql? Luqman? What type of individual are you? You brought the same as the best and the same as the worst. He says, you haven't understood what I'm trying to say. So what are you trying to say Luqman? He says, I am trying to say that when whatever is in the heart the tongue says these two are the best organs of the body. But when what is in the heart, the tongue doesn't say, these are the two worst organs of any individual's body.

This individual then realized Luqman is a clever individual, and from that day, Luqman had a very interesting relationship with his master. Because his master was someone who had love and affection and rahma and mercy. And so his master would deal very beautifully with Luqman. They say when he realized that Luqman is someone with 'ilm and aql and knowledge and maturity, he is not a jahil individual, what this individual would do, this Arab master, he says whenever I would get something to eat or whenever it was time for me to eat, I would call Luqman. I would say, 'Luqman, first you eat, then I will eat.' He is the master. He owns Luqman. He says, 'First you eat, then I will have my share', because I have seen this individual has 'ilm.

By the way, this individual, this Arab, realized something that many people didn't realize. That when 'ilm is there, that person has greater respect in the eyes of the people. When 'ilm is in an individual, Luqman had 'ilm, so the master feeds Luqman first.

This anecdote with regards to this is very beautiful. They say that, of course, it was very hot in the Arab world. The sun is scorching, sweat is oozing across the forehead and the face of Luqman and his master. Someone brings them watermelon, fresh, juicy watermelon. Here is my gift to you. So he says, 'Luqman, there is some food, sit down.' So he sits down and they begin cutting and Luqman can hear the knife cutting the flesh of the watermelon and his mouth is watering up, and they cut it into slices. And again, as his habit was, first I feed Luqman, then I will eat. He says, 'Oh, my dear friend and servant Luqman, take a bite.' So he was feeding Luqman. And after each bite, Luqman says, 'Shukran lilaah' he says thanks to Allah, and he also says thanks to this individual for feeding him. He says 'You are welcome, Luqman, you are welcome.' And he says whenever I give Luqman a bite of this watermelon, he is smiling as if it is the most beautiful thing he has ever tasted in his life.

After Luqman completed his share of this watermelon, he says, 'Now let me eat my share, Luqman.' So he takes one small cube of watermelon, puts it into his mouth. As soon as he puts it into his mouth, he spits it out. Some narrations say he falls over or faints. 'Luqman, what kind of watermelon is this? It is the most bitter fruit I have ever tasted in my life.' Sometimes you get an orange or something, the most bitter thing you have put in your mouth, you have to take it out straight away. He says, 'Luqman, why didn't you tell me that this watermelon is the most bitter thing ever that anyone has seen, ever has come across? You are eating it like it is the best thing, like it is the most sweetest thing. You should have warned me.' He said, 'Oh my master, I have taken so many gifts and good things from you before. One bad thing, I can excuse from you.' You know what he told us, he told us something very important.

When we spoke yesterday about ubudiyyah, he taught us ubudiyyah. Ya Allah, You have given me many good things, wealth and health and a family and a beautiful house within which to live and a safe environment. If You test me with certain things which are negative, Ya Allah, You have given me many good things. I will accept whatever negative thing You give to me. This is what Luqman says. Luqman says, 'Oh my master', he is talking about Allah in actual fact, 'You have given me all of these blessings. One sour watermelon will mean nothing for what You have given me.'

For when you have a small child, a baby. And he is getting milk from his mother and food from his mother and nutrition from his mother. If he is about to touch the fire, there is fire in the house, for example, and the mother goes to his hand and slaps his hand, he takes his hand back. Does he become upset with the mother? 'Why did you do this to me?' No, he says, 'Oh mother, you gave me so many good things in my life, I still come back to you when I need anything else.' What this baby realized, we have not realized. Ya Allah, when You slap my hand and protect it from going into the fire metaphorically, I should always come back to you Ya Allah.

Luqman, as a slave was an individual who had showed us many lessons from his life as a slave. And his master seeing how knowledgeable Luqman was, seeing how much Hikmah was in Luqman, he decided to free Luqman as a slave. And this is the personality of Luqman.

The more important part of our discussion, however, is Hikmah, (31:12) Wa laqad atayna Luqman al-Hikmah. We certainly gave to Luqman Hikmah. What is Hikmah? How does Hikmah differ with 'ilm is a very important discussion. And what did Luqman actually do to be able to get this gift of Hikmah from Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala? Sallu 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad].

Hikmah, as we are aware, whenever any word is taken by our scholars, they look at the original root of this word, they look at the lexicology and they look at ahadith and Qur'an. Within ahadith, Rasul Allah sala Allahu 'alayhi wa aalih wa salam says: "Kaada al-hakim ayyakuna nabiyya". Someone who has Hikmah is nearly a Prophet. If you have Hikmah, you are nearly a Prophet. Or another hadith from Amir ul Mu'minin salamu Allahi 'alayh he says, "al-Hikmahtu shajaratun tanbutu fi il-qalb wa tuthmiru 'ala al-lisan." Hikmah, wisdom is a tree which is rooted within the heart, the fruits of which are on the tongue. In other words, when someone has Hikmah, you can see he has Hikmah because from his tongue are fruits which benefit other individuals.

Hikmah therefore was a concept that the Ahl al-Bayt constantly spoke about, and the definitions of this Hikmah were also very various. For example, some individuals and scholars, when they wanted to speak about Hikmah, they said if you look at the Arabic culture, when they would have a donkey or a horse which was going out of control, they would put a metal piece in the mouth of that donkey, and tie a rope to that metal piece so that they could control where the donkey or the horse goes. This was called hakama. Therefore, Hikmah comes from this metal piece which controls the horse or the donkey because Hikmah controls my soul and my nafs from committing acts of haram. Hikmah, wisdom.

Others said, no, look at Hikmah in this way, that Hikmah is 'ilm, wa l-hilm, wa al-'adl. Hikmah is 'ilm, knowledge, marji'uha ila al-'ilm wa al-ilm wa al-'adl. Hikmah refers back to knowledge, justice and forbearance. Others said, No, don't understand this in this way. Understand Hikmah as "'Ilm alladhi yarfa'u al-insaan 'an fa'al al-qabih." Understand Hikmah as Hikmah being wisdom, and wisdom being knowledge which prevents an individual from committing an act of indecency in the eyes of Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala. Or, for example, another definition. "'Ilm wa yuwaffiqu li 'l-'amal". 'Ilm with the tawfeeq and the strength to act on this 'ilm.

What we understood therefore as Hikmah controls an individual, wisdom controls an individual from committing sin, and wisdom, the basis and the foundation of it, is 'ilm. And that is why often people say, who is an 'alim? Who is a person with 'ilm. The Qur'an says: "Innama yakhsha Allahu min 'ibaadihi al 'ulama" (35:28). It is only the 'ulama who fear Allah. 'Ulama means everyone with turban? No, people with 'ilm. What does this mean? They say when an individual realizes that the amount of knowledge he has is very little, then call that person 'alim. When an individual realizes what I have is minimal and nothing compared to the oceans of 'ilm that exists, then call that individual 'alim.

And you find that, as the definitions say, Hikmah is based on 'ilm with 'amal. Sheikh Mufid showed this. Sheikh Mufid showed how he was someone with Hikmah and 'ilm, an 'ilm based or mixed with 'amal. Because Sheikh Mufid, as we understand, was from Baghdad, lived in Baghdad, till today his body is in Baghdad. And Sheikh Mufid was the teacher of many great individuals, such as Sheikh Tusi, an-Najjashi, Sayyid Radhi, Sayyid Murtadha and others. He has written books such as Kitabul Irshad, and Tasheehu ul-I'qtiqad and Muqni'al Mufid and many other books as well. Sheikh Mufid, as this great authority in Baghdad would do dars, give dars in a Masjid, in a mosque.

Because unfortunately many of our mosques there was no dars going on in them, especially in, for example, the West. Because the mosque, the main part of the mosque, yes, is Azadari or Husainiya, of course, and crying for Imam Husayn and beating our chest and reciting Salaah and the prayers. But a primary function of the mosque is also dars, to give hawza lessons, for example, and educate people.

So he would be sitting in one of the masjids. In Najaf, for example, you have mosques, Masjid ul-Hind for example, where Ayatollah Khu'i would give dars, I think, and et cetera, et cetera. So he was sitting in one of these masajid, one of these mosques, sitting on a very high mimbar. Su'aal, question, why does someone sit on a mimbar? Why does the khateeb or the orator or the 'alim or the teacher sit on mimbar? To show that he is greater than you and look down? No, because there are people, if he sits on the floor, people won't be able to see him. So they sit on a mimbar. If there are more people, if the hall is packed, if there is a very big Masjid, the mimbar is made slightly taller so that people right at the back can see.

So he was teaching whatever fiqh, or ahadith or 'aqa'id on a very tall mimbar. Individual comes in. "Ya Sheikh, salaamun alaikum.' He says 'Wa alaykum asalam'. He says, 'I have a question.' Now he is sitting, this person has interrupted. He says, 'I have a question' in front of all of the people that were there. Packed. 'I have a question.' So they stopped the dars. 'Yes, what is your question?' He asks whatever the question is. Sheikh Mufid in front of everyone says, 'I don't know. I don't know. I have no idea what the answer to this question is.' This person replies, 'How can it be? You are Sheikh Mufid, Muhammad ibn Nu'man, the most world renowned scholar, especially in Baghdad. I came to you hoping that you would ans

wer this question of mine. And look how tall this mimbar of yours is. Such a big mimbar you are sitting on and you don't know the answer to this question.' Sheikh Mufid replied with an answer that only a hakim can give. Only someone with Hikmah and wisdom can give. He said, 'Yes, this mimbar is very tall. But if we were to make a mimbar with regards to the things I don't know, it would reach the seven heavens. Because what I don't know is a lot more than what I do know.' And the people are often surprised when a mujtahid may say to them, I don't know the answer to this. When someone openly will say to you, 'I don't know the answer to this, let me check', that person is pure inside. Because that person that makes up an answer and just goes from here and there, he is accursed in the narrations. When you don't know a mas'ala of fiqh, don't answer that mas'ala of fiqh.

For example, Allamah Tabataba'i, rahmatullah 'alayh, would be sitting with his students, his students mentioned whenever he would not know anything, he said, 'Look, I have no idea.' This is what we call Hikmah, someone who is hakim.

So the definitions of Hikmah told us that someone who is hakim is someone with 'ilm mixed with 'amal, someone who knows that whatever I have is little compared to what is actually out there. Because we are told the oceans of knowledge are within us. They are waiting for us to discover them. And when an individual drinks from this ocean of knowledge, he is called 'alim. When an individual dives into this ocean of knowledge, he is called hakim. Luqman was not 'alim, Luqman al-Hakim, the Wise.

Now we understand that Luqman hakim, wise individual, what was it that allowed him to have wisdom?

Because they say if you look in the books of tafasir, they will tell you that you cannot open a book, Wisdom, Volume one and read it and gain wisdom. Impossible. There is not one thing you can do to gain wisdom. What you can do is you can cultivate your heart to be able to accept wisdom. What does this mean? When rain pours down from the sky and it hits very hard rock, what happens to that rain water? It flows off this rock. It doesn't get absorbed by this rock. If this rock, however, is soft and the rainwater falls on it, it is absorbed by this rock or stone. This exactly is the example of Hikmah. I need to soften my heart so that when Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala blesses me with this rain of Hikmah, my heart is able to accept it. I can't say 'Ya Allah, give me rain now. Give me Hikmah now. Allah will give me Hikmah if I am due Hikmah. But I have to work with my heart to soften this heart of mine so it can absorb this Hikmah and wisdom. And they say when people have hard hearts, hearts of stone, one of the ways of softening an individual's heart is by crying for Imam Husayn salamu Allahi 'alayh. And crying for Syeda Zaynab salamu Allah alayha, this is the great benefit of what we are doing, is you are softening your heart so it can absorb Hikmah and wisdom.

Luqman one day was seen. They said, 'Oh individual, we have seen you before.' He said, 'Yes, you may have seen me before.' They said, 'Weren't you a slave with us in someone's house? Didn't we work with you as a slave?' He said, 'Yes.' 'How are you now then sitting and people are respecting you and you are giving people wisdom and Hikmah, and you are called Luqman, al-Hakim?' In other words, these people knew Luqman when he was a slave. Now they have seen Luqman, the wise. 'What did you do, Luqman?' Luqman says (there are various different hadiths) the first thing he says, let us look at this.

The first thing he says, 'Never from this tongue of mine did I say anything which was not the truth. Never did I say or commit a lie from this tongue of mine. Because of this, Allah raised my status to Luqman al-Hakim, where I am mentioned in the Qur'an, why? Because of my tongue.' "Mantiquhum al-sawaab" Amir al-Mu'minin salamu Allahi 'alayh says. The muttaqeen are those who control their tongue.

In fact, they say, another hadith from Amir ul Mu'minin, salawat Allah wa salamuhu 'alayh [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad]. He says 'When an individual lies angels go away from him one mile.' They asked, 'Why one mile?' He says, 'Because of the smell that comes out of that individual's mouth after he lies, they can't take the smell of this individual.' When an individual has weak memory? Because he is a liar. When an individual has no honor in society, they say it is because he is a liar. When an individual has bad breath, liar. Lying is one of the most emphasized sins to stay away from, from the narrations, stay away from lying, stay away from lying, stay away from lying. Why? What is worse zina or lying, for example? What is worse, alcohol or lying?

An individual comes to the Holy Prophet of Islam, sala Allahu 'alayh wa aalihi wasalam. 'I drink alcohol, I steal, I am a thief, I gamble and I lie.' Now when someone takes a lot of drugs, if you tell them, 'Stop taking all of your drugs in one day, get off the drugs in one day'. It is not possible. So they go slowly. Sins are like drugs, you have to get off them slowly. He says, 'I have four sins that I commit, four or five, alcohol, gamble, steal and lying. Oh, Prophet of Islam, tell me which one I should stay away from? Which one of these? You tell me, I will stay away from it for a week. Not all of them, which is the worst?' The Holy Prophet of Islam says 'Every single one of them takes you far away from Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, every single one of those builds a big distance between you and Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, and you should stop every single one, but because you have asked me which one you should stay away from for one week, stay away from lying. Out of all of them, stay away from kadhb, lying.' He says OK.

So that week he decided I will stay away from lying, I will meet the Prophet of Islam again and then we will talk about what happened in the week. So Monday or Tuesday, whatever one of his friends says, there is a house on the outskirts of this town. It is empty. They have gone on holiday, for example. 'Let's go, we will steal a few things, it will be good.' So he is going to this house the thief, then he remembers, 'I have to meet who the next week? The holy Prophet of Islam. If he asks me, have you committed theft that week, I told him, I can't lie. So I can't do this. So I have to stay away. I have said I will not lie. I have to stay away from this act.' Okay.

Next day, 'I have alcohol from Yemen or Egypt or wherever. Let's drink together. Let's go.' 'Wait a minute. I have to see the Prophet of Islam again. If he asked me what have you done, if I lie, I have broken my promise with the Holy Prophet of Islam.

Third thing. 'Let's go gamble.' Again, the same thing happens. I promised Rasul Allah that I will not lie. If he asks me what will I tell him? When he goes back to the Holy Prophet of Islam, the Holy Prophet of Islam says 'I was trying to tell you something. Imagine that this was the Day of Judgment. If you stayed away from lying, you will say 'Ya Allah. I did not lie in my life.' So when Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala asked you, did you drink alcohol, did you do this? Did you do that? If you stay away from lying, you will stay away from all the other types of sin, because when Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala will ask you, you will be truthful. And a truthful person will never want to say, yes, ya Allah I drank alcohol, yes Ya Allah, I did this.'

Lying. Being truthful is one of the most important characteristics because one lie can have the most detrimental effects. Ayatollah Jawadi Amuli, hafadhahu Allah, lives in Qom. He gives dars kharij fiqh, he also gives tafsirul Quran in a place called Masjid ul a'dham, and other places. Ayatollah Jawadi Amuli has a book on the sharh of ziyarat al jami'a al kabeera. We will mention a bit about this inshaAllah in one of the nights. Ayatollah Jawadi writes in one article that one of the scholars had said, a few of the traditional scholars had said, that that individual who does not lie in his life, that individual who is truthful Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, allows that individual to see true dreams. When that individual will dream and go to sleep, all of his dreams will be truthful. Why? Because his tongue never committed an act of disobedience in the eyes of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala.

Luqman says the first thing that allowed me to gain this Hikmah and wisdom, never did I lie in my life. Allah softened my heart and put into this heart of mine wisdom and Hikmah.

He says: Number two, when individuals had their own business going on, I was always silent and never did I interfere in other people's business. I think this is the most important one we have to look at. Because unfortunately there is a lot of 'This person, yes, he moved house the other day. What is his house like?'.. 'This person, for example, is having this type of problem.' When an individual is always putting his nose into other people's business, that individual, there is one name for that individual. When an individual is always putting his nose into other people's business, 'What is my neighbor like? What is this person like? What is this person like? I heard he has this new car now, how much did it cost?' That individual: one name, jaahil. When an individual is always looking at others interfering in others, his tongue is always moving, that individual is jaahil, because he is forgetting look at yourself first then look at others.

Because when I spread a rumor or I do gheeba. I do gheeba, for example, I tell one person, that one person turns five other people, that those five people tell one hundred other people. When I start that rumor or start that gheeba, all of the other gheeba that is done is upon my shoulders. So if five thousand people understand the secret of an individual because of me telling one person, all of that sin is on my shoulders. Luqman says when people were doing whatever they were doing, I kept my mouth shut. It has nothing to do with me whether people are fighting, they are having a divorce, they have problems with their brothers in inheritance and whatever. He says, I kept my nose out.

They say Ayatollah Khoei when he was in Najaf, people would come. Of course, people like to put oil on the fire. 'Did you know Syed, this person is like this, that person is like this.' And many of the 'ulama used to respond in the way Ayatollah Khoei did. He says whenever people would come to Ayatollah Khu'i saying 'This 'alim is like this', because that happens with 'alim and people like me a lot, that people like to talk about them. So Syed Khu'i says, 'Why are we talking about these individuals?' He would be quiet. He would say, 'Let us focus on our own selves first.'

Luqman says number two, never did I interfere into other people's business. Allah gave me Hikmah and wisdom. Number three, the most important, and this is mentioned by Imam Ja'far Al-Sadiq salamu Allahi 'alayh. If you are not tired for the love of Syeda Fatimatu az-Zahra salamu Allahi 'alayha, recite a second salawat. And for the love of Syeda Zaynab salamu Allahi 'alayha whose 'ashra we are commemorating, recite a very loud salawat.

Imam Ja'far Al-Sadiq salamu Allahi 'alayh says Luqman was given Hikmah because, very important, most important of reasons is that he acknowledged the Imam of his time, the leader of his time. Who was the leader of the time of Luqman? Nabi Dawood salamu Allahi 'alayh was the Prophet. Luqman had a very close relationship with nabi Dawood. Luqman is also related to Nabi Ayub, salamu Allahi 'alayh. Luqman, the reason why Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala gave Luqman Hikmah and wisdom is because he acknowledged the leader of his time. He was obedient to the leader of his time. Why is it that whenever we hear of people who have wisdom, they are the maraji', for example? Because they adhere to the leader of their time, Imam Zaman salamu Allahi 'alayh. [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad].

Salman al-Muhammadi al-Farsi again comes up. What level of Iman is Salman on? Level number 10, final level of Iman. Abu Dharr is on which level? Level number nine. Miqdad is on level number eight, and it goes on.

One of the ahadith tells us that the difference between Salman and Abu Dharr. What was the difference between Salman and Abu Dharr? Why was Salman on level 10 and about Abu Dharr on level number nine. They say when Amir ul Mu'minin salamu Allahi 'alayh, when Syeda Fatimatu az-Zahra salamu Allahi 'alayha, her house was [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad]. When her house was attacked and we know Amir ul Mu'minin was taken out first, Imam Ali had told before to Malik al-Ashtar and Miqdad and Salman and Abu Dharr, 'If you see me taking out my sword, then you take out your sword. If I keep the sword in the sheath, you keep the sword in the sheath.' He told them. 'Miqdad, Salman, Abu Dharr, and Malik, whatever I do, you look at me, you don't take out your sword unless I tell you to do so.' So when Imam Ali is dragged out of the house with ropes and chains on his neck, they, Salman was looking at the sheath. He was looking at the hand of the Imam. If he saw that the Imam takes out his sword, he will take out his sword.

Abu Dharr, however, was in so much emotion, he took out his word automatically. He took out his sword, automatically. He says, how can I bear with this? Imam Ali says, 'Oh Abu Dharr, I told you, don't allow emotions to go over my hukm and my order. I told you if I take out my sword, you take out your sword, put your sword back.' And they said this was the difference between Salman and Abu Dharr. Salman was one hundred percent obedient to the Imam of his time. Abu Dharr was the same, of course, he did the right thing, he took it out. But because his emotion was over understanding the hukum of the Imam, he was on one lower level of iman. In other words, iman is hidden in listening to every single hukam that the Imam of your time gives. This is what iman is hidden in.

And Hikmah was given to Luqman because of this. Because Sheikh Bahjat, Ayatollah Bahjat, rahmatullah 'alayh was asked. An individual comes up to him. "Sheikh, I want to see Imam Mahdi salamu Allahi 'alayh now. What can I do? Tell me one thing." He thought he would get some sort of special dhikr, and he would see Imam Mahdi like that. He says, "I want to see the Imam now." Sheikh Bahjat was someone who was very silent, someone who, when you have wisdom, your mouth remains closed. So when he would answer questions, he would answer the questions very briefly. He said, "Do you want to see the Imam? Have you followed what the Imam has told you?" That is all he said. "You want to see the Imam. Have you followed what the Imam has told you?"

If we followed every single hukum of Imam Mahdi, Imam Mahdi would come to us himself. There is proof of this, we don't have time. Luqman al-Hakim says, I was given Hikmah because I adhered to the leader of my time Nabi Dawood. If we adhered to Imam Zaman salamu Allahi 'alayh and listened to whatever he says, he will come to us with open hands and he will allow in our heart to be absorbed Hikmah and wisdom.

Because they say Imam Husayn, salaam Allah 'alayh, when he was praying salaah on the 10th of Muharram, people like Zuhair ibn al Qayn and others, great companions salamu Allahi 'alayhim, they would surround the Imam so that when the Imam went into sujood and ruku' and qiyam and qunoot, and people would throw rocks at the Imam, these individuals would be barriers to the attacks on the Imam. So these individuals, why were they so great? They physically protected Imam Husayn, the Imam of their time. People say the same thing, Imam Mahdi is also being shot arrows at. Arrows of people saying he doesn't exist, arrows of people making fun of the Imam, arrows of people doubting the Shi'a of the Imam. Be like the companions of Imam Husayn, when they protected Imam Husayn on Ashura with their bodies. We should protect Imam Mahdi salam Allah 'alayh and the allegations of him with our minds and with our intellects.

Then Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala says, I gave Luqman Hikmah, "Wa laqad atayna Luqman al-Hikmah" (31:12). I will give you Hikmah as well, and those individuals that adhere to the Imam of their time. Those individuals were given wisdom by Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala.

A poet says beautifully, he says, if you want to see proof of the Messengership of the Holy Prophet of Islam, the proof of Rasul Allah being a Rasul, go to Karbala and you will find 72 proofs of the Messengership of Rasul Allah. Each and every single one of them proved Islam as a religion. Each and every single one of them was given Hikmah by Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala. Each and every single one of them.

And, they say that when Imam Husayn entered into Karbala, as we know, many things took place, you have I am sure you have heard the masa'ib of Imam Husayn entering into Karbala on the second or third of Muharram, and he asked the people, 'What is this place called? Ismaha ghadhariyat, ismaha taff, alaha ismun akhar, ismaha karbun wa bala'. And Zaynab salamu Allahi 'alayha, she is in the tent, she comes to her brother. Syeda Zaynab, salamu Allahi 'alayha comes to her brother. She says 'Ya Aba Abdillah. This place, my heart is not happy in this place. I don't have tranquility in this place, and I can hear a woman crying since we have been here. I can hear a woman lamenting and crying since we have been here.' Imam Husayn replies, 'Oh Zaynab, my sister, Zaynab, you did not recognize the voice of your mother, Fatimatu az-Zahra? This was the voice of Fatimatu al-az-Zahra.'

And they say in this very Karbala, I want to look at Karbala, and then link it with the masa'ib of Zaynab salamu Allahi 'alayha, Syeda Zaynab salamu Allahi 'alayha. They say that in this area of Karbala, there were three times when Imam Husayn salamu Allahi 'alayh saw certain things where his soul nearly left his body. It was unbearable for Husayn ibn Ali to see certain things. His soul nearly left his body. It was Zaynab al Kubra which was the glass on the lamp of Imamah, she protected Imamah, she protected Imam Husayn and Zain ul-Abideen salamu Allah 'alayh.

Sala Allahu 'aleyka ya Aba Abdillah. Sala Allahu 'aleyka yabna Rasul Allah. They say there were three occasions when the soul of Imam Husayn nearly leaves his body. Three occasions when Imam Husayn, Sayyid ush-Shuhada, sees certain things which are unbearable for him to see.

The first occasion is when the lion of Allah, the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib by the name of Aba al-Fadhl al Abbas says, "Oh my master, oh my Imam, Ya Aba Abdillah, allow me to go to get the water for Ruqayyah is crying out Al-Atash! Al-Atash!" Husayn ibn Ali, Sayyid ush-Shuhada says, "I will let you go, but you have to ask permission from Zaynab al Kubra." Aba al-Fadhl al-Abbas says, "Oh my sister Zaynab. The time has come for me to go and get water for this camp of ours." Zaynab says, "Wa Abbasa, Wa Husayna, my father had told me that I will be in Kufa and Shaam as a captive, but I had said I have 18 brothers. Never will anyone be able to touch me. But now, when my brother Abbas, you are going to the battlefield. I know now that the hijab of Zaynab is no longer secure."

Aba al-Fadhl al-Abbas goes to the battlefield. He looks at the water, he says, "Ya nafs min ba'di al-Husayn hoonee, how can I drink this water when my Husayn is thirsty?" As he is on his way back with this water, an individual comes and cuts the right hand of Aba al-Fadhl. Then an individual comes, he cuts the left hand of Aba al-Fadhl, the containers in the mouth of Aba al-Fadhl, an individual takes a pole and hits the head of Aba al-Fadhl al-Abbas. He falls on the ground. As he falls on the ground, the water spills everywhere. He says, "Ya Aba Abdillah, 'aleyka minni as-salam."

Husayn ibn Ali runs to the battlefield. "Oh, my brother Abbas. Put your head in my lap." The masa'ib is very long, but I said the first place where Husayn ibn Ali's soul nearly leaves his body is when he takes the right hand of Aba al-Fadhl, and the left hand. And he says, " Al-aan, al-aan inkasara dhahri, now that Abbas has gone, the back of Husayn has broken."

The second occasion when the soul of Husayn nearly leaves his body is when he has a six month old in his hand. He says to the army of Yazeed "In kan li 'l-kibari dhanbun fa ma dhanbu li hadha al-radhee?'. If you have a problem with me and my father and my brother, fine. What is your problem with this six month old child?" As Hurmala takes the three pronged arrow and they say "Iqta' kalam al-Husayn. Stop the speech of Husayn, don't allow Husayn to speak. Kill this baby of Husayn ibn Ali." They take the arrow, again the masa'ib is very long, as they shoot the arrow, one side of the neck of Ali al Asghar to the other side is pierced. Husayn ibn Ali says "Inna lil-Lah wa inna ilayhi raji'oon". This is the second occasion when the soul of Husayn nearly leaves his body.

The third occasion is when this old father, by the name of Husayn ibn Ali, is on the battlefield trying to pick up the body of an 18 year old son. As he is picking up this body, he struggles. He falls 60 or 70 times as he tries to get back to the caravan. Zaynab says, "Oh my brother, Ya Aba Abdillah. I will come out of the tent and help you pick up the body of Ali al Akbar." Listen to the reply of Husayn. Husayn says, "Oh, Zaynab. Oh Zaynab, never leave the tent when there are non mehram here, for there are non mehram looking at the tent." I say Ya Aba Abdillah, after you had passed away, Zaynab did not go outside of the tent. Rather they entered into the tents of Zaynab. In a narration, Mukhtar ath-Thaqafi, he asked Khuli, Khuli the mal'oon. He says, "Khuli, what did you do after Husayn ibn Ali had been killed?" Khuli says "I went to the tents of Zaynab and Umm ul-Kulthum. I saw everything had been looted. Nothing was left in the tents of Zaynab and Umm ul-Kulthum. I saw there was one small girl with earrings in her ears. I said, I have nothing to take. Let me take these earrings of this small girl."

One scholar, he says, Rasul Allah gives Fadak to Fatimatu al az-Zahra. They take Fadak away. Husayn ibn Ali gives earrings to Ruqaiyya. They take these earrings away from Ruqaiyya.

Khuli says, "When I picked the earrings and pulled them from the ear of this girl, this girl shouted out 'Wa Husayna, Wa Husayn.'" Khuli says "Then I went further on, I saw an old lady. Her name was Zaynab al Kubra. I saw that she had hijab on her. I went to her. I started to pull the hijab from the head of Zaynab. Zaynab began holding on to her hijab." And my heart says, when she was holding onto the hijab, maybe she said, "Oh, my father. Look at what they are doing to my hijab." Khuli says "I realized I could not take this hijab easily." So listen to what Khuli does. Khuli says "I took out a whip and I whipped the face of Zaynab bint Ali. When I began to whip the face of Zaynab, she released the hijab and I took the hijab of Zaynab bint Ali."

One more hadith, one more hadith. Sayyid al-Sajjad was asked by Abu Hamza al-Thumali. Abu Hamza says "Ya Sayyid al-Sajjad. You have been crying too much, Shahada and martyrdom is normal for your family." Sayyid al-Sajjad replies, "Hal suby al nisa' lana 'ada'. Yes, shahada is normal for our family. But is the captivation of our women and the captivation of our children normal for our family?"

'Ala la'natullahi 'alal qawmi adh-dhalimeen. Wa saya'lamu al-ladheena dhalamu, ayya min qalibin yan qalibun. Allahuma bi haqqi Muhammadin wa anta al-Mahmood, wa bi haqqi Aliyin wa anta al-A'laa, wa bi haqqi Fatimah anta Fatir as-samawati wa al-ardh, bi haqqi al-Hassani wa anta al-muhsin, wa bihaqqi al-Husayn wa anta qadeemu al-ihsan, wa bihaqqi at-tis'at il-ma'soomeen min dhuriyyat il-Husayni 'alayhum as-salam, farhamna bi rahmatik wa a'tiqna min an-naar, bi haqqi Muhammadin wa aalihi al-at-haar [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad]. Ya Husayn! Ya Husayn! Ya Husayn! Ya Husayn !Ya Husayn! Ya Husayn! Ya Husayn! Ya Husayn! Ya Husayn! Ya Husayn! Ya Husayn! Ya Husayn! Ya Husayn! Ya Husayn!