English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 31: Luqman — Luqman (Revealed at Makkah: 4 sections, 34 verses)

Section 2 (Verses 31:12–31:19): Luqman’s Advice to his Son


وَ لَقَدۡ اٰتَیۡنَا لُقۡمٰنَ الۡحِکۡمَۃَ اَنِ اشۡکُرۡ لِلّٰہِ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یَّشۡکُرۡ فَاِنَّمَا یَشۡکُرُ لِنَفۡسِہٖ ۚ وَ مَنۡ کَفَرَ فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ غَنِیٌّ حَمِیۡدٌ ﴿۱۲﴾

31:12 And certainly We gave Luqmān wisdom,1 saying: Give thanks to Allah. And whoever is thankful, is thankful for the good of his own soul; and whoever denies, then surely Allah is Self-Sufficient, Praised.

وَ اِذۡ قَالَ لُقۡمٰنُ لِابۡنِہٖ وَ ہُوَ یَعِظُہٗ یٰبُنَیَّ لَا تُشۡرِکۡ بِاللّٰہِ ؕؔ اِنَّ الشِّرۡکَ لَظُلۡمٌ عَظِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۳﴾

31:13 And when Luqmān said to his son, while he instructed him: My son, set up no partner with Allah. Surely setting up partners (with Him) is a grievous wrong.

وَ وَصَّیۡنَا الۡاِنۡسَانَ بِوَالِدَیۡہِ ۚ حَمَلَتۡہُ اُمُّہٗ وَہۡنًا عَلٰی وَہۡنٍ وَّ فِصٰلُہٗ فِیۡ عَامَیۡنِ اَنِ اشۡکُرۡ لِیۡ وَ لِوَالِدَیۡکَ ؕ اِلَیَّ الۡمَصِیۡرُ ﴿۱۴﴾

31:14 And We have enjoined on man concerning his parents — his mother bears him with faintings upon faintings and his weaning takes two years — saying: Give thanks to Me and to your parents. To Me is the eventual coming.2

وَ اِنۡ جَاہَدٰکَ عَلٰۤی اَنۡ تُشۡرِکَ بِیۡ مَا لَیۡسَ لَکَ بِہٖ عِلۡمٌ ۙ فَلَا تُطِعۡہُمَا وَ صَاحِبۡہُمَا فِی الدُّنۡیَا مَعۡرُوۡفًا ۫ وَّ اتَّبِعۡ سَبِیۡلَ مَنۡ اَنَابَ اِلَیَّ ۚ ثُمَّ اِلَیَّ مَرۡجِعُکُمۡ فَاُنَبِّئُکُمۡ بِمَا کُنۡتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵﴾

31:15 And if they strive to make you set up partners with Me, of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them,3 and keep kindly company with them in this world, and follow the way of him who turns to Me; then to Me is your return, then I shall inform you of what you did.

یٰبُنَیَّ اِنَّہَاۤ اِنۡ تَکُ مِثۡقَالَ حَبَّۃٍ مِّنۡ خَرۡدَلٍ فَتَکُنۡ فِیۡ صَخۡرَۃٍ اَوۡ فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ اَوۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ یَاۡتِ بِہَا اللّٰہُ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَطِیۡفٌ خَبِیۡرٌ ﴿۱۶﴾

31:16 My son, even if it is the weight of a grain of mustard-seed, even though it were in a rock, or in the heaven or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Surely Allah is Knower of subtleties, Aware.

یٰبُنَیَّ اَقِمِ الصَّلٰوۃَ وَ اۡمُرۡ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ وَ انۡہَ عَنِ الۡمُنۡکَرِ وَ اصۡبِرۡ عَلٰی مَاۤ اَصَابَکَ ؕ اِنَّ ذٰلِکَ مِنۡ عَزۡمِ الۡاُمُوۡرِ ﴿ۚ۱۷﴾

31:17 My son, keep up prayer and enjoin good and forbid evil, and bear patiently whatever befalls you. Surely this is a matter of great resolution.

وَ لَا تُصَعِّرۡ خَدَّکَ لِلنَّاسِ وَ لَا تَمۡشِ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ مَرَحًا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُحِبُّ کُلَّ مُخۡتَالٍ فَخُوۡرٍ ﴿ۚ۱۸﴾

31:18 And do not turn your face away from people in contempt, nor go about in the land exultingly. Surely Allah does not love any self-conceited boaster.

وَ اقۡصِدۡ فِیۡ مَشۡیِکَ وَ اغۡضُضۡ مِنۡ صَوۡتِکَ ؕ اِنَّ اَنۡکَرَ الۡاَصۡوَاتِ لَصَوۡتُ الۡحَمِیۡرِ ﴿٪۱۹﴾

31:19 And pursue the right course in your going about and lower your voice. Surely the most hateful of voices is braying of donkeys.4


  1. From what is stated of him, Luqmān seems to have been an Ethiopian. It is very probable that the Greek “Æsop” is a corruption of “Ethiopian” and is identical with Luqmān. The Quran accepts many prophets besides those men­tioned in the Bible.
  2. Verses 14 and 15 are parenthetical, enjoining the duty of obedience to parents, because it is a parent who is advising his son.
  3. Despite the great stress that the Quran lays on the duty of obedience to parents, it also warns against attaching undue importance to that duty when the same clashes with a still higher duty, namely, duty to one’s Maker. In fact any duty, however great, must be sacrificed before a higher duty, and one’s duty to one’s Maker is the highest of all duties.
  4. Humility and meekness were taught by every prophet. An Ethiopian too preached the meekness and humility which was preached by Jesus.