Luqman al-Hakim, the Wise Black Figure of the Quran

Luqman al-Hakim, the Wise Black Figure of the Quran

Luqman the Wise is a prominent figure in the Quran with wisdom and intelligence, once captured as a slave.

During the time of Muhammad’s prophecy, Allah frequently revealed verses of Quran consisting the stories of previous ummah or figures. One of the stories is the story of Luqman al-Hakim, known as well as Luqman the Wise. This story specifically is mentioned in surah Luqman, verse 13-19 which recounts Luqman’s advice to his son like the prohibition of shirk, devotion to parents, the suggestion for being patient and avoiding ignorant.

Despite being mentioned in the Quran, many Hadis are recounting his story as well. Hence, Luqman’s figure who is full of compassion and wisdom is well known among Muslim until today. Nevertheless, there is only a few Muslim knows about his background.

Ibn Katsir in his work, Tafsir Ibn Katsir and Qashashul Qur’an (Stories in the Quran), mentioned that Luqman was birth in Nubah, a small district under Sudan, Africa. One day, he was captured and sold as a slave which further made him losing neither freedom of speech nor of movement. Although being a slave, however, Luqman remained to be patient and sure that one day God would help him.

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On the other hand, his master felt something bizarre with him and regarded that he is an unordinary slave. One day, his master asked him slaughtering a sheep and taking the best and the worst pieces of its meat. After slaughtering the sheep, Luqman thus brought its tongue and heart and gave it to his master.

His master asked, “How could heart and tongue be the best and also at once the worst part?” Then Luqman replied, “Because both are the best part if the owner is noble; tongue and heart are also at once the worst part if the owner is evil-spirited.”

The master was amazed at Luqman’s answer and immediately emancipated him. Since then, Luqman was much asked for advice by many people and his wisdom was well known to the whole corner of the country.

Ibn Katsir also recounted on the way Luqman was able to achieve a high level of wisdom. Luqman was indeed someone with a philosopher’s spirit. He noticed and tried to understand animals, plants and all around.

One day, while napping under a tree, angels came to him and offer a choice of gifts from God. The angel asked, “Which one will you choose, being a king or being a man of wisdom and intelligence?”

Luqman’s answer was astonishing because he preferred wisdom and intelligence. After waking up, Luqman felt his senses grew sharper and his thought became clearer. He felt peace and compassion because he could understand everything beyond life. Such as a miracle.

From the story of Luqman the Wise mentioned in the Quran and Hadis, the two basics Islamic literature, it is the compelling evidence that Allah surely does not discriminate His servants based on any differences of color. However, A color does not matter before God because all those who do good deeds, they will gain a noble standing by God and gain His love.

Originally translated from