Thus Allah explains His mighty power in creating the heavens and the earth, and everything that is within them and between them. He says:
(He has created the heavens without any pillars) Al-Hasan and Qatadah said, "It does not have any pillars, visible or invisible.''
(and has set on the earth firm mountains) means, the mountains which stabilize and lend weight to the earth, lest it should shake with its water. Allah says:
(lest it should shake with you.)
(And He has scattered therein moving creatures of all kinds) means, He has placed throughout it all kinds of animals, the total number of whose kinds and colors is known to no one except the One Who created them. When Allah tells us that He is the Creator, He also reminds us that He is the Provider, as He says:
(And We send down water from the sky, and We cause (plants) of every goodly kind to grow therein in pairs,) meaning, every kind of good produce in pairs, i.e., they are beautiful to look at. Ash-Sha`bi said: "People are also produce of the earth, so whoever enters Paradise is goodly and whoever enters Hell is vile.''
(This is the creation of Allah.) means, all that Allah has mentioned here of the creation of the heavens and earth and everything in between stems from His power of creation and control alone, and He has no partner or associate in that, Allah says:
(So, show Me that which those besides Him have created.) those idols and rivals whom you worship and call upon.
(Nay, the wrongdoers) means the idolaters who associate others in worship with Allah
(in error) means, they are ignorant and blind.
(plain) means, it is clear and obvious, and not at all hidden.
(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.)
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:
(And indeed We bestowed upon Luqman Al-Hikmah) means, understanding, knowledge and eloquence.
(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:
(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:
(and whosoever does righteous good deeds, then such will prepare a good place for themselves. ) (30:44)
(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.
(13. And when Luqman said to his son when he was advising him: "O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily, joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.'') (14. And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years -- give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.) (15. But if they strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not; but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do.)
Allah tells us how Luqman advised his son. His full name was Luqman bin `Anqa' bin Sadun, and his son's name was Tharan, according to a saying quoted by As-Suhayli. Allah describes him in the best terms, and states that he granted him wisdom. Luqman advised his son, the closest and most beloved of all people to him, who deserved to be given the best of his knowledge. So, Luqman started by advising him to worship Allah Alone, and not to associate anything with Him. Then he warned him:
(Verily, joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.) meaning, it is the greatest wrong. Al-Bukhari recorded that `Abdullah said: "When the Ayah
(It is those who believe and confuse not their belief with Zulm)(6:82) was revealed, the Companions of the Messenger of Allah were distressed by this, and said, `Who among us does not confuse his belief with Zulm' The Messenger of Allah said:
(That is not what it means. Have you not heard what Luqman said: (O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily, joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed))'' It was recorded by Muslim. When Luqman advised his son to worship Allah Alone, he also told him to honor his parents. This is like the Ayah,
(And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents) (17:23). These two things are often mentioned together in the Qur'an. Allah says here:
(And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship,) Mujahid said: "The hardship of bearing the child.'' Qatadah said: "Exhaustion upon exhaustion.'' `Ata' Al-Khurasani said: "Weakness upon weakness.''
(and his weaning is in two years) means, after he is born, he is breastfed and weaned within two years. This is like the Ayah,
(The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, for those who desire to complete the term of suckling)(2:233). On this basis, Ibn `Abbas and other Imams understood that the shortest possible period of pregnancy was six months, because Allah says elsewhere:
(and the bearing of him, and the weaning of him is thirty months) (46:15). Allah mentions how the mother brings the child up, and how she gets tired and suffers stress from staying up with the child night and day, to remind the son of her previous kind treatment of him. This is like the Ayah,
(and say: "My Lord! Bestow on them Your mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.'') (17:24). Allah says here:
(give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.) means, `I will reward you most generously for that.'
(But if they strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not;) means, if they try hard to make you follow them in their religion, then do not accept that from them, but do not let that stop you from behaving with them in the world kindly, i.e. treating them with respect.
(and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience.) means, the believers.
(Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do.) At-Tabarani recorded in Al-`Ishrah that Sa`d bin Malik said, "This Ayah,
(But if they strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not;) was revealed concerning me. I was a man who honored his mother, but when I became Muslim, she said: `O Sa`d! What is this new thing I see you doing Leave this religion of yours, or I will not eat or drink until I die, and people will say: Shame on you, for what you have done to me, and they will say that you have killed your mother.' I said, `Do not do that, O mother, for I will not give up this religion of mine for anything.' She stayed without eating for one day and one night, and she became exhausted; then she stayed for another day and night without eating, and she became utterly exhausted. When I saw that, I said: `O my mother, by Allah, even if you had one hundred souls and they were to depart one by one, I would not give up this religion of mine for anything, so if you want to, eat, and if you want to, do not eat.' So she ate.''
(16. "O my son! If it be (anything) equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or on the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Verily, Allah is Subtle, Well-Aware.'') (17. "O my son! Perform the Salah, enjoin the good, and forbid the evil, and bear with patience whatever befalls you. Verily, these are some of the important commandments.'') (18. "And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not any arrogant boaster.'') (19. "And be moderate in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the braying of the asses.'')