Foundation of NJ, USA
Newsletter for July 2004
Wisdom of Luqman
An excerpt from Fables of Rumi,
English translation by Madhia Ali & Nasir Shamsi
It is known about Luqman that he was a slave of an Aristocrat and that he had an unattractive and shabby appearance. He was unlike any other of the Rulerís slaves, all of whom had good complexion. So they always ridiculed Luqman for his looks. They put their workload on him and told lies about him to the
ruler, for no reason. But Luqman did not complain. Even though he was dark from head to toe, he was extra-ordinarily intelligent and knowledgeable. He often said such witty thing that made people around him bit their fingers in astonishment. The Ruler owned some big fruit gardens. When the fruits ripened, Luqman and the other slaves collected them. Sometimes the other slaves cheated and ate a bushel or two of the fruits, during the collection. The Ruler, on counting, found that the fruit was less than expected. When he confronted the slaves, they put blame on Luqman, saying that he ate the fruits by tricking them. Since the Ruler scolded him and was harsh with him, Luqman told him that the slaves had lied and that he had betrayed his trust. " In Allahís court ", he said, " there is no forgiveness for betrayal. The best thing is to test us all. " Then he proposed a unique way: " Sir, make us drink hot water and after that run in jungle after you while you are riding the horse. God willing, it would be soon known whether I am lying or they are ! Ē
The ruler liked Luqmanís suggestion. He made all the slaves, including Luqman, to drink hot water. Then the ruler rode his horse in forests and prairies for some length, until all of them fell to the ground, with exhaustion. They had nausea and started throwing up all the fruits they had eaten, while Luqmanís
vomit was clear, with no trace of fruit in it. The ruler was instantly impressed by Luqmanís integrity and wisdom. He chastised the other slaves and made him the Supervisor over them.
Well, if Luqman's wisdom (hikma) can demonstrate such an amazing feat, making good distinct from the bad is no issue for the Ultimate Sustainer, whose every act is filled with wisdom.
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