Lessons from Luqman.

In my anger over the deaths of so many men, I forgot to pray. Allah, in his graciousness, found me weary and comforted me by way of Luqman, the wise man after whom the 31st sura of the Qur’an is named.

God created us as one soul and as one soul God will bring us back to life. (Qur’an – Luqman 31.28)

Luqman was an Ethiopian slave. One day he was bought and his master, sensing something extraordinary about his captive, asked him to slaughter a sheep and bring him its worst parts. Luqman did as he was told and returned with the sheep’s tongue and its heart. The master, puzzled, sent him back to slaughter another sheep and this time asked that he return with its best parts. Luqman set forth again to butcher the sheep and returned to his master bearing its tongue and its heart.

How could the worst in a man also be the best? Luqman answered: If a man is pure, the tongue and the heart are his sweetest parts and if he is wicked, they too are as wicked!

Indeed, there are no words to express the great loss of life and the even greater loss of answers to countless questions I have unresolved in my heart. But I do believe, as it is written in the holy Qur’an, that God created us as one soul—and I do pray that moving forward, I find the will to keep my tongue and my heart pure. Amen.

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