The Story of Luqman 'alayhis-salaam and the Melon
Luqman(A.S.) had great love for the Almighty, that it created within him high moral character and exemplary habits. This was a clear sign of his nobility and nearness to Allah. The details of that is described in Surah(Chapter) Luqman in the Glorious Qur’an.
Luqman(A.S.) used to be in the employ of a rich man. The nobility of Luqman(A.S.)’s character had a great effect on his master, so much so that the master considered him as a great friend and a beloved companion. Although he was the master, yet in fact the master became like a slave to his employee.
It became the practice of the master that whenever he had something special to eat, he would first feed Luqman(A.S.) of it and after Luqman(A.S.) had filled himself, he would eat the left overs. Luqman(A.S.) would consider the love of the master and his habit, so he would eat moderately and send what was left over to the master.
One day, during the melon season, the master received a melon from somewhere. At that time Luqman(A.S.) was not present. The master sent one of his slaves to go and call him. When Luqman(A.S.) arrived, the master cut the melon into slices and slice by slice started giving thereof to Luqman(A.S.) to eat. As he ate the slices, the master inwardly became pleased at the effect his love was having upon Luqman(A.S.).
Luqman(A.S.) ate the slices with great PLEASURE and all the time expressed THANKS for the favour shown to him by the master. After having eaten the slices, when just one slice remained, the master said: “Let me eat this slice and see how sweet is this melon.” Saying this, he put the slice into his mouth. Immediately, such bitterness spread from the tip of his tongue down to his throat, that as a result of the extreme bitterness of the meoln, he fell down unconscious and remained unconscious for a whole hour.
When he regained consciousness, he questioned Luqman(A.S.): ” O Beloved one, How did you manage to, so heartily eat those slices of melon ? Just one slice of the melon had such an effect on me, then how did you manage to eat so many slices ?” Luqman(A.S.) replied: “O Friend, from your hands I have received hundreds of gifts. The burden of thanks upon me is so great, that my back has gone crooked. Hence, I felt ashamed that the hand that had granted me so much favours, if one day some distastefulness or bitterness should come, how can I turn away from it ? O Friend, the pleasure of knowing that it comes from your hands has changed the bitterness of the melon to sweetness.”
At every given moment there are numerous bounties and favours of Allah upon mankind. But if ever for a moment some such incident takes place which brings with it, a problem and outwardly causes some difficulty, man loses patience and fails to be grateful. On the other hand, there are those who are granted understanding, so that when sorrows and difficulties touches them, they remain happy, pleased and grateful to their Lord. At such times, they draw strength from their good understanding and realise that this world is like a hospital and we are like patients in it.
There are times when the doctor gives the patient ” sweet ” medicine and at other times ” bitter” medicine. However, in both these, there are beneficial results for the patient. Similarly, Allah is the “Al Hakeem”, the All-Wise and at the same time is the ” Haakim”- Ruler. He is also “Ar- Raheem”, the Merciful One. Hence, whether it brings out comfort or discomfort, all these are for our benefit and interest.
Source: Ma’arif-e-Mathnawi(Vol. 1 )
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