31 - Luqman

3 Tafsir(s) related to verse 31.1


Alif lām mīm: God knows best what He means by these [letters].

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

That is, "verses of the Book which is full of wisdom and whose every teaching is based on wisdom."

That is, "These verses give guidance to the Right Way and have been sent down as a mercy from God. But the people who can profit by this mercy and guidance are only those who adopt a righteous attitude, who wish to become good, who crave for their own well-being, whose quality is that they avoid the evil when they are warned of it, and follow the good when they are shown the ways to it. As for the wicked and mischievous people, they will neither profit by this guidance nor receive any share from this mercy. "

It does not mean that "the righteous people" bear only these three qualities. By using the common epithet of "righteous" for them, it has been pointed out that they refrain from all those evils which this Book forbids and practice all those good things which this Book enjoins. Then, the three qualities of the "righteous" have been especially mentioned in order to show that all other good acts depend on these three things. They establish the Salat which engenders God-worship and piety as a permanent habit with them; they pay the Zakat which strengthens the spirit of sacrifice in them, subdues the love of the world and arouses a desire for the goodwill of Allah; and they believe in the Hereafter, which instills the sense of responsibility and answerability, which does not allow them to live like an animal, which is free to graze at will in the pasture, but like a man who is fully conscious of the fact that he is not independent but the slave of a Master before Whom he is answerable for all his activities of life. Owing to these three qualities, these "righteous" people are not the kind of the righteous persons who happen to do good just by chance, who may commit evil as often and as freely as they would do good. Contrary to this, these qualities inculcate in them an enduring system of thought and morality owing to which goodness issues forth from them in a regulated and systematic manner, and the evil, if at all committed, is committed just by chance. They do not have any deep-rooted motives, which might be arising from their own system of thought and morality and leading them on to the evil way under their own nature impulse.

At the time when these verses were sent down, the disbelieves of Makkah thought, and said so openly, that Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) and those who accepted his message were wasting and ruining their lives. Therefore, it was rejoined with full force and emphasis: "..these are the ones who will attain true success." That is, 'They will not ruin themselves as you seem to dunk in your ignorance, but they in fact are the ones who alone will attain true success, and the utter failures will be those who have refused to adopt this way."

Here the one who regards 'true success" as confined to the world, in the sense of material prosperity, will be wholly missing the Qur'anic concept of it. To understand the real concept of the true success one should study the following verses of the Qur'an along with the relevant E.N.'s: AI-Baqarah: 2-5, AI-'Imran: 102, 130, 200, AI-Ma'idah: 35, 90, AI-An'am: 21, AI-A'raf; 7, 8, 157, At-Taubah: 88, Yunus: 17, An-Nahl: 116, Al-Hajj: 77, Al-Mu'minun: 117, An-Nur:,51, Ar-Rum: 38.

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

And from his narration on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that he said regarding the interpretation of Allah's saying (Alif. Lam. Mim.): '(Alif. Lam. Mim.) He says: I am Allah, I know; it is also said that it is an oath by which Allah swore.