Luqman, the sage, was employed to a rich man. Initially, his master treated Luqman with little regard but Luqman’s character had a great effect on his master. Later his master regarded him as a trusted friend and respected him greatly.
It became the practice of the master that whenever he received a special delicacy, he would first allow Luqman to taste of it. One day, the master received a melon as a gift. The master summoned Luqman and the master cut the melon into slices and gave a slice to Luqman. Luqman ate the slice with great relish. The master gave him another slice. Again Luqman ate it with full relish. The master then took a slice himself. To his great surprise he found the melon to be extremely bitter.
In astonishment he asked Luqman : “How did you manage to eat those bitter slices of the melon with such relish?”
Luqman replied : â€œFrom your hands I have received many sweet and delicious gifts. Hence, I felt ashamed to show ingratitude to the hand that had granted me so much favours. If one day some bitterness should come, how can this mouth complain of it?”
Luqman ate the slices with pleasure showing his gratitude to his master even though the melon was very bitter. At every given moment there are numerous bounties and favours of Allah upon man. We should be thankful to Allah for His bounties and gifts to us during times of happiness and sadness.
Man is a patient in the hospital of the world. There are times when the doctor has to give the patient sweet medicine and at other times bitter medicine. Both of these are beneficial. Similarly, Allah is All-Knowing. Hence, whether He sends easy or difficult conditions, these are for man’s benefit. Man should appreciate the good and observe patience during difficulty.
Luqman’s love for the kindness of his master allowed him to show his gratitude. Similaly, if a person loves Allah, he will not have the heart to complain during times of difficulty. Love is a powerful force that transforms.
Like Molana Rumi mentions :
“Through love, bitter things seem sweet.
Through love bits of copper are made into gold.
Through love, pains are as healing balms.
Through love, thorns become roses.
Through love, burning fire is a pleasing light.
Through love, hard stones become soft as butter.
Without love, soft wax becomes hard iron.
Through love, grief is joy.
Through love, stings are like honey.
Through love, lions are harmless as mice.
Through love, sickness is health.
Through love, puishment is like mercy.
Through love, the king becomes a slave.”