The Story of Luqman and the Melon
Luqman had great love for the Almighty. It created within him high moral character and exemplary habits.
Luqman used to be in the employ of a rich man. The nobility of Luqman’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 of it and after Luqman had filled himself, he would eat the left overs. Luqman 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 was not present. The master sent one of his slaves to go and call him. When Luqman arrived, the master cut the melon into slices and slice by slice started giving thereof to Luqman to eat. As he ate the slices, the master inwardly became pleased at the effect his love was having upon Luqman.
Luqman ate the slices with great pleasure and all the time expressed thanks for the favor 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 this melon is.” 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 melon, he fell down unconscious and remained unconscious for a whole hour.
When he regained consciousness, he questioned Luqman: “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 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 many favors, 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.”
Similarly, when we are surrendered to God, whom we love very much, we accept Him as He is. Then, whatever comes from him is also accepted cheerfully. For example, if someone slaps us on our back our immediate reaction is that, we become angry and want to slap that person. But when we turn around, we find that person to be none other than our very close friend, who had lost touch with us for a long time; now our reaction changes. We laugh, we hug our friend and while doing this, even though our back continues to hurt due to that slap, we don’t mind it.
So also we have received a lot of positive experiences and events in our lives as His gift to us. The burden of gratitude upon us is too much. Now if we accept that along with the positive, even the negative experiences and events in our lives have come from our beloved Lord, then the pleasure of knowing that they have come from our Beloved will negate the bitterness of the negative experiences and events. They will not have any adverse impact on our mind. It will not upset us. We won’t crib about it leaving our mind less agitated.