In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate
â€Ś..A true Shepherd Narrated Abu Hurairah, Allah be well pleased with him: The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah did not send any prophet but shepherded sheep." His companions asked him, "Did you do the same?" The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, replied, "Yes, I used to shepherd the sheep of the people of Mecca for some Qirats." It was mentioned that the first profession of the prophets was shepherding. Allah trained all prophets to be leaders by having them go through this line of work-being a shepherd. The most important lesson from shepherding that the prophets learned is responsibility. A shepherd is accountable for his flock. A shepherd cannot go back to the owner and said, "I am sorry I lost one sheep because that sheep happened be stupid." It doesn't matter what the sheep do, you are responsible for anything that happened to the flock even if the sheep is wrong. The prophets day are going to be accountable for their people one day. Shepherding also teaches the prophets patience. Taking out sheep to graze requires a lot of patience. Sheep take their time, they are slow, but you have to wait. You have to be patient. They might end up fighting with each other or they might end up playing but you have to be patient. You have to wait. You cant really tell them "finish up, we have to leave." They are going to take their time and you have to sit there waiting. That's why sometimes you see an painting of a shepherd sitting on a rock looking at his sheep grazing. Shepherds wait until their sheep have their fill. They do this day in and do out, leave in the morning and come back at sunset. You have to be patient with these animals and have to bear with them, even if they are communicating well with you or not, you still have to be patient. Prophet Musa alyhissalaam was very patient with Bani Israel. It was an unbearable task to deal with them but Musa had a training in shepherding longer than any prophets. He was a shepherd for 10 years. He went through a lot but he was patient. Prophet Nuh alyhissalaam went through 950 years in da'wah.
He tried every different ways to get his people to believe in the One God--publicly and privately, at night and daytime, but they rejected the message. Imagine doing the same thing, meeting the same people who turned you down for 950 years! Patience. The wisdom behind having the prophets as shepherd before Prophet hood so that they may become skilled in herding the flock as they will be responsible for their respective nations in the future. In herding one attains forbearance and mercy and imbues patience for when the shepherd is obliged to gather his flock and herded from one area to another at once knowing the traits of all, and all the while protecting the flock from predators, he has thus attained the skills necessary to lead the nation and protect it from enemies both from within and abroad. They learn patience and attain the understanding of the different nature of people. They learn to show kindness to the weak and resolve with the dominant, the reasons for which Allah chose them the sheep for the prophets as opposed to communal animals (such as cows or camels) because they are animals that are weak and need extra guidance and attention. Sheep are more difficult to maintain as a flock because of their propensity to go astray and wander away. This is akin to human society and it is the Divine wisdom of Allah to train these prophets accordingly. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, mentioning this humble trait shared by all prophets attesting to his humility to Allah. (ibn Hajar) We are all shepherds in this life. A leader is a shepherd of his followers. A man is the shepherd of his household. A woman is the shepherdess of her young children. A teacher is the shepherdess of his/her students. We have to take this job seriously. You must show compassion and be merciful to them and exercise lots of forbearance and patience. We are all going to be accountable for our flocks one day before the Master, Lord of the Worlds. We must protect our flocks from the various dangers--seen or unseen, wolves and other beasts, diseases, etc and make sure you help them get home safe. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, one day he stood on the pulpit of Masjid warning people of Hellfire. The narrator of the Hadith said the people in the market place could hear him in the Masjid repeating the warning over and over again!
May Allah grant us forbearance and patience. Ameen. Page 2
Narrated Abu Hurairah, Allah be well pleased with him: The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah did not send any proph...