Being a shepherd

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِأَمَانَاتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَاعُونَ

– [23:8]

“And they who are to their trusts and their promises attentive.”

This post is on a khutbah I watched delivered by Ustadz Nouman Ali Khan


We are all shepherds in one way or another. It reminds me of a hadith:

Abdullah ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian of his family and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and she is responsible for them. The servant of a man is a guardian of the property of his master and he is responsible for it. No doubt, every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6719, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1829

Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi (authenticity agreed upon) according to Al-Bukhari and Muslim


Therefore, we are all responsible for the people that we are being in charge of. We are given that amanah to carry out that duty as a shepherd to guide them with love and care.

One thing to take note is that we shouldn’t be overbearing. Just like how the shepherd does not dictate the movements of his sheep, we shouldn’t be overbearing and decide every action of the people that we are in charge of. We should give them the space to roam and make their own decisions. However, we should be vigilant and aware of the things that are happening to them and step in whenever there is a danger.

Being a shepherd also means being vigilant about our own flock and not having the time to care about the affairs of others. If the latter happens, we remove ourselves away from the responsibilities that are given to us.

One practical thing that we can remember is to not comment on others but be concerned with the flock that is placed under our charge.

May we continue to safeguard our responsibilities and carry out the amanah that has been given to us, responsibly and righteously.


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