Reflections on that epic pose of the Barbary sheep

Recently! We have visited the African Lion Safari.

Alhamdulillah! it was good to see animals uncaged (though it pained me to see some endangered birds caged in the name of protection, will write a different reflective blog on it, sometime later).

Well! While we were taking a tour of the safari, I came across this barbary sheep, who just then, infront of us, climbed the stone and stood still, it was so mesmeric
to capture that epic moment.

After coming back home, and while scrolling the images,
I paused and realized that subhanAllah this pic is so symbolic –
Sheep without a Shepherd.

SubhanAllah! We all know almost all the Prophets (peace be upon them all) were Shepherds
Yes, they were shepherds, and if we delve deep into it then we will realise that it was actually a way forward to prepare them for the great task ahead as Leaders, as Guide, as Visionaries, as Protectors.

We all know the Shepherd has to learn patience to guide the herd to a safe place, some sheeps will go here, some will go there but he has to guide them all, irrespective of their diverse behaviours within the herd, some might be easy going, others might be tough to tackle comparatively but a shepherd has to learn the art of making them follow his path – the shepherd’s path so that the herd doesn’t fall into the trap of dangerous animals.

The Shepherd is visionary enough to envisage that it is not necessarily true to have easy path the right one for his herd, so he sometimes takes the tough path not to trouble his herd but to safeguard them from the hidden dangers, disguised in the form of instant compromises made on “ease.”

He is the leader who has staff/stick in his hand, to use it as a protection against dangerous animals, to scare them away. He is the protector.

He knows the nature of his herd, he knows some sheeps will think they are smart enough to disengage from the herd to find their own way but the shepherd knows that individually, alone they will be highly vulnerable to predators, and would be lost and forlorn. So, he keeps them all united through different strategies, even in some cases through his stick.

The Shepherd leads, guides, protects, unites and is a visionary.

The leadership requires all these skills.

Coming back to this image again, I felt like it was symbolic to our collective state – we as an ummah are sheeps without a Shepherd – no one to guide, lead, and protect.

Individually, many of us have stepped different stones, each thinking they have acquired the better place, better sunshine comparatively without realising how our enemies, predators see us – vulnerable and alone, easy to be preyed upon.

May this beautiful ummah become blessed again,
the scattered sheeps get united under The Shepherd,
to guide, lead, and also be a shield.


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