Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Lord, The Shepherd and the Sheep

The Lord, The Shepherd and the Sheep
I was alone with my sheep,
In the high cliffs by the sea,
The fire was slowly dying,
Its embers glowing like rubies,
The dogs were resting quietly
And all was deathly silent...
When suddenly, feeling so lonely,
I asked nobody in particular,
“Oh Lord… will only the sheep
And my dogs keep me company?
If I die here, who will wash me
Pray over me and bury me?”

Not long thereafter
I heard an answer,
“Do not worry, I will keep you company…
And If you are to die now,
I shall send My angels to wash your body,
Pray over you and bury you
With honour and mercy.”

It appears that when God wants to appoint a Prophet, one of the more common qualification is - "Must have experience herding sheep." Many prophets, at one time or the other, were shepherds. This experience in handling sheep and goat are useful because they are one of the most difficult animals to care for. They will get up trees and refuse to come down until they have had their fill of the succulent leaves. When you are not watching they will climb right up to a precipice and get stuck, expecting you to rescue them. Often the sheep would innocently wander into a wolf's territory. They will eat whatever they want and sometimes get sick with over-eating the berries. In other words, they are almost as difficult to handle as Mankind. I bet Prophets of old would look over their human flock and reminisce about their youthful days, out for weeks on end with the sheepkind, and thinking "Oh boy... to think I thought that was difficult!"

No Shepherd? No problem! No pesky dogs? No problem!
Waaait a minute... is that wolves I hear?

Going back to the old traditional ways of our ancestors, some of my friends have started rearing a couple of cows and dozens of goats in their land. It is not an easy job. Feeding them and mucking out early in the morning, while the rest of us are just getting up. Checking for diseases and having to crouch in the daily back-breaking chore of milking. But they do not complain and appear to enjoy working with the animals. 

As Muhammad Habibullah (saw) is the Seal of the Prophets, there are no more prophets expected in the future. But I am told that the Veterinary Science is not exactly an area that young people are falling over themselves to study. So perhaps the Universities and Colleges should advertise their farming courses this way - "Qualify yourself as a Prophet! Study Sheep/Goat care, breeding and rearing!"


'Tis a lovely Sunday and in a couple of hours time, my mother's Tahlil (traditional prayers for the deceased) will begin, and thereafter we shall have a nice lunch. If you are around Bukit Damansara, sunshine, do drop in.

Well, here is Arbayah herself, almost 30 years ago, with her own precious flock of sheep.
Alas, my mother won't be around for her tahlil (obviously). But we will not allow
this tiny technical detail to deter us from connecting with her living memories.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way


jo said...

Alfatihah to your lovely mom. God Bless her soul. And my mom and dad and sis. Hey they are are probably having fun together. God bless them all.

Milky Tea said...

More fun than here, I can tell you that. But I am not complaining. Indeed, I am blessed with a lovely family and good friends like you!

al-fatihah.... Amen,