Everyone Is a Shepard and Responsible for his Flock
Sheikh Usaamah Khayyat
Rabee ath Thaani 18, 1429 ~ April 25, 2008
All Praise is due to Allah, we praise Him and we seek His forgiveness and assistance. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil in ourselves and the evil of our actions. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whomever Allah lets be led astray none can guide. And I bear witness that there is no rivalry to Allah the One without any partners. And I bear witness that our Master and our Prophet Muhammad (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is His servant and messenger. Oh Allah, we ask you to send our salutations and prayers upon Your servant and messenger Muhammad, and his family and companions.
Oh Believers, fear Allah and be aware of Him. Allah says: “And have fear of the Day when you shall be brought back to Allâh. Then every person shall be paid what he earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.” [Surah Baqarah: Ayah 281]
Oh Muslims, in explaining the obligatory responsibility upon every member of the Muslim community, the role of the man and the woman is mentioned as those whose responsibilty that they cannot escape, whether it is for those who are under their care. ‘Abdullah ibn Masud (Radiallahu Anhu) has narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) say “Each one of you is a shepherd. And each of you will be asked about your flock. A ruler also is a shepherd and he will be asked about his flock. And every man is a shepherd to his family. And every woman is the custodian of her husband’s house and his children. Thus each one of you is a shepherd and each one will be asked about his flock.” [Saheeh Bukhari and Muslim]
Specifically, a man’s responsibility over his household entails that he provides for the necessary needs of his family and providing them with that which will keep them happy and successful in this world as well as in the hereafter. Thus, not only does he provide them that which is necessary, but he grants them that which is virtuous and prohibits them from engaging in harmful deeds. From the greatest responsibilities which he is entrusted with is he upholds the prayer and is consistant with it. Allah Ta’ala says: “And enjoin As-Salât on your family, and be patient in offering them. We ask not of you a provision; We provide for you. And the good end is for the Muttaqûn.” [Surah Taha: Ayah 132] It is only unacceptable to anyone with sound reasoning that a person who ordains prayer as a means of correcting and disciplining his children and his family that he becomes neglectful and ignores the components that will lead them to a life of failure and misery. Allah says: “Oh you who believe, Protect yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones.” [Surah Tahreem: Ayah 6] Allah has put over Jahannam angels who protect it, who do not disobey Him, but rather they obey every command of His.
Every parent ought to be alert and pay attention to these warnings, which if they fail to take heed to they only risk the failure of their children’s future and the threat of their children facing a punishment in the hereafter. Some parents are negligent and leave their children behind closed doors in their rooms not knowing what they are doing, what web sites they are visiting, who they are chatting with in chat rooms or on the phone, or what pictures they are looking at. This is in fact negligence and allowing our children to be exposed to threats and being irresponsible towards them. What is required is that parents provide a balanced and wise approach in safeguarding and monitoring their children’s activities. The one who falls short of fulfilling his responsibility, then he be held responsible with Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and indeed Allah is not unjust with His servants. As far as his role in the community where he is responsible for bringing up upright children who contribute positively to the society and not become a burden in it, he needs to pay attention to raising his children from these angles as well.
As for the woman, she has been entrusted with the responsibilty of the care of her children and the house of her husband. It is neccessary that she makes sure that her children are provided with the education and an environment that is needed for children to grow up as upright adults. A mother ought to not cover up and overlook her child’s mistakes and weaknesses, thinking that her actions are beneficial to them. Rather, she is only contributing to their destruction and misguidance. Sometimes parents, especially the mother, resorts to protecting their children from accountability and even if their children fall into something that is clearly wrong and shameful. They fail to see that this action can become monstrous later in their life. Similarly, raising children in a good environment and granting them the neccesary education increases the chances of them becoming productive adults. These children will also in turn supplicate for their parents.
If a parent does raise their children to the best of their ability and spend from their wealth on them, and the children still fall into the path misguidance, then indeed the parents are free. Surely Allah does not hold one accountable for that which we are not able deliver upon. We find great comfort in the story of Nuuh (Alayhi Salaam) when he had warned his people of a great flooding that would befall them, and his son replied by saying that “I will betake myself for refuge to a mountain that shall protect me from the water.” [Surah Huud: Ayah 43] But Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) sent down the rain, and the flooding overwhelmed them and his son was drowned.
Oh you Believe, do not try to deceive Allah and His Messenger and let them down on the trust that has been bestowed upon you. Oh Muslims, strive to live up to your responsibilities as it has been ordained by Allah and in the Sunnah. With this we conclude, and I seek the forgiveness of Allah for myself and for all the Muslims. Indeed Allah is the most Forgiving, most Merciful!
All praise is due to Allah, whose bounties and blessings cannot be counted. I bear witness that there is no rival to Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is his servant and messenger. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His servant and messenger, and the family of his servant and messenger and all those who fall his footsteps until the day of Judgment.
Oh servants of Allah, it has been narrated by Abu Hurayrah (Radiallahu Anhu) that Allah’s Messenger (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) talked about Friday and said: “There is an hour on Friday and if a Muslim gets it while offering Salat (prayer) and asks something from Allah Ta’alaa, then Allah will definitely meet his demand“. [Bukahri and Muslim] So brothers and sisters, let us take the opportunity to seek out this hour and supplicate in it. During this time supplicate to Allah that which is good for us in this world and that which is good for our children.
Oh brothers, for those of you who are in Saudi Arabia, the King has requested for all of you to partake in the prayer for rainfall on Monday. And we ask Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) bring down rain and quench the thirst and provide us with this resource which is benefical for our lives. With this we conclude and send our salutations upon the Nabi (Salallahu alayhi Wasallam). Indeed Allah has said: “Allâh and His angels send Salât on the Prophet. O you who believe! Send your Salât on him, and greet him with the Islâmic way of greeting.” [Surah Ahzaab: Ayah 56]
Oh Allah, confer your peace and blessings on our Prophet Muhammad, and be pleased with his four rightly guided khulafa, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, Uthmaan, and ‘Ali and those who have followed their footsteps and upon us along with them out of your Mercy. Indeed you are the Most Merciful.
Oh Allah we ask You to bring honor and victory to Islaam and the Muslimeen.
Oh Allah we ask You to rectify our leadership and show them the path of righteousness.
Oh Allah we ask of You to give prominence to the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah….