When a shepherd kept his faith more dear than making extra money

How many people do we come across, who spend their lives solely for Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎. Yet there are people with strong faith, who keep us motivated to do good and consider the hereafter as our ultimate destination.

Since Allah is supreme to forgive when we ask for a genuine forgiveness, we should not take sins for granted, and try to stay away from them as much as we can. When we are entrusted with an Amanah, we should consider it someone else’s property and should not use it for our own interest.

A story when Hazrat Umar Farooq met with a faithful shepherd:

When Umar رضي الله عنه was anonymously travelling around the environs of Madinah, dressed in his usual old and tattered clothes he came upon a young shepherd tending his flock. Umar رضي الله عنه requested that he milk one of the sheep so he could satisfy his thirst. He offered the young boy money for the milk.

The shepherd said he would willingly give him a drink, but the sheep were not his, they were entrusted to him by the owner and he did not have the owner’s permission to offer any milk to anybody.

Umar رضي الله عنه being the wise guardian of his people took the opportunity to test this young boy suggesting that he sell him one of the sheep so he could milk it and then slaughter it later if necessary, while the shepherd profits from the money Umar رضي الله عنه was prepared to pay him. He offered the shepherd an explanation for the missing sheep suggesting he tell the owner that a wolf had eaten one of the flock, that nobody would know the truth. The young shepherd exclaimed, “What about Allah?”

This story was revisited when some men travelling had met with a herder (of a flock of sheep) and when the shepherd was asked to sell one of his sheep to the traveller for 200 Riyals, this is what he replied: