Once, ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) was travelling with his students. When they stopped for meals, a shepherd passed by with his herd of goats and greeted them by saying: “Assalaamu ‘alaikum”. Ibnu ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) invited him to join them, but he said that he was fasting.

Ibnu ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) then said to him, as a test: “We want to buy a goat; name a price and we shall pay it. We shall then slaughter the goat and give you some of its meat for breaking your fast.” The shepherd said: “These goats are not mine; I am only a slave and the goats belong to my master.” Ibnu ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) said: “How will your master know? You can tell him that a wolf devoured a goat.” At this, the shepherd turned away saying: “What about Allah? (Who is watching us at all times? How could I deceive Him and say that a wolf had devoured a goat?).”

Ibnu ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) was delighted with these words from a simple shepherd and he began to say to himself, again and again (in an ecstasy of joy): “A simple shepherd says: ‘What about Allah (who is watching us at all times)?’”

When Ibnu ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) came back to Madeenah Munawwarah after the journey, he bought the slave from the master, together with the herd of goats, freed him and gave the herd to him as a gift. (Shu‘abul Imaan #4908).

Lesson: When we are all alone in the privacy of our rooms or in a ‘joint’ where nobody knows us, and the urge to look at the filthiest of scenes, or to take the worst of substances or to do the most shameless of acts haunts us, the only way to put a stop to it is to repeatedly ask ourselves, “What about Allah, Who is watching me all the time? How am I gonna hide from Him? I can make up a story to fool my parents, but no story will work in His court.”

The more we bring this realization into our hearts and minds the easier it will become for us to stay away from every type of sin and transgression.