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Allah is Watching

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One day, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) went to an area outside Madeenah Munawwarah with some of his friends. When they arrived there, they spread a dastarkhaan (eating cloth) on the floor, sat and began to eat.

While they were eating, a shepherd, who was looking after a flock of goats, happened to pass by and made salaam to them. Seeing him, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) invited him to join them saying, “Come, O shepherd, come, and eat with us!” However, the shepherd excused himself saying, “I am fasting.”

Hearing this, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) was surprised and said, “You are fasting on such a hot day, when hot winds are blowing, and you are a shepherd in the mountains, caring for goats?” The shepherd replied, “I am spending my time fasting so that Allah Ta‘ala will give me great rewards in Jannah.”

Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) then wanted to test the shepherd to see whether he was pious and feared Allah Ta‘ala, so he said to him, “Why do you not sell us one of the goats from your flock? We will pay you for the goat, and will also give you some of the meat to eat and enjoy at the time of iftaar.” The shepherd immediately said, “No! I cannot do that! The goats are not mine – they belong to my master.”

Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) asked the shepherd, “If you tell your master that a wolf ate the goat, then he will believe you!” As soon as the shepherd heard this, he turned and walked away saying, “Then were is Allah?” In other words, the shepherd was saying, “I may be able to lie to my master, but I cannot lie to Allah Ta‘ala, because He knows everything.”

When Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) saw how pious the shepherd was, he became very happy. When he returned to Madeenah Munawwarah, he called for the master of the slave. He then bought the flock of goats and the slave from him. After buying the slave and the goats, he set the slave free and gave the flock of goats to him as a gift.

Lessons:

1. A Muslim must always remember that Allah Ta‘ala can see him and is watching him. Even though we can hide from our parents or other people, we cannot hide from Allah Ta‘ala. If a Muslim remembers Allah Ta‘ala, he will not do naughty things and commit sins. This is called taqwa.

2. When we want something haraam, but we leave it because we are scared of Allah Ta‘ala and want to make Him happy, then Allah Ta‘ala will give us something better than what we wanted.

3. We must never speak lies because lying is haraam. When a person speaks lies, then even the angels run far away from him.

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