There was once a man, whose job was to spy on people in the market, make a daily report of whatever conversations he over-heard and then send it to his boss. One day, he was very busy. So, he asked his nephew to take the report and give it to his boss.
The child set off. While he was on his way, he remembered that his uncle had forgotten to date the report. So he opened the report and wrote the date on it. As he started walking again, the following thoughts started to trouble him:
“Ahmed, you are a small child, but you know that what your uncle is doing is Islamically wrong. He secretly overhears people’s conversations in the market. This is spying. Allah (swt) says in the Quran: ‘…And spy not…” (Al-Hujuraat,12) Ahmed, you are also included in this act of disobeying Allah (swt), because you are helping your uncle.”
The child got so disturbed by the thoughts of his conscience that he threw his uncle’s report in the river and went home.
When the boss did not receive the report, he inquired about it. His secretary first came to the uncle and then went to the nephew. The child honestly told him that he had destroyed the report.
“But why?” asked the secretary.
“I did that because compiling such reports is a form of spying on people and it is not right Islamically. I don’t want to be a part of anything, which Islam forbids,” the child explained.
When the boss heard the story, he said: “What a God-fearing child! Our Taqwa is nothing compared to his.”
Do you know, who this child was? He was Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, who is known today as one of the four major Imams of Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence).