Download PDF: [S] Young Boy teaches that Spying is Haraam

It is mentioned that during the Abbasad Dynasty there was a person from the tribe of Shaybaan who was considered as a great confidant of the then Ruler. It was his habit to go around the town from the morning until midday and listen to whatever people were saying and whispering about. Whatever he heard people saying and whispering, he used to write out a full report and placing his stamp on this he used to deliver this report to the officer in charge of this.


At the same time, whatever rumour he also heard, he used to also record this as well. The officer who received this report used to then prepare this report himself and present it to the ruler of the day. It was their opinion that adopting this method also meant that there would be peace and security in the kingdom. At the same time, if there was any danger, this could be quickly dealt with.


However, one day, this person who used to write this report became extremely busy with his own personal work and he could not visit the market place and write out his full report. In fact, on that day, whatever rumour he heard from the general masses, that is what he wrote without actually investigating it.


He then placed his official stamp on it and handed it to his young nephew who was standing nearby. He then said to his young nephew, “O Ahmed! Do you know the office of that officer to whom this report reaches daily?”


The small boy replied that he knew where this office was.


His uncle also explained to him, “Take this report of mine and deliver it to the officer and I have also placed my official stamp on this report. Also inform the officer that my uncle became a little busy today, therefore, he could not come personally and hand this report. This is the reason that he had sent this report through me”.


This young boy then took this report and began to walk towards the offices of this person.


However, as he walked along the street, he also remembered that his uncle had not placed the date on this report. He then placed the date on this report himself. He passed the bridge of this city and he began to think to himself, “O Ahmed! Even though you are still small, yet you are aware of this action of your uncle. Your uncle also listens to whatever people say in the marketplace and then reports this to the officer and according to Shari’ah, this type of rumour mongering is also Haraam. Another reason is that this is also a type of spying on people and Allah Almighty has completely condemned this type of action.”


He also began to think that he was helping someone complete an act which was strictly forbidden in Islam. The more he thought about this, the more doubt was created in his mind. He then took the report and threw it into the river and returned home.


When the senior officer realized that this report was delayed, he then sent his junior officers to the house of this person to ask him about this. But this person replied that he had already given it to his nephew to deliver earlier in the day.


When he questioned his little nephew about this, he informed his uncle that he had thrown it into the river. Obviously, his uncle was angry and asked him the reason for this, his little nephew replied, “The reason is that this type of activity is Haraam. It is also a type of spying which the religion of Islam has prohibited and because of this I did not want to become involved in someone which is Haraam or help an act which was Haraam.”


When this news reached the senior officer he was very surprised by the answer of this little boy and realised that this boy was no ordinary boy and that he was indeed a very pious person. From that moment onwards, all of them began to look at this little boy with great respect and admiration.


You would be surprised to know that the little boy in this incident is actually Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ahmed bin Hambal – may Allah be pleased with him – who is one of the four eminent Imams of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah. This was that Imam of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jammah that was able to survive against some of the greatest punishment placed on anyone merely for standing up for the truth. Today, when we look at the life of Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ahmed bin Hambal – may Allah be pleased with him – we think of him as a real hero of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah while those who oppressed him, their names are nowhere to be found in the pages of history. (Magazine An Nur, 145, Shawwal 1417)