Hadith on Spying: Only public sins punished, spying is forbidden

Zayd ibn Wahb reported: A man was brought to Ibn Mas’ud, may Allah be pleased with him, and it was said, “This man was found with wine dripping from his beard!” Ibn Mas’ud said, “Verily, we have been prohibited from spying, but if he shows it to us publicly we will seize him.”

Source: Sunan Abī Dāwūd 4890

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Arna’ut

عَنْ زَيْدِ بْنِ وَهْبٍ قَالَ أُتِيَ ابْنُ مَسْعُودٍ رضي الله عنه فَقِيلَ هَذَا فُلَانٌ تَقْطُرُ لِحْيَتُهُ خَمْرًا فَقَالَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ إِنَّا قَدْ نُهِينَا عَنْ التَّجَسُّسِ وَلَكِنْ إِنْ يَظْهَرْ لَنَا شَيْءٌ نَأْخُذْ بِهِ

4890 سنن أبي داود كتاب الأدب باب في النهي عن التجسس

4890 المحدث شعيب الأرناؤوط خلاصة حكم المحدث إسناده صحيح في تخريج سنن أبي داود