During one of their journeys, the Holy Prophet (S) accompanied by his companions arrived at a barren and arid area. They were in need of firewood.
The Prophet (S) said, “Gather some firewood.”
The Companions replied, “O Messenger of Allah (S)! Look how barren this area is! One cannot find a single piece of wood here.”
He (S) said, “Whatever there is, everyone must gather as much wood as possible.”
The Companions departed towards the desert. They were looking around attentively to find any twigs. If they found a small piece, they would pick it up. Everyone gathered as much wood as they could find and brought it with them. When all of them piled up what they had gathered, it became a great quantity of firewood.
Then the Holy Prophet (S) said, “Minor sins are just like these small pieces of wood. At first sight, they seem to be nothing, but everything has a searcher and a follower in the same way that you have searched and searched until you gathered and piled up a large quantity of wood. Your sins are also gathered and recorded until the day that you will realize that these minor sins, which were nothing in your sight, became a giant stack."1
- 1. Al-Wasa’il. v. 2. p. 462.