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Saturday, September 04, 2004

Assalamu alaikum W.W. It has blatantly become apparent how much honesty and integrity Islam demands from Muslims. Certainly the principle of "Finders, keepers...Losers, weepers" has no basis in Islam. In fact, today the finger-pointing at Muslims today is due to the disgraceful and dishonest actions of some Muslims. A stereotype is conveniently packaged for all Muslims as a result. We must be very careful to be truthful, honest, applying justice and taking the middle path (moderacy) all the time whether odds are for, or against us. This is the teaching of Islam not "If you cant beat 'em then join 'em". The Commandment of Allah takes precedence and is our criteria for truth and justice.
May Allah give us the Tawfique to inculcate these qualities. Was-Salaam

Found Watch at Mosque

Question:I found a watch in a mosque and put it in my car so nobody would steal it. I had it in my car for about two months now, what should I do?

Wa Alaykum Assalam wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu,

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful & Compassionate

From a previous post by Faraz Rabbani:

If a person finds an item on the road, pathway or a public gathering, it is haraam for him to pick it up and keep it for himself. If he decides to pick it up, he should do so with the intention of looking for it's owner and returning it.

If a person finds something and does not pick it up, there will be no sin on him. However, if he finds it at a place where there is the fear that if he does not pick it up, someone else will pick it up and will not return it to it's owner, then it becomes wajib on this person to pick it up and return it to it's owner.

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Once a person finds a lost item and picks it up, it becomes his responsibility to search for it's owner and to return it to him. If he picks it up and replaces it from where he found it or takes it away with him without looking for it's owner, he will be committing a sin. This is irrespective of whether he found it at a safe place where he did not fear it getting lost or he found it at an unsafe place. That is, irrespective of whether it was wajib upon him to pick it up or not. The same rule will apply in both cases. That is, once he picks it up, it becomes wajib upon him to search for it's owner. It is not permissible for him to replace it at the place where he found it.

When a person finds an article, he must search for it's owner and announce the lost item in all the public places that are frequented by men and women. If a woman cannot go to a gathering in which there are men, she should send her husband or another male to go and announce the item that has been found. The person should clearly announce that he has found a particular item and that the owner should come and claim it. However, he should not mention exactly what he has found so that a cheat does not come and claim it falsely. Instead, he should merely give a vague description of it. For example, he must say that he has found some jewellery, clothing or a wallet. Once the claimant comes and gives a clear description of that jewellery, clothing or wallet, it should be given to him.

If the person searches extensively for the owner or advertises it properly and still does not find it's owner to such an extent that he has no hope of finding it's owner, he should give that item in charity. If the person is poor himself, he can keep it for his personal use. If the owner comes and claims his item after the person had given it in charity, he (i.e. the owner) can demand the value of the lost item as compensation. If he sanctions giving it in charity, he will receive the reward for that.

Please see the following link for the full article on the Fiqh of Lost & Found.

A Little Fiqh of Lost


Nosheen Mian

Sunni Path Fiqh Team


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