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Watchmaker lost my watch

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

A person buys a watch in 1990 and paid R600. He then gave the watch to a watchmaker to repair. After ten years, the watchmaker claims he lost the watch. Today, that watch is valued at R1,000. Should the watchmaker pay him today’s value of the watch or the price he paid for it in 1990?


The watchmaker will only be responsible to pay for the watch if he was neglectful in anyway. If he was not neglectful, and took care of the watch in a fair manner, and thereafter it went missing, he will not be responsible for the watch.

If the watchmaker was negligent and that led to the watch being lost, he should firstly try and replace the watch. If such a watch is unavailable in the general market, then he will have to pay its price when it was last available in the market. (Shaami vol.5 pg.128; Rashidiyya)

Al-Mahmood 18

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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.