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Am I entitled to take this money in lieu of the stamps?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

I owed R5000 to Ahmad. As a guarantee, I left with him a box of stamps valued at R10,000. Subsequently, I paid the debt. After payment of my debt, I asked him to return the stamps on three occasions, but he did not do so. He passed away after that. Recently, a sum of R5000 was paid to Ahmad. That amount has come to my hands without the knowledge of Ahmad’s heirs.


The box of stamps as a collateral for the loan is termed as Rahn in Shari?ah. According to the laws of Rahn, the creditor is responsible for the loss of the collateral after the settlement of the debt. (Shaami vol.6 pg.482; HM Saeed)

In principle, if the collateral exceeds the amount of the debt, the creditor would be liable only for the amount of the debt. (Ibid pg.480) The excess, being an Amaanat (trust), does not carry liability. However, if he was guilty of Ta?addi (offense or infringement), he will be liable for the excess as well. (Hidaya Part2 pg.522; HM Saeed) Unjustly withholding the item from its owner, despite repeated requests to hand it over constitutes Ta?addi.

Therefore, you are entitled to lodge a claim against the estate of the creditor. If there is fear that you will not receive payment from the estate, you may keep the sum in lieu of your debt against the estate.

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.

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