Stealing goods, money etc

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by
When I was 12 years ago, I used to live with some friends of my eldest brother, with no parents. They used to live in other country. I started the bad habit of stealing money from the wallet of my brother’s friends. Some of them noticed and scolded me. Others, never realized. So I stopped to steal. But now, 9 years later, I feel very ashamed and I regret. I fear the punishment of Allah in the Judgement Day because I was adult and I took something that not was mine. What should I do? Firstly, I want to return the money. I don’t know how much was, but I can do an approximation. I’m feeling ashamed, can I return the money to them without they realize it? For example, buying a gift or charging the mobile or a transfer to bank account? Please, if it possible, give a satisfactory answer according to the Shariah.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

(Fatwa: 390/320/D=04/1436)

After you turned mature, whatsoever money and goods you stole of others without their permission it is necessary on you to return them.
(2) Yes, you should return it.
(3) You should give them by any means whether in the form of gift or by transferring into their account or by recharging their mobile, and by doing so you shall be free from this burden.

Allah knows Best!

Darul Ifta,
Darul Uloom Deoband

This answer was collected from the official ifta website of Darul Uloom Deoband in India.

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