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Do you have to pay back what you stole when you were a small child? Is it better to repay the actual store you stole from, or the major corporation? And I already repaid some stores, some which have changed their business (meaning one store became a different store, same items sold though), does this count as repayment? Can one take this cheaper option of paying insurance instead of risk losing £500?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Daruliftaa.com

Do you have to pay back what you stole when you were a small child? Is it better to repay the actual store you stole from, or the major corporation? And I already repaid some stores, some which have changed their business (meaning one store became a different store, same items sold though), does this count as repayment?

Can one take this cheaper option of paying insurance instead of risk losing £500?

ANSWER

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

If a child abuses, steals or destroys another person’s property or wealth, it will be compensated from his/hers wealth. The reason for this is that, even though the child has not as yet matured, his actions (with regards to other people’s wealth) are not in need of any intention. It is similar to a person who destroys the wealth of another whilst asleep, as he will also be responsible. (See: al-Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab, 2/13, & other references).

When paying back, it should be returned to the actual store and owners of the store from whom it was stolen. If the management of the store has changed, it will not be valid to pay them.

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

This answer was collected from Daruliftaa.com, which is headed by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam Al-Kawthari. He’s based in the United Kingdom.

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