I have two incidents in my past in which I had ursurped money wrongly.
1. When I was around 13 yrs old, my cousin and I used her mothers and fathers card (can’t remember if i used both) and made purchases on it. She eventually got caught, owned up and everything was sorted. Though, her parents nor my cousin knew that I made some purchases too. I’m 18 now, not working. I’m having trouble figuring out how much i took. I have terrible anxiety. Do I have to give money back to them?
2. When I was around 17, i began an online school course in April 2017. My family receives government benefits for me as long as i stayed in full education. however, i had slacked, and didnt bother doing the course for a few months. Only until this January 2018, I completely changed spiritually Alhamdulillah. I began the course again and have been consistent. I read that if i cant give back the money i took to the people i took it from, so the government, i can give it to charity. However, the amount that was received monthly on my behalf was £200 if im not mistaken, which is why im upset because that multiplied by 7/8 months is a hefty lot and I can’t pay it off.
What solution can you give me?
Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
We thank Allah for blessing you with desire of correcting your mistakes and making Tawbah (repenting).
The doors of repentance [Tawbah] are always open and you can turn to Allah at any time and sincerely seek forgiveness for what occurred in the past.
You acknowledge that you have usurped the wealth of others, and for your Tawba to be complete, it is essential that you return back to them what was taken.
Even though your cousin and her parents are unaware that you used their card, Allah Ta’ala is definitely aware.
If you think it is possible to discuss with your aunt and uncle and you assume they may give a discount or even waive the entire debt, then that is an option.
You may do the same for the funds taken from the government: if you think its feasible write to them with the hope that they will offer a discount or waive the entire debt, then that is the best thing to do.
But if you fear approaching them, then you need to work out a payment plan.
Since you are not yet employed, we suggest that you do the following:
1) Make sincere repentance and cry before Allah asking him to forgive you.
2) Apply your discretion and work out (to the best of your ability) how much you used on your aunt’s and uncle’s cards. It is recommended that you give a little extra.
3) Make a note of the total amount thay you owe. As you get any funds (example gifts), use those funds to pay. Dont keep any savings for yourself at this stage.
If it is possible to get a part-time, weekend or casual job, than that will assist in repaying your debts quicker.
Once you complete your studies and start working, you can use a percentage of your salary to pay off.
As long as you have the firm intention and you are making an effort to repay, Allah will assist you.
Imam al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy on him) narrated from Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him)
ـ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ “ مَنْ أَخَذَ أَمْوَالَ النَّاسِ يُرِيدُ أَدَاءَهَا أَدَّى اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، وَمَنْ أَخَذَ يُرِيدُ إِتْلاَفَهَا أَتْلَفَهُ اللَّهُ (رواه البخاري ، 2387)
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever takes the money of the people with the intention of repaying it, Allah will repay it on his behalf, and whoever takes the wealth (of others) intending to spoil it (not repay), then Allah will destroy him.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith number 2387)
Start by repaying with your cousin’s parents, and once their debt is paid, you can repay the funds taken from the government. If you prefer not to inform them of the debts, you can give the funds as a gift. They dont need to know your past wrong.
3) Continuously read the Duas (prayers) stated in the Ahadith for the repayment of debts. For example:
A) ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) quoted the following prayer from the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)
اَللّٰہُمَّ اكْفِنِىْ بِحَلَالِكَ عَنْ حَرَامِكَ وَ اَغْنِنِىْ بِفَضْلِكَ عَمَّنْ سِوَاكَ
“Oh Allah! Make Your Halal provisions sufficient for me [so that I stay away] from Haram. And by Your grace, make me independent from everyone besides You”
B) The prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) told Mu’aaz (may Allah be pleased with him) that if he recites the following, Allah will clear his debts, even if they equal to mount Uhud.”
اللهُمَّ مالِكَ المُلْكِ، تُؤْتِي المُلْكَ مَنْ تَشاء وَتَنْزِعُ المُلْكَ مِمَّنْ تَشاءُ، وَتُعِزُّ مَنْ تَشاءُ وَتُذِلُّ مَن تَشاءُ بِيَدِكَ الخَيرُ، إنَّكَ علٰى كُلّ شَيءٍ قَدير، رَحْمٰنَ الدنيا وَالآخِرَة تُعْطِيهِما مَنْ تَشاءُ وَتَمْنَعُ مِنْهُما مَنْ تَشاء، اِرْحَمْنِي رَحْمَةً تُغْنِيْنِيْ بِها عَنْ رَحْمَةِ مَنْ سِوَاكْ
“O Allah! owner of the kingdom, You give the kingdom to whom You desire, and You take away the kingdom from whom You will, and You endow honor on whom You will, and you disgrace who You want. In Your Hand is all good. Verily, You have power over everything. Oh Most Merciful of this world and the Hereafter, You give from the world and hereaftet whatever You wish and You deprive whomsoever You wish. Shower upon me such mercy, which will make me independent from the mercy of those besides You.”
C) The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) taught a person with overwelming debts to say the following prayer in the mornings and evenings. Very soon thereafter, all the debts of this person got paid:
اللهُمَّ إنّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الهَمِّ والْحَزَن، وأعوذ بك مِنَ الْعَجزِ وَالكَسل، وأغوذ بك من الجُبْنِ والبُخْل، وأعوذ بك مِنْ غَلَبَةِ الدَّين وَقَهْرِ الرجال
“Oh Allah! I seek refuge in You from worries and difficulty, and I seek refuge in You from inability and laziness, and I seek refuge in You from cowardice and miserliness, and I seek refuge in You from the dominance of debt and being overpowered by men.”
Like these, there are many others Duas for the repayment of debts.
D) Write in your will the amount owed, and details of those who you have to pay. We do not know when death will overtake us, and if it is documented, your heirs should have knowledge about these debts.
We pray that Allah Ta’ala makes it easy for you to pay all your debts.
And Allaah Ta’aala knows best
Ismail Moosa (Mufti)
وَصِفَتُهُ أَنَّهُ حَرَامٌ مُحَرَّمٌ عَلَى الْغَاصِبِ ذَلِكَ وَحُكْمُهُ وُجُوبُ رَدِّ الْمَغْصُوبِ إنْ كَانَ قَائِمًا وَمِثْلِهِ إنْ كَانَ هَالِكًا أَوْ قِيمَتِهِ (البحر الرائق (8/123)
(ويجب رد عين المغصوب) ما لم يتغير تغيرا فاحشا مجتبى (في مكان غصبه) لتفاوت القيم باختلاف الأماكن (ويبرأ بردها ولو بغير علم المالك) في البزازية غصب دراهم إنسان من كيسه ثم ردها فيه بلا علمه برئ وكذا لو سلمه إليه بجهة أخرى كهبة أو إيداع أو شراء وكذا لو أطعمه فأكله (رد المحتار 6/ 182)
قال العلماء: التوبة واجبة من كل ذنب, فإن كانت المعصية بين العبد وبين الله تعالى لا تتعلق بحق آدمي
فلها ثلاثة شروط: أحدها: أن يقلع عن المعصية. والثاني: أن يندم على فعلها. والثالث: أن يعزم أن لا يعود إليها أبدا. فإن فقد أحد الثلاثة لم تصح توبته. وإن كانت المعصية تتعلق بآدمي فشروطها أربعة: هذه الثلاثة, وأن يبرأ من حق صاحبها, فإن كانت مالا أو نحوه رده إليه, وإن كانت حد قذف ونحوه مكنه منه أو طلب عفوه, وإن كانت غيبة استحله منها. (رياض الصالحين، ص. 14)