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Can I keep money found in my SIM card if I cannot find the owner?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Jamia Binoria
I closed off my sim for two days. There were Rs.348 in my sim before closing it off. Two days after when I re-opened my sim, there were Rs.1084 in it. It was not from easy load because the expiry date of my balance would have been extended. In fact, this amount was shared to my sim. There were no messages or calls from the time I closed off my sim. I contacted the help line and they said that they do not have any data from which they can inform me if someone had transferred money to the balance in my sim. Now my sim had been open for 24hrs and no one has called or messaged me regarding this amount. My question is: can I use this amount and when the owner claims it I will return it to him? What should I do if I do not find the owner? Furthermore, if I share Rs.1000 then I receive Rs.930 in balance. Similarly, Rs.700 will reduce to Rs.651. So if I have to give that amount in charity, will I have to give it according to the amount received after loading money on my phone to share or do I have to give Rs.700.

الجواب حامدا و مصلیا

The balance that has been loaded in someone else’s cellphone by mistake falls under the law of “Luqta”. If the balance can be transferred back and there is still time given by the company in which the transfer can be undone, then the questioner should wait; maybe the person who transferred the balance might call him and he can send him back the amount. If despite of waiting, the owner of the amount does not contact the questioner, then the questioner should give this amount in balance or the amount of money equal to it in charity to someone who is eligible to receive Zakat on behalf of the owner. If the questioner himself is eligible to receive Zakat then he can make use of it. However, if the questioner would ever encounter the actual owner of the balance, he will be responsible for returning the amount to him.
And Allah knows best.

This Q&A was indexed from the official english fatwa portal of Jamia Binoria. It is an Islamic educational institute in Karachi, Pakistan.

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