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How To Make Up for Carelessness Regarding Other’s Belongings?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatu Allahi wa barakatuh.

I have a few issues regarding things that are in my possession, which I don’t rightfully own.

1) I have a paintbrush that might have belonged to one of my art teachers in school or it could have been supplied to art students of the school. I might not be able to reach my teacher to ask her about it, so if I am unable to should I just give it to the school?

2) I took a few statues out of my grandfather’s cabinet and decided to keep them for myself. He has passed away now. What should I do?

3) If I lost, or gave away , or still have something that belonged to someone else, and asked them to forgive me about it, and they said that they did, I assume that would make me in the clear?

4) If I had clothes that belonged to someone else and I asked them if they wanted it back, but they said they didn’t. Or in another situation when I just asked them to forgive me, but then I got the response from someone else that they thought I was being ridiculous, I assume that in both these situations I no longer have anything to worry about?

5) If I have something that belongs to someone but it has been so worn out that even if I wanted to give it back to this person I couldn’t, what would you advise me to do?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

In future, and when borrowing something, be clear about when you are going to return it.

(1) You should make a decision: it was either given to you or it is theirs. If the answer is the latter, you should try your best to get it back to the teacher, and if unreachable, give it away in charity on their behalf.

(2) Just return them to the cabinet.

(3) Ask the owners to forgive you for the error.

(4) Yes, you do not need explicit responses from them.

(5) I would recommend mentioning it to them so that you can have the matter cleared up.

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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