Q. Assalamu alaikum Making Dua Respected Mufti Saheb is well. A few moths ago someone deposited R1000 into my back account. I have tried to track down the person as I feel it may have been a mistake. However, It was not possible to find the person as the deposit was done with cash in the bank and not via EFT. I have even called the respected branch to see if they could help me track the person but unfortunately not.
1) What should I do with this money?
2) Am I allowed to pay my study debt with this monies?
Jazakallah Was salaam
A. In the enquired case, if the money deposited into your account does not belong to you or the source of it is unknown, it will be necessary for you to verify its source and ownership.
If after exhausting all efforts to do so, you fail to verify its source and ownership, the money must be distributed in charity. In this case, if you are eligible to receive Zakaat i.e. you do not possess the Zakaat Nisaab or your debt exceeds your wealth, then it will be permissible for you to make use of it.
Note: If after distributing it in charity, the source and ownership is verified, the distributed money will have to be returned from one’s own wealth to the original owner.
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
This answer was collected from TheMufti.com, which is a fatwa portal managed by Mufti Ismaeel Bassa from South Africa.