Nasihah (Advice): Stolen Goods – The Punishment of the Fire
Sayyiduna Abdullah Bin Amr Radhiyallahu Anhu says: There was a man in charge of the goods of Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam called Kirkirah. When he died, Rasoolullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa sallam said, “He is in the Fire.” They went and looked, and found him wearing a garment that he had stolen from the spoils of war. (Sahih Bukhari)
Question and Answer:
- In the past 2 weeks, there were mass looting of goods and damaging of property caused by the rioters and looters in Durban, KwaZulu Natal. There were businesses that were completely destroyed or looted and their towns did not have access to basic necessities such as baby food, bread, milk etc. for a few days. It was not possible to even get basic necessities to them from outside of town due to the severity of the situation. The only option for them to get their basic necessities during those few days were to buy them from the looters who were selling them. Those that have done so, what must they do to compensate for it?
(Question published as received)
- A) It is not permissible to sell or purchase stolen or looted items. If stolen or looted items were sold or purchased, the following rules will apply:
1) If the item is still in one’s possession and is in a good condition, then one must return the item to its original owner/company.
2) If the item is no longer in one’s possession, then the same or similar item must be purchased and returned to the original owner/company.
3) If one is unable to find the same or similar item in the market, then one must reimburse the original owner/company with the market value of the item.
4) If the original owner/company has closed its business or cannot be located, then one must give the item or market value of the item to the poor and needy as Sadaqah (charity). (Shaami 6/182/183 – Durarul Hukkaam 2/456)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
Mufti Moosa Salie
(The answer hereby given is specifically based on the question asked and should be read together with the question asked. Islamic rulings on this Q&A newsletter are answered in accordance to the Hanafi Fiqh unless otherwise stated.)
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)
Council of Muslim Theologians
223 Alpine Road, Overport
Durban, South Africa
Tel : +27 (0) 31 2077099