Taking an item without permission

Bahishti Zewar, Fiqh, Part 5-Principles of Business / Monday, November 1st, 2010

1. It is a major sin to take an item which belongs to a person forcefully or in his absence. Some women take items that belong to their husbands or other relatives without permission. This is also not permissible. If you take an item without permission and you still have it in your possession, you will have to return that very item. However, if you have already used that item then the rule is that if the same item could be purchased from the bazaar, it will be wâjib on you to purchase it and replace it. Such items are: grain, ghee, oil, money, etc. If the item is such that its exact replica cannot be obtained, then you will have to give money equal to the value of that item. Such items are: fowls, goats, guavas, oranges, pears, etc.

2. One of the legs of the bed broke or its strips or joints broke. Alternatively, you took an item and it got damaged or broken. You will have to pay for the damage caused.

3. You took a certain amount of money without permission and thereafter began a certain business with it. It is not permissible for you to take whatever profits you make with that money. You will have to return the original money to the owner and the profits will have to be given to the poor.

4. You tore someone’s clothing. If very little got torn, you will have to pay compensation according to the damage. If you tear it in such a way that it cannot be used for the purpose for which it was made, that clothing will be given to you and you will have to pay for it entirely. For example, a scarf was torn in such a way that it can no longer be used as a scarf. Instead, small blouses can be made with it. In such a case, keep that scarf and pay for the entire cost of it to the owner.

5. You took someone’s gem-stone and had it set in a ring. You will now have to pay for that stone. It is not wâjib on you to break the ring, remove the stone, and return it to the owner.

6. A person took a cloth and had it dyed. The owner of the cloth has the choice to take the dyed cloth and pay whatever increase took place in the price of the cloth. Alternatively, the owner can leave the cloth with the person and ask him to pay for it.

7. A person takes a certain item without permission, loses it, pays compensation for it, and thereafter finds it. He will have to check whether the value of the item is according to the compensation that the owner had asked for. If it is the same, he does not have to return the item. It will now belong to him. If the compensation paid was less than what the owner had asked for, then the owner has the right to take back his item and return the compensation.

8. Someone’s goat or cow came into your yard. It is harâm for you to milk it. If you take any milk, you will have to pay for it.

9. It is not permissible to take the following items without permission: needles, cotton, a scrap of material, etc. It is wâjib to pay for whatever you take if it gets lost or consumed. Alternatively, inform the person that you have taken a certain item and that he should forgive you. If you do not do so, you will have to pay on the day of judgement.

10. Your husband brought a length of material for himself. At the time of cutting the material, you saved a certain length and kept it for yourself without informing him. This is also not permissible. Whatever you want, ask for it. If he does not give it to you, do not take it.

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