She used the soap or cream of her housemates without their permission
Fatwa No: 237328

  • Fatwa Date:23-1-2014 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 22, 1435
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Question

ls i just want to know if using the soap or cream of my housemates once or twice without asking is considered stealing (there was no intent to steal just didnt think much of it because i know them and it wasn't out of place).and do i have to give it back. These are not exactly quantifiable. I can't take a smear of soap and give it back. I also want to know if i have to actively try to remember any other such incidents or do thiefs have to actively try to remember or just leave it to naturally come back to memory. Thanks

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His Slave and Messenger.

Regarding what you have mentioned about using the belongings of your housemates, if it is known that they will not object to it, then it is not stealing and you are not sinful for it, and you are not obliged to give it back nor reimburse the value. Allaah says (what means): {There is not upon the blind [any] constraint nor upon the lame constraint nor upon the ill constraint nor upon yourselves when you eat from your [own] houses or the houses of your fathers or the houses of your mothers or the houses of your brothers or the houses of your sisters or the houses of your father’s brothers or the houses of your father’s sisters or the houses of your mother’s brothers or the houses of your mother’s sisters or [from houses] whose keys you possess or [from the house] of your friend.}[Quran 24:61]

Al-Qurtubi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him mentioned what means that this verse was not abrogated according to the sounder of the two opinions of the scholars, and that a person may consume the property of his relative, or sponsor, or friend if he knows they would not object to that.

However, if you believe that it is most likely that your mates will not be pleased with what you did, then you are obliged to seek their pardon. If you fear bad consequences by informing them, then you are obliged to make it up for them through any possible means, like gifting them some soap or cream so that you would be acquitted from sin.

As regards holding oneself to account by remembering the mistakes or the property that a person has taken unlawfully from people, then this is a praised act and ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him used to say: “Hold yourselves into account before you are held into account, and weigh your deeds before they are weighed against you, and beautify yourselves for the Day of Great Exposition [i.e. the Day you will be exposed to Allaah]." then he recited the saying of Allaah (which means): {That Day, you will be exhibited [for judgment]; not hidden among you is anything concealed.}[Quran 69:18]

One should not be negligent until death comes to him. Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “If someone has wronged a person, he has to seek his forgiveness from that injustice before the Day (of Judgment) on which there would be no Dinar nor Dirham.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Allaah Knows best.

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