Ruling on praying in stolen clothes
Fatwa No: 238123

  • Fatwa Date:9-2-2014 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 9, 1435
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Question

I am 17 yrs muslim boy. I don't have the ability to earn money. I came to know that my father worked in a garment factory and I highly suspect that he stole clothes from there. Most of my clothes are from my father's garment factories and I highly suspect that he stole them. When my father is asked about this he gets angry and refuses to say the truth. I have very few clothes besides these and I have been praying wearing these clothes for years. Are those salats void? What should I do now?

Answer

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

First of all, we warn you against the gravity of harboring suspicions against others, especially the parents. Since your father denies having stolen those clothes and he gets angry when he is accused about it, then you should not suspect him of any bad matter. Theft is not proven just out of suspicions and doubts, but either by the confession of the accused or by unquestionable evidence. For more benefit on the prohibition of harboring suspicions without evidence, particularly when it comes to parents, please refer to Fatwa 90040.

As regards the validity of the prayer in those clothes, then your prayers in those clothes are valid, even if you are sure that they are stolen and your father acknowledged that they are stolen, as the prayer in a forbidden garment, like a stolen garment or a silk garment for men, is considered as a valid prayer according to the view of the majority of the scholars, although wearing such clothes is forbidden in itself.

Imaam An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “We have already mentioned that our view [i.e. the view of the Shaafi'i Mathhab] is that the prayer while being dressed in a silk garment or a stolen garment is valid, and the same applies to praying upon such garments; the majority of the scholars are of this view, while Imaam Ahmad, in one of his two opinions, said it is not valid...

The view that the prayer is valid is the view of the Permanent Committee and it is the preferred opinion according to Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him. The Permanent Committee was asked "What is the ruling if one performs Wudhoo' (ablution) with stolen water, or prays in stolen clothes, and what is the difference between that and performing Hajj with stolen money?"

The Permanent Committee answered: “Praise be to Allaah alone, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, his family and his companions, to proceed: Theft is forbidden according to the consensus of all the Muslims; because it is injustice and injustice is darkness on the Day of Resurrection, and whoever steals water and performs ablution with it for the prayer, or steals a garment and prays with it on, or steals money and performs Hajj with it, then his ablution, prayer and Hajj are valid according to the more correct of the two opinions of the scholars; but he is obliged to repent to Allaah from that.

Besides, Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “The most evident view is what has been already mentioned that the prayer in a unlawful garment is valid.”  [Ash-Sharh Al-Mumti’]

Allaah Knows best.

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