Eating from money which guardian usurped
Fatwa No: 364849

  • Fatwa Date:21-11-2017 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 3, 1439
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. May Allah reward you for answering my question about the haram income of a guardian. However, the problem is: does the same ruling apply to wealth taken by force or oppression from an orphan's wealth, etc? On the IslamQA site, I read that it is very sinful and that this kind of wealth should be returned. So am I sinning if I consume this kind of wealth? May Allah reward you.

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. 

We have already advised you in the previous fatwa to discard these whispers and doubts and not to get carried away with them.

You have already searched and read the fatwas of the scholars regarding what you asked about.

What we mention here, again, is that there is a distinction between the money that was earned unlawfully and the money that is unlawful in itself.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

"Some scholars held that when the prohibition is associated with the way the money was earned, then the sin is on the person who earned it and has nothing to do with the person who takes it lawfully from the one who earned it unlawfully. This is in contrast to what is deemed prohibited in itself, such as alcohol, unlawfully usurped wealth, and so on. This opinion is strong and well supported by evidence. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) bought food for his family from a Jew and he ate from the sheep that a Jewish woman from Khaybar gave him. He also accepted the invitation of a Jewish man to eat. It is well-known that most of the Jews deal with usury and consume unlawfully usurped wealth. Perhaps this view is supported by the saying of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) regarding the meat that was given as a charity to Bareerah [and she in turn offered it to the Prophet], 'For her it is a charity, and for us it is a gift from her.'"

Therefore, as for the money that was taken by force or stolen from its owner without his consent, it is not permissible to deal with the one in whose hand it is because it is the very money of others.

Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

"If I know that a person stole money or betrayed another person in his trust or usurped it by taking it by force from him without any right, it is not acceptable for me to take it from him, neither as a gift, nor in return for another thing, nor as payment for work, nor as the price for something sold, nor as repayment of a debt; as this is the very wealth of that person who has been wronged. If his situation is unknown; then the unknown is like the nonexistent; and, in principle, what is in the hands of a Muslim is his property if he claims that it is his property. If I do not know about that money which he owns, then I act upon the principle [that it is lawful money]. If he had usurped that dirham while I do not know that he usurped it, then what is unknown is like that which is nonexistent…" [Majmoo‘ Al-Fataawa]

If you still have any misconceptions and doubts that you wish to ask about, then look for a scholar to ask him directly, and we apologize to you because we have so many questions to answer.

Allah knows best.

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