The Entrusted Does Not Guarantee the Loss of a Trust
Fatwa No: 378289

Question

Regarding compensation Assalam alaykum,My query is this at my brother in law ‘s home my jewelry was stolen. His wife’s Jewellery was also stolen and the thief was arrested by the police also but we never get back our belongings. Now my question is my brother in law thinks that it’s his home he was not able to safeguard my belongings so he wants to compensate (wants to give dadh) in the form of money.. can I take it or is it haraam to take compensation in Islam.

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.

It appears from what you mentioned in the question that the gold was a deposit with your brother in-law and it was stolen from his house.

If this is the case, then he is entrusted and he does not guarantee (the loss) according to the view of most scholars unless he has transgressed or was negligent. Transgression means doing what is prohibited, and negligence means refraining from doing what is obligatory.

Amr ibn Shu'ayb narrated from his father that his grandfather said: The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “There is no guarantee on the person who is entrusted (to store an item with him).” [Al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan]

Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them said in his book Al-Mughni:

A deposit is a trust, if it is ruined (or lost) from the person with whom it is entrusted without any negligence on his part, then he does not guarantee it, whether or not he lost some of his [the person with whom it is deposited] own money. This is the view of most scholars. This was narrated from Abu Bakr, ‘Ali and Ibn Mas'ood  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them. This is the view adopted by Shareeh, An-Nakha'i, Maalik, Abu Az-Zinnad, Ath-Thawri, Al-Awzaa'i, Ash-Shaafi'i and the scholars of the Hanafi School of jurisprudence.” [End of quote]

Therefore, if your brother in-law did not transgress or was negligent in guarding the deposit, and it was stolen from him as well as his own money, then he is not obliged to compensate you for the jewelry or anything else that was stolen from him. However, if he wants to donate to you, to help you out, then there is no harm in accepting his help if he is solvent.

But if he is not solvent, then it is more appropriate not to accept that from him while thanking him for his intention and supplicating Allah to bless him and his wealth, so as not to overburden him with something that is beyond his capacity, even if he is happy to donate to you.

Allah knows best.

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