As Salam alaikum noble Shaykh. I was working in the company of construction owned by Chinese so this Chinese used to hurt us and cheat us in terms of our salaries so the employees decided to steel company cement and I participated there we stole 11 cement and sold it so the money I got there I bought the trouser, this job was for temporary we were constructing the counsel office so we took only 6 months and the Chinese went back to China, my Country is South Africa. After the contract finished I repented to Allah for what we did. My question is I read that another part of repentance I must return the owner's property and I'm unable to do so because the Chinese company is no longer here so what can I do and what about this trouser I bought with that money can I continue using it or to give it in charity or to burn it? Jazaakumullah khayran.
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, is His slave and Messenger.
It is incumbent on you to repent to Allah, The Almighty, of betraying the person who placed his trust in you and consuming his money unlawfully. Part of your repentance is that you should return this money to its owner if he is alive or to his heirs if he is dead. If you exert your utmost effort in trying to reach him or his heirs, in the event of his death, but fail to do so, then you should give an equal amount of money in charity on behalf of the owner. This should be given to the poor or spent on the public interests (of Muslims) and other charitable activities.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz was asked about a man who owed a deceased Christian man a debt of 50 Deenaars; to whom should he repay it? He said: “He (debtor) has to repay it to the creditor’s heirs, if there are any. If he knows his heirs, he must pay it to them, and it is incumbent on him to try to find them. If he could not find any of the creditor’s heirs, or he had no known heirs, he should spend the money in charity on the creditor’s behalf because it benefits him. He should give it to the poor while dedicating the reward to the owner of the money, and perhaps Allah, The Exalted, would relieve some of his torment because of that. The point is that the debtor, in this case, should spend the money in charity on behalf of this dead creditor. Allah, The Exalted, does not allow to be lost the reward of anyone who did well in deeds, even if he is a disbeliever; he may be relieved of some of his punishment because of it.” [End of Quote]
As for the trousers you bought with this unlawful money, you are not required to get rid of them, and you bear no sin for wearing them. The Fatwa of the Permanent Committee was asked: “I have clothes that I purchased with unlawful money. I have confessed to the owners of the money, but I do not have any other clothes. Please advise me, may Allah reward you generously!”
The answer: “It is obligatory on you to return the money to its owners, seek their forgiveness, and sincerely resolve to repent of the unlawful consumption of people's wealth and your wrongful transgression against it. If you do so, we do not believe there is any Sharee‘ah impediment to the permissibility of wearing the mentioned clothes.” [End of Quote]
Allah Knows best.
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