Borrowed their stamp album and never returned it
Fatwa No: 91913

  • Fatwa Date:19-4-2006 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 21, 1427
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Question

When I was 11, we had some visitors we knew from back in Uganda. At the time I was handed down a collection of stamps going back many years in the family. Some how by persuading my brother to let them borrow the album for a few days they took the collection and them never returned it? And when asked about it denied having it and then said it was lost. This is going back thirty four year. All my life I have been bothered by this event. I now know these so called friends of the family do have my collection. and the father who instigated the whole affair is a respected elder in the community advising people on religious matters and I see him as a hypocrite but I respect him as an elder, but knowing what he and his son have done I get very angry and would like to resolve this matter. Please advise await your reply Inshaa Allaah.

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 is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.

 

If the matter is as you mentioned that these stamps are with them, then they should give them back to their owner, as the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "A person is obliged to return what he has taken to its owner." [At-Tirmithi] So, you may seek the help of the pious and righteous people who reconcile between people and whom you think could influence the one who took your stamps. If this is of no avail, then it is permissible for you to take the matter to any authority which you think can bring you back your right.

However, it is not permissible to describe the person mentioned by being a hypocrite, as it is dissoluteness to insult a Muslim, but you are allowed to describe him by being a liar and the like, if lying is indeed confirmed about him. But it is better for a Muslim not to insult or curse especially the elderly. As-San'aani may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: 'The scholars may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them differed in opinion about the permissibility of insulting a dissolute person with the sins he committed; most of them are of the view that it is permissible.'

Allaah Knows best.

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