Repairing this damaged tap is not an obligation but it is a good act
Fatwa No: 95513

  • Fatwa Date:3-5-2007 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 16, 1428
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Question

One day i was on my way home and it was luhar time.there was a masjid close by to where i was travelling,so i went there for luhar salah. I Occasionally visit this masjid when i am travelling and am not too familiar with it's imams, caretakers etc. I didnt have wudhu,so i went to the ablution taking area where there are many taps. I opened one tap and took ablution but when i tried to close it , it woudnt close and the water speed increased dramatically.After a few seconds i realized that when the handle was pushed down a bit and turned,the tap closed. I was bothered by this and it was troubling me since i was wondering if i am the one who damaged the tap,and since this is a masjid and public property,i believe that these things should be taken seriously. But then again it may have been someone else,who used the tap before me who damaged it. I was,and still to this day am unsure whether it was me or someone else before me who broke the tap. It was still basically usable and functioning, but in order to close it,a little pressure was needed to be applied downwards. Now,i no this may sound stupid to you,but it really bothered me that day and still does today as to what i should have done/do about this.I was pondering as to whether i should tell a caretaker of the masjid about the tap and perhaps pay a sum of money for it's repair, but i felt shy that he may think i was stupid because these things happen all the time and nobody generally cares anout them.Also,i am not too familiar with them,since this masjid isnt my local one. In the end i donated a reasonable amount of money into the "Masjid Maintanance" till and left. I took a few steps on the road but it was bothering so much that i had to return to the masjid once again and merely observe the tap for a few minutes,walk around, and leave! I didnt have the guts to tell anyone about it. Was what i did Correct?Is the money in the till sufficient?Am i overreacting?Is there anything else i should do?

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  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

First of all, we thank you for being keen to repair what you think you have damaged, and this proves that you fear Allaah, and we ask Allaah to enable you to do whatever pleases Him.

We are of the view that you are not obliged to repair that tap and you are not responsible for its damage for the following reasons:

1-    You are not sure that you caused the damage and the tap is still functioning.

2-    The scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them stated that whoever does something which he is legally permitted to do and he was not negligent, then he is not responsible about damaging it [or damaging part of it].

The Fiqh Encyclopaedia reads: “The sixth rule: the legal permission negates being responsible for the use of something: …This means that if a permitted and legally allowed act led to the harm of others, one is not responsible for the harm….”

There is no doubt that using the tap in the mosque in order to perform ablution and the like is something legally permitted, then if one damages it without being negligent; he is not held responsible for its damage. However, if you repair the tap for the Sake of Allaah, then we hope that you will be rewarded by Allaah. Since you already donated an amount for the maintenance of the mosque, we hope that you will be rewarded for it, and we ask Allaah to enable you to do good. If the entire Muslims are keen on the public money like you, many disadvantages which are widespread in the nation will be solved.  

Allaah Knows best.

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