Can I Steal From a Gift That Was Promised to Me?

Answered by Shaykh Muhammad Carr


My mother plans to give me all her gold before she passes away, as I am her only daughter. She has already given me some. If I take a portion without her knowledge to sell for essential expenses, is it considered stealing and impermissible (haram)? If so, what steps should I take to repent?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

Thank you for your question.

Taking a portion of what she unilaterally promised you is considered stealing and thus impermissible and should be returned.

Ownership of a Gift 

You only become the owner of the gift after taking possession of it. Similarly, the gifting contract only becomes binding once you possess the gift. [Bayjuri, Hashiya]. As things stand, your mother has only expressed an intent to gift the gold to you. This does not afford you any transactional rights over the said gold.

Mitigating Circumstances

Wrongfully taking what does not belong to you is considered sinful and is technically called stealing. You may have acted according to an erroneous understanding of how gifts and gift-giving work without nefarious motives, and Allah knows best. May Allah reward you for your willingness to learn and rectify your actions.

Allah (Most High) says, “They are those who, upon committing an evil deed or wronging themselves, remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins—and who forgives sins except Allah?—and they do not knowingly persist in wrongdoing?” [Quran, 3:135]


Imam Nawawi mentions three central conditions for valid repentance (tawba):

(1) leaving the sin altogether,

(2) having remorse over having sinned, and

(3) firmly resolving never to return to the sin.

If the sin relates to the right of another human being, then, additionally, (4) that right must be returned. [Nawawi, Riyad al-Salihin]

For more on repentance, see here.

When Sustenance is Slow in Coming 

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “O people, fear Allah and be moderate in seeking a living, for no soul will die until it has received all its provision, even if it is slow in coming. So fear Allah and be moderate in seeking provision; take what is permissible and leave what is forbidden.” [Ibn Maja]

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May Allah open up the doors of His sustenance for you. Amin.

[Shaykh] Muhammad Carr
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Muhammad Carr has dedicated his life to studying and transmitting our beautiful deen. His studies have taken him around the globe, where he has benefitted from many luminaries. Under the guidance of his teachers – Shaykh Taha Karan, Shaykh Yaseen Abbas, Shaykh Muadh Ali, and many others – Shaykh Muhammad has grown to appreciate the beauty and benefits of diverse scholarship. He completed his memorization of the Qur’an at Dar al-Ulum Zakariyyah in September 1997 and received an Alimiyya Degree in 2006 from DUAI (Darul Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah). He is also affiliated with Masjid Auwal in Bo Kaap, Cape Town (the oldest mosque in South Africa), where he serves as a co-imam, and Dar Al-Safa, where he has taught since 2018. As a teacher, he imparts the wisdom of our heritage and tradition by opening the door for students. As an imam, he has the unique opportunity to serve his community in daily life.

In addition to his roles as a teacher and imam, Shaykh Muhammad Carr has contributed significantly to the administrative and advisory aspects of Islamic institutions. Since 2023, he has served as the Administrative Director at The Imam Kurani Institute, contributing to the institution’s growth and development. He continues to pursue traditional Islamic Sciences, possessing a keen interest in Islamic Contract Law and Finance. Shaykh Muhammad has been a Shari’ah Board Member for Islamic Asset Management & Insurance Companies since 2001, aligning financial practices with Islamic principles.