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What Should I Do About Apples I Have Stolen During My Childhood?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum,

When I was a child I took a few apples from private property. I have found out that they did not like it. What should I do?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

You can send them an envelope containing an apology and the value of the apples taken.

Please see: How Do I Repent From the Theft I Committed Many Years Ago When I Was a Teenager? and: How Can I Repent From Crimes Committed During My Youth?

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How Can I Repent From Crimes Committed During My Youth?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaykum,

When I was younger, I committed some crimes for which I am indescribably ashamed. I don’t remember how much cash and merchandise I have stolen nor even where I can return it.

How do I repent without being able to return or make up for most of those crimes? Is there still forgiveness if the rights of others are not corrected?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

Yes, Allah Most High forgives His servants who have wronged themselves, and He grants them closeness to Him, if He wishes, out of His limitless Generosity, and not in accordance with the number or quality of their works.

Allah Most High says, “Say: My servants who have wronged yourselves, never despair of God’s mercy. God forgives all sins: He is truly the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” [39.53]

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) promised that, “The one who repents from sin is like one who never sinned.” [Ibn Majah]

As for the stolen money or goods, these need to be returned to their rightful owners, actually or effectively, in a manner which does not cause you greater harm:

(1) Actually, by returning the item or the money due, even anonymously–with a note, for instance– or by way of a “gift,” to the owner or management, or

(2) Effectively, by giving it away in charity on behalf of the owner when they cannot be located, if they no longer run the business, or if you cannot remember whom you stole from.

With this, you should make a reasonable judgement of the wealth stolen, erring on the side of caution, and then strive to return it, gradually and sustainably, until you are reasonably sure that you have lifted what is due from you.

Please also see: Returning Stolen Property and: Will Allah Forgive Me After Stealing Something That Can’t Be Returned? and: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance) and: How Do I Repent From the Theft I Committed Many Years Ago When I Was a Teenager?

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How Can I Repay Stolen Goods From a Mall?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaykum,

My friend stole goods worth $20 from a mall . He has repented. Now he wants to repay his theft. How should he go about it without going to jail?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

You should try to get the value of the stolen memory cards to management at the particular shop in a manner which doesn’t cause you greater harm.

And you need to repent for the error in judgement. [see: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)]

See also: Returning Stolen Property and: How Do I Repent From the Theft I Committed Many Years Ago When I Was a Teenager?

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Will Allah Forgive Me After Stealing Something That Can’t Be Returned?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaykum,

I stole candy and gum from a store and I can’t return it because I’ve already eaten it. I can’t pay it back because I don’t have a salary as I am 13. Will Allah forgive me?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

Yes, Allah will forgive you for your mistake if you repent because He is All-Forgiving and Ever-Merciful.

However, considering you took from somebody else’s property without paying for it, you need to adequately redress this wrong.

The simplest thing to do would be to save up the value of the items taken, and then return this enveloped to the shop with a message stating what you did and that you are sorry. Strive to do this anonymously so that it doesn’t end up making matters worse.

May Allah bless you and grant you facilitation and success.

Please also see: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance) and: How Do I Repent From the Theft I Committed Many Years Ago When I Was a Teenager? and: Does Sincere Repentance Eradicate Sin?

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How Do I Repent From the Theft I Committed Many Years Ago When I Was a Teenager?

Answered by Sidi Wasim Shiliwala

Question: When I was about 16, I didn’t really take religion seriously and used to hang out with the wrong people.  So, my question is regarding theft, for we used to steal from different stores.  How do I go about addressing that wrong?

1) The 1st store I stole from is a huge franchise. Therefore, I can’t really return the item and say I stole this and I’m sorry. And I can’t really donate to the store either.

2) The 2nd store I stole is no longer there. I’m not sure if it went out of business or relocated to another state. I don’t remember the name of the store either and neither do the current occupants of the building.

Answer: Jazakum Allahu Khairan for your excellent question!  May Allah reward you for your noble intention to correct past mistakes.

Keeping a Proper Perspective on Repentance

Firstly, it’s important to remember that so long as your repentance is sincere, insha’Allah your sins will be forgiven.  Islam is not a religion of despair, for Allah’s mercy is vast.

In order to properly repent, one must: a) leave the sin, b) feel remorse for it, c) resolve to never do it again, and d) return any rights or property that one took.

Returning Rights One Took from Others

In your case, this last condition is the most important.  For this, you would need to return (in order of preference): the same items, items similar to them, or their monetary equivalent.  For example, if you stole clothes that were worth $45, you should either return those same clothes, clothes like them of the same value, or $45.

When the Owner Can’t Be Found

As for the case where the store and the owner are no longer around, you should donate the stolen items to a non-Muslim charity.  This is because stolen items are haram to be used by yourself as well as other Muslims.

Returning Items to Stores

As for the first case, where the store you stole from is still around, you still need to redress that wrong.  However, precaution needs to be taken, as there is still a chance that you might be prosecuted for your past act, even though you are trying to fix it.

Rather, you could return the monetary value of the item (as per the example above, $45) with an anonymous note stating that you owe them that much money.  This way, you would be restoring their right without risking prosecution.

Ensuring Your Repentance is Sincere

Finally, you must remember that the actions listed above are steps in the repentance process.  In order to prove your true repentance to Allah, you must feel remorse for it and resolve to never do it again.  Increase in good actions, leave the bad, and follow the Prophet {saw}, for those who do so are guaranteed Allah’s mercy and salvation.

Jazakum Allahu Khairan,
-Wasim

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answers:

Does Allah forgive major sins?

What is sincere repentance?

Does sincere repentance eradicate sin?

Reader on repentance

Returning Stolen Property

Answered by Sidi `Abd al-Rahim Reasat

Question: If a person takes something they are not allowed to from the company they work for and then after leaving the organization realizes the sin that they committed. What should one do after they have repented to Allah to make their repentance successful? Are they allowed to give items of their own away which will cover some of the total to charity and pray that the money in some way goes back to the company?

Answer: Wa ‘alaikum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well. Alhamdulillah, your desire to make tawba and set things right is in itself a blessing from Allah, and should be taken as a good sign.

The products that were taken must be returned to the company seeing as it owns them. If that is no longer possible then their equivalent value should be given. You do not have to personally return the items, getting them to a manager or the like with an anonymous letter should suffice insha’Allah.

Your possessions that were given away will be considered as charity (sadaqa), and will go a long way, insha’Allah, in compensating for what was done, as mentioned by Imam al-Ghazali (may Allah Most High be well pleased with him) in the Ihya. He also mentioned that a repentance (tawba), when accompanied by all its conditions (remorse, leaving the sin, resolving never to return to it, and returning the rights of others), will always be accepted by Allah Most High.

“And when those who believe in Our signs come to thee, say, ‘Peace be upon you. Your Lord has prescribed for Himself mercy. Whosoever of you does evil in ignorance, and thereafter repents and makes amends, He is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.'” (6.54)

[Maydani, al-Lubab; Ghazali, Ihya `Ulum al-Din)

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam
‘Abd al-Rahim Reasat

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani