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Fatawaa


Subject : It is Prohibited to Dispose of Someone else's Property without Permission

Fatwa Number : 3788

Date : 06-08-2023

Classified :

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa


Question :

A house has been vacant and abandoned for about 10 years. Its owners are not present and have been searched for extensively within the country with no success in locating them. There is a person whose family facing eviction from their apartment, having no other properties or funds. They intend to use this abandoned house and place their rent in a box until the owners are found. Is it permissible for them to use it in this manner until the owners are located?



The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

 

It is not permissible for anyone to dispose of the property or rights of others without their permission, as that would be an encroachment upon the owner's right. The prohibition here encompasses all types of dealings, whether it's usage, lending, renting, or any similar actions. Allah says in the Quran: "And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities." [Al-Baqarah/188]. Imam Al-Baydawi explained this verse as meaning: "That is, do not allow one another to consume each other's property in a manner that Allah has not permitted." [Anwar al-Tanzil vol.1/pp.127].

Imam Al-Shafi'i, may Allah have mercy on him, said: "And it is not permissible for someone who irrigates date palms to cultivate al-Bayadh (a type of crop) except with the permission of its owner. If he does so without the owner's permission, it is as if he has planted in someone else's land." [Mukhtasar al-Muzani vol.8/pp.223].

Indeed, some scholars consider using someone else's property without their knowledge as a form of usurpation, because it involves seizing the property of another without rightful claim. This includes obtaining benefits from the property without the owner's knowledge, as well as utilizing resources that the owner may have left unused for a specific purpose.

Therefore, it is not permissible to use this abandoned house without the permission of its owners. Consequently, anyone who uses it without permission is liable for wrongdoing and accountability under Islamic law. In addition, utilizing someone else's property without rightful claim can subject an individual to questioning and potential consequences, even if their intention was good. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.






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