Using stolen goods

Fatwa ID: 02275

Answered by Maulana Mujahid Hussain

Question:

Assalaamu 'Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah
I had a plan to run a business with some used computers, I have several computer on my own, but some of them I got from is used from someone. Now suddenly, because I've read your fatwa about prohibition using something that it is stolen, I became very paranoid (OCD) since I cannot determine this computer is stolen or not.
I have read from another fatwa Islamic website it was said "In case one was not able to remove the doubt (which is based on evidence) about the nature of the very thing to be purchased and he still has some strong doubts about it, after having done the necessary investigation and inquiry, then he is Islamically required to stay away from this doubtful transaction so as to take the safe side and be Allah-fearing when in doubt about a certain transaction, and that it is better, for the sake of his religion."
Now this fatwa is my source of OCD, because I cannot inquire or make sure about the original source of my computer. Now I became restless.
Please guide me:
-Should I throw my computers away?
-If not, can I use this computer for my business?
-Will my income became haram?
-Should I investigate like a police each time I want to buy second hand
or third hand computers?
Please resolve my problems for clarity.
Thank you very much for your attention.

Answer:

Bismillah

Asalamualaykum

It seems your misunderstanding has left  you in a dire situation. Let me explain a few principles of jurisprudence which may give you much need clarity.

Items are considered lawful to buy and sell unless there is evidence to suggest their illegality.

Meaning you may trade using second and third hand laptop without any investigation  regarding their legality. This  is the status quo and based upon this most trade takes place.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) say ﴿

 هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا ﴾ [البقرة: 29]

“He is the one who has created for you whatever is on the earth,  all of it “

The scholars derive from this verse “ Things are permissible until proven otherwise”  (except food, drink and harmful items for they are impermissible for usage and consumption until proven permissible)

Also Ibn Abbas raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him)  said

كان أهل الجاهلية يأكلون أشياء ، ويتركون أشياء تقذرا ، فبعث الله تعالى نبيه ، وأنزل كتابه ، وأحل حلاله ، وحرم حرامه ، فما أحل فهو حلال ، وما حرم فهو حرام ، وما سكت عنه فهو عفو ، وتلا : { قل لا أجد في ما أوحي إلي محرما } إلى آخر الآية

from Ibn 'Abbas, who said: "The people of the Jahiliyyah used to eat some things, and refrain from eating some things that they found loathsome. Then Allah sent His Prophet and revealed His Book, and He permitted that which He permitted and forbade that which He forbade. So whatever He permitted is permissible, and whatever He forbade is forbidden, and what He was silent about, then it is pardonable." Then he recited: Say: "I find not in that which has been revealed to me anything forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it….(till end of verse)

( Abu Dawood Hadees number 3800 page 281 volume 4 Darussalam print)

Among the schlors to classify this Hadees  Saheeh are Hakim, zahabi , Ibn khaseer ,Albani and Shuaab Arnaoot mau Allah have mercy on them ameen.
The Muslims from the time of the prophet have engaged in trade without investigation of the legality of their merchandise upon the assumption their merchandise is lawful. To do otherwise will mean any person you trade will possibly be considered as a thief until his innocence is proof, which is wholly incorrect.

Yes if you have any evidence to suggest that the stock you wish to buy may be stole  yet you still wish to purchase that particular stock, then only is the burden of investigation laid upon you. Meaning if there is evidence to suggest this stock is stolen good, you cannot buy the stock until you are sure the stock is not stolen.

So keeping the aforementioned in mind, you should retain the laptops, unless you have a reason to believe any particular laptop is stolen.

Your income is considered Halal unless there is evidence to the contrary.

Finally of course you are not required to investigate like a police officer.

Allah Knows best.

Written by Maulana Mujahid Hussain

Checked and approved by Mufti Tosir Miah 

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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