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Child stealing

Fatwaa ID: 675

Assalaamu ‘Alaikum Warahmatullaahi Wabarakaatuh

If someone who is not considered an adult Islamically, i.e., someone who is not Baaligh yet, steals something at this age, is he/she responsible to pay off that debt? Will he/she be responsible when they’ve become
baaligh? And what if they’re unable to return the debt/pay for whatever they stole in the past, can they do sadaqah?

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

While a non-baaligh child will not be sinful if he steals or violates the rights of others, his guardian will be responsible to reimburse and compensate for his actions involving the rights of others. If the guardian does not resolve the matter, then the child will be responsible to reimburse once he becomes baaligh. If the now-baaligh child is unable to reimburse the person whose rights he had violated as a child, then he should give that amount in sadaqah on behalf of that person.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York

08/03/1444 AH – 02/23/2023 CE | AMG1-2844

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


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