Ruling on using stolen goods who’s owner cannot be found

Jul 14, 2021 | Business & Trade


Salam, I ended up buying 2 phones which I doubt are stolen. Did not check while buying. The Imei is blacklisted online and the seller isn’t responding after selling. The police have stated no report has been lodged for them so I cannot hand it over to them. To find the owner, I have posted the details on social media platforms. The questions is in case I do not find the owner, would it be permissible for me to use these?


Phones are blacklisted for a reason such as being stolen, lease not being paid etc. In each of these cases the phone is not to be sold on to a third party as there are rights still attached to another party. If you are positive that the phone did not belong to the person who sold it to you then it would not be permissible for you to continue using this phone. The sale transaction between you and the seller will be vitiated as they did not have ownership of the phone.

The right course of action is to try and locate the rightful owner as you have already done. You should continue trying your best in locating the rightful owner. If this does not prove to be successful then the phone should be donated to a poor person.

Answered by:
Ifta Research Fellow

Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel

اللباب في شرح الكتاب (2/ 208)
فإن كانت أقل من عشرة دراهم عرفها أياماً، وإن كانت عشرةً فصاعداً عرفها حولاً، فإن جاء صاحبها وإلا تصدق بها