Items that are found
Issue 420: If someone finds something but does not take it, then no special responsibilities fall upon him.
Issue 421: If an item is found, then the following rules will apply to it:
• If the item does not have any special signs which would help one in finding its’ owner, then one is allowed to take it for ones’ self, but according to Ihtiyat Mustahab, one should give it away as Sadaqa on behalf of the owner.
• If the value of the item is worth less than 12.6 chickpeas of coined silver1, and the owner is not known, then one can keep it for oneself. However, once the owner has been found, then according to Ihtiyat Wajib, one must replace or return the item to its owner.
• If the value of the item is not less than 12.6 chickpeas of coined silver and it has some special signs on it that would help to identify the owner, then for the first week, an announcement must be made every day, and each week after that, it must be announced once per week. In the event that after one year of announcing, the owner still is not found, one is allowed to keep it for the owner so that whenever he is found, the item can be given back to him. However, according to Ihtiyat Mustahab, one should give it to a poor person, other than a Sayyid, as Sadaqa.
Issue 422: If one knows that announcing (the lost item) is of no benefit, or there is no hope of finding the owner, then it is not necessary to announce (the lost item), but one can not keep the item for onesself.
Issue 423: If someone’s shoes are taken, and in their place, another pair of shoes are left, then in the event that one knows that the shoes that are remaining are the property of the person who took his shoes, and that person will be content that the person (whose shoes were taken) takes his shoes in place of the stolen shoes, then he can take these shoes in substitute for his own shoes. However, if the value of the shoes that are left behind is more than the value of ones own shoes, and it is not possible to find the owner of those shoes, then according to Ihtiyat Wajib, with the permission of the Hakim Shar’, these shoes must be given to a poor person who is not a Sayyid, as Sadaqa.
Issue 424: If the person whose shoes were taken, believes they were taken unintentionally or there is a possibility that the shoes that have been left behind are not the property of anyone who had taken his shoes, and that person (who took ones shoes) is not available, then the person (whose shoes were taken) must look for the owner of the shoes (that remained behind) and in the event that one is not able to find the person, then according to Ihtiyat Wajib, with the permission of the Hakim Sharh’, one must give (the value of the shoes), one behalf of the owner, with the intention of Sadaqa to a poor person who is not a Sayyid.
- 1. This amount of silver is approximately 2.52 grams, and at the time this book was being translated, it was worth approximately $0.20 US.