Q: One of my relatives had a sum of money; 7200 riyals. When I asked him how he obtained that money, he said they were ill-gotten gains. The sum is now with me. (Part No. 22; Page No. 229) I would like to ask
what I should do with this money;
may I give it to a charitable society or give it to a Miskin (needy)? Should I allocate it to build a Masjid (mosque)? It is important to mention that since my relative's brother has known that I have this sum of money, he is asking for it to fulfill his needs, as he wants to pay the salary of his maidservant even though he is an employee and his monthly salary exceeds three thousand riyals. Should I give him the money? Kindly give me a Fatwa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) concerning how to make the best use of this money. I would also like to inform you that the person who earned this money unlawfully has repented to Allah (Exalted be He) and regretted what he had done, especially that he did not take that money from people who were known to him that he could return it to them; rather, he obtained it by means of illegal selling.
If this sum of money, which you found with your relative, was earned from unlawful profits or from selling forbidden goods, he should get rid of it by spending it in general charitable projects, other than building Masjids. He should also repent sincerely to Allah (Exalted be He) from that heinous deed. This ruling is effective if the money was not taken from people he knows quite well. If that money was gained from the value of stolen property or property that was taken forcefully or the like, he should repent sincerely to Allah (Exalted be He) and return the money to its owner if he finds him, or to his heirs if he is dead. However, if he cannot find both, he should pay it as Sadaqah (voluntary charity) in behalf of its real owner. If the owner of the money comes afterwards and demands the money, your relative should pay it to him and he would still be rewarded for his Sadaqah in sha’a-Allah (if Allah wills). (Part No. 22; Page No. 230) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.