For a number of people

Q: In 1392 A.H., I took a gun case and some leather shoes from a shop in Riyadh; one of the shops north of the Palace of Justice and east of Masjid Al-Jami‘, and I deliberately did not pay for them at the time. Lately, I have tried to find that man and his shop to give him the money I owe him, and to ask him to forgive me, but I cannot find him as this area completely changed. (Part No. 13; Page No. 180) Please, Your Eminence, I want to clear my conscience over this matter.

A: If the situation is as you mentioned, it is obligatory on you to pay the owner the price of the gun case and the shoes, if you can find him or his lawful heirs if he is dead. If you are unable to do this, you should give this sum of money as Sadaqah (voluntary charity) to the poor on behalf of its owner. You should also make Tawbah (repentance) to Allah for this. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.