Q 10: It happens sometimes that
some stolen goods
are offered in the market. The seller's confusion or ignorance of their content, brand, and operation in addition to the low price and anonymous source may reveal the truth. What is the ruling on buying such goods?Due to the large number of people who come to the market on Thursdays and Fridays, the rate of thefts among the crowds increases. Many people do not help by reporting such cases of theft under the pretext that they are not working for the local authorities, the police, or the Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. Is the one who reports such crimes sinful or is he rewarded? Kindly give us your Fatwa in this regard.
(Part No. 13; Page No. 82)
If a person is certain that a product offered for sale is stolen or seized by force, or that the one who is offering it for sale is not the legitimate owner, and is not authorized to sell it, then it is Haram (prohibited) for him to buy it. This is because buying it is a form of cooperating in sin and transgression, and not giving its real owner what is lawfully his. Also, this is wronging people and approving of evil, and participating in the sin. Allah (Exalted be He) says:
Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwâ (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression.
Therefore, if a person knows that this product is stolen or seized by force, he should advise the one who stole it. He should do so kindly and gently and with wisdom, telling him that he should stop stealing. If he does not give it up and if he persists in his crimes, then the person should inform the authorities about that so that the wrongdoer may be punished and the property may be restored to its owners. In doing so, the person would be cooperating in righteousness and piety, as well as deterring wrongdoers from sinning. The person would also be sincere to him by stopping the thief and being supportive to those who have been wronged.Hence, it is proven in the Hadith narrated by
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"Support your brother whether he is a wrongdoer or the one who is wronged." They said: O Messenger of Allah, we can support him, if he is wronged, but how can we support him, if he is the wrongdoer? He said: "By stopping him."
(Part No. 13; Page No. 83)
Related by Al-Bukhari in his Sahih.
See Fat-h Al-Bary (vol. 5, p. 98), and a similar report is narrated by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad. According to another narration,
...A man said: "O Messenger of Allah, I can support him, if he is wronged, but if he is a wrongdoer, how can I support him? He (peace be upon him) said: "Deter him from doing wrong, for that is supporting him."
Therefore, supporting the wrongdoer means to deter him from doing wrong deeds and transgressions, and supporting the one who has been wronged means to strive to restore his rights. Preventing the wrongdoer from being able to do harm is a collective obligation. If there is no one who can do that in an official capacity or someone who is stronger than him and can stop the wrongdoers and sinners and deter them from their wrongdoing and crimes, then it becomes an individual responsibility. This is so depending on the person's strength and ability, and it should be done with kindness and gentleness, and one will be rewarded for that in sha’a-Allah (if Allah wills).
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.