Indeed, Allah azza wa jalla had created Islam as a very beautiful religion which have great shari’a Islamic law. However, Islam teaches us to stay away from doubtful matters so that one doesn’t take something which is not belong to him. The prophet Muhammad shalallahu ‘alaihi wassalam said:
دع ما يـريـبـك إلى ما لا يـريـبـك
Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.”
Also, Prophet Muhammad shalallahu ‘alaihi wasallam have said:
اتـق الله حيثما كنت
“Have Taqwaa (Fear) of Allaah wherever you may be”
It is no doubt that everyone in his life had found valuable matters or less valuable things in the streets, mosque, or everywhere they had been. There is a dilemma in ourselves what should we do about that. Being a major problem when it is valuable goods that we worry, if we leave it, it will be found by bud guys. Moreover, also being a dilemma when the goods are less valuable and concurrently in that moment we are in need of these items to be used.
To answer this question, Islam already has a wonderful solution.
Case 1: If the goods was found and they was not valuable things. It is permissible to use it.
مر النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم بتمرة في الطريق
قال: لو لا اني اخاف ان تكون من الصدقة لاكلتها
“The Prophet passed by a fallen date and said, “Were it not for my doubt that this might have been given in charity, I would have eaten it.”
So, the Prophet Muhammad Shalallahu ‘alaihi wassalam would take those dates if it is not a charity dates, because the prophet and his family are not allowed to eat from charity. At that time, a date palm was considered as trivial items / less valuable.
To determine goods whether it is valuable or not, we return it using this rules.
“Habits are a basis of judgment”
Syaikh Abdullah Al-Jibrin Rahimahullahu have explained regarding when a goods can be referred as less valuable item.
“That is when the item lost, the owner is usually not trying to seek it and not paying more attention to it.”
Case 2: If the goods that you found was stray animal. So this was called dhallah.
و كثيرا ما تطلق على ما ليس بحيوان, أم الحيوان فيقال له: ضالة
Most of term -Luqathah- is absolutized for goods except animal, but for animals then it is called dhallah / lost.
For dhallah, it is not permissible to take it over, if the animals are able to protect by themselves. Therefore Rasulullah shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam when asked by someone about lost camel, He said:
ما لك و لها ؟ معها سقاؤها و حذاؤها ترد الماء
و تاكل الشجر حتى يجدها ربها
“It is none of your concern. It has its water-container (reservoir) and its feet, and it will reach water and drink it and eat the trees till its owner finds it”.
Case 3: Finding lost item, except in two cases above. We can take it over, if we have made a public announcement for one year.
Rasulullah shalallahu ‘alaihi wassalam have said related to this case,
“Remember the description of its container and the string with which it is tied. Make a public announcement of it for one year. If nobody comes and claims it, then utilise the money but keep it as a trust with you. And if its owner comes back one day seeking it, then return it to him.”
Syaikh Abdullah Al-Bassam Hafidzahullah have explained a global meaning about that hadith.
“Know the string that used to tie it and know the container, all of these aim to distinguish the lost items. Test the people who claim it (to have it), If his recognition is likeliness with it, so give his luqathah. But if it doesn’t fit, it is enough that his claim is false. It is commanded to make public announcement for one year in human gathering places such as markets, mosques, and in the exact place when the items was found. Then it is permitted to take over the item, if the owner doesn’t appear for a year. After all, if the true owner appear at any given time (even though a year has elapsed), you must return it”.
In this time, we can use a social media like a Facebook, Twitter, Newspaper, TV, and Radio to facilitate public announcement. Announcing the lost item is depend on habits or custom in that area/region, so there is no special rules regarding how to announce the lost object. As long as it can be called “announce the lost object” then such actions will be considered. After three cases above, we must understand that there is an important rules which is often overlooked by most people regarding luqothah as explained by Rasulullah shalallahu ‘alaihi wassalam. It is prohibited to create public announcement in the mosque. Rasulullah shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam have said:
من سمع رجلا ينشد ضالة في المسجد فليقل:
لا ردها الله عليك فان المساجد لم تبن لهذا
“If anyone hears a man inquiring in the mosque about something he has lost, he should say: ‘La raddaha Allahu ‘alaika (May Allah not restore it to you),’ for mosques are not built for this purpose.”
The conclusion of this bit discussion is everything which found by someone, it is essentially belong to the owner. Therefore, even public announcement have published for a year and the true owner come back after that, the lost object must be returned to him. May Allah make us always help other in goodness and preserve the rights of others. Aamiin…..
Alhamdulillahilladzi bi ni’matihi tatimmush sholihaat, wa shallallahu ‘ala nabiyyina Muhammad wa ‘ala alihi wa shohbihi wa sallam.
- Syaikh Shalih Al-Fauzan (no year appeared) Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence 2. (No publisher mention), this book is used in this lecture in Islamic Online University.
 It was related by at-Tirmidhee, who said it was a Hasan (Good) Hadeeth, and in some copies it is stated to be a Hasan Saheeh Hadeeth.
 Muttafaqun ‘alaih, HR. Bukhari: 2431, Muslim II: 752 no.1071, Abu Daud V/70 no. 1636
 Ibhajul Mu’minin Syarh Manhajus Salikin chapter II pg. 108-109, first edition, Darul Wathan linnasyri available in http://muslimafiyah.com/menemukan-uang-rp-500-bolehkah-diambil-pembahasan-tentang-luqathahbarang-temuan.html
 Al-Wajiz Fi Fiqhis Sunnah Wal Kitabil Aziz pg. 329, Abdul Adzim Badawi, third edition, Dar Ibnu Rojab. available in http://muslimafiyah.com/menemukan-uang-rp-500-bolehkah-diambil-pembahasan-tentang-luqathahbarang-temuan.html
 Muttafaqun ‘alaih, HR. Bukhari no. 246, Muslim no. 4472
 HR. Muslim VI:254 no. 4485
 Taisir Allam Syarh Umdatul Ahkam pg. 393 available in http://muslimafiyah.com/menemukan-uang-rp-500-bolehkah-diambil-pembahasan-tentang-luqathahbarang-temuan.html
Reviewed by: Dr. Muhammad Anwar Sahib
Diselesaikan di Bandung
Jumat,19 Syawwal 1435 H / 15 Agustus 2014 || 20.34 WIB
[Yang senantiasa mengharapkan Ridha-Nya dan semoga Allah azza wa jalla menjauhkan pada dirinya niat yang tidak Ikhlas dalam beramal]