Ruling on if one found a sum and announced it, but he could not find its owner

Question:

A few years ago, I found, in the yard of Al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque in Makkah), 1000 riyals. I searched for the owner but nobody answered. I decided to give it in charity on behalf of its owner. After I performed Tawaf-ul-Wada’ (circumambulation of the Ka’bah on leaving Makkah) and left Al-Haram I purchased some fruits from Makkah, using half of this money. On the way back, I distributed the fruits among the travelers with me. Is my Hajj incomplete? I heard that a pilgrim who has performed Tawaf-ul-Wada` is not allowed to buy anything from or spend the night in Makkah.

Answer:

The Luqatah (a lost item found by someone else) found in Al-Haram must be announced until it reaches its owner and it is not to be owned even after announcing about it. If someone did not make a public announcement of a Luqatah, they must give it to the authorities in charge of Al-Haram lost objects. You made a mistake by taking this money. You should return it to the authority in charge of Al-Haram lost objects and to repent to Allah Almighty for that.

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

  • Date: Muharram 11, 1442 AH
  • Source: Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Da'imah no. 18252-6
  • Muftis: Shaykh Abdul-Aziz ibn Baz , Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Aal al-Shaykh , Shaykh Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan , Shaykh Salih Fawzan , Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd