Found a watch in the street, took and wore it but later it broke down

Question:

About three years ago, my younger sister found a watch in the street and brought it to the house. I took it because it was so beautiful and wore it. I admit that I did not tell anybody or announce it among people because I was happy with it. However, it remained for one year and then it broke down and could not be repaired. I fear that I will meet Allah while charged with it. Appreciate your guidance, may Allah guide you.

Answer:

It was obligatory on you to publicize the watch for one year in the places where it is hopeful to find its owner. As long as you did not do so and a long time has passed and there is no hope to finding its owner, it is required of you to give its price, when it was sound and undamaged, in charity on behalf of its owner. Also, it is obligatory on you to repent to Allah for what happened and to avoid doing so in the future. Nevertheless, if you are able to find its owner now, you should search for him and give it to him.

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. 18934-2
  • Muftis: Shaykh Abdul-Aziz ibn Baz , Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Aal al-Shaykh , Shaykh Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan , Shaykh Salih Fawzan , Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd