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f:41 -    Losing a borrowed thing
Country : Hyderabad, India,
Name : Akram Ali
Question:     I had borrowed a scooter from my friend with the promise that I would return it after a few days.  I was busy in completing my tasks.  During these days, I parked the scooter at a place, locked it and went away.  When I returned from my work, there was no scooter.  Will I have to pay the full amount of the scooter?
Answer:     Giving something to somebody for their use without anything in return is called “Aariyat” in the Shariah.  Your friend’s scooter which was with you was as “Aariyat” and the rule for this is that the person who borrows can use that thing.  That person does not become the owner of that particular thing, but has to return what was borrowed.

If the borrowed thing is stolen, then it will be checked whether the borrower took care to keep the thing safe or was careless about it.  If that thing is stolen or lost despite the borrower’s care for the safety of the thing, then according to the Shariah, there is no fine of any kind on the borrower.  On the other hand, if the borrower was careless about the safety of the borrowed thing, then according to the Shariah that person is responsible for that thing and should pay back the full amount to the owner.

There is a Hadith in Jame' Tirmidhi, Vol 1, Pg No: 239:

Translation:  Hadhrat Anu Umama (May Allah be well pleased with him) narrates that in the year of Hajjatul Wada’a I heard the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) say in a sermon: It is Wajib to return what is borrowed. (Jame' Tirmidhi, Hadith No: 1186.)

It is given in Fatawa A’alamgiri, Vol 4, Pg No: 366.

Translation: A person borrows or hires a means of transport, boards it, then gets down in a lane and leaves it open (i.e. unguarded) and enters the Masjid for offering Salaat.  During this time, the means of transport is stolen then this person (the borrower) is responsible for it i.e. it is compulsory that he pay back the full amount to the owner.  If the borrower hands over it to somebody for safekeeping and the means of transport is then stolen then he is nor responsible.

In light of this, if you had kept the scooter in a safe place and had properly locked it, then you don’t have to pay anything.  However, if you were careless, it is compulsory for you to pay back the full amount of the scooter to the owner.

And Allah Most High knows best.

Mufti Syed Ziauddin Naqshbandi Qadri

[Professor, Islamic Law, Jamia Nizamia,
Founder-Director, Abul Hasanaat Islamic Research Center]

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