Is a Laqeet (foundling child) a legal heir of their deceased adaptor?

Question 11: In 1370 A.H., my father saved a child whom he found wrapped in a cloth and sheltered by rocks at the top of a mountain in the desert. My mother looked after him and breastfed him without her having a child of her own at that time. However, during the two years of breastfeeding, she became pregnant. This child whom my father called Ma`tooq was raised and brought up with us. At the present time, he is an army sergeant and my parents have passed away. My father has bequeathed that this person should inherit along with us. He is on good terms with the whole family. Is he allowed to inherit from our father with us? Is he considered a Mahram (unmarriageable relative)for my mother and her daughters, taking into consideration that Ma`tooq was raised with us until he became adult and got a job? I hope that Your Eminence advises us on the inheritance and his relation with us. May Allaah protect you!

Answer: First, your father and mother are to be thanked for what they did; taking care of this Laqeet (foundling) until he grew up. Second, the breastfeeding that makes the child a Mahram means giving five or more feedings in the child’s first two years. If your mother breastfed this child in this manner, he becomes her milk son, and he becomes a milk brother to her children. Allaah (Exalted be He) says, Forbidden to you (for marriage) are: your mothers, your daughters to His saying …your foster milk suckling sisters Allaah (Exalted be He) also says, The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling It has been authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,Wet-nursing makes unlawful what consanguinity makes unlawful. It has been proven that `Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said, It was revealed in the Qur’aan that ten known times of breastfeeding prohibit marriage then it was abrogated (and substituted) by five known times of breastfeeding, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) died while it was more here.

Affiliating an adopted child to the adopter’s lineage

Question 10: A relative of mine, my uncle Hamad, adopted a Laqeet (foundling), brought him up, educated him, and treated him well. He gave him the name (Y.H.SH.) through his Ijtihaad (personal reasoning) and kindness. He then died in Zubayr city and he did not have any children to inherit him. The boy is now an adult and is attending the Zhahran Technical Institute. The relatives have discussed the possibility of changing the boy’s name; some of them think that his name should be changed while others have paid no attention to the whole matter. Fearing that the lineage could be confused and the inheritance might be distributed improperly, I hope that Your Eminence will give me a Fatwaa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) regarding the ruling of the Sharee‘ah (Islaamic law) on the issue, so we can act upon it.

Answer: According to the Sharee‘ah, it is not permissible for a person who adopts a foundling to pass on the family name to them, whereby the foundling is given the name of the foster father and is ascribed to him as a child to its own father or tribe, as described in the question… read more here.

Ruling on a person who finds a lost cow

Question 9: A man sold a cow to a person whom he does not know. The cow escaped and returned to him again. Since he does not know the purchaser, he sold it again and spent its price. What should he do?

Answer: The ruling on this cow is the same as the ruling of the Luqatah (a lost item found by someone other than its owner)… read more here.

Ruling on taking a lost camel

Question 8: Around one year after the Battle of Al-Sablah, around 1349 A.H. [corresponding with 1930. Ed.], we faced many hard years. When I was in great need and suffering from hunger, I found a camel in the desert bearing the mark of the two tribes of ‘Udayyan that had descended from ‘Utaybah. I did not know who its owner was personally, and I was coerced by my need and poverty to sell it for about 130 Arab silver Riyals. I used the money and never heard of anyone searching for the camel. However, for a few years now, I have been worried and confused due to what I did. I have performed Tawbah (repentance to Allaah), regretted what I did, and resolved not to do it again, In-shaa’-Allaah (if Allaah wills). What shall I do now as I do not know who the owner of that camel was? I hope that Your Eminence will give me your Fatwaa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) on this matter, because, as I said, I am worried about it and regret it.I hope that you answer me soon so I can discharge my responsibility over it before I die. May Allaah safeguard you!

Answer: First: This camel is considered to be a stray and it is reported that when… read more here.

A person finds a lost young camel and after taking it for fear that it would die from hunger

Question 7: I found a baby camel of around twenty days and took it to my farm. I raised it and announced it to the people around me. During the period I kept it with me, I fed it barley and clover from the farm. Now after two years, no one has claimed it, although I still announce it to people. When I first found it, I took it for fear that it would die from hunger or be eaten by wolves, as it was very young. Now, I do not know what to do with it. Is it Halaal (lawful) for me to keep it? Please guide me in this matter. I am waiting for your Fatwaa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar).

Answer: If the matter is as you mentioned, that the camel was so young that it could not protect itself from beasts of prey and could not reach fresh water, it will be permissible for you to keep it with your camels. If ever its owner comes to claim it, you should give it to him… read more here.

A person finds a gold piece of an unknown owner in a car they have bought recently

Question 6: I bought a small car from one of my co-workers. After some time when I opened its trunk, I found a piece of gold wrapped in a cloth. I asked the members of my family about it but they told me it was not theirs, so I went to my co-worker, who sold me the car, but he denied any knowledge. Please note that I am the third owner of the car. Later, I went to the gold market and sold the piece of gold for 600 Riyals. What should I do with this money? Please enlighten us. May Allaah reward you well and guide you to best serve the public interest!

Answer: If the matter is as you mentioned, you should give the price of the gold in charity to poor people, dedicating the reward to its owner… read more here.

A person takes some reusable objects found in the dump

Question 5: One day I passed by a garbage dump and I got some of these stuff which was reusable. I took them and put them in my house. Could you kindly advise, Is it permissible for me to use them or is there any sin on me?

Answer: If the case is as you have mentioned and these things are not valuable, there is no wrong in taking them and benefitting from them… read more here.

Ruling on things washed ashore, such as wares and the like

Question 4: What is the ruling on what washes ashore on the beach, such as artifacts which come up from the sea or found on the surface of the water?

Answer: Items found on the beach or within the sea take the same ruling as Luqatah (a lost article found by someone else)… read more here.

Ruling on someone who finds money in a non-Muslim country

Question 3: What is the ruling on someone who finds money in a non-Muslim country?

Answer: If someone finds money in a non-Muslim country that is at war with Muslims, they can possess it and it is not obligatory on them to announce it, unless not doing so would harm them… read more here.

What should be done with lost items that remained in the university student dormitory for a long period?

Question 2: The following sums of money and items were found in a dormitory in Al-Dir`iyyah a long time ago. They include:

1- 496 Saudi Riyals

2- 25 Yemeni Riyals

3- Seven different types of watches

4- Three different types of small calculators; two of them are engineering calculators

5- Three different glasses

6- A pullover opened from the font. We informed those in charge in the dormitory that despite the announcements made about these lost items and despite the fact that they remained in the dormitory for a long time, for some of them were found last year 1400/1401 A.H., nobody has claimed them. Therefore, these items were sold in an auction for 1,150 SR in addition to the sums of money. The total amount is 1,646 SR and 25 Yemeni Riyals.

Those in charge in the dormitory delivered this sum of money to us along with a copy of the sale minutes of these items in the auction. They asked us to add this sum of money to the account of the students’ fund which spends on different activities such as providing care, aid and charity to needy students. We would like to have your Fatwaa on this issue. Is there any harm in adding this sum of money to the account of the students’ fund? We need your Fatwaa to act accordingly. We appreciate your responsibilities and concerns; May Allaah help you!

We hope to receive your Fatwaa as soon as possible due to the nearness of the end of the current university year. May Allaah protect you, bless you and your efforts and benefit Muslims and Islaam from your knowledge and reward you best!

Answer: If the reality is as you have mentioned, it is permissible to spend the mentioned sum of money on charitable activities such the account of students’ fund which finances various activities such as providing care, aid and charity to needy students… read more here.

A person found a sum of money and did not make a public announcement of it

Question 1: Twenty years ago, a man found 330 Riyals and did not search for its owner, he instead bought a camel with this money for his marriage ceremony. When one of his relatives inquired about its source, he replied that it was his salary. He asked a scholar about the legitimacy of this money, who ordered him to repay it in charity to the poor. What should he do?

Answer: He must search for the owner of this money in the place where he found it and return it to him. If he finds its rightful owner, he has to give it to him otherwise he can give this sum of money as a Sadaqah (voluntary charity) to the poor on behalf of its owner… read more here.