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Disposing of a Found Item


As'salamu'alaikumMy brother works for a minicab company in the UK and a passenger left his expensive phone in my brothers car so lost it. Now, the company has a system of which the passenger contacts the driver somehow within 24 hours if he's lost something. The passenger has not contacted my brother for 2 weeks and I doubt he will do anytime soon. I could unlock the phone in a shop and call a number from his contacts to tell him I have found his phone in'sha'Allah. But if this doesn't work is it permissible for my brother to keep this phone as it is not possible to announce it for a year as there a too many people where we live? Jazaakum''allahu khairaan katheeran


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

If the phone in question is of considerable value, then your brother has no right to dispose of it before one year elapses from the time of making an announcement about it by the means by which he thinks it is sufficient for its owner to be informed about it if he has a need for it and he wants to trace it where it is.

What you mentioned that there are many people in the city where you live, does not make it permissible to dispose of the mobile phone before the passing of this period of time that is Islamically determined.

Zayd ibn Khaalid Al-Juhani  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated: 'The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) was asked about finding gold, silver or bronze on the street and he replied: “Give its description and characteristics and make an announcement about it for one year…” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Allah knows best.

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