Eating Vegetable from Neighbour’s Garden

Question:

Country: Italy

State or region: Milan

Salamu alaikum,

Close to my father’s vegetable garden there is another one. They are not separated by any barrier. The owner of this other garden neglected its own cultivation to the point that tomatoes started becoming overripe. My father thought it was a good idea to take out those tomatoes who would have become uneatable in a couple of days. He did this without asking. Is this considered stealing? After approximately a week, the owner of that garden came back. Meanwhile, my family and I ate those tomatoes. I am wondering what’s the ruling concerning eating food stolen by others. Is it haram? Should I repent?

I invited my father not to do it anymore and he avoided. The vegetable garden is still very neglected and fruits and vegetables are getting wasted. What’s the best thing to do in this case?

(Question published as received)

Answer:

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-raḥmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

The ruling will depend on the norm (‘urf) of your area. If one is customarily allowed to take fruits and vegetables from his neighbour’s garden then the tomatoes were Ḥalāl for you, as this will be regarded as legitimate consent. However, if that is not the norm (‘urf) of your area, then it is not permissible to take and eat from your neighbour’s garden without his prior permission even if the fruits and vegetables overripe, to the extent that they become inedible.

If this is not the norm in your area, then you will be liable to pay the value of the tomatoes to the owner of that garden.

And Allah Ta‘ālā knows best 

(Mufti) Bilal Issak al-Mahmudi
Fatwa Dept.

Concurred by,
Mufti Faisal al-Mahmudi


قال برهان الدين محمود بن أحمد بن عبد العزيز بن عمر بن مَازَةَ البخاري الحنفي (المتوفى: 616هـ) : ذكر في «عيون المسائل»: إذا مر الرجل بالثمار في أيام الصيف، وأراد أن يتناول منها، والثمار ساقطة تحت الأشجار، فإن كان ذلك في المصر لا يسعه التناول إلا إذا علم أن صاحبها قد أباح إما نصاً أو دلالة بالعادة، وإن كان في الحائط، فإن كان من الثمار التي تبقى مثل الجوز وغيره لا يسعه إلا إذا علم الإذن، وإن كان من الثمار التي لا تبقى تكلموا. قال الصدر الشهيد: والمختار أنه لا بأس بالأكل ما لم يتعين النهي إما صريحاً أو عادة
المحيط البرهاني في الفقه النعماني. ج ٥، ص ٢٠٥. دار احياء التراث العربي

قال ابن عابدين الدمشقي الحنفي (المتوفى: 1252هـ) : (قوله ويجب رد عين المغصوب) لقوله – عليه الصلاة والسلام – «على اليد ما أخذت حتى ترد» ولقوله – عليه الصلاة والسلام – «لا يحل لأحدكم أن يأخذ مال أخيه لاعبا ولا جادا، وإن أخذه فليرده عليه» زيلعي، وظاهره أن رد العين هو الواجب الأصلي، وهو الصحيح كما سيذكره الشارح وسنوضحه (قوله ما لم يتغير تغيرا فاحشا) سيأتي تفسيره بأنه ما فوت بعض العين وبعض نفعه، وإنه حينئذ يتسلم الغاصب العين ويدفع قيمتها، أو يدفعها ويضمن نقصانها والخيار في ذلك للمالك رحمتي
رد المحتار. ج ٦، ص ١٨٢. بابي الحلبي

الْمَادَّةُ 97  : لَا يَجُوزُ لِأَحَدٍ أَنْ يَأْخُذَ مَالَ أَحَدٍ بِلَا سَبَبٍ شَرْعِيٍّ هَذِهِ الْقَاعِدَةُ مَأْخُوذَةٌ مِنْ الْمَجَامِعِ وَقَدْ وَرَدَ فِي الْحَدِيثِ الشَّرِيفِ { لَا يَحِلُّ لِأَحَدٍ أَنْ يَأْخُذَ مَتَاعَ أَخِيهِ لَاعِبًا وَلَا جَادًّا فَإِنْ أَخَذَهُ فَلْيَرُدَّهُ } فَإِذَا أَخَذَ أَحَدٌ مَالَ الْآخَرِ بِدُونِ قَصْدِ السَّرِقَةِ هَازِلًا مَعَهُ أَوْ مُخْتَبِرًا مَبْلَغَ غَضَبِهِ فَيَكُونُ قَدْ ارْتَكَبَ الْفِعْلَ الْمُحَرَّمَ شَرْعًا، لِأَنَّ اللَّعِبَ فِي السَّرِقَةِ جَدٌّ فَعَلَى ذَلِكَ يَجِبُ أَنْ تُرَدَّ اللُّقَطَةُ الَّتِي تُؤْخَذُ بِقَصْدِ امْتِلَاكِهَا أَوْ الْمَالِ الَّذِي يُؤْخَذُ رِشْوَةً أَوْ سَرِقَةً أَوْ غَصْبًا لِصَاحِبِهَا عَيْنًا إذَا كَانَتْ مَوْجُودَةً وَبَدَلًا فِيمَا إذَا اُسْتُهْلِكَتْ
درر الحكام شرح مجلة الأحكام. ج ١، ص ٨٦. دار الكتب العلمية

فتاوى حقانية. ج ٦، ص ٣٩٦. دار العلوم حقانية كوڑہ خٹک


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