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I wanted to know if there is any responsibility over you if by accident you encounter haram material which belongs to others (e.g. porn, alcohol). You can destroy it or have the ability to destroy it.

Should we destroy it or no responsibility is over us because it's not our property?

  • please ask your question in detail. your question is very general. But please mention that trusteeship is a very important thing in Islam. Mo'men is known by his trusteeship. – Fatemeh Jun 8 '14 at 9:11
  • @Fatemeh, The answer could contain some details about different situations, like when that material is a trusteeship or otherwise like you just found it by accident – user4710 Jun 8 '14 at 10:51
  • Otherwise, please tell me what is ambiguous so that I can clarify more – user4710 Jun 8 '14 at 10:51
  • Oops, your question seems interesting and likewise profitable. Moreover these sorts of questions can be so constructive as well, cuz many people can encounter in such situations... / hope to see a persuasive question. Good luck mate. – اللهم صل علی محمد و آل محمد Sep 10 '15 at 8:09
  • The property does it belong to a Muslim or not? – user12537 Sep 10 '15 at 13:46
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Property in Islam is owned by the person and is forbidden for anyone to take it/destroy it without their permission.

The prophet PBUH said:

وعن أبي بكر رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال في خطبته يوم النحر بمنًى في حجة الوداع‏:‏ ‏"‏إن دماءكم، وأموالكم، وأعراضكم حرام عليكم كحرمة يومكم هذا، في شهركم هذا، في بلدكم هذا، ألا هل بلغت” ‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

Delivering the sermon during the Farewell Pilgrimage on the day of Sacrifice at Mina, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "Verily your blood, your property and your honour are as sacred and inviolable as the sanctity of this day of yours, in this month of yours and in this town of yours. Verily! I have conveyed this message to you."

Same hadith was narrated in multiple instances from many since it was in front of thousands of Muslims.

As such, the definition of property is something that someone owns. It could be haram or halal, as long as it is owned by someone else it is their property. For example, a farmer that owns pigs or a winery that owns wine.

The reason being is that once you start allowing the destruction of people's property because it is Haram, it will be an unstoppable consequences. What stops one person from destroying your Music CDs, stereo, or even your car because you listen to Music which in their opinion is Haram. The same goes for many things, once you allow the destruction of haram stuff you open a door that won't be closed.

Some people take a weird interruption of the following hadith:

عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيّ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ سَمِعْت رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم يَقُولُ: "مَنْ رَأَى مِنْكُمْ مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُغَيِّرْهُ بِيَدِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِقَلْبِهِ، وَذَلِكَ أَضْعَفُ الْإِيمَانِ" .

I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say, “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim]

The interruption of such hadith that people can use physical violence to change bad things is invalid. It was meant as a precaution to prevent bad things from happening. This is proved by this hadith:

وعن ابن عمر رضي الله عنهما قال‏:‏ سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول‏:‏ “كلكم راع، وكلكم مسئول عن رعيته‏:‏ الإمام راع ومسؤول عن رعيته، والرجل راع في أهله ومسؤول عن رعيته، والمرأة راعية في بيت زوجها ومسؤولة عن رعيتها، والخادم راع في مال سيده ومسؤول عن رعيته وكلكم راع ومسؤول عن رعيته” ‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه‏)‏‏)‏

I heard Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, "All of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards. The ruler is a guardian and responsible for his subjects; the man is a guardian and responsible for his family; the woman is a guardian and is responsible for her husbands house and his offspring; and so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards."

and:

وَعَنْ مَعْقِلِ بْنِ يَسَارٍ ‏- رضى الله عنه ‏- [قَالَ] سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اَللَّهِ ‏- صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏-يَقُولُ: { مَا مِنْ عَبْدِ يَسْتَرْعِيهِ اَللَّهُ رَعِيَّةً, يَمُوتُ يَوْمَ يَمُوتُ, وَهُوَ غَاشٌّ لِرَعِيَّتِهِ, إِلَّا حَرَّمَ اَللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ اَلْجَنَّةَ } مُتَّفَقٌ عَلَيْهِ.‏ (1951)‏ .‏

Ma'qil bin Yasar (RAA) narrated, ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, “Any governor in charge of Muslim subjects who dies while acting dishonestly towards them will be excluded by Allah from Paradise.” Agreed upon.

You can see that the prophet mentioned that a father, who is responsible for his family will be punished for not advising and instructing his family to do good, nothing is mentioned about physical violence. If you can prevent a Munikr, which can range from someone getting shot to picking up a glass from the floor, you should do it with your hand.

To prove my point further, let's visit the following hadith:

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ خِرَاشِ بْنِ حَوْشَبٍ الشَّيْبَانِيُّ، عَنِ الْعَوَّامِ بْنِ حَوْشَبٍ، عَنْ مُجَاهِدٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ الْمُسْلِمُونَ شُرَكَاءُ فِي ثَلاَثٍ فِي الْمَاءِ وَالْكَلإِ وَالنَّارِ وَثَمَنُهُ حَرَامٌ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو سَعِيدٍ يَعْنِي الْمَاءَ الْجَارِيَ ‏.‏

The Muslims are partners in three things: water, pasture and fire, and their price is unlawful.

But wait, we all know the story of the prophet wanted to buy a well for the Muslims in Madinah because of the shortage of water! The water did end up getting public. Disclaimer that not all scholars forbid the selling of water from private wells.

Finally, I leave you with this. Usually a person wouldn't leave haram things laying around for people to find. Also snooping is forbidden in which you should never do. If you see something that you might think is Haram, just leave it be unless it is in a Public space and you are afraid someone might see it, in which case there is more harm in leaving it than throwing it away. However, if you see something in someone's house, ignore it and don't even tell anyone about it and remember the hadith of the Prophet:

حَدَّثَنَا يَعْقُوبُ بْنُ حُمَيْدِ بْنِ كَاسِبٍ، أَنْبَأَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عُثْمَانَ الْجُمَحِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا الْحَكَمُ بْنُ أَبَانَ، عَنْ عِكْرِمَةَ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ مَنْ سَتَرَ عَوْرَةَ أَخِيهِ الْمُسْلِمِ سَتَرَ اللَّهُ عَوْرَتَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَمَنْ كَشَفَ عَوْرَةَ أَخِيهِ الْمُسْلِمِ كَشَفَ اللَّهُ عَوْرَتَهُ حَتَّى يَفْضَحَهُ بِهَا فِي بَيْتِهِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏

“Whoever conceals the (hidden) fault of his Muslim brother, Allah (SWT) will conceal his faults on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever exposes the fault of his Muslim brother, Allah will expose his faults, until (so that) He shames him, due to it, in his (own) house.”

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If you know who it belong s to the best thing to do is advice them that it is haram and persuade them to do good through dawah. If they follow your advice you will be rewarded and if they don't you will still be rewarded as you have fulfilled your responsibility.

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We commonly encounter this matter. But we need to think out of the box to deal.

Say, you saw a bad CD and destroyed it, but that by no means is going to change the persons mind. He will get a new one. Only thing is you've burned some cash (haram cash). The person in rage might want to do it even more after he knows that you destroyed it, just to oppose you.

But, hadith says that...

METHODOLOGY OF ENJOINING RIGHT AND FORBIDDING WRONG

Enjoining right and forbidding wrong is done sometimes with the heart, sometimes with the tongue, and sometimes with the hand (i.e. physical force). As for practicing it with the heart, it is obligatory upon everyone in every time and situation, since its practice brings no hardship.

"Whoever of you sees wrong being committed, let him rectify it with his hand, if he is unable, then with his tongue, and if he us unable, then with his heart, and this is the weakest of faith -- or in another version: beyond this there is not a single mustard seed's weight of faith (iman).

And hence thereby find that it is permissible to destroy bad material if you find any. But as I said, above, to help the owner of the material overcome and know the truth...

So remind, if the reminder should benefit; He who fears [ Allah ] will be reminded. (Qur'an 87:9-10)

But warn by the Quran, him who fears My Threat. (Qur'an )

May the creator guide us all.

Source:

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  • this gets a little complex then, when a person uses alcohol or .. any other harm material, he's surely going to affect the society and harm others. – user4710 Feb 22 '15 at 7:11
  • didn't get your first sentence, my question here is about the Islamic texts not psychological matters, is this your final word based on Islam and yes you can destroy that ? based on what you say that? – user4710 Feb 22 '15 at 8:34
  • YES based on? – user4710 Feb 22 '15 at 11:16
  • I believe you're making the mistake that I am talking about the person, I am asking about his property. – user4710 Feb 22 '15 at 12:28
  • as I said YES, based on the revised Hadith, but would also like to care about the person, not to upset him/her. But the answer would any way be YES. – servant-of-Wiser Feb 22 '15 at 12:30

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