There is a tree that bears fruit e.g. grapes or mangoes. The tree has its roots in the neighbour's house and a large part of the fruit is also in the neighbour's house.

But, some part of that tree has its branches all over a tree that is in my house. Those branches have fruit.

Can that fruit be eaten?

  • I am looking for a reference from Quran or Hadith.
  • The concept of stealing does not apply here because the neighbour is aware. My question is purely from Islamic point of view.
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    What are you expecting to get out of an answer in the context of Islam? A simple answer would be to just ask your neighbour if its okay to take some fruit. – user921 Jun 15 '15 at 16:02
  • A simple, but not well researched. I can ask, yes. I can also not ask. But both of these could be my personal choices. I prefer to know what does Islam says about this. My purpose is to know the right thing. Public opinion is not my option. – codeonion Jun 15 '15 at 16:08
  • Okay, well maybe an answer will come by. I still don't understand how there could be an "academic" answer to a question like this. One can even argue that this has nothing to do with religion. Islam is a set of guidelines, not particular rules about every scenario that could possibly occur. – user921 Jun 15 '15 at 17:25
  • I can use a referenced answer to this question. A hadith or a quote from Quran – codeonion Jun 15 '15 at 17:27
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    The root as well as the trunk of the tree is in the neighbour's boundry/house. 70% of the tree's fruit is on neighbour's side and 30% is on my side. – codeonion Jun 16 '15 at 7:17

The root as well as the trunk of the tree is in the neighbour's boundry/house. 70% of the tree's fruit is on neighbour's side and 30% is on my side.

This means that the tree is owned by your neighbor -legally speaking, check your local governance on who is responsibility the tree would be.

Unless you have a understanding between you and the neighbor that the tree is owned by you both, taking fruits from it is considered stealing.

There are exceptions when it comes to trees that extend outside of the property line. The prophet PBUH said:

رواه أحمد وابن ماجه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: إذا أتى أحدكم حائطاً فأراد أن يأكل فليناد: يا صاحب الحائط ثلاثاً فإن أجابه وإلا فليأكل، وإذا مر أحدكم بإبل فأراد أن يشرب من ألبانها فليناد يا صاحب الإبل أو يا راعي الإبل فإن أجاب وإلا فليشرب...

It was narrated that the Prophet PBUH said: If someone came into a wall and he wanted to eat from it, he is to call the owner three times, if he doesn't answer to eat, and if someone passes by a flock of camels and wanted to drink from it to call its owner if he doesn't answer he can drink.

According to the following Fatwa (see source), it is not allowed unless you ask for permission. If you are bothered by the branches in your property you can ask you neighbor to trim it down and insure it doesn't happen.

Source (in Arabic): http://fatwa.islamweb.net/fatwa/index.php?page=showfatwa&Option=FatwaId&Id=51744

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I'm sure you won't find an answer that is directly applicable to your question. But I can imagine that the right and righteous thing to do is:

  1. Talk to your neighbor and find an agreement both of you
  2. If you can't find an agreement then leave the tree to the neighbor. Caring for neighborhood is a duty.
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  • Your answer is very warming, but you do not have an answer at all. Your opinion and suggestions and "I am looking for a reference from Quran or Hadith." is very different from each other. The tree's branches have almost merged with a tree on my side. This is not a problem at all. The tree leaves and fruit rots and fall on my side too. That too is no problem. I care for the neighbour. – codeonion Jun 16 '15 at 7:28
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    Believe me. That is a good answer. Islam wants peace, not "what is my right". If you look for a lawful answer then stick to the law of the place you live in. And in the Quran I'm pretty sure you won't find a direct reference, you might find an analogy. And analogies are subject to experts who spent years to study Islam. This is not the right place for that. – user12680 Jun 16 '15 at 10:04
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    As @codeonion mentioned, this doesn't answer the question. And one is not bound/obligated to answer a question if they are not knowledgeable enough to do so! Please go through How to Answer. – Bleeding Fingers Jun 16 '15 at 12:40
  • It was asked for a reference and I answered that there is no direct applicable reference to his question. Is that not an answer? You have to use interference rules, but this will be to broad as there will be many opinions depending on several factors (e.g. the school). This is not the right place for a hypothetical question in Sharia. – user12680 Jun 16 '15 at 15:19

I think the best option would be to talk to the neighbor and ask for their permission. It is just good etiquette. In fact I can narrate my story. Our mango tree goes into our neighbor house and they always return our mangoes when they fall. It is just very nice of them. Once they had workers and found a lot of mangoes, they rang us the bell just to ask us if they can eat the mangoes. I said surely yes. So it definitely is a good etiquette and good for neighborhood.

As for what is right and what is wrong? I think it is ok to eat a mango or two from their tree that grow in your house. It is not stealing. If there are too many mangoes it is probably better to ask for permission.

To complete my story, out neighbor did ask to cut down the tree that grow into their house which we did so after all it was really our fault that our tree grow into their house and created all the mess for them. So it is probably not a big deal, it is just a matter of etiquette. Either was is fine, better is to ask for permission.

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According to Bible Exodus 20:37 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”..................

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No , techinically it belongs to the person who maintains the tree , he being an owner and you are not the owner of the tree. The verses of stealing would be applicable here.

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  • Which verse(s)? – codeonion Jun 15 '15 at 18:22

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