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Assalamulaikum,

I stole a piece of stationery from a girl in my class when I was young (after puberty though), I have repented for my thievery, and regret it every time I remember, but I read the hadith that even deeds like jihad and martyrdom only expiates your rights to Allah swt, and not to the people, so a man who died as a martyr still went Hell because he stole a cloak from a war booty. (Muslim 1886)

I am very scared because I no longer have the stolen items and don't know how to give back to the people I took things from. I think as a child I suffered from kleptomania after reading about it, but It was never diagnosed so I cant be sure. Jzk

  • What do you mean pay them back? – Alex A Mar 13 '18 at 18:31
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First of all, the important thing is that you have realized what you did is wrong and it is theft. What matters is that you repent and seek God’s forgiveness. If you remember what you have stole and if you remember from what person you stole, you can simply return to him/her. If you lost the item you stole, you can buy an identical item so that you can return it.

And another important thing is, that this can make you a friend of Allah as per the verse:

“Verily on the friends of Allah there is no fear, nor shall they grieve.”


A person repented from killing one hundred souls, as was narrated in the saheeh hadeeth (authentic narration) from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) (narrated by Muslim, 2766), and stealing is not more serious than killing. So congratulations for your repenting and turning to Allah.

...

“And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).

And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine.” [al-Talaq 65:2-3]
Islam Q&A, Repented From Stealing But Unable to Return Stolen Property

If you don’t know how to pay them back, then just hope that God will forgive you. God Says:

“Say: O ‘Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily, Allaah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”

[al-Zumar 39:53].
Islam Q&A, Commentary on the verse ... [an-Nisa’ 4:17]

In case you don't know how to return the item you stole, then donate to someone.

Ibn al-Qayyim (may God have mercy on him) said:

”If a person repents sincerely, his previous bad deeds will be erased and the reward for his good deeds will be restored for him.”

...

With regard to the words of Allah (interpretation of the meaning):

“Allah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they to whom Allah will forgive and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise” [an-Nisa’ 4:17],

what is meant by ignorance in this verse is deciding to go ahead and commit an act of disobedience towards Allah; it does not mean that he does not know in the first place that what he is doing is a sin and act of disobedience. In this case, if he repents soon afterwards, Allah will accept his repentance. Everyone who repents before death is regarded as having repented “soon afterwards”. This is by the grace of Allah and His abundant mercy to His slaves. Islam Q&A, Commentary on the verse ... [an-Nisa’ 4:17]

But in your case, as you described that you no longer have the item, then just ask God’s forgiveness and ask the person’s forgiveness for theft that you committed, and do more good deeds, ask their forgiveness and also give money to them.

Finally, you must remember that the thing you have done is the way to repentance. In order to prove your true repentance to Allah, you must feel remorse for it and resolve to never do it again.  Increase in good actions, leave the bad, and follow the Prophet {saw}, for those who do so are guaranteed Allah’s mercy and salvation.

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