If someone steals a small amount of money(from a lot of individuals) and gives it all to charity, is that person doing a good thing or a bad thing? He/She isn't benefiting anything from this.

If it was for personal benefit, that person can just steal all the money and keep it to themselves (or even keep some - if not all - of it to themseves like most theives do). However, all that money is used to either do good (helping poor people, planting trees, making the world a better place etc.), or get more money to do more good.

The amount stolen from each individual won't affect that individual's life (e.g. some change in a bill), that he/she might not even notice. However, when all the small amounts are added up, this money can be used to do a lot of good things.

The person who is stealing that money and giving it to charity is working hard(daily) not to get caught and keep the operation going. However, he/she is doing this in his/her free time to leave the world a better place than he found it.

Should a person with the ability to do this, do it? Is it allowed to try to make the world a better place using methods that others mostly exploit for personal benefit?

God has given me the power to do this, and I want to use it for good and have millions donated to charity. This can be done with complete anonymity, and without any effect on my personal life.

Should I do this and make the world a better place, or is it forbidden?

  • It is forbidden to steal. What you do with the stolen money is irrelevant. So, you are doing a bad thing.
    – The Z
    Jan 16, 2020 at 16:15
  • The property of a Muslim or Mu‘aahid is inviolable, and you can not take anything from it without their consent or a legal right, be it a small amount or large.
    – UmH
    Jan 16, 2020 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


In the era of Imam Sadiq (peace upon him), there was a man who was famous among some groups of people in Medina, known as being a holy man. Once Imam saw him in Bazaar, stealing goods from stores and then giving them to poor people on around. Imam opened an argument with him, asking why? He answered back with another question "haven't you read Quran that says مَن جَاءَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ عَشْرُ أَمْثَالِهَا ۖ وَمَن جَاءَ بِالسَّيِّئَةِ فَلَا يُجْزَىٰ إِلَّا مِثْلَهَا (He that doeth good shall have ten times as much to his credit: He that doeth evil shall only be recompensed according to his evil)". The man then concluded that I steal goods, it is one bad deed, but then I give it to poor people which is good and will be rewarded ten times, thus, it is like I gain 10 and lose 1 and I win 9 in total. Imam answered him back: "yes I have read that verse of Quran, but in the same Quran there is also another verse that reads إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ اللَّـهُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ (Allah doth accept of the sacrifice of those who are righteous), and those who commit sins are not among the righteous people".

This reflects also in another verse in Quran that reads "قُلْ أَنفِقُوا طَوْعًا أَوْ كَرْهًا لَّن يُتَقَبَّلَ مِنكُمْ ۖ إِنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ قَوْمًا فَاسِقِينَ" [Say: "Spend (for the cause) willingly or unwillingly: not from you will it be accepted: for ye are indeed a people rebellious and wicked."]

  • Could you provide sources for the story in your answer?
    – Kilise
    Jan 19, 2020 at 18:29
  • 1
    @Kilise, in the book "الإحتجاج" of Tabarsi, Vol. 2. You can find the persian translation here
    – owari
    Jan 20, 2020 at 19:17

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .