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Is Stealing from Non-Muslims in the West Permissible?

10 September, 2021
Q As-Salamu alaykum. Is it allowed for Muslims to steal non-Muslims in the West?


Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

Stealing is a major sin in Islam, regardless of time and place.

Responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

Stealing, fornication, cheating, murder, etc. are major sins in Islam; they are fundamental teachings of perennial religion revealed to all Prophets from the beginning of times.

Thus, it is one of the ten commandments revealed to Prophet Musa (peace be upon him); the same applies to the Shari`ah revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Hence, we read in the sources that the Prophet used to take oaths of allegiance from those migrating to Madinah that they shall not steal.

In conclusion, stealing is a major sin in Islam, regardless of time and place. So it is totally prohibited for Muslims in the West to steal non-Muslims.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.