It goes without saying that Islam declares stealing as prohibited since it represents an act of violating the rights of others. It is an evil way of getting money without exerting the faintest effort and an encouragement for lazy people to indulge themselves more and more in laziness. Unlawful behaviors remain unlawful whether in a Muslim or a non-Muslim country. Muslim scholars agree that stealing from non-Muslims is forbidden. By having citizenship, a residence permit or a visa of a non-Muslim country, a Muslim enters into a peaceful agreement with non-Muslims, and he must respect the agreements and never betray them. This is because respecting agreements and treaties and honesty are among the basic characteristics of a Muslim.

In this regard, Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author, states: “No one is unaware of the fact that stealing is a major sin, for which Allah has enjoined the punishment of having the hand cut off. The Shari`ah makes no distinction between the wealth of a male and the wealth of a female, or between the wealth of a minor and the wealth of an adult, or between the wealth of a Muslim and the wealth of a non-Muslim. The only exception made by the Shari`ah is the wealth of non-Muslims who are waging war against the Muslims.”

With the above in mind, we do stress that if one has stolen something, then one should return the stolen stuff to the owner whether he is a Muslim or a non-Muslim, even if one has to send the stuff by mail without giving his name. If, on the other hand, one can’t recognize the owner of the stolen stuff, then he should give it to the nearest ‘Lost and found’ office in the area where one lives. All in all, the Muslim who does so has to repent to sincerely to Allah and to avoid repeating that again.