Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan
Question: Assalam alaykum,
I’m 13 years old. I had a habit of stealing makeup from major stores and even from family members. I’m so scared I don’t know what to do. How do I truly repent? I know I have to return the rights. I was thinking maybe I can return the makeup and put it back in the aisle, but the makeup is used. Can I return the money anonymously?
Answer: Wa alaykum assalam
May Allah forgive our sins, shower us with His Mercy and guide us in all our affairs.
Firstly, know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Merciful. He said in a hadith qudsi, “O son of Adam, were your sins (so much that it) reaches the clouds in the sky, and you turn to Me, seeking forgiveness, I will forgive you of all your sins and it will be like nothing to me.”
Secondly, you are correct that whatever you may have stolen has to be returned to the rightful owner. The best option in this regard is to inform the person from whom you stole. I would advise that you send an email to the head office of these stores and in detail explain to them your remorse and regret for having stole from their franchises and that you have repented and now wish to pay them back. Explain also that you are not currently by the means, and that you would like to pay them over time. More than likely, they might pardon you from the debt altogether. Your family member should be met in person, apologize to him or her and seek their pardon. Thereafter, you could reach an agreement how to reimburse him or her.
Remember the above are all requirements in the law of Allah and reaching out to those from whom you stole is pleasing to Allah. Remember that in returning to Allah is sweetness and contentment.
May Allah protect us from all acts of disobedience.
And Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan
Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.