Rules of the lost property when found
2573. If a person finds any lost property other than an animal, which does not bear any sign by means of which it may be possible to locate its owner, as per obligatory precaution, he must give it away as Sadaqah on behalf of the owner, whoever he may be.
2574. If a person finds a property, which bears a sign by which it may be possible to locate its owner, and whose value is less than 12.6 Nukhud of coined silver, and if its owner is known, and the person who finds it does not know whether or not the owner would be happy about it, he cannot pick it up without his (i.e. the owner's) permission. And if its owner is not known, the person who finds it, can keep it for himself, and as per obligatory precaution, whenever its owner is found, if the property itself is present and not perished, he must return it to its owner, but if the property perishes, it is not obligatory on him to give its replacement to its owner.
2575. If a person finds something which bears a sign by means of which its owner can be located, and even if he comes to know that its owner is a non – Muslim whose property must be protected, and if the value of that thing reaches 12.6 Nukhud of coined silver, he should make an announcement about it at the place of gathering of the people for one year (from the day on which he finds that thing). It is not necessary for him to make announcements daily. In fact, it is sufficient, if he makes announcement for a year in such a way that people would say that he made the announcements.
2576. If a person does not wish to make an announcement himself, he can ask another reliable person to make the announcement, on his behalf.
2577. If the person who finds such a thing makes announcement for one year, but the owner of the property does not turn up, he can keep it to himself and will give its replacement to its owner when he will appear, or he can retain it on behalf of the
owner, so that he may give it to him when he appears, however, as per recommended precaution, he must give it as Sadaqah to the poor on behalf of the owner.
2578. If the person makes announcement for one year and the owner of the property does not turn up, and he continues to care for it on behalf of its owner, and in the meantime it is lost, he will not be responsible for the loss if he has not been negligent nor over cautious about it. However, if he gave it as Sadaqah on behalf of the owner, or kept it for himself, he will be responsible.
2579. If a person finds a property, and purposely does not make an announcement according to the rules mentioned above, he commits a sin, and at the same time remains obligatory on him to make an announcement.
2580. If a child who is not Baligh (mature) finds something, his guardian should make announcements.
2581. If during the year in which a person has been making an announcement (about something having been lost and found), he loses all hope of finding the owner, there is no harm, if he wants to give it away as Sadaqah.
2582. If the property is lost during the year in which he has been making an announcement, and he has been negligent in caring for it, or has been over cautious, he will be responsible to the owner for replacement. But if he has not been negligent nor over cautious, it is not obligatory for him to pay anything.
2583. If the property which bears a mark, and has value equal to 12.6 Nukhud of coined silver, is found at a place where it is known that the owner of the property will not be found by means of announcement, he should give it to the poor persons as Sadaqah on behalf of the owner on the very first day. If its owner appears and did not agree on the Sadaqah, he must give him the replacement of that property, and the reward (Thawab) of the Sadaqah will belong to him.
2584. If a person finds a thing and possesses it under the impression that it is his own property, but learns later that it is not his property, he should make announcement for a year, and same rule applies, if a person puts his foot on a lost item and moves it from its place.
2585. At the time of the announcement he should specify the found article, in fact it should be announced in such a way that it is reckoned as announcement in the eyes of public. For example, if he says I have found a book or a dress; and if he just says: I have found something; it is not sufficient.
2586. If a person finds something and another person claims that it is his, it should be given to him if he mentions certain marks of identification. It is not necessary for the latter to mention the marks of which mostly even the owners do not take notice.
2587. If the value of a thing which a person finds is equal to 12.6 Nukhud of coined silver, and he does not make an announcement about it, but leaves it in the Masjid or at places of general assembly, and the thing is lost or somebody picks it up, the person who found the thing will be responsible.
2588. If a person finds a thing which is perishable, he should fix its value, or he should keep it for himself or sell it and keep the money for its owner, as per obligatory precaution, he should do that with the permission of Mujtahid or his Wakil (agent), and in both condition he should continue with the announcement till one year. And if the owner is not found till one year, he can keep the money for himself or give it as Sadaqah on behalf of the owner. If its owner appears, he should give it to him, its replacement or its value which he fixed and kept the property for himself. However, if he gave away the money as Sadaqah and its owner agrees to it, he is not responsible for anything.
2589. There is no harm, if the thing found by somebody is with him at the time of performing Wudhu and offering prayers, if he has an intention of returning it to its owner when found.
2590. If a pair of shoes of a person is taken away and is replaced by another pair of shoes, and he knows that the pair of shoes which is now with him belongs to a person who took his shoes instead of his own, he can take them. However, if the value of the shoes which is left behind is more than his own, in this case whenever its owner appears he should pay its difference, and he loses the hope of the owner being found, he should, with the permission of Mujtahid, give its difference as Sadaqah on behalf of the owner.
And if he presumes that the pair of shoes which is now with him does not belongs to a person who took his shoes instead if his own, if the value of the shoes is less than 12.6 Nukhud of coined silver, he can keep it for himself. And if it is more than that, as per precautionary measures, he should make announcement till one year, and after a year he should give it away as Sadaqah on behalf of the owner.
2591. If a person finds a property whose value is less than 12.6 Nukhud of coined silver, and regret it and keeps it in Masjid or any other place, and if someone else picks it up, its disposal is Halal for him.