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Al-gasb (abduction) linguistically means  taking something through coercion and injustice. And in religious terms it is defined by Abu Haneefa and Abu Yusuf as taking the hand of the owner off the wealth through declaration and by force. It is defined by the Maalikis as taking someone’s wealth through coercion and encroachment without a fight. It is defined by the Shaafi’ees as taking control over someone’s wealth wrongfully. The Hanbalis defined it as taking possession of a person’s wealth by force and without it’s right.

Rules concerning abduction of people’s wealth

Abduction is haram(unlawful) if done with knowledge of its prohibition. It is an act of disobedience whose prohibition is found in the glorious Qur’an, the sunna and Ijmaa(consensus of Muslim scholars). With the glorious Qur’an Allah says

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَأْكُلُوا أَمْوَالَكُم بَيْنَكُم بِالْبَاطِلِ إِلَّا أَن تَكُونَ تِجَارَةً عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنكُمْ ۚ

O ye who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanities: But let there be amongst you Traffic and trade by mutual good-will:..(Q:4:29).

 In the holy tradition of the prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)he is quoted saying: O Muslims, all your blood, property and honor are sacred, as is the sacredness of this day, in this month, and in this city.” He also said: the wealth of a person doesn’t become (for another) except by his own will”.

Consensus” it is the consensus of all Muslims that abduction of peoples wealth is unlawful even though it is not as grievous as stealing.

Ways abduction is ascertained

Abduction is realized in two ways;

Firstly, according to the Maalikiyya, the shafiee, the Hanbalis and Muhammad ibn Zufr of the hanafiyya: abduction takes place by gaining control. That is wrongfully taking control of someone’s wealth, and not necessarily taking it from his/her possession. Abduction in this sense means preventing a person from getting access to his wealth even if it remains in its original place.

Secondly: the opinion of Abi Haneefa and Muhammad ibn yusif is that abduction is not established except through two ways: proving one’s possession over a property and kicking off another’s possession over it.


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