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Intention Of Sadaqah In Your Heart After The Item Was Stolen

Question

An item of mine was stolen. I thereafter made an intention in my heart that it will be for Sadaqah for the person who stole it. I then found the item at the thief and took it away from him. Do I have a right to do this? If not, do I have to buy the item back from him because of my intention?

Answer

By you merely making intention of Sadaqah in your heart after the item was stolen, Sadaqah will not take place. Sadaqah will only be correct if while giving something in Sadaqah to a person/recipient, you make the intention of Sadaqah at the time of discharging it. 

References

وَشَرْطُ صِحَّةِ أَدَائِهَا نِيَّةٌ مُقَارِنَةٌ لَهُ) أَيْ لِلْأَدَاءِ (وَلَوْ) كَانَتْ الْمُقَارَنَةُ (حُكْمًا)
(قَوْلُهُ مُقَارِنَةٌ) هُوَ الْأَصْلُ كَمَا فِي سَائِرِ الْعِبَادَاتِ، وَإِنَّمَا اُكْتُفِيَ بِالنِّيَّةِ عِنْدَ الْعَزْلِ كَمَا سَيَأْتِي لِأَنَّ الدَّفْعَ يَتَفَرَّقُ فَيَتَخَرَّجُ بِاسْتِحْضَارِ النِّيَّةِ عِنْدَ كُلِّ دَفْعٍ فَاكْتَفَى بِذَلِكَ لِلْحَرَجِ بَحْرٌ، وَالْمُرَادُ مُقَارَنَتُهَا لِلدَّفْعِ إلَى الْفَقِيرِ، وَأَمَّا الْمُقَارَنَةُ لِلدَّفْعِ إلَى الْوَكِيلِ فَهِيَ مِنْ الْحُكْمِيَّةِ كَمَا يَأْتِي ط
(رد المحتار ج 2 ص 74 دار الفكر)

وَهُنَا قَدْ قُرِنَ الْفِعْلُ بِالْقَصْدِ فِي قَوْلِهِ: الْأُمُورُ بِمَقَاصِدِهَا، فَعَلَيْهِ النِّيَّةُ الَّتِي لَا تَقْتَرِنُ بِفِعْلٍ ظَاهِرِيٍّ لَا تَتَرَتَّبُ عَلَيْهَا أَحْكَامٌ شَرْعِيَّةٌ.
فَلَوْ طَلَّقَ شَخْصٌ زَوْجَتَهُ فِي قَلْبِهِ أَوْ بَاعَ فَرَسَهُ وَلَمْ يَنْطِقْ بِلِسَانِهِ لَا يَتَرَتَّبُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ الْفِعْلِ الْبَاطِنِيِّ حُكْمٌ؛ لِأَنَّ الْأَحْكَامَ الشَّرْعِيَّةَ تَتَعَلَّقُ بِالظَّوَاهِرِ.
(درر الحكام ج 1 ص 19 دار الجيل)

(فَلَوْ وَجَدَهَا مَوْلَاهُ) قَائِمَةً (فِي يَدِهِ أَخَذَهَا) لِبَقَاءِ مِلْكِهِ كَمَسْرُوقٍ بَعْدَ الْقَطْعِ.
(رد المحتار ج 6 ص 74 دار الفكر)

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