Donating the reward of fasting to a person I owe him money
A person took another's money without his permission and now wishes to repent. Does it suffice him to fast and donate the reward of his fast to the owner, or must he return the money?
It is established in Islamic law that rights owed to humans are not waived except by their observance or by exoneration. Samra ibn Jundub narrated that the Messenger of Allah [pbuh] said: "A person remains indebted with what he took until he returns it" [Reported by Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi, ibn Majah and Ahmed. Al-Hakem declared it authentic].
Donating the reward of fasting to the owner of the money does not suffice—he must either return what he took or the owner must waive the sum owed to him.
The conditions for repentance [for sins] concerning the rights of humans include:
- Restitution of rights
- Feeling regret for having committed the sin
- Desisting from it
- Resolving never to commit it again.
Allah Almighty knows best.