Zaid bin Khalid al-Juhani relates that a person asked Allah’s Messenger ﷺ about picking up stray articles, whereupon he said: “Make announcement about it for a year, and recognise well the strap and the bag (containing that); then spend that; and if its owner comes, make him the payment of that.” He (the enquirer) said: “Messenger of Allah, what about the lost goat?” He said: “Take it, for that is yours or for your brother, or for the wolf.” He (again) said, “(What about) the lost camel?” The Messenger of Allah was enraged until his cheeks became red and then said: “You have nothing to do about that; it has feet and a leather bag (to quench its thirst) until its owner finds it.”
(Sahih Muslim)
It is meritorious to keep a thing found abandoned under one’s custody. It becomes binding for a man, who finds a stray thing, to take it in his charge if it is liable to perish in case it is not preserved. If the commodity is valuable and it is easy to preserve it then the period is longer otherwise it is short. The trustee should make regular advertisement that he has found a stray thing and its owner should come to him to take it. At the end of the period, if he deems expedient, he should make use of that in case he is insolvent, or give it as charity if he is solvent. It is laudable to secure stray goats and sheep, but not of oxen, horses and camels.

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