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IslamQA: Stealing before puberty is not counted as a sin

In Islam when is a girl considered to have hit puberty? After she starts menstruating? Because as a child I was a petty thief which I feel a lot of remorse and guilt over now, I want to compensate the people I hurt along the way but I also want to know if it counted as a sin as I think I hadn't hit puberty. Also how can one make amends for stealing especially if those people aren't in their life anymore? Jazak Allah Khairun

Puberty starts with menstruation as you said. What you did before puberty is not counted as a sin. But it is best if to try to return what you stole. Do your best to return the price of what you took (as gifts) to those people. But if it is impossible to track those people down and return the amount, then give the amount to a charity.

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And God knows best.
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