Hazrat Suwaid bin Ghafalah, Zaid bin Saujan and Sulaiman bin Rabia once travelled for an expedition. When they reached Uzaib, they came across a whip on the ground. Uzaib was the Valley of Banu Tamim where water was found. It was situated between Qadsiyya and Mughithah at a distance of four miles from Qadisiyya.
Nonetheless, Suwaid picked up the whip. The others said to him to leave it as it could belong to another Muslim. Suwaid said he would certainly not leave it as if it remained there it would be eaten by wolves or consumed [by something else], therefore it was better he made use of it.
A few days later, Suwaid left with the intention of performing Hajj. As Medina was en route, he went to see Hazrat Ubayy (ra) and narrated the incident of the whip. Hazrat Ubayy (ra) said, “I was also faced with a similar incident during the life of the Holy Prophet (sa). During the time of the Holy Prophet (sa), I found 100 dinars.”
Whether it is 100 dinars or a whip, everything found in this manner has its own value as it is a trust [belonging to someone else]. Let us see what the Holy Prophet (sa) stated in this regard. Hazrat Ubayy (ra) then continued, “The Holy Prophet (sa) instructed, ‘You ought to continuously make announcements to the people regarding it for one entire year.’ When that year had passed he said, ‘You ought to remember any markings and the amount of money and wait for one more year. If someone comes to collect it and gives the correct identification for it, you ought to hand it over to them, otherwise it will become yours.’”
(Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 156) (Sayyid Fadl al-Rahman, Farhang-i-Sirat [Karachi, Pakistan: Zawwar Academy Publications, 2003] 197)
This means that when one finds something, they ought to wait two years; they ought to continuously make announcements about it for one year and remember its markings or identifications for one more year. If someone comes to collect it giving the correct identification, it should be given to them.