Downloading illegal software from the Internet

CategoriesTrade, Business & All Things Money [477]

Fatwa ID: 01797

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Question:

I would like to know the maslah regarding using illegal/piracy software, which you can download for free on the Internet.
1. There are many websites on the Internet where you can download copies of software and can also apply cracks to make your copies genuine and activated. Is this allowed? Usually the people who upload these do it so people can download freely. If it is to be used for personal use and not for any financial gain is it okay?
2. In Pakistan you can buy the software freely on the market for under £1 whereas in the UK the same software costs over £100. Can we use this software from Pakistan because its still the same thing as the one you can download from the Internet but you are just paying a nominal fee.
3. I do have genuine software from work, which is legally licensed to only be used on work pcs or a number of pcs, but I have installed it on a few relatives/friends pcs as well as mine. Is this okay to use even though the number of pcs it is installed on exceeds the number of licenses and the software appears fully genuine on my pc?
4. I have copies of genuine software you to purchase a license to activate the software however I have downloaded a crack file from the Internet, which is freely available to activate it. Is this allowed?

Answer:

Bismillah

To obey the law of the country is necessary upon every Muslim. This according to the Shariah is considered as a trust and to break it is unlawful.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) in the Holy Quran has said:

“And fulfil (every) engagement, for engagement will be enquired into (on the Day of Judgement).” (Surah Bani Israeel v.34)

Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) has said: “The signs of a hypocrite are three: When he speaks he lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it, and when he is given a trust he breaches it.”  (Sahih Bukhari p.10 v.1)

Therefore, as it is considered against the law of the country to download Microsoft Office and other items from the Internet without paying for them, hence, it should be avoided. 

Answer 2

Yes, it will be permissible as long as it is not against the law of the country.

Answer 3

It will not be permissible based on the information provided under Answer 1. 

Answer 4

As it is against the law of the country it will not be permissible.

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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