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Using someone else’s Wi-Fi, Birthdays, digital pictures.

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Fatwa-TT.com

  1. Is it permissible to use someone else’s wifi if they haven’t put a password?(of neighbours, adjacent offices, etc) there are some places where there is an availability of such signals like malls, restaurants, etc.
  2. can i wish “happy birthday” to my friend? can we accept treat from them?
  3. is it allowed to have digital pictures? people usually keep capturing photos of friends. when my friends do so, i do not forbade them because i’ve heard somewhere that its permissible.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

1) If the Wi-Fi is meant for public usage, e.g. in some malls and restaurants, then is will be permissible to use.

However it would not be permissible to use someone’s personal Wi-Fi, e.g. neighbours, without their permission. In many countries, using someone else’s Wi-Fi connection is illegal[1]. Moreover, by unlawfully using someone’s Wi-Fi, quite likely some sort of disadvantage will be caused to them. It is narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

كُلُّ الْمُسْلِمِ عَلَى الْمُسْلِمِ حَرَامٌ مَالُهُ، وَعِرْضُهُ، وَدَمُهُ حَسْبُ امْرِئٍ مِنَ الشَّرِّ أَنْ يَحْقِرَ أَخَاهُ الْمُسْلِمَ

Everything of a Muslim is sacred to another Muslim: his property, his honour and his blood. It is enough evil for any man to despise his brother Muslim.[2]

It is clear from the hadīth above that as Muslims, we should always take full caution when dealing with others and using anything that belongs to them, especially if it is without their consent.

2) As Muslims we are sensitive to our belief of pure Tawīd (Oneness of Allah Taʿālā). This requires us to also completely disassociate ourselves from all practices related to Kuffar and their customs.

The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam has said:

مَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَوْمٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ

“Whosoever emulates a nation is amongst them” Sunan Abi Dawud 4/44

The custom of celebrating birthdays is a hallmark of disbelievers and was never prevalent among Muslims. It was brought to them from non-Muslims like other influences during the period of colonialism.

It is not permissible to celebrate birthdays or offer a gift to a person on his/her birthday as it is imitating the customs and way of disbelievers.

It is important to note that the issue is not only about gifts or birthdays. It is a value system which we are diametrically opposed to. Disbelievers focus on their past and their achievements. As muslims our focus is on regretting our past and our shortcomings and preparing for our Aakhira.

However, remember that one requires lots of wisdom and diplomacy in correcting a wrong practice especially amongst close friends and associates.

3) The ruling of digital pictures and videos is a highly contested issue amongst prominent ‘Ulama. Many contend that digital pictures and videos are not the same as regular photographical pictures while others are of the opinion that they are in the same ruling as regular pictures, hence impermissible.

In light of many authentic Ahadith, we advise that one should avoid taking photographs unless it is considered in Shariah to be absolutely necessary. For example photographs for identification, in which case only the required number of photographs should be taken.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Arshad Ali



Checked and Approved by,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_piggybacking

[2] Sunan Abī Dawūd, 4882, The Book of Manners

This answer was collected from Fatwa-tt.com, which is operated by the Darul Iftaa of Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad and Tobago) under the advice and guidance of Mufti Ebrahim Desai (Daamat Barakaatuhum) of South Africa.

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