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Is It Permissible to Use Pirated Software If You Are Poor?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question: I live in a poor country, and the Government doesn’t do enough to help people. Buying original development software is too expensive. Can I use pirated software instead?


Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh,

I pray you are well.

Using Pirated Software

Thank you for the detailed explanation of your situation. Despite the difficulty with the Government and the other factors you mentioned, this does not make using the pirated software permissible. The companies that produce the software do so as a means of income. They own the product, and in essence, hire it out to people.

The jurists have a principle that states it is not permissible to spend or use the wealth or property of another without their permission. It would be like living in the house that another has purchased to benefit from its rental income, but without an agreement or paying rent.

Your personal circumstances, despite how difficult they may be,  do not permit you do use the property of another without their permission (Maydani, al Lubab).

Use Alternatives

If no other means of work is possible then use the free development tools available. There are many programs that do that, such as the Office package, maybe not the same, but the basic functions are the same. Google Documents and other tools they provide are also viable, free options.

If there are some older versions of the software that they do not derive an income from and permit people to use then using that would be fine too.

Turn to Allah

One of the means of increasing one’s rizq is to engage in some form of remembrance of Allah after the ‘Asr prayer, according to Imam ‘Abdullah al Haddad (Haddad, Adab al Murid).  The Prophet Nuh (Allah bless him and give him peace) encouraged his people to ask Allah for forgiveness saying, “He will give you an increase in wealth and child…” (Qur’an, 71:12).

Lay your neediness out before Allah. He will take care of you with His generosity.

May Allah facilitate all matters for you.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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