Fatwa: # 25083
Category: Jurisprudence and Rulings...
Country: Bangladesh
Date: 15th April 2013

Title

Is It Permissible To Download Pirated Software And E-books?

Question

I downloaded free Islamic ebooks (a large quantity of number) from various websites by computer & mobile.The mobile I had bought (which is used to download some ebooks) by the money which I think suspicious because I bougt it by my scholarship fee.In school in class 5 & class 8 I appeared in exam and did good result.But in the exam I remember that I have taken some help from other students to answer question but it is very little help & that time I had no clear concept about halal,haram;jayej,najayej (lackings in Deen-e Knowledge) as at that time my age was 10 at class five & 13 at class 8.Again, some ebooks were downloaded by using pirated softwares like microsoft windows & Internet Download manager.

All ebooks are kept in one folder in computer so I also can't remember clearly which ebooks I downloaded by that mobile & pirated softwares.As I bought the mobile by that money,used pirated software & used that mobile & softwares to download these Islamic ebooks>>>>

 

1.Is it will be Halal or Jayej to study these ebooks to gain knowledge & seek Neki from Allah?

2.Will I remove these ebooks & redownload them or it will be enough to stay safe from downloading Islamic materials (ebooks,recitation) without using that mobile & pirated Softwares further again? (N.B.: I am regretful to Allah what I have done past,i am trying to avoid pirated softwares to download Islamic materials & it will be difficult for me to redownload these islamic ebooks).

Answer

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

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

Previously, ownership was confined to tangible items. However, recent technologies have proved that ownership may also take place in non-tangible items. The ownership of a non-tangible property is known as “intellectual property”.

 

The concept of “intellectual property” demands that the person who applied his mental skills and effort to invent a particular item should be the owner of its profit and benefits. Similarly, if a person has invented a formula or a software using his own skill should be the sole owner of it. No other person should have the right to reproduce it. Due to this reason, the law of copyright came about to protect the inventor from losing his benefits.

 

The ulamā have differed in their opinion regarding the permissibility of copyrights.

According to us, copyrights and intellectual property is a valid Sharī right. Therefore, the use of pirated software is not permissible. It is an infringement of a valid right. [1]

 

You should purchase the softwares and the ebooks from their original producers.

 

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Abdul Hannan Nizami,
Student Darul Iftaa
Chicago, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 



[1] Contemporary Fatawaa by Mufti Taqi Usmani, Pg.188, Idara-e-Islamiat

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