Re: Ruling of using cracked software
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
Using pirated versions of the original software or programs is known as ‘copyright infringement’. In previous days, the concept of ownership was only 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.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mawlana Abdul Hannan Nizami
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.
 Contemporary Fatawaa by Mufti Taqi Usmani, Pg.188, Idara-e-Islamiat