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AoA, I have read the posts on this page, Is using pirated software allowed?.

My question is, if you work for a company which uses pirated software, what do you do? I've seen many situations where the company gives you pirated software to get the job done & at times tells you to download it yourself. Now, I know the answer is to say no & walk away. We Should face the consequences of our decision to say no to piracy.

However, is there something i'm missing? Is there a way around this? In a third world country, it's a different set of rules.

The piracy at work is just the beginning. We watch movies at home which are pirated, listen to songs (pirated), etc. This seems like a big life style change.

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WaS.

There is no doubt that using pirated software is not allowed according to Islam, as it is basically stealing.

Another rule in Islam is that you are answerable within your own "circle of control".

Sahih Bukhari: 6719.

'Abdullah ibn Dinar related from 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock. An Imam is a shepherd and he is responsible for those in his care. A man is a shepherd in his family and is responsible for those in his care. The woman is a shepherd in her husband's house and children and is responsible for them. A man's slave is a shepherd over his master's property and is responsible for it. All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock."

So, there are two roles in which you can view this problem: personal and professional.

Personal

For personal case, you are in total control of yourself, so you should stop using pirated softwares, songs, books etc as soon as possible.

I would suggest to take a gradual approach. Step out of your comfort zone, a little and when you are comfortable with it, take the next step.

Allah wanted to forbid people to stop drinking, but Quran first encouraged to abstain from it. Then, when He knew that people can go to the next step, order for complete forbidden were given

Practical advantage

One advantage that I noticed that after I stopped using pirated software, I did not had a single case of virus infection. It saved me a lot of time which was previously spent on fixing my machine.

Professional

For professional case, I think that you should tell your bosses, politely, that it is unethical to use pirated softwares. You can propose some alternatives that are free. If they force you to use it and you risk losing your job, I would suggest, that start looking for other job where you don't have to use pirated software. Meanwhile you can keep your current job.

Personal Experience

Being a software developer, I am faced with this dilemma, every day. I stopped using pirated softwares when I realized that it is not correct. Here is how I went about doing that:

  1. I stopped using all the software for which I can find open-source alternatives. This included almost all the utility software like for Winzip to 7-zip
  2. Being a freelance developer, I stopped using all the pirated softwares which I was using to earn money, so that my earnings are halal.
  3. Then, I stopped using any pirated software, book etc
  • I posted my question a few hours ago and i'm happy to see that two people have already given detailed answers. I appreciate the effort placed in. Interestingly enough, we're all software developers. Again, this is going to be a big life style change, because it's very acceptable in my country to buy pirated software. The stuff we watch on TV is pirated, etc. It's a challenge, but let's see. – Talker Mar 12 '14 at 18:12
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Let's start with some examples.

Say you write a book. It took you 6 months to write and publish. I need to use some content from it. But I don't buy the book. Instead, I photocopy a few pages and use them. Will you like this if you knew what I did?

Another one. Say you write a nice program like DreamWeaver. I get a copy of it (pirated), only because it's cheaper for me. Will you like this?

So the bottom line is that it's not correct to pirate software. Whether it's illegal in your country or not is a different story.

Now, piracy is theft. And for this reason, I personally am against it. I'm also a developer. At one time I used to think that there was no choice. But if you look there's always a choice, insha Allaah.

I know it can be hard to convince your employer. But you should try to show them that using alternatives you can still achieve the result and if they don't cooperate you have a choice of leaving them.

There's also the practicality of doing such a thing. If it's a case where you cannot survive without the job (meaning you'll die without it), then the least thing you can do (IMO) is to show that you dislike piracy and hope for Allaah's forgiveness...

I base this conclusion on the hadeeth which states that when what you see is wrong you try to stop it by hand and it comes down to hating the bad/wrong thing from your heart. Also in a life or death situation, if you must decide on taking food that is not halaal, this is an exemption. But don't make this an excuse for sticking to piracy. And don't hold me responsible in the aakhirah for this answer. This is a last resort and I don't really recommend it.

I believe that Allaah has made the earth wide and spacious and he has given all of us the ability to choose from right and wrong. So it is possible that you convince your employer or find another job as well, insha Allaah, and there is barakah in what you earn through halaal means.

Wallaahu a'lam

  • You mention some good points. However, the majority of software houses here use pirated material. They use it openly because no action is taken against. "I believe that Allaah has made the earth wide and spacious" ... this was helpful. I will try this but this is a big life style change. Insha Allah, it will work. – Talker Mar 12 '14 at 18:09

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