I'm poor and I don't have a way to actually use credit cards to buy software. However I really need those software for my education. Also there are books which are too expensive so I download them through torrent. Is this haram?

I guess not because I heard one time of Omar (radiya allah 3alayh) that he has stolen some goods to feed someone who was poor and then some asked him: "do you want to see your hand cut?" But I can't remember in detail the story

  • possible duplicate of Is using pirated software allowed?
    – Murtaza
    Commented Aug 2, 2014 at 20:49
  • 3
    not duplicate ! don't close
    – user2724
    Commented Aug 3, 2014 at 3:28
  • 1
    @makz I really think it is. An answer from the could answer this question. Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 5:54
  • 2
    Why don't you just use Free and Open Source Software, right now I am using Linux as the Operating System. You will find FOSS alternatives for all your needs, they will be free and even better trust me ;) Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 17:44
  • 1
    Instead, try using freewares. There are many available. ..
    – Ali_Waris
    Commented Oct 25, 2014 at 20:22

3 Answers 3


Yes it is a sin. You cannot use it. Allah has made some of us incapable of getting things we want, this is our destiny for which we are rewarded in the hereafter. I am one like you, I do the same but I actively repent and have made a decision to make myself able as soon as possible so I need not steal anymore.

If everyone steals for poor that will create a pandemonium. Can that society exist peacefully? No. Its a sin, no matter how you see it. If someone kills, do you take laws in your hand and kill the killer? Is that justified?

Allah has created all of us different and our struggles are different, that's why the reward we get belongs to us. BTW, this struggle lies under Jihad-al-nafs, struggle against self and desire to follow the right path.


It's haram, yes. But if you find a way after some time to buy, you should repent and buy it to pay the right.


It depends on your motive and purpose and the merits of the software manufacturer!

Today high-technologies are mostly developed patented and owned by big corporations. Almost none of these corporations are owned by observant Muslims or descent human beings that are truly fair and honest in their business. Corporations tend to exploit labor, provide services to customers regardless of moral qualifications even if their customer is a corrupt political institution. Corporations also don't give a damn about users' privacy so long as they can violate and profit from it with impunity. Examples: Google and Facebook.

Corporations also tend to monopolize technologies for maximizing selfish profit. By this they also give the rich classes who can buy and use their expensive services an influential competitive edge against marginalized, disadvantaged or poor classes and groups. These are in fact integral workings of any capitalist system when everything is motivated by profit and ends in profit.

Therefore, a strong case can be made that these corporations are virtually thieves that work to widen the class gap and inequality, and provide the ruling class with the means of further subjugating us economically, culturally and politically.

These are the reasons why I personally favor a Robin Hood argument for pirating software developed and sold by big corporations for the use of people provided that the pirated software is used for purposes that truly benefit the humanity at large. I believe this can also be justified from an Islamic point of view. In the Battle of Badr, Prophet Muhammad and His companions after years of suffering under Pagans' persecution and socioeconomic boycott, chose to invade a passing pagan merchant caravan in order to provide sustenance for themselves.

The robbing of the pagan merchant caravan was quite justified because pagans had no right over possessions for various reasons such as:

  • illegal means through which they had obtained wealth in the Era of Ignorance,
  • for depriving Prophet and His followers from their necessary livelihood by putting them under boycott,
  • and for spending their wealth in illegitimate ways worst of all in waging war against Allah and His Prophet and followers.

That's while, according to Islam, all possessions are considered Allah's blessings and bounties ("To Allah belongs the Kingdom of Heavens and the Earth and whatever therein" (5:120) and "All glories belong to Allah" (35:10)), and therefore should be used in honest and noble ways as endorsed and encouraged by Islam, such as

  • providing livelihood for one and his family,
  • serving the well-being of the greater society which includes

    • material well-being through eliminating poverty and other material shortcomings of the society
    • the intellectual well-being through promoting Islamic values such as faith, brotherhood, ethics and justice.

But corporations throughout modern history, for a major part, don't work according to these principles and are not motivated by any of these noble incentives (in fact a lot corporations work for purely material gains and contribute to much of corruption and injustice we see around the world today), so they have no right over much of their possessions according to Islam.

But in case the software developers are truly descent people with noble aspirations, I believe it haram to pirate their software as they deserve compensations for the efforts they have put in with noble motivations. Those noble motivations surely include providing livelihood for themselves and their families.

  • 4
    I disagree, is there any hadith that proves that stealing from a thief is allowed?
    – user4456
    Commented Aug 3, 2014 at 5:51
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    Everyone is responsible for his/her own deeds. You can NOT justify your ill-deeds in response to someone else's wrong deeds.
    – goto
    Commented Aug 3, 2014 at 17:26
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    @infatuated what war, what spoils... There is no war going on. The relation between a software company is a consumer producer relationship. If you don't agree with the terms and conditions, you can choose some free alternative. Robin Hood philosophy is unislamic
    – goto
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 15:22
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    @infatuated if you think that is the case than the Islamic way will be to make an alternative software that is not so, not to use pirated software as this will be theft
    – goto
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 16:36
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    @goto, and in response to that I pointed to the Prophet's theft of pagan caravans in the battle of Badr. I think we will definitely end up having to steal from the enemy to fight it. Just consider the fact that almost the entire international communication infrastructure is owned by US and Israel power elite.
    – infatuated
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 16:42

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