If there is a product you need but cannot afford, OR could afford at an extortionate price that would leave you in indebted, what is the appropriate way to respond? By extortionate let's say it costs 50-100x what it should, by your or an experts determination.

  1. Save up, and put yourself through hardship to attain this item.
  2. Forgo this item, if possible, if not find a less good alternative?
  3. Steal or otherwise procure the item in a less than savoury method, e.g piracy, black market, a fence (some one who steals items and resells them). I only mention this so that proofs that state why stealing us forbidden can be brought up.
  4. Relocate, even if temporarily, to purchase the item at an affordable price.

Please consider these possible Scenarios:

  1. Something critical to your well-being, be it food, shelter, medicine etc. You might survive without it for a while or you might not.

  2. Something useful, but not essential to your well-being. You will survive without it indefinitely but may still suffer. Like a car you rely on to get to work (you have an old unreliable version, or public transport/walking is slow and arduous), or medicine that makes life easier lime mild painkillers. Good food that is nutritious, when unhealthy food is available.

  3. Something entirely unneeded, that is extra to your life. A game, a toy, unneeded designer clothing.

Is there an Islamic ruling on these situations?

  • see this related answer in which one says that you should go for option 3: islam.stackexchange.com/a/16675/4456
    – user4456
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 7:44
  • @mhmd do you feel that is the general case for all three scenarios? Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 11:34
  • 1
    Steeling is definitely not an option no matter what. We do not find, something like except in conditions .... and such in the verse of stealing as you find in other verses e.g. Food, Tayammum etc. Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 7:18

1 Answer 1


Stealing is a major sin in Islam.

[As for] the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they committed as a deterrent [punishment] from Allah . And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. -- Qur'an 5:38

And it's hard to establish necessity in order to negate the illegality of stealing, e.g., charity and begging are options (Qibla.com fatwa). So stealing is basically out in all cases.

You can choose what to do, as long as it's halal: (a) save up (patience is a virtue in Islam; see Islam Q&A), (b) forego the item, (c) relocate. Also:

If it's something not needed and costly, it sounds like extravagance anyway:

And [they are] those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate -- Qur'an 25:67

(See also IslamToday.) In this case, it's probably better to go without.

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