I watched a short video on YouTube from Dr. Zakir Naik where he explains that "in general it is haram" but there are exceptions (this is what I got from the video). However, he did not go into details about the exceptions.

Basically, I deal with computer graphics and animation and that sort of stuff. I currently use a free 3 year educational license of a piece of software. Which is fine, but if I want to sell my work it is not permissible since that is what it says in the license agreement.

I also pirated another piece of software, have used it many times and I am quite comfortable using it. I know this is haram but I tell myself once I make enough money I will buy this software so it can be mine. Is this though process ok?

I know there is a free 3d app which I use from time to time, but I am used to the above mentioned software since I used it often. So my question is this, can I still use the pirated software with the intention of buying it once I make enough money to buy it?

6 Answers 6


Ask the owner of the software itself for permission and say you don't mind working as a beta tester if needed.

Anything (no matter how small) taken without permission is haram and the owner can stop you and make you repay his losses on the Bridge to Paradise.

I used to do the same but al-hamdu liAllah I never sold anything using pirated software and all my software development is open-source to pay back the community.

  • 1
    Indeed thanks for the open-source initiative. Btw here is my latest open-source project. Anyone with mobile development skills is welcome to take it and port it from C# .NET to Qt or mobile-specific platform ( qurancode.com )
    – Ali Adams
    Dec 27, 2014 at 16:36

I develop software and distribute it for professional use. If say person X somehow downloads illegally the software I created then my income is damaged, because I am a minor developer and not a company like microsoft(NOT pinponting just reffering). In this case the person X is depriving me of my right and earns a sin. If its a big company they do have a lot of assets and the developers of software there are related indirectly to consumer(host), but still you are depriving the developer of his rights(the right of getting paid his share for each copy of software sold), even though Dr Zakir said it's okay, from the perspective of a person who is himself a developer it is bad and he doesn't like it. AND Islam never teaches harming anyone whether muslim or not, directly or indirectly, physically or emotionally. If you want to use a software then use the free version if available, try a free alternative, or try through a different path, like beta testing as said in other comments,or using student versions or using trial or the other reasons mentioned by Dr Zakir(like if you need it desperately and can't afford it). As soon as you start earning then pay for the software.

AND I AGREE with Ali Adams in the thing that if you payback to community say by giving free source code or helping someone understand to do something And if you keep your intention clean , i.e, you wont sell the software you designed in pirated copy of the software you've got, because that too is indirectly hurting the original developer.

  • I think if i am stealing your software by hacking of some kind or thing like that, it is obviously STEALING. But the case is different when i give someone copy of my software, and i restrict him how to use it... is this kind of restriction allowed? Can't i do whatever i want to do with something someone gave me for free? this seems different... Feb 28, 2016 at 16:53
  • 1
    @ZiaUlRehmanMughal , If you yourself give a person a copy of your software, and restrict him regarding how to use it. You by my opinion can do whatever with it but should avoid hurting the developer in any sense, if you ever read EULA(End Users Liscence Agreement) you can deduce for the majority, that you can do whatever with the software but just at personal level without distributing it. Also you are solely responsible for what happens after you fiddle with the software which is outside EULA.
    – user9301
    Mar 11, 2016 at 16:40

Before installing or using any app, you agree to a license agreement, which is a contract between you and the owner of the software. If you do not intend to abide by the contract, you should not accept it.

There are numerous ayah in Quran and hadith to fulfill your promises. I don't think, I need to quote any reference for this. As an example, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) abided by his promise at treaty of Hudabbiyah which was with Kuffar of Makkah. It does not matter whom you are making a contract with, you have to abide by it.

Thus using a software by lying to agree to something that you are not fulfilling is against all Islamic principles of truth, justice and fulfilling your promise.

Also, software is just like any other physical item that you buy from the store. What if you goto a store and take the item without permission, with the intention that you will buy it later, whenever you have money. Try pitching this to the owner and you will know, if it right or wrong


I believe there should be a different sharia for digital world. Disposing of Qur'an is not allowed, yet one can quite conveniently download and delete a Qur'an application as he/she pleases. I believe piracy is not stealing. It is a tit-for-tat process : you take unreasonably high charge, i punish you by not paying . (although, i am not a cracker).

I also believe Muhammad (ﷺ) allowed/personally took part in raiding Quraish caravans wiki . But, there are also numerous hadith of him donating to poor.

The same issue arises when one asks Is hacking allowed in Islam ?. Hackers have the reputation of being ultimate destructors, the very security experts are also hackers.

So, a hadith comes into play here : actions are judged by intention. [hadith search].

Hence, here is what i propose: Donot crack, because, it is an act of destruction. But there should be no problem in using an already pirated software. Because others are already using it and you are paying unnecessary money by buying it.


Pirating software is thief so it is Haram. Exception in haram term is acceptable if there are no solutions to the condition (i.e. we need that software and we cannot afford it nor there are no free software available). Nowadays in software world there are a lot of softwares that licensed as open source, shareware, free ware etc.

So my opinion is clear. Software piracy is haram.

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    – infatuated
    Jan 2, 2015 at 12:06

The response to this question depends on the way you see the world. In theory you are not allowed to use a software without paying in situation of peace, but in situation of 'war' it is allowed. Practically all those who believe in the conspiration theory allow themselves to use non muslims software There is also another problem, when you buy a software, could you make a copy of it, as you own it, and give it to your friend, this is a more complicated topic.

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