Is using pirated software allowed? Please answer with clear evidence supporting your view.

Note that I'm not asking about whether software piracy itself is sinful. My question is regarding the actual using of software that was obtained from a pirated source, either with or without the end user's knowledge.

For example, many of the computer centres here will sell computers with a pirated OS pre-installed, and they will provide discs of the pirated software. Is it haram to use these, given that most of the users don't even realize that what they have is pirated software? Must they stop using the software when they actually learn that it was originally pirated?

  • 3
    related question: islam.stackexchange.com/questions/207/…
    – goldPseudo
    Commented Jun 25, 2012 at 5:12
  • 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 17:45
  • @SameerShemna : I am linux user :-)
    – Tachyons
    Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 4:03
  • mansalai abu backer checking you out on github ;) Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 4:50

6 Answers 6


Ask yourself this: If someone gave you a computer, and it turns out the computer itself was stolen, would it still be halal to use? Piracy is stealing, plain and simple. I've been working in software development for over ten years and I know first hand how much hard work goes into making it, and to have someone come and get it for free hurts.

I also grew up in the Middle East and I know what you're talking about when you refer to not knowing the software is pirated. Now that you know, you have to stop. Especially in this day and age where there is PLENTY of free software that is intended to be free by its developers, it further removes the excuse for any piracy.

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    Personally I am computer science student , so I know this issues . But here people who are not software developers are not aware of it . Even the religious groups giving link to pirated softwares in their official website . I am a linux user so pirated softwares are not necessary for me :-)
    – Tachyons
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 11:52
  • What if this pirated software is essential to your work and it is not possible to get the real software. (I'm not talking about money)
    – user4456
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 18:00
  • @user4456, buy it and use it. Or get exclusive permission from the owner.
    – Muneer
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 10:08
  • There are a number of scholars who do not recognise intangible property as a valid form of mulk see: lawexplores.com/…
    – 0x777C
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 11:34
  • I downloaded cracked ms word for school without knowing it was haram to pirate things...and since my parents can't pay for the original one due to the expense, I had to pirate. I currently have my ms word installed and would still require it for my university, should I keep my pirated ms word and now that I know piracy is wrong...refrain from this activity in the future? What should I do? Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 16:00

And eat up not one another’s property unjustly (in any illegal way e.g. stealing, robbing, deceiving, etc.), nor give bribery to the rulers (judges before presenting your cases) that you may knowingly eat up a part of the property of others sinfully. Sura Al-Baqara:188 (2:188)

It is wrong to steal, plain and simple. Obviously, piracy is stealing by definition, hence piracy cannot be possibly allowed.


If you buy from someone who is selling those pirated softwares/computers with pirated softwares, you are basically taking part in his evil by aiding/encouraging him. I cannot say it is outright haraam because I have no authority or evidence to do so. But, I would like to admonish you regarding that.

Also, I would like you to listen to the audio of a scholar regarding this issue (parts of which seems relevant to this question) - Shaykh al-Albani on Copyright (It is a small clip anyway!)


License agreement is agreement as any other.
Violation to agreement is haram, no matter with whom it signed "accepted"


Just see the matter from another perspective: You are a developer by profession, you make money by developing software. If someone uses your software for free without your concern, isn’t he/she harming you? Are they respecting you? Aren't they stealing your property? Aren't they violating your right? What do you think?

Islam is for maintaining peace, integrity, social justice, rights, security, humanity and .... So on across the society, applicable to every aspect of our life whether we go digital or social, that doesn't matter. So clearly it is haram.

Just go for free alternatives...

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    Welcome to Islam.SE, Please go through How to write a good answer. Specifically, the part that talks about providing islamic sources for your answer.
    – Sohaeb
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 7:09

Just think like you bought a product. You got the ownership right. Now you can make copy of the product because you own it. Like you bought a goat and it make another goat. Can the company who gave you the goat say don't breed this goat and give to another person?. In islam only stealing a thing is haram. There is no hadees or quran saying about copying a thing or idea in islam. Computer was not there in islam at that time. So this is an undiscussed topic by islam. You can not say it is haram without a hadees or quran.

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