Using cracked software for lack of legitimate software
Fatwa No: 326080


Assalaamu alaykum. I am Akram from Ethiopa, and I am IT professional. I recently learned that cracking software is haram. However, I want to ask whether I can use cracked software to solve many computer problems and thus earn money from my clients. Is that haram? How about the money that I take, is that haram too? Please note that I absolutely need that software in order to solve problems and that I cannot even buy software online in Ethiopia because I would need a visa card for that. Wassalaam alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

The council of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA), in its fifth session, asserted the necessity of observing copyrights and the prohibition of violating them and that authorship and invention are rights belonging to their holders and have, in contemporary times, financial value which can be traded. These rights are recognized by Islamic law, and it is impermissible to violate them.

Accordingly, it is impermissible for you to use these cracked software programs to earn a living. There is no doubt that there are many lawful means of earning a living for whoever strives in seeking them. You do not have to work in this field if it is difficult to find uncracked software to work with. Needless to say, whoever fears Allaah and abandons the unlawful for His sake, He will make for him a way out of every distress. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And whoever fears Allaah - He will make for him a way out and will provide for him from where he does not expect...} [Quran 65:2-3]

When a person uses such cracked software in his field of work, his earnings are not unlawful (haraam); however, he is liable for any damage and loss incurred by the software owners from his use of the software without their permission. Compensation of this loss is to be paid to the software owners who own the patent rights, if possible; otherwise, it is to be given in charity. The extent of damage and value of loss is to be determined by experts in this field (otherwise, one may estimate it himself and pay what he believes would most likely be sufficient to clear himself of his liability).

Allaah knows best.

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