Unethical Practices When Authoring and Publishing
Fatwa No: 377152

Question

: If publishers/authors/co authors/editors/alike of books /journals /reports/research papers/alike etc do unethical practices(of whatever types ) in course of writing,producing ,editing,publishing works ,does it make me unlawful for me to download ,buy & read their works both in internet & real life even topics are permitted/lawful/halal? Does the blame extend to me or it is limited to the people who did these?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Your saying ‘unethical practices’ is a broad term, so we cannot issue a general ruling on this basis.

Does the material that the person wants to download include what is Islamically prohibited because of those practices? And therefore, it is not permissible to copy them or cooperate with their owners in any given manner, as this will mean helping them in their sin; Allah Says (what means): {…but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.} [Quran 5:2]

Or is it that there is a violation on the material itself is misused, and therefore, it is not permissible to copy it, or purchase it, as it is the right of the first owner (of the material)?

Or what is meant is that the material that the person wants are not forbidden but the practices of their owners are unethical as you mentioned, but the practices are not related to the materials themselves, or that they are related but it does not make it forbidden to benefit from them? In which case, there is no harm in benefitting from them in a permissible way as long as this does not lead to a disadvantage.

Allah knows best.

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