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Using pre-activated/cracked software

Question:

What do the experts of shari’ah say regarding my situation? I am a professional graphic designer in Pakistan. We use Adobe software (Photoshop, Illustrator) for designing, however the adobe company does not sell their software in Pakistan, so we use pre-activated or cracked software as it is easily available on many websites. Is using pre-activated or cracked software halal or haram? There are many resellers in Pakistan, but they are selling it at a very high price. These software’s are the sources of my earning.

Answer:

The shari’ah clearly tells us that we should not use products which we have no right over. To be able to use something, it must be established that we have ownership over it, or it has been gifted to us. From the scenario which has been given, neither ownership of the software is established nor having received it as a gift. It will not be permissible for you to use this software.

Allah ﷻ has mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, “so eat what Allah has provided you and don’t follow in Satan’s footsteps, for He is your open enemy.” (Al-An’am:142). In another verse it is stated, “People, eat of what is lawful and wholesome on Earth” (Al-Baqarah:168)

These verses clearly mention that we should only use those things which are halal (permissible) for us. A thing will only be considered halal if we have ownership over it or if it has been gifted to us. In the case of a cracked software, neither ownership nor having received it as a gift can be established, so it will not be permissible to use.

And Allah knows best.

This Fatwa is written by Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Munir Al-Azhari