Can I Damage the Database of a Website Promoting Bad Manners?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Can I damage the database of a website promoting nudity or could I do things like such as a good deed? Or if I find money anywhere from such websites, can I take that thinking that as a war booty and spend it for the cause of Allah?

If it isn’t something allowed in Islam, can I help them instead, by for example, reporting them the weaknesses in their websites, which in some cases, wins me a bug bounty, any amount of money, or something as a gift?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you’re well.

It would not be permissible for you to hack this particular website, nor any which resemble it. Nor would taking any money from it be permissible because it is not considered ‘war booty’. Rather, it would be a criminal act according to the laws of the country you live in, and as a citizen you are bound to obey those laws.

Your dislike of the improper content, however, is praiseworthy in the Shariʿa. What we learn from the sunna of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is that if there is anything reprehensible in the sight of the Shariʿa happening outside of of our sphere of influence we speak up if possible; otherwise one should hate it in one’s heart (Muslim).

It is unlikely that you will be able to bring about any meaningful, long-term change here, so you should direct yourself to improving as a believer through knowledge and action, and then to helping those who would need your help in your locality.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.