Is It Permissible to Use Open WiFi Networks?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Salman Younas

Question

Could you please help me with these issues:

I have been granted access to WiFi from a hub that has a masjid hall and other areas. Do I have to donate back to the mosque for using this? Is it considered against the rules of Waqf though I have been given permission?

Is it permissible to use open WiFi networks, such as one place with a public network for available, but I don’t know if it was only customers. Would I have to do anything such as pay them, etc. how about if I know of these places now and they aren’t hard for me to get to?

Answer

Unless the Waqf has stipulated that only specific people may use the WiFi, you will not be going against its rules. You would not have to donate to make use of it if it is open to masjid attendees.

Generally, this returns to what is customarily accepted by such establishments. Suppose they have a clear policy of “customer-only” usage. In that case, one should not use their service without being a customer unless it is generally known and tolerated that non-customers occasionally use it.

Check these links:
The Question of Illegal Downloading
Using Someone Else’s Internet Connection or Network

[Ustadh] Salman Younas
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Born and raised in New York, Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studied Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. He is now in his final year of his PhD at Oxford University, looking at the early evolution of the Hanafi madhab.
His teachers include: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Salah Abu’l Hajj, Shaykh Ashraf Muneeb, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Snobar, Shaykh Ali Hani, Shaykh Hamza Bakri, Ustadh Rajab Harun and others.
Ustadh Salman’s personal interests include research into the fields of law/legal methodology, hadith, theology, as well as political theory, government, media, and ethics. He is also an avid traveler and book collector. He currently resides in the UK with his wife.