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Is It Permissible to Use Pirated Software If You Are Poor?

On the Halal and Haram

Question: I live in a poor country, and the Government doesn’t do enough to help people. Buying original development software is too expensive. Can I use pirated software instead?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh,

I pray you are well.

Using Pirated Software

Thank you for the detailed explanation of your situation. Despite the difficulty with the Government and the other factors you mentioned, this does not make using the pirated software permissible. The companies that produce the software do so as a means of income. They own the product, and in essence, hire it out to people.

The jurists have a principle that states it is not permissible to spend or use the wealth or property of another without their permission. It would be like living in the house that another has purchased to benefit from its rental income, but without an agreement or paying rent.

Your personal circumstances, despite how difficult they may be,  do not permit you do use the property of another without their permission (Maydani, al Lubab).

Use Alternatives

If no other means of work is possible then use the free development tools available. There are many programs that do that, such as the Office package, maybe not the same, but the basic functions are the same. Google Documents and other tools they provide are also viable, free options.

If there are some older versions of the software that they do not derive an income from and permit people to use then using that would be fine too.

Turn to Allah

One of the means of increasing one’s rizq is to engage in some form of remembrance of Allah after the ‘Asr prayer, according to Imam ‘Abdullah al Haddad (Haddad, Adab al Murid).  The Prophet Nuh (Allah bless him and give him peace) encouraged his people to ask Allah for forgiveness saying, “He will give you an increase in wealth and child…” (Qur’an, 71:12).

Lay your neediness out before Allah. He will take care of you with His generosity.

May Allah facilitate all matters for you.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Who Are the Most Deserving of Receiving Zakat?

Question: Who are the most deserving of receiving Zakat?

Answer: In the Name of Allah the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Those Most Deserving of Zakat

The best people to give one’s zakat to are the needy among:
(1) one’s closest relatives, in order of closeness;
(2) one’s neighbors;
(3) one’s community;
(4) one’s town;
(5) the land one lives in.
[Shurunbulali; Maraqi al-Falah]

Note that zakat must be given to a Muslim. One can give other charities to both Muslims and non-Muslims [Ala’ al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya].

Giving one’s Zakat outside of one’s locality

It is disliked to send one’s Zakat outside of one’s land. The exception is if it is given to (a) a relative; (b) someone more in need; (c) someone more pious; (d) or to someone who brings more benefit to the Muslims–such as someone teaching Islamic Knowledge [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah].

Hope this helps
Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Allah’s Deal With The Poor – What It Means For you, by Shaykh Faid Said

When you give to the poor and needy from the wealth you have been blessed with, there is a promise from Allah that is beyond imagination and comparison. Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said tells us more.

Bismillah-ir Rahman-ir Raheem.

None of us could have ever wished to come to this world, as none of us even knew that this world exists, and we did not even know that we existed ourselves!

Allah (The Most High) invited us to this existence, and He is the One who invites, provides and takes responsibility for all those He has invited! As He is the Provider, He established the rules that govern this existence, and included in those rules is the principle that those who are fortunate will give to those who are less fortunate; and Allah (The Most High) made this exchange a deal that is in actuality between Him and the fortunate ones!

Generally speaking, there are two types of people:

  1. those whom Allah (The Most High) has given in abundance and
  2. those who are poor and needy.

So when Allah (The Most High) invited us to this existence, He took responsibility for all those who are in need, and at the same time, He does not take the abundance He has provided to the fortunate ones; what has been given to them is their own.

[cwa id=’cta’]

“Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan…” (Surah Al-Baqarah, 245)

Hence, when those who are fortunate give to those who are in need, Allah (The Most High) creates a deal between the fortunate ones and Him!  It is as if Allah (The Most High) is saying: that which you give to others I invited to this existence, will be a debt between you and Me!

The Mercy of Allah (The Most High) manifests in His giving and not taking away from the fortunate ones, and His asking on behalf of His other invitees!

In contemplating this, we recall the narration when the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) entered the house of Syeda Fatimah (May Allah be pleased with her), and upon entering he (may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) saw that she was polishing the rust off of some dirhams. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) inquired as to why she was meticulously polishing the dirhams, to which she replied that she was going to give the dirhams as charity. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) further asked that if she was going to give the dirhams as charity, she could give them as is; Syeda Fatimah (May Allah be pleased with her) responded:  

These dirhams, before going into the hands of the miskeen, will be placed into the hands of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala)!

Allahumma salli alaa Syedina Muhammad wa alaa Ahli Syedina Muhammad!

Resources for seekers

Photo by Rui Duarte.

The Story of Abdul Razzaq and Abdul Ghani, by Novid Shaid

Writer and poet, Novid Shaid, weaves a tale of two men who led very different lives with what they were granted by Allah.

There were once two men: Abdul Razzaq and Abdul Ghani.
Abdul Razzaq was a faithful man, who was very resourceful, with a talent for acquiring wealth. By the age of forty, he had paid off the mortgages of three properties, rented them out and his portfolio continued to grow promisingly.
He spent on local projects and was always generous to the mosque and community. When his daughters got married, he gave each of them lavish send offs, inviting the whole community and ensuring everyone left the hall with a satisfied smile on their faces. His wife was always cheerful and regularly invited the local ladies around her luxuriant house to read Quran and send blessings on the Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace. This house was always blessed with the pitter-patter of his daughters’ children, with guests from Pakistan, with local dignitaries and businessmen.
The only thing they seemed to lack was sons. But both husband and wife were grateful for what Allah had given them and inwardly they were content. When the couple passed on, it was noticed that a hint of a smile appeared on their faces and people reported that they had heard the shahadah (testimony of faith) from their lips. Thereafter, Abdul Razzaq was lauded and remembered as an exceptional individual, who had lived the best life possible, rich in this world and rich in the next world.
Abdul Ghani was a contemporary of Abdul Razzaq, who lived some two miles away from Razzaq’s spacious, detached property on the outskirts of town. Incidentally, the two men were frequently seen standing next to each other in the congregational prayers at the mosque. But unlike Razzaq, Abdul Ghani had struggled to make ends meet throughout his life, with jobs in factories, two of which had laid him off, and taxi jobs. He had never been clever enough to multiply his wealth and, for decades and decades, he had to graft just to subsist.
His worldly possessions did not amount to much: a terraced house in a cramped area of town and an old people carrier which doubled up as a taxi. His only child and son, Hasan, inherited his dad’s artlessness and did not amount to much at school, ending up working in the local supermarket. Hasan was wedded off in Abdul Ghani’s ancestral village in Kashmir and it took Hasan and his father several years of hard work to bring the bride to England. Mrs Ghani was a simple woman who seldom complained and phlegmatically moved to each phase of her life, enshrouded in her white chadour and her few friends, whom she would call to her house from time to time.
And that’s how Ghani lived, until old age took him and his wife. Fate had it that the next available space in the local graveyard was next to Abdul Razzaq. So there the two graves stood: Abdul Razzaq’s marble gravestone, inscribed with exquisite calligraphy and Abdul Ghani’s cheap and cheerful piece with the plain inscription from the Quran: “From Allah did we come and to Him we will return”.
One day, after a burial nearby, two old acquaintances of Razzaq stood before these two graves.
“Our friend, Abdul Razzaq. What a man! So generous, such a good Muslim. Masha Allah, he had been blessed with such wealth and I will never forget that smile on his face when he passed on.”
The other looked at Abdul Ghani’s grave: “Abdul Ghani… Poor man, he worked so hard…”
That night, these two men saw some familiar faces in their dreams. The first man saw Abdul Razzaq with a face radiant and pure, but there seemed to be a weight on his back.
“How is it with you Abdul Razzaq?”
“Life is blessed,” replied Abdul Razzaq, “this world is better than yours, but all the wealth that I did not use for His pleasure has become a burden on my back.”
The other man saw Abdul Ghani, enlightened, princely, ennobled.
“How is it with you Abdul Ghani?”
“In the dunya, I was nobody. No one thought of me much or praised my name. But every penny I had, I spent for His sake, and when everyone was asleep, I used to wake up and praise His name. Now the angels visit me in a lush garden filled with exquisite fruit. His sincere remembrance has the highest value here, and money… Money means nothing here, except what was for Allah…”
[cwa id=’cta’]

Resources for seekers

Spend, Even When You’re Destitute – Shaykh Muhammad Adeyinka Mendes

What is the benefit of giving charity and spending on others even when you’re destitute and dirt poor? When you can’t pay your rent, when you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel… We revisit some of the gems from Shaykh Muhammad Mendes when he was at SeekersHub Toronto.


[cwa id=’cta’]

Resources for seekers:

Abdul Sattar Edhi: How Should Muslims React To His Passing? – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

When a great believer like Abdul Sattar Edhi passes away, how should we react? The guidance for this comes from Allah’s promises to us, as Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains in this brief talk.

See also The great Muslim philanthropist, Abdul-Sattar Edhi, returns to his Lord and Three Acts That Formed The Core Of Abdul Sattar Edhi’s Life on the SeekersGuidance blog.

Serve and Serve Again (30 Days, 30 Deeds), by Shaykh Muhammad Adeyinka Mendes

Serve and Serve Again, by Shaykh Muhammad Adeyinka Mendes

30 Days, 30 Deeds
Sacred Acts to Transform the Heart

Every night, our scholars in residence explore one simple deed that could have far reaching spiritual impact on our lives – and the lives of others. Every day we’ll make the intention to put that teaching into practice. Whether it’s forgiving someone who’s wronged us or putting service to others at the top of our list of priorities, these powerful lessons will remind us of the great gift the Prophet ﷺ‎  gave us: the best of character.

Daily at 8:10 pm EST. Attend in person at SeekersHub Toronto or watch live. 

 

 

Let’s #GiveLight to Millions More

We envision a world in which no one is cut off from the beauty, mercy and light of the Prophetic ﷺ example. A world where the dark ideology of a few is dwarfed by radiant example of the many who follow the way of the Prophet ﷺ. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support. This Ramadan, we need you to help us #GiveLight to millions more. Here’s how.

 

Photo by Rui Duarte.

Can I Pay My Zakat to Someone Who Owns a House?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaykum,

I know a Muslim family who owns the house where they live. But they have no family income and are living a difficult life. They can not sell their house because that’s the place for them to live.

Can Zakat be given to such a family?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

If the person is not in possession of the zakatable minimum (nisab) in any form of wealth [known as nisab hirman al-zakat], it would be permitted to give them zakat funds.

Try your best to ascertain what assets the person owns beyond their personal needs, and whether or not this wealth amounts to the nisab. [see: e-nisab.com]

If some members of the family do possess the nisab, consider giving to somebody in the family who doesn’t possess such wealth, and will use it for the benefit of the family.

See also: Zakat: How to Calculate & Whom to Give and:Is Your Zakat Due? – A Reader and Resources on Giving Zakat

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani