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Using pirated books to study medicine


Assalaamu alaykum. First of all, thank you so much for answering my previous question. I still have a lot of questions regarding Islam, so please be patient with me. I pray for your happiness in this life and the afterlife for helping me. I am trying to became a medical doctor, and I plan on taking biochemistry and then proceed to go to medical school. Now I am studying using pirated books which I downloaded illegally from the internet. I know from the beginning that pirating books is haram, but that is not my question. I have to do that because I cannot find the books in my town. Besides, I do not have a lot of money to cover my study needs. So my questions are: 

– Does the fact that I am using pirated, haram materials make my knowledge haram? (I know that this may sound ridiculous, but please answer this kindly.)

– How big is the sin if I download illegal materials for study only as I cannot find any other source anywhere else?

How is one to repent from this?

– Let us say that I manage to graduate, will this render my income haram?

Do not worry; I am not trying to force you to make this halal. I just want to know your opinion. Please show me evidence from the Quran or hadiths. Thank you very much. May Allah reward you.


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, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

The issue of copying programs or downloading online books for personal benefit without earning from them is a matter about which we have written many answers, and we have already referred you to some of them in the past. So there is no need to repeat the same thing.

We just say here that a group of scholars hold the opinion that it is permissible to copy programs and use them for personal benefit only.

Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, may Allah have mercy upon him, said about copying CD’s, “In my view, if a person copies them only for personal use, then there is nothing wrong with this, but if he copies them for trade, then this is not permissible because there is harm to others.” [Liqaa’ Al-Baab Al-Maftooh – Open Door Meeting]

Based on the above, you are not sinful for what you did as long as your purpose is to study and for personal benefit only. Also, there is no harm on you if you work with the knowledge and certificates that you gained because of those copied or pirated materials. This will not affect the lawfulness of what you will earn from your work if you are entrusted with a job in the future as long as you perform it as required.

We hope that this answers your question, and we advise you to stop asking such questions and stop getting carried away with those doubts, which are closer to Waswaas (obsessive whispers), as we are very busy with our accumulated questions.

We ask Allah to grant you mercy and guidance in all your affairs.

Allah knows best.


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