Dubai’s top religious authorities issued an edict on Monday declaring the use of someone else’s WiFi service without prior permission or consent a theft and hence prohibited in Islam.
Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai stated in an online fatwa (or religious edict) that using your neighbour’s WiFi without their consent is opposed to proper Islamic conduct.
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“If WiFi is used by anyone without the owner's consent, it will be considered a kind of fraud, embezzlement and theft,” Dr Ali Mashael, chief mufti at the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities said.
“If the quality of service gets affected/disrupted by illegal user access, then he or she will be involved in another sin or error. Regardless of whether the WiFi service owner is affected, it is haram (or prohibited) to avail the service without his or her consent,” he added.
Islamic researcher Dr Shaikh Mohammed Ashmawy concurred saying that if the illegal user availed the service for prohibited practices, he or she would be committing another grave sin.
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"Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was reported as saying that: 'There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm', and hence people should not be involved in such WiFi theft," he added.
Further, the edict says, “There is nothing wrong in using the line if your neighbour allows you to do so, but if they don't allow you, you may not use it.”
Dubai's Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department answers a variety of online questions. These range from prayers and religious matters to modern issues like cosmetic surgeries and illegally downloading movies.
This article originally appeared on Khaleej Times.