Q: What constitutes aiding in sin when working for a software house, as a service provider, as a software engineer, software developer, web designer or web developer?
What should one look out for to understand when one is aiding in sin when working for a software house, as a service provider, as a software engineer, software developer, web designer or web developer?
It’s a role different from an IT Technician in that they are not just providing maintenance to the IT infrastructure of the company.
The core of the matter is that the company that one is working for is a halal business in that they offer to develop software. eg:
– websites or desktop applications
– sell online access to software they build
– customise the software and then sell online access to it.
However the client the company has, or could have at some point in the future, could be a halal or haram business.
Hence the software the company builds or sells access to the client may be considered to be:
For advertising the client’s services such as building a company website which advertises the client’s services which are harām. Content text/graphics may be provided by the client or done internally.
Or a financial package where it has components to calculate non-shariah compliant figures.
Or an energy monitoring system which offers the client haram or a mixture of harām / halāl e.g. food factories, save money by monitoring their energy usage.
Or an e-commerce system which allows the client to sell their goods which are harām. The company may host the system themselves for cost or client hosts it.
Or customise either types of software as a service to add extra functionality to meet client needs or to aid in the client sales by customising it to generate leads by providing a professional looking website.
Should one when looking to work in these companies make clear to the employer in interviews that if haram business came to the company one would refuse to work on such projects or only do so if they occur during employment.
الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب
A: In principle, if one designs/develops a bespoke application usable for only ‘haram’ purposes then this is generally viewed as assisting in sin. If one designs/develops a generic application that can be used for both halal and haram purposes and the client chooses to use it for haram purposes or for both then according to the principles of Imam Abu Hanifah rahimahullah this is not deemed as assisting in sin. The client is an independent agent who has opted for the haram usage of his own volition. . If one designs/develops an application to be used only for a halal purpose even if the business of the client is otherwise haram then this also not assisting in sin.
To build a bespoke web page for advertising a clients services which are haram is not permissible whether the content text/graphics are provided by the client or done internally. However, if the web page is generic and the client adds his own advertisement then according to the principles of Imam Abu Hanifah rahimahullah this is not assisting in sin.
To build a bespoke financial package where it has components to calculate non Sharia’ah compliant figures is not assisting in sin as the calculation of figures is not in itself a sin.
To build an energy monitoring system which allows a client offering haram or a mixture of haram/halal, e.g. food factories, to save money by monitoring their energy usage is not assisting in sin as the monitoring of energy is not a sin.
The nature and exact function of the ecommerce system and the adding of functionality are not clear from the question to be able to offer an opinion.