Dr. ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz bin Ibrahim Al-Shibel, a Saudi lecturer in Islamic jurisprudence at the Imam Muhammad bin Sa’ud University in Riyadh, issued a fatwa drawing a distinction between websites that may be attacked and those that must not be attacked. He said that it is not permitted to attack “honorable” websites that fulfill the following conditions (see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 4483, Muslim Clerics: Cyber Warfare Against Israel Is A Form Of Jihad, February 9, 2012): a) They offer educational, commercial, medical, governmental or entertainment services that are sanctioned by the shari’a; and b) They belong to individuals whose life and property are inviolable according to the shari’a, which includes Muslims, ahl al-dhimma (namely Jews and Christians living under Muslim rule), and people living in countries that have agreements and contracts with the Muslim countries.
He then went on to define “dishonorable” websites, including those containing pornography, occult materials, games of chance, etc., as well as those whose owners are nationals of the countries of dar al-harb – that is, non-Muslim countries that do not have agreements or contracts with the Muslim states.
Stating that according to shari’a these websites may be attacked, he stresses that hacking such sites expose the hacker to immoral materials, and, since there are so many such websites, attacking them may be a waste of valuable time that would be better spent performing da’wa and spreading Islam on the Internet. He added that the hacker could also be punished, while the site owner is likely to rebuilt the website or even launch more similar websites.
Al-Shibel emphasizes that websites should be hacked only if the benefit of an attack outweighed the possible harmful consequences.
Source: Islammessage.com, January 31, 2012.