Praise be to Allaah.
It is not permissible to use copiers and other machines in
ways that involve using up things that belong to the company, even if that
is done for the purpose of distributing Islamic articles, because the
employee is in a position of trust with regard to what he has been given and
what he has been made responsible for. So it is not permissible to dispose
of or use things that have been entrusted to him for purposes other than
If it is a private company and is owned by a specific
individual, and the owner allows such uses (of machines etc), then there is
nothing wrong with that, because it is like a donation from the owner. But
if it is a government company then that is not permitted, even if your boss
at work gives permission, because he does not own those things himself, so
how can he give them to someone else?
The same applies to using the computer to listen to lectures
and Qur’aan, especially if that involves using the internet etc, which
incurs costs for the company.
Even if it does not incur costs for the company, it is still
a dubious area, because it still involves wear and tear on the computer for
purposes other than work.
The point is that it is not permissible to do such things,
and you have to repent to Allaah and pay back whatever you have used up.
If you used papers for photocopying, then you have to give
back similar papers. You also have to pay for using the photocopier. If you
cannot work out how much expense is involved, do your best to pay off what
you owe. You can give paper instead, or something else that will benefit the
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was
asked: What is the ruling on using government cars for personal purposes? He
replied: Using government cars and other equipment that belongs to the
state, such as photocopiers, printers, etc for personal purposes is not
permissible, because these things are for the public interest and if a
person uses them for his own personal needs, this is a kind of aggression
against all the people. If something belongs to the Muslims as a whole, it
is not permissible for one person to use it for himself. The evidence for
that is the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) forbade ghulool, i.e., a person taking something from the
war-booty for himself, because this (the war-booty) is public property. If a
person sees someone using government equipment or cars for his own purposes
he should advise him and explain to him that this is haraam. If Allaah
guides him, then this is the desired outcome; if not, then he should report
him, because that is a kind of cooperating in piety and righteousness. And
it was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) said: “Support your brother whether he is a oppressor or oppressed.”
They said: O Messenger of Allaah, (we know how to help) if he is oppressed,
but how (can we help him) if he is an oppressor? He said: “Prevent him from
doing wrong, that is how you help him.”
And he was asked: If his boss agrees to that, is there any
sin on him?
He (may Allaah have
mercy on him) replied: Even if the boss agrees with that, the boss does not
own that thing, so how can he give permission to someone else to use it?
Liqa’ al-Baab il-Maftooh,
See also questions no.