When I turn my computer on I can find it connecting directly to the internet because one of my neighbours has an internet connection that also covers his immediate area. Is it permissible for me to use the internet in this case?.
Praise be to Allaah.
If your using the internet
will not lead to increased charges for this person because of your
downloading or uploading anything via the internet, and will not cause any
slowdown or other problems because of increased traffic or sharing the
connections, then the general meaning of tolerance between neighbours and
the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah in which the Prophet (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) said “No neighbour should prevent his neighbour from
fixing a piece of wood to his wall” (narrated by al-Bukhaari (2463) and
Muslim (1609)) indicates that it is permissible for you to use the internet
in this case, but in order to be on the safe side it is better to ask your
neighbour’s permission if you know him.
But there are some
reservations concerning this issue, such as if the area is covered by more
than one connection belonging to more than one neighbour, so your computer
may connect to one at one time and another at another time.
There is also the issue of
the losses of customers and profits incurred by the telecommunications
company because of this taking advantage of neighbours’ coverage. Hence to
be on the safe side it is better to sign up for your own account so that you
may avoid these dubious matters.