The Constitution of the Caliphate State / Education Policy
- Category: Education Policy §170-180
Article 180: The exploitation of writing books for educational purposes at whatever level is strictly forbidden. Once a book has been printed and published, nobody has the right to reserve the publishing and printing rights, including the author. However, if they were ideas he had, which were not yet printed or published, the owner has the right to be paid for transferring these ideas to the public as he paid for teaching.
The evidence for it is the permissibility of taking a fee for teaching and the permission of knowledge for people. As for the permissibility of taking a fee for education, it is confirmed from the words of the Messenger صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم:
«إِنَّ أَحَقَّ مَا أَخَذْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا كِتَابُ اللهِ»
“You are most entitled to take wages for Allah's Book” (reported by Al-Bukhari from Ibn ‘Abbas), and so by greater reasoning a fee can be taken for teaching anything else; additionally it is confirmed from the fact that the Messenger صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم allowed the prisoners from the battle of Badr to each teach ten Muslims as their ransom, which is making a payment for education. Authoring is the writing of knowledge, or in other words, the giving of knowledge through writing and so it is like imparting it verbally. Knowledge can be passed to people verbally or in a written form and in both circumstances it is permitted to take a fee for it. However, if the teacher imparts something verbally or through writing, the knowledge that the learner took becomes possessed by him, and so he has the right to impart that knowledge to anyone else whether verbally or through writing, and he has the right to take a fee for it. The prisoners from Badr had no right over those who learnt reading and writing from them other than their fee, and those who learnt from them could teach others reading and writing for a fee without the permission of their teachers, and without their teachers having any right.
Additionally, knowledge, from the angle that it is permitted, and the meaning of its being permitted is that it is permissible for anyone to take it, and permitted for anyone who teaches it to take a fee, and not simply the teacher who taught it originally. So from this it is seen that the knowledge is possessed by anyone who knows it, and is not the sole possession of the one who taught it, and it is the possession of the one who knows it as long as it remains with him, and so he can take a fee for teaching it to someone else, or can teach it to others for free. So if it emerges from him through his teaching of it to an individual or a group, or talking about it in public, or conveying it to the people by any means, it becomes permissible for all of the people in accordance with the evidences which generally permit knowledge, and it becomes permissible for whoever took that knowledge individually or part of a group, to give it to whoever they wish irrespective of whether the one who taught them initially gave them permission or not, and whether they were content for that to happen or not.
This is evidence that no one possesses the right to publish since it is knowledge, so as long as it remains with him he has the right to charge a fee for it, and if he imparts it to the people verbally or through writing, by any means at all, it becomes permitted for all the people, and it becomes permitted for every one of them to teach it to someone else and to charge a fee for teaching. So to make the rights of publishing specific to the author is forbidding the permitted; forbidding knowledge by prohibiting it being taken except with permission and forbidding charging a fee for it by prohibiting it being taught for a fee except with permission, and so accordingly it is not permissible for anyone to possess publishing rights.