I have an interest in making websites and I have a great deal of experience in design and programming. About two years ago I was thinking of making a website like Jareedat al-Waseet for classified as (whilst adhering to all Islamic stipulations), but it did not go ahead because of lack of funds and because I was studying. A little while ago, approximately 2 months, one of my friends came to me and said that one of his relatives wanted to make a website for buying and selling products and also for posting classified ads, and was looking for a partner, but he had found that it would cost a great deal, so he gave up the idea. I told my friend that I had wanted to do something similar for quite some time and that I could do it without expenses, and that I would like him to be my partner, and in fact we started to develop the site.
Do we owe everything to his relative or have we wronged him in any way, or stolen his idea? Please note that I wanted to do this for a while. But I am really afraid of wronging anyone or contaminating my wealth with anything haraam.
There does not seem to be anything wrong with your setting up this project, even if the idea is similar to what your friend’s relative wanted to do, because such ideas are very common and many programmers and others think of them, so you have not impinged upon the unique rights of an inventor. If someone hears that some person is thinking about doing some project, then he does the same thing, he is not transgressing anyone’s rights.
And Allah knows best.