As more and more religions, countries, and industries begin adopting affiliate marketing, a lot of questions arise about how ethical the business practice is. While across nearly all of the world affiliate marketing is completely legal and ethical, some parts of the world want to know how halal or haram it is.
Let’s walk through quickly what affiliate marketing is, and then we can discuss whether or not is it completely halal. Affiliate marketing is the practice of selling another businesses products or services in exchange for a commission. You sell this product or service direct to the consumer in hopes that they will enjoy and get results from using them.
Let’s get to the main question at hand now.
Is Affiliate Marketing Halal?
Yes, affiliate marketing is halal as long as the products and services you are promoting are not haram. So long as you promote halal offers as an affiliate marketer, you are performing halal services. As well, it is halal to do affiliate marketing as long as you personally would use the products or services you are offering to any given audience.
You must have belief in what you are selling as an affiliate, and not just sell a product or service just in hopes to receive a commission.
If you were simply selling a product or service to make money, or to get someone else to also sell that product or serviced, that would be a pyramid scheme. And pyramid schemes are haram. While they utilize referral marketing like affiliate marketing does, the structure of the business is different.
What Does The Quran Say About Earning Commissions As An Affiliate?
From what Quran and Islam interpreters can tell, the Quran says that earning affiliate marketing commissions is permissible as long as you do not increase the price of the product being sold, in any way that can or would harm the customer.
Here’s a precise excerpt from IslamQA –
“If the factory-owner or shopkeeper gives you part of the money from each product that is sold through you, in payment for your efforts to find him customers, and this money is not added to the price of the product and that does not cause problems to others who sell the same product, and this factory or store sells it for the same price as others, then this is permissible and there is nothing wrong with it.
But if this money that you take from the owner of the factory or store is added to the price paid by the purchaser, it is not permissible for you to take it and it is not permissible for the vendor to do that, because this is harming the purchaser by making him pay a higher price.”
This shows that being an affiliate, earning commissions, and purchasing an affiliate product – is Halal.
What Kinds Of Affiliate Products Are Not Halal?
There are many common affiliate marketing products and services that are haram. Be careful promoting any offer as an affiliate and refer to this list to see if they are safe to sell. Here is a list of affiliate offers that you can not promote if you are Islamic or Muslim.
- Adult Content
- Forex or Forex related content
Other related products and services may be syubhah (doubtful)
Selling Product And Services You Have Not Used
It is perfectly okay to sell products and services that you have not used. So long as you have full faith in what you’re selling as an affiliate marketer. If you do not believe that they products are of a good quality however, and you’re just selling them because you desire compensation, then this is haram. However, it is okay to receive a profit so long as it is not the only goal.
You should not try to convince any person or community to buy a product or service you wouldn’t use yourself. Doing so would be haram.
Even if you have used a product or service you’re selling but wouldn’t advise others to use it, selling that product or service would also be haram.
Always make sure you affiliate related activities and related actions are halal. It is okay to even sell products and services in a saturated market as long as the market is not haram.
Affiliate marketing is a service that is halal. You’ll find that it is permissible in Islam and Muslim practices. However, an affiliate marketer or affiliate program should only offer halal offers to their marketplace or audience. You must believe it brings a true benefit to the end user and be sold on shariah compliant platforms.
In Islam you can even promote an Amazon affiliate program products since Amazon has a fixed commission rate, which means the customer isn’t paying more for the product in question.
Thank you so much for reading through this brief article, you are appreciated very much.
With our kindest regards,