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Being a Christian, something I didn’t really think too much about until recently when it was posed to me as a question was the potential concern in the mind of a Muslim considering affiliate marketing.
Is affiliate marketing halal… Or is affiliate marketing haram? (permissible or impermissible).
For many people practising the religion of Islam that is a major concern, and rightly so. If you feel strongly for the views of your religion, then it is right to do by it in all aspects of your life…
And that includes affiliate marketing.
So, in order to answer this question to help my readers, I consulted with a few of my Muslim friends on the matter & spent over one hour discussing whether or not affiliate marketing is halal or haram.
In this blog post, I am going to share with you the conclusion of our discussion.
Is Affiliate Marketing Halal?
So, in short, affiliate marketing is basically the act of promoting products or services online in return for commissions that are paid out on successful sales at no extra cost to the purchaser.
This means that as an affiliate marketer, you are essentially merely an advertiser.
You advertise things, but rather than getting paid upfront for your advertising efforts you instead get paid commissions if the people that interact with your ads happen to make a purchase.
Pretty simple stuff.
Now, that also means that the method of affiliate marketing itself (in the opinion of myself & my Muslim friends) is halal… But we believe there are a couple of conditions.
The first condition is that the products or services that you are promoting as an affiliate MUST be halal. If, as an affiliate, you promote products that are haram, then your marketing efforts will also be haram.
And secondly, the cost must not increase to the buyer as a result of going via your affiliate link to make the purchase. If you earn a commission by increasing the cost, it will be haram.
Again, those are purely our opinions on the matter – but after carrying out some additional research online it seems that our opinions are shared by others too, so we believe them to be correct.
But one thing I will point out here is that because some affiliate programs (such as the Amazon Associates program) payout commissions even if the buyer purchases a different product to the one that you’re promoting, there can be a bit of a grey area.
I’ll explain more about that in a moment, but first…
Is It Haram To Promote Products You’ve Not Used?
Another good question that came up in our discussion is whether or not it’s haram to promote products or services as an affiliate that you’ve not actually used.
In my opinion, it is halal to promote products as an affiliate even if you’ve not used them, providing that the products themselves are not haram & providing you are promoting them with the integrity of knowing that they will truly help the purchaser.
If, however, you are promoting a product that you do not like or do not believe in purely to make financial gain then I believe it will be haram.
The good news is that this question was also asked on Stack Exchange & below I provide a quote of the answer:
I have a blog and I want to use affiliate marketing to make money from it. I can assure you that the products are absolutely halal. But I’ve not used most of them. But I know that they are very good.
So, is it haram to promote those products?
That is halal as my viewpoint. Many Muslims have a phobia in technology as it has a widespread fame of spreading nudity,music or others bad stuff. But as I read about ur business type it is halal actually. It is actually a platform and less connectivity with such spreading. But if their such possibility of that you have to be aware to manage ur business honestly
So it seems that the general consensus here is that providing you are promoting your products or services with the integrity of knowing that they will help people, it is perfectly halal… Even if you not personally used them yourself.
Is The Amazon Affiliate Program Halal?
Many affiliate programs, such as the Amazon affiliate program (or Amazon Associates as it’s officially named) provide affiliates with commissions even if the purchaser buys a completely different product to the one initially being promoted.
Normally, this is not a problem… In fact, it’s a big positive for affiliates because it means that even if the purchaser buys something completely different, the affiliate will still earn a commission.
But what if you are promoting a halal product & the user ends up purchasing a haram product?
Is this your fault? Are your own efforts now haram?
In my opinion (and the opinion of my friends), it depends.
We believe that it depends on the likelihood (and your knowledge of the likelihood) that they will end up purchasing a haram product as a result of clicking via your link.
So, as an example, if you are promoting a halal product but it is on a website that contains primarily haram products, then there is a high chance that user may purchase a haram product instead because of your promotion.
In that instance, your promotional methods could be classed as haram.
However, if the website primarily consists of halal & you are promoting a halal product, then I do not believe your actions could be haram because you cannot control the behaviour of the user.
It was them who made the choice, despite your attempts to steer them to halal products… But, of course, this particular part of it is a bit of a grey area & as a result, you may want to stick to promoting products from halal only marketplaces.
Either way, I would definitely like to hear your discussion on this one in the comments below.
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The Bottom Line
Personally, I believe that the method of affiliate marketing itself is halal – however, the border between halal & haram depends primarily on the products or services that you’re promoting.
If you are promoting haram products, then your actions are haram.
But as also outlined in this post, there are some other factors that you must take into account… Such as whether or not you can end up being compensated for products different from the ones that you’re promoting.
The safest option if you’re still feeling concerned, in my opinion, is to simply stick to promoting products from Muslim marketplaces only, containing nothing halal products & services.
Either way, I hope this article has cleared up some of the points for you & helped you to decide one way or another as to whether you wish to pursue affiliate marketing or not.
And if you would like to get started with it, I would highly recommend that you check out Wealthy Affiliate.
Wealthy Affiliate is the world’s largest affiliate marketing platform & it’s there that you’ll get the tools, training & support that’ll help you to get started & to see great success with affiliate marketing.
I’d also love to hear your thoughts on the matter, too, so feel free to share them below.
Is affiliate marketing halal? What do you think? Let’s discuss…