Receiving commissions for false Internet referrals
24 Aug 2011 11:20 GMT
 
I joined an online affiliate program which rewards its members for referrals. For every person who registers and mentions me as the person who referred them to the site, I will receive a commission. Now, since I belong to a large family, I wish to use their names to register with, mentioning my name as the one who referred them. I will ask for their formal permission, making sure that they have no objection to me registering them as members of various websites. They have faith in me and permit me to register on their behalf so I can receive the benefits. They have also permitted me to avail myself of any services on their behalf. I’d like to know whether in this situation with all of my family members’ permission, I can register them through my referral link and get the commissions. I'll obviously use real identifications everywhere I join in. Is this lawful in Islam? Please know that if I had wanted to, I could have joined up thousands of false members for the commission. But I know that will be totally unlawful. And I don’t want to earn anything through sinful means. Whatever I earn, I'll definitely earn it lawfully providing real information.

Answered by

the Fatwa Department Research Committee - chaired by Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî

Registering these people’s names when they neither visited the websites nor have any desire on their own to join those sites is a gross misrepresentation of what is going on.

The commission is being paid to you for your referring the websites to those people. What is effectively being said upon registration is that the person is registering for his own purposes and was merely referred to the service by you.

Your using their names to register and making it seem as if you referred those people to the site is a lie, a fraud, and a deception. If they give you permission to do so, they are merely giving you permission to use their names in a fraudulent way.

The honest way to go about this is to have them register, themselves, for the services that they want and mention you as the one who referred them. This fulfills the requirements of honesty in that these people will be exposed to the services that the company is paying you for promoting.

If it turns out that these people cannot do so because they have no Internet access, then this makes it more severely fraudulent for you to use their names, in that they cannot possibly benefit from the services that you are allegedly “referring” them to.

And Allah knows best.

Source: Islam Today



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