Is Making Money From Blogging Haram?


Is Blogging Halal or Haram?
So I was going through my inbox a few days back, and came across a very unusual question - the kind people don't usually worry about. A dear follower asked whether earning money online (through blogging etc.) was haram (prohibited is Islam) or not. The question has so many implications that we decided to make a blog post about it, since it not only applies to our Muslim fellows, but to our brethren in the whole blogging community, since it's a question of blogging ethics, and not just religion.

Note: For the record, let me just say that I do not claim to be a religious scholar. But having some domain knowledge, we'll try to discuss some issues majorly related to ethics and morality, and not very specific to a religion. Anyone can benefit from reading this post, as it applies to the blogging community as a whole.

OK, so moving on. A lot of people don't think twice about such issues, but apparently, some do. They are worried that their earnings might not be lawful for them from a religious point of view, since money made online can come from a lot of different sources, lawful or unlawful. 
 
The concept of 'haram' for Muslims refers to anything that is unlawful, and prohibited. This could anything from unlawful food to unlawful attire to unlawful deeds, and so on. Hence, anything that is unethical, immoral, or obtained through an illicit way is haram.

What can make blogging illicit?

We've talked a lot about blogging ethics before, but now would be a good time to round things up a bit. I'd like to make one thing clear though - there's nothing wrong or 'haram' about earning money online (e.g. via blogging). But it's how you do it that makes all the difference. Here are some examples.

Plagiarism and Copyrights violation

This practice is rampant throughout today's blogosphere. People often 'auto-blog' content from other blogs. They copy the entire contents of a page, and pass it as their own on their site. Some might copy content partially, but that's almost the same thing.
 

Note that quoting a source, and copying from a source are two entirely different things. The former gives credit to the original source, whereas the latter doesn't. An if you don't give credit to the person who deserve it, then you're actually stealing from them - stealing their money. Sure, the traffic you generate through that content, and the revenue that comes through it, that's for you. But did you deserve it? Violating copyright laws is theft, and stolen money is unlawful in all religions of the world.

Black Hat SEO

This is another thing that makes earning from blogging illicit. Black Hatters would argue that they're just using their hard-earned knowledge to find shortcuts. But that doesn't make it any less unethical. Black Hat SEO techniques exploit loopholes to rank up a webpage in Google Search results. Often, this is achieved by over-optimization, and will result in spammy and low quality content. This isn't fair to those who create good content, and play by the rules. It's like cutting in line at a long queue. The analogy might make it sound like a very petty crime, but when we're talking about large-scale traffic and revenue, the problem really scales up.

Publishing Scams

Laying digital traps, luring unsuspecting users, ensnaring them before they know what's going on; sounds like a great plot for a story. Except, it is the story of many blogs (and the many unfortunate stumblers who come across them) who try to scam their visitors into situations they don't want. Typical catalyst are promotions too good to be true, such as 'You're our 1000,000th visitor, click here for a free iPhone'! Although not a very subtle example, it serves to summarize the concept. Many users fall into traps like this when they're looking for a file to download, and get an application (executable) file instead. Many get hacked this way.
 

Tricking potential customers into doing business with you defeats the whole purpose of blogging. Would you set-up a shop in your neighbourhood and start cheating people out of money? People would make sure to avoid you the next time they come around. Blogging is not dissimilar. It is a lot about socializing, and making connections. And you'll never be able to build a reputation for yourself by publishing scam. Besides, stealing money from others, as we just discussed, is haram or unlawful.

Adult content

Pornography is prohibited in Islam, and is unethical in the society. If you have a site distributes, or deals with adult content in any way, you need to get rid of it! Any money made through adult content is unlawful, and should be avoided at all costs. This also includes the content id ads. The content itself on a site might not be objectionable, but a third-party ad-network might deliver adult content in advertisements. Even that is wrong. So make sure your advertiser isn't slipping in some adult pictures within their ads without you knowing.

Spam

Weird as it may sound, most of the comment spam found online is generated by bloggers (after bots, some of which are, again, set up by bloggers). Bloggers are always trying to create backlinks to their blogs, and bring in traffic. Blogging is a lot about making social connections. Without comments, that is almost impossible. While making comments on other sites is a good way to get traffic and create an online reputation, posting irrelevant comments for the sole purpose of generating traffic will kill your reputation.

Besides, leaving irrelevant comments just wastes other peoples' time. They account for illegal backlinks too. Even Google doesn't like such comments. So it is better to hold your comments off unless you have to something of value.

Your thoughts?

So, what do you think about these unethical practices? Do you think using them to earn money is licit? What more bad practices can you think of that are seriously unethical? Leave your interesting responses in the comments section below. We're eager to hear what you think :)

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  1. Great points, that's reason till now i didn't started blogging about bollywood and hollywood topic. thank you so much man.

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  3. Great topic, glad to see this type of post. Blogging is really good if a person do it in a correct way but I think some peoples doing blogging just for money because I have seen many peoples who create their blog and then next day they apply for adsense. In Blogging I like Respect more than money and often I feel happy to get good feedbacks from readers, that feedbacks makes me respectable :-) thanks for this post Qasim...
    mytechnoways.com

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  4. Superb point Qasim bhai,
    thats reason i start a blog this week mytrickschool.com

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  5. What a great point you shared! Has any blogger thought about this?

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    1. Assalam u Alaikum, I am a founder and editor of www.techsenser.com and I do take care of haram and halaal in blogging. Nice to see a post on this topic. Thanks Qasim.

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  6. SORRY for my poor english. what about cracking photoshop. Most of people(may be 80-90 %) from INDIA and PAKISTAN don't buy photoshop. but they use .
    india aur pakistan me sayad hi koi esha banda hoga jo photoshop aur dreamweaver jeshe software buy karta hoga. to kya woh bhi haram he, agar haram he to fir mere khyaal se jyadatar blogger ki income haram hi hogi

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    Replies
    1. It's an interesting point he raised actually. We will talk about it soon inshaAllah

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  7. How any body can ask this kind of question ?

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  8. Bro, I have a question, we should always add nofollow links on blogger labels?

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  9. Thank you for your explanation of which few knows about it.Please let me share it with others for them to know

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  10. listen please, When you visit any blogg and then here google ads show unlawful picture( i mean those pictures haram in islam) then what you say about like that earning from google ads. i want toknow do you have any option that google just show adds relted your blog topic. if second point is possible then congrats all of you. until unless haram mony mix in halal

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  11. If we work hard and make blog with only with our effort, still its haram because trading with israil is haram, i also do but dont know what to do

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  12. earning money by spamming, it may be haram but earning money by blogging , may not be haram because blogging is the hard job , bloggers have to give 3 to 4 hours continuously on their blog and writing article and its on an easy job
    thankxxx

    www.tricksdonor.org

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. Make Money Online: Nothing to do! Just Download 'Ziddu Pay' app and earn Money!! Download Now : http://www.ziddu.com/earn.php

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  15. I don't think that making money online is Haram, however when bloggers use adult content, images or some other ways which are belong to nudity and adult field then it is haram. Infect now all the businesses have presence on internet and people love to shop online because in this way they can save their time. So we need to see online shopping, blogging or business in this scenario that it is demand of the time there is nothing haram in it until you use nudity or its related ways to earn money.

    http://blog.chromebrains.com/

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  16. is earning by fanslave site is haram ?? because there is no effort in ti.. only we have to take put some time..

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  17. Thanks for sharing your valuable information on your site, I will share your article to my friends also so that they can understand about this huge market

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  18. assalamu alaikum, i have a question, i mean i need a permission. i want to copy post from MBT and would like publish it on my website with proper credits to your website, and will change the title of the post and keeping the content unchanged (i am responsible for any copyright action).......Please i need permisson. i would be glad if you grant me the permission. Jazak Allah khair.

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  19. Assalamu'alaykum all muslimbrother, may Allah bless us... Blogging is Mubah in Islam (allowable)... But if we manage a blog that not follow Islam rules, they can be haram (not allowable)... Something like, it's ok to promote bluehost as affiliate (not MLM) but it will be haram if we use not hijab women as ads picture or anything that against Islam rules... And Google adsense, you can allow and deny the ads category but you can not manage all shown ads all day, all country... If the ads show picture or something that haram in Islam rules, so it will be haram because you help them promote it... The solution is build advertising that you can totally control in your blog as right affiliate or monthy payment etc... Lats, use cracking software for business is am, like stealing, even the publisher is kafir dhimi... we must buy or ask permission to use it freely or use opensources, freeware as an alterternative... Thank you Allahu'Alam ... www.yandidesigns.com

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    1. i want how to choose halal allow ads and block ads lists? i will edit google adsense

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  20. Brother you are right but in simple google ads girls are coming without Veil and show thier full face so we should avoid display ads of google Adsense and to avoid my self from this i create blog of bestislamicbooks.blogspot.com and show only text adsense ads with lot off blockage , limitations. Thanks

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  21. I have 1 question , can any1 plz help me out ?
    Is earning money through youtube halal ? I play video games and upload that content on youtube . So is youtube earning halal ?

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  22. Everyone can judge if he's bloging about something illicit (haram) or not ! However, i dont know what about dealing with a jewish adsense alternative company? (my case on my blog http://www.tellmh.com/

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  23. Hi

    I just read your article ... your paragraph about BlackHatSEO just want to tell you used anchor text for "find shortcuts" and it links to irrelevant articles its too blackhatseo you are passing link juice its against google TOS :)

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  24. Ok
    So what if your content is pure but the ads show on your purity isn't pure?
    like if someone blocks sensitive cases ads but still the ads show up in wrong category (some would say that's not your mistake but what if you know it often happens?) e.g the ads are setup to be for wrong propose and category selected for that ad is something different?
    another point is that half nudity is also haram, what if a biscuit ads show up with half nude women and girls????

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