Business based on commission

Sep 14, 2021 | Business & Trade


As salaam ‘Alaykum wa Rahmat Ullah

I do consulting work for online businesses — and one of the services I offer is what’s known as “lead generation”.
This is nothing but getting folks interested in a particular product or service, in touch with the person or business selling that product or service — to then earn a commission IF there is a sale. Sometimes the potential buyer doesn’t know if I have an incentive and often they do, but there is never any lying or deception involved.

And as you are aware it works this way in most high-end industries like real estate, business brokerage etc.

Is this modus operandi halal overall:

1) Being that the product or service being sought is halal in itself?

2) Being that, recently, I was approached by some folks to help them raise equity based investment for a start-up business (selling something halal)

3) Being that, recently, I was approached by a person who wanted to take on an interest bearing loan to start his business (selling something halal)

4) Being that the commission (also known as the success fee) is taken from the the company/individual selling the product or service, not the buyer — but what if it was the opposite?

5) Being that I have the opportunity to get a success fee from both sides

6) Being that any part of the equation (except myself ofcourse) may involve non-muslims? (so for example would it be disliked but not prohibited to facilitate a non-muslim’s interest based loan, but prohibited to facilitate a muslim to do so)

7) Being that some products or services I am facilitating the sale of, are not in keeping with the overall benefit of the ummah, such as relocation or secondary citizenship services, but are not haraam?

JazakumUllah khair for an insightful answer.


Later Hanafi jurists have permitted buying and selling on a commission basis even if this commission is paid based on a percentage. Hence, this type of structure in general will be permissible. In addition to this:

1. The product being sold must be lawful in Islam.

2. Being paid a commission to raise investment for a lawful company would be permissible.

3. Securing an interest bearing loan and being paid a commission according to how much was secured will not be permissible.

4. This would depend on the arrangement. One can take a commission from the buyer or seller depending on whose behalf they are acting as a broker.

5. There is no reason to prohibit taking commission from both sides provided that this was the initial agreement and no deception was involved.

6. It would not be permissible to secure unlawful products be it for non-Muslims.

7. This would be permissible.

الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (4/ 560)
وأما الدلال فإن باع العين بنفسه بإذن ربها فأجرته على البائع وإن سعى بينهما وباع المالك بنفسه يعتبر العرف وتمامه في شرح الوهبانية.

قوله: فأجرته على البائع) وليس له أخذ شيء من المشتري؛ لأنه هو العاقد حقيقة شرح الوهبانية وظاهره أنه لا يعتبر العرف هنا؛ لأنه لا وجه له. (قوله: يعتبر العرف) فتجب الدلالة على البائع أو المشتري أو عليهما بحسب العرف جامع الفصولين

الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (6/ 63)
مطلب في أجرة الدلال [تتمة]
قال في التتارخانية: وفي الدلال والسمسار يجب أجر المثل، وما تواضعوا عليه أن في كل عشرة دنانير كذا فذاك حرام عليهم. وفي الحاوي: سئل محمد بن سلمة عن أجرة السمسار، فقال: أرجو أنه لا بأس به وإن كان في الأصل فاسدا لكثرة التعامل وكثير من هذا غير جائز، فجوزوه لحاجة الناس إليه كدخول الحمام وعنه قال: رأيت ابن شجاع يقاطع نساجا ينسج له ثيابا في كل سنة

Answered by:
Ifta Research Fellow

Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel