Earning money from advertising websites on condition that one pays a subscription fee
What is the ruling on such transactions?
Praise be to Allah
If you cannot interact with these websites except by paying a subscription fee, then it is not permissible for you to deal with them, because that comes under the heading of gambling with one’s money and riba-based transactions in the contract.
Dr Saami as-Suwaylim (may Allah preserve him) was asked about a similar issue, and he replied:
Praise be to Allah, and blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah. To proceed:
The websites mentioned offer commission in return for checking the ads that they have, and these payments are of two types:
1. One type pays you just for checking the ads, without paying any subscription or fees of any kind. There is nothing wrong with this type – in sha Allah – so long as the ads do not contain anything that is prohibited according to Islamic teachings, and they do not include ads for anything that is haraam or objectionable.
2. Another type that involves paying a non-refundable subscription fee, in addition to checking the ads, and the amount of commission paid varies according to the size of the subscription fee. The greater the subscription fee, the more commission is paid, up to a certain limit. Part of these fees is used to cover the expenses of the company running the website, and the rest is distributed in the form of commission to other subscribers.
It is quite clear that the commission in this type involves an exchange of cash for cash, so the subscriber pays the fee, and from this fee others get their commission, and vice versa, and what comes from the sale of ads and the like is less than the income generated by the subscriptions. So the income mostly comes from subscriptions and commission is paid from that income. This type involves the exchange of cash for cash, along with variation in the amount and delay, let alone the deceit and ambiguity having to do with the subscriptions. Thus it combines riba and gambling. Therefore it is best to avoid subscribing and not to get involved with it.
And Allah knows best. May Allah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and companions.
End quote from the website Ana al-Muslim:
For more information, please see the answer to question no. 120136
And Allah knows best.