YouTube is a great platform to make money online. Being a YouTuber is considered a respectable job that has become pretty mainstream. I love using it myself for both business ad pleasure.
The best thing about it is that the algorithm is really good at giving the users exactly what they would enjoy. It not only promotes good quality content but also tries to give the spotlight to smaller creators.
With the potential for organic growth and a massive audience, everyone should be able to make good use of the opportunities they can find here. Whether it’s education, marketing, or entertainment, there’s something for everyone.
Many Muslim people might be wondering if this business is halal or not. Since there are more than two billion Islamic people in the world, I want to answer that question today for you!
Is Earning From YouTube Halal?
Earning money from YouTube can be halal if it doesn’t conflict with the teachings of Islam. While some ways to earn on YouTube can be haram, there are many halal ways as well that you can choose from.
YouTube is a secular platform and strives to create a space where all kinds of different people can co-exist, cooperate, and connect.
Many Muslim people might not see any problem with 80% of the things that happen here, especially if they are a bit progressive.
Yet, there are a few things that orthodox followers of Islam might take issue with, and you need to keep an eye out for those. There are scammers and exploitative people on every platform.
When the platform is as big as YouTube, you might want to be careful and avoid some problematic things. For the most part, if your aim is to provide value to people, you should be completely safe.
To make sure you don’t harm people either, avoid controversial things like these:
- Abusing “Click Bait” and making misleading content.
- Encouraging hate or harmful messages by putting people down or pitting them against each other.
- Selling products or services that might be bad for people.
- Promoting people for profit without doing any research into who they are and what they do.
It can be hard to tell right from wrong as a beginner on the platform when you don’t know anything. Since there are many people doing wrong things, you might find yourself thinking it is correct.
In fact, many creators follow shady practices and either justify them to themselves as normal, or they might not even be aware that they are harming other people until someone actually tells them.
Let me give you a couple of examples:
The first one is Lex Friedman, a podcaster who interviews all kinds of remarkable people in order to have useful discussions that focus on the important questions of life. This is how he makes his videos.
This example follows these halal YouTube practices:
- Each video clearly asks for the people’s support when promoting any sponsor. This clearly communicates that Lex will earn a commission that helps him keep the channel running.
- He is genuinely aiming to provide value to people by bringing on new and interesting people and adding to the online conversation in interesting ways.
- The things that promote are trustworthy and proven to bring value to customers all the time.
Then I have taken a popular creator named Logan Paul, who is the subject of many controversies and is considered a man of ambiguous moral character. This is what his channel looks like.
I can see the following haram practices on this YouTube channel:
- Misleading titles and strong use of clickbait.
- A strong focus on himself and his life. Using the channel exclusively for self-promotion, attaining fame, and personal gain.
- Endorsing risky NFT projects to make quick money without doing a lot of research on the viability of such a business.
It’s pretty simple: If you work with integrity and aim to give value to your audience, then your earnings will be halal. Just make sure not to get greedy and stick to authentic companies to promote.
As a creator, you have the capability of influencing your audience when they give you their attention, and you need to try and handle that position responsibly.
You might have noticed that there are a few different ways you can earn money on YouTube, so let’s look at them individually to see how halal or haram each of them tends to be.
Ways To Earn From YouTube
Now that we are all on the same page about what is considered haram let’s take a look at the major ways in which a person can earn using YouTube.
After looking at the different monetization options, it should become clear what is and isn’t in accordance with Islamic Law and what kind of work on YouTube would bring you closer to Allah.
Google AdSense (Haram)
Running ads is one of the most common ways in which people monetize their YouTube channels.
Since Alphabet owns YouTube, Google uses the platform’s audience to run targeted ads which are the bread and butter of the company. Pretty much every kind of company in the world runs ads on Google.
This is the most common method since there is no barrier to entry. Anyone with a YouTube channel can turn on ads and earn about $1-2 per 1,000 views.
The important thing is that the content needs to be in line with YouTube’s policies, or else the video will get demonetized by the company.
Earning on YouTube with Google AdSense can be considered Haram because:
- While you can block ads about pork or alcohol, you cannot choose ads that are in line with the Islamic worldview.
- A majority of ads include women that are always dressed liberally and often provocatively.
- Most ads also contain music, imagery, and narratives that promote ideals outside of the Muslim religion.
Affiliate Marketing (Halal)
The second most popular method allows creators to recommend products and services to their audiences and earn commissions on any sales resulting from the promotion.
Businesses around the world offer affiliate programs to individuals in each industry in order to utilize the power of word of mouth.
While many companies allow anyone to join, others require a certain number of followers or other conditions. It’s easier to run ads rather than sell a product or service.
Still, thousands of successful YouTubers make their money with this method by combining good content with ideal products their audiences can appreciate.
Affiliate Marketing can be Halal if:
- You can promote products and services that are in line with Islamic law made by companies that are good for the world at large.
- You can promote the right people, modest clothes, items required for prayer, and educational materials.
- You are transparent with your audience about your commissions as a means for your livelihood or income.
Sponsorship (Can Be Haram)
Affiliate programs tend to be automated and have a low barrier to entry. They give you links that you can post anywhere online and direct traffic to from wherever you can.
Due to the popularity of YouTube, companies and business people have also started to offer tailor-made sponsorship deals to creators on the platform.
This one can be haram because:
- While affiliate programs tend to be legitimate, there are too many sponsors that sell schemes or get-rich-quick programs that are haram.
- Crypto, trading platforms, and gurus offer both sponsorships and affiliate programs to YouTubers that must be avoided.
If you have a sponsor that shares your values and follows halal practices, there is nothing inherently haram about sponsorship, and you are permitted to do so.
Platforms and channels like Patreon or PayPal let you directly take donations from your audience in exchange for your work on YouTube.
This way of earning is Halal because charity is halal, and even Mosques are run by donations.
As long as your content is halal and you don’t use any underhanded or deceptive ways to ask for money, there is nothing wrong with earning through Patreon.
Selling Your Own Products (Can Be Halal)
Many YouTubers also earn by selling their own courses, products, or services to their audience. They do this either by directing them to their own website or by asking them to make a purchase through a different website like Etsy or Amazon.
This method can also be halal as long as your business model follows Islamic Law.
While there is nothing inherently haram about YouTube or earning money from it, you need to keep in mind that there are different ways to do so.
You should always keep an eye on what values you are promoting to your audience through your work online. Make sure to stick with the halal methods that I have mentioned above.
If you do, you can make good money while doing good for the whole world.
Writer from the heart – whether it is affiliate marketing or fiction – and a proud member of Shivansh’s team! Big fan of combat sports, reading non-fiction, and watching the best of everything from anime and movies to TV and video games.