I want to ask about working with the Amazon website as a marketer, for commission. Amazon – as is well known – is a huge website that sells everything that you could think of. I mean that there are millions of products, and the website has programs that are called marketing for commission. You can register for free, then choose the products that you want to market, which is done by promoting the link to the product. Then if anyone who enters the website through your link buys the product, you get commission, which is a percentage of the price of the product. Similarly, there is something called cookies; a cookie is a file that is loaded onto the computer of the customer or visitor who enters the site via your link as soon as he enters the website. This file lasts for twenty-four hours; if he buys any other product during that twenty-four hours, you also get commission for it, but if he enters through the link of another marketer, then that marketer is the one who gets the commission. In other words, the purchase will be to the credit of the last marketer through whose link he entered the website. Is working as a marketer for this website permissible, even though it sells everything, permissible or otherwise? There are also some unacceptable images, such as images of women, on this website. Does working with them come under the heading of helping in misdeeds? Also, with regard to the cookies, if the customer purchases another product, other than what I promoted to him, and this product is not permissible, as it involves some element of haraam, and I get the commission automatically, is there any sin on me for that, even though it is highly unlikely that he would buy something else and that it would be haraam? But if that happens, should I give the commission for that particular item in charity, or is it not permissible for me to work with them at all?
Praise be to Allah
It is permissible to market and promote products on the Amazon website in return for commission and a percentage of the price of the product, so long as the product is permissible, and so long as the marketer does not pay anything in order to be allowed to market it.
It is not permissible to promote haraam items, such as haraam movies, and it is not permissible to receive commission for that, because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty”
What you have mentioned about cookies, and that if anyone enters the website through your link and buys something on the same day, you will have a percentage of what he bought, comes under the heading of promoting the website in general, not promoting a particular product.
There is nothing wrong with promoting the website in return for commission, if most of its products are permissible.
What appears to be the case is that it is permissible to promote the Amazon website in general, in return for commission that you receive if someone who came to the website through your link buys something on the same day.
If it becomes clear to you that someone who came through your link bought something haraam, there is no blame on you; rather the sin is on the purchaser, and the commission is permissible for you, because it was in return for promoting the website, not promoting the haraam product. But if you get rid of that commission in that case, then it is better.
And Allah knows best.