Freelancing has become a popular possibility for people looking to expand their existing revenue or find a full-time source of income.
The most noteworthy concern of every Muslim joining the world of freelancing and commerce is “Is freelancing halal or haram in Islam?” As a Muslim, you must check whether something is halal or haram before moving towards any kind of career, even freelancing.
Freelancing is halal and legal. It is halal to work as a freelancer as long as the nature of your job falls within the parameters outlined by Shariah. This halal work can be turned into haram if you violate the limitations of Islamic Shariah.
In this article, we will discuss the concept of “is freelancing halal or haram in relation to Quranic verses and Hadith, as well as what types of freelancing jobs are halal and which are haram.
So, let’s dive into it without any further ado!
Nature of Freelancing Career
To decide whether freelancing is halal or haram, we have to understand the freelance nature of work.
Freelancing is contract-based employment where you work for yourself rather than being hired by a corporation. A freelancer can work from any location as per his or her own preferences and desires. In Islam, halal and haram depend on the category of the work you are contributing.
Concept of Halal and Haram in Islam
Allah SWT Says :
“Help one another in acts of righteousness and piety and do not help one another in sin and transgression.” Fear Allah. Surely Allah is severe in punishment.”
( Surah Al Maida 5;2)
Acquiring Rizq-e-Halal is the primary goal of a Momin. A Muslim must take care of the source from where your income comes. Muslims earn halal money.
If there is no discussion about something or some kind of activity in the Quran and Sunah then it is legal and halal. Haram things and acts are listed and mentioned by Islam distinctly.
If you do freelancing work within the limits of Shariah without diving into the ocean of haram, then it is halal but If you break the limits of Shariah freelancing will be haram.
Haram Ways of Earning in Freelancing
Although freelancing is halal, there are certain ways in which it becomes haram and illegal.
Some of the haram ways of earning in freelancing are listed below :
- Fraud in Freelancing
- Promoting Haram Foods
- Promoting Haram Actions
- Some other Haram Ways of Freelancing
Fraud in Freelance Work
Holy Prophet (PBUH) says:
“Whoever cheats, is not one of us.”
( Sahih Muslim)
Some freelancers intend to make money by hook or by crook, and they don’t care about committing fraud. They take projects from clients and target a newbie freelancer to complete the project. After completing the project, when a newbie freelancer demands his or her payment, they simply block him or her.
A newbie freelancer does not know about the rules and regulations of the work, so these freelancers easily become prey to that kind of person. If you are thinking of making money online by cheating or fraud, then it is haram in Islam.
Here, I would like to share my story of when I was new to freelancing. I saw a post on Facebook regarding a content writing job. I approached the client and shared my portfolio. He was a guy, and he did not ask me about my rates but directly send me the work that I have to complete in two days only. After completing my work, I demanded payment, but he said he would pay me after I submitted the work. I shared the work through my email as per his instructions. When I asked for my payment, he simply blocked me. It was a moment of great desperation for me.
If you want to make your freelance money halal, you should avoid any kind of fraud.
Promoting Haram Foods
A sin of haram is not finite to the individual who is involved in haram activities but the sin also prolongs to others who advocate the person in evil acts. As a freelancer, if you’re promoting Haram Foods in any form then your income will be haram
- If you are a freelance writer and your client has a business or a company of alcohol. If he asked you to write content or a blog post to promote his or her business then your freelance work will fall in the category of haram. The income earned by this project will be haram.
- If you are a graphic designer and you are working with a client having the company of pork (meat of pig) then your freelance work will be haram. Your income will be haram because you are becoming the source of promoting a non-Islamic or haram food product
Promoting Haram Actions
As a freelancer, you have to work with non-Muslims as well. Non-Muslims do not care about the haram actions. They perform all those actions easily which are prohibited in Islam. Such as Fornication ( Zina), Polytheism (Shirk) are strictly forbidden in Islam.
Let’s understand how a freelancer can be a part of promoting haram actions.
- If you are a freelance video editor and are assigned the task of editing a porn video for a client, you may be tempted to charge a higher rate. Before editing, you watch that porn video, which is haram itself. Moreover, if you edit this video and your client posts it on the internet or any other medium to reach a wider audience, then your income will be haram. In addition to this, you become liable for the sins of all the viewers.
- If you are a freelance content writer and your client is Indian. If he asked you to write a blog on Ganesh (elephant-headed Hindu God) and his strengths, you are going to promote polytheism. It is haram and rigidly prohibited in Islam.
Some Other Haram Ways of Freelancing
Prophet Muhammad said:
“The flesh and body raised on unlawful sustenance shall not enter paradise.” “Hell is more deserving of the flesh that grows on one’s body out of unlawful sustenance.”
There are some other Haram ways of freelancing listed below:
- If you are a freelance photo editor, editing a photo of a naked woman or man will be haram.
- If you are a freelance video editor and asked to use vulgar music (music that attracts a person towards sin) in your project, it will be haram for you.
- If you are a social media marketer and your client asks you to market their business of selling statues of idols, it will fall in the category of haram.
- Some types of crypto trades are also haram, so be careful about writing content on it if you are a content writer.
- If you are working for the company offering Haram Services, your freelance work will be haram.
- It is haram to sell something while telling a lie.
Is Freelancing Halal or Haram?
The decision of “is freelancing halal or haram” totally depends on your modes and methods of working. As told above, if you adopt the ways that are prohibited and haram in Islam, freelancing becomes a haram source of income.
But if you take Islamic Shariah into consideration, you can earn a hefty income from freelancing, the halal way. You only have to follow the rules of Islam which are not pretty tough.
Is freelancing legal in Pakistan?
Freelancing is legal and permitted in Pakistan as long as you are not scamming or deceiving people. Following the ethical instructions, you can become a billionaire by freelancing in Pakistan.
What are the haram ways of earning?
Haram ways of earning include all the practices that are not permitted by ALLAH SWT and his beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH). This includes the money of adultery, murder, deceiving, or stealing. Not only earning through doing some action but also the money earned through promoting vulgarity and obscenity. The money earned by selling haram foods and haram supplications.
Is Bitcoin Halal or Haram?
According to many scholars, the trading of bitcoin is not permitted by Islamic Shariah and should be avoided.
Summary on Is Freelancing Halal or Haram in 2023
Freelancing is halal and legal in Islam. If you are working within the limits set by Shariah, then you are doing well. As a freelancer, you should check the purpose of your work to ensure that it does not contradict Islamic teachings. Any freelance project is Haram if it has a Haram job in it like creating prohibited images, arousing sexual desires, promoting forbidden products or services, etc.
If you’re left with any ambiguity, let us know in the comments below!