Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
If one manages a website with halal content, would it be permissible to collect ad revenue from online services such as Google? The website owner does not have authority over what type of ads are shown; the content is typically determined by the visitor’s search history. As such, the website owner does not know what is being advertised.
It is possible that Google could choose to show a haram advertisement at times if their algorithm thought the visitor would be interested in it?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
If you are merely selling “ad space,” there shouldn’t be any issues because you are not running the ads. You are therefore not sinning or directly assisting in sin. In many ways, it is akin to renting one’s property to someone who then uses it for unlawful purposes.
If you have any control over the ads, such as in YouTube’s AdSense program, you should exercise your right to ensure that you only host permissible advertisements. If you have no control, then it would be best to avoid such income (if and where possible). The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Leave that which causes doubt and prefer that which does not, for indeed the truth (sidq) is a means of contentment while falsehood causes doubt.” [Tirmidhi]
Ustadh Salman Younas answered this question previously here:
I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shayh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.