Is Prop Firm Demo Trading (Forex) Permissible?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Muhammad Carr


I understand why Forex trading is not shari’a compliant. None of those undesirables apply to prop firm demo trading, as you are not trading with real money on the markets.

You are not involved in borrowing money, interest, gharar (uncertainty), or gambling. You are being paid based on your knowledge of high-income skills and profitability on a demo account. Profits earned aren’t from trading markets but from data analytics.


May Allah reward you for ensuring that your income is permissible.

Income earned on a demo trading platform outlined above is impermissible. In a service agreement contract (ijara), the service (manfa’a) must have a value. Simulating an impermissible service does not have a legal value. [Khatib, Mughni]

Demo Trading

Demo trading in a proprietary trading firm, as the name implies, involves a simulated trade that incorporates all the essential elements of an actual trade but without real-world consequences.

Simulating impermissible actions is not permissible, as it involves 1) training and developing proficiency for its actual execution, 2) desensitization, and 3) a form of unwarranted endorsement through performance (istihlal fi‘li).

Simulation is akin to imitation (tashabbuh). Ibn Hajar al-Haytami says, “If conventional coffee is served like wine is, it would be impermissible otherwise not.” [Fatawa al-Fiqhiyya al-Kubra] This ruling applies a fortiori to simulation.


If your trading data is utilized for contracts for differences (CFDs) and retail forex, then it is impermissible for you to engage in prop firm demo trading. Allah Most High says, “And aid one another in devotion to your Lord in every good and godfearingness, and do not aid one another in sin and transgression.” [Quran, 5:2]

The aiding impermissible argument disappears if your trading data is utilized for permissible trade.

Contracts For Differences

Contracts for differences are impermissible as you do not own the underlying asset. Mutually taking possession of the commodity and its counter-value (taqabud) does not occur in contracts for differences.

I pray this is of benefit and Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Muhammad Carr
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Muhammad Carr has dedicated his life to studying and transmitting our beautiful deen. His studies have taken him around the globe, where he has benefitted from many luminaries. Under the guidance of his teachers – Shaykh Taha Karan, Shaykh Yaseen Abbas, Shaykh Muadh Ali and many others – Shaykh Muhammad has grown to appreciate the beauty and benefits of diverse scholarship. He completed his memorization of the Qur’an at Dar al-Ulum Zakariyyah in September 1997 and received an Alimiyya Degree in 2006 from DUAI (Darul Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah). He is also affiliated with Masjid Auwal in Bo Kaap, Cape Town (the oldest mosque in South Africa), where he serves as a co-imam, and Dar Al-Safa, where he has taught since 2018. As a teacher, he imparts the wisdom of our heritage and tradition by opening the door for students. As an imam, he has the unique opportunity to serve his community in daily life. 

In addition to his roles as a teacher and imam, Shaykh Muhammad Carr has contributed significantly to the administrative and advisory aspects of Islamic institutions. Since 2023, he has served as the Administrative Director at The Imam Kurani Institute, contributing to the institution’s growth and development. He continues to pursue traditional Islamic Sciences, possessing a keen interest in Islamic Contract Law and Finance. Shaykh Muhammad has been a Shari’ah Board Member for Islamic Asset Management & Insurance Companies since 2001, aligning financial practices with Islamic principles.