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Is it permissible to participate in the “ACN opportunity”?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

ACN is a global company and operating in many countries and getting 
very popular in UK as well .They are advertising as provider of telecom 
services ,gas/electrify (3rd party ) mobile contracts(3rd party) ,TV 
services and like other gadgets.

There are many plus and negative about the company all over the world.
Many people straight away say this is pyramid scheme or Ponzi scheme .

Anyone can join company ,nothing is required as a precondition .

First condition is
1. you need to pay 500 pound initially
2. you need to sell 10 services in certain period i.e Gas/Electrify 
contract,mobile contract ,requirements etc.

If you fail to do so then you lose £500 and also you will not get any 
profit from the services you sold .Means person leaves with nothing .

If person is successful in these 2 early condition then to make more 
profit/commission/earn more money he/she needs to convince other people 
to join company on same terms. If he is successful convincing other 
peoples then he will be on 1 level higher than them .More people you 
convince then you have higher chance of getting more money .Now those 
new recruits need to recruit more people and so on …. .In most of the 
cases person might be selling only few services but due to commission 
and profit from the people in the down line can make lot of money .

First person on certain level will get commission from all the people in 
the down line. Possibility most of them he never know and are recruited 
by his down line group. conceptually and realistically person who are on 
top level earn most of the money .Conceptually this very similar like 
the image below.

Mufti sb I want to mention one point 500 which company charge they say 
this is for account Opening/Admin charges to sell its products to 
people.After paying 500£ person become straight away to sell project via 
a web site account provided by ACN.

one more point .If person is successful in selling 10 services then at 
least 2 people under him should sell 10 services as well .then he will 
be able to start making any commission .

I know this is slightly complicated issue but mufti sb trust muslim 
ummah in great number is joining this without any suety if this is 
permissible or not .Like brother asked you fatwa with a very simple 
question regarding ACN with very simple explanation and if you say Yes 
they generalize and say it is Halal and no issue.

I would really request please consider this issue and give any details 
ruling on this .

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Assalāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh

We apologise for the belated response. We have studied the policies and procedures of the “ACN opportunity.”

Our conclusion is that while the basic structure of the scheme may be justified according to principles of Sharī‘ah, there are impermissible conditions in the contract which render the entire contract impermissible (fāsid). One such condition is the following: “ACN reserves the right to reduce commissionable revenue by a percentage factor for promotional plans, products, negotiated pricing or certain services.”[1] This unilateral right to reduce the commissionable revenue by a percentage factor without consent from the independent representative renders the remuneration undeterminable,[2] which could lead to argumentation and dispute between ACN and its Representative.

Hence, it will not be permissible to participate in the “ACN opportunity.”

And Allah Ta‘ālā Knows Best

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[1] ACN Policies and Procedures, p. 23

[2] يفسد العقد فيه لمكان الشرط. قال محمد رحمه الله فى الأصل: رجل استأجر من آخر عبدا شهرا بأجر مسمى على أنه إن مرض فعليه أن يعمل بقدر الأيام التي مرض من الشهر الداخل، لا تجوز هذه الإجارة لأن ما شرط له من الشهر الداخل مجهولة لجهالة المرض فى الشهر القائم (المحيط البرهاني، إدارة القرآن، ج١١ ص٣٢٨)

يأثم بمباشرة هذا العقد (الفاسد)، لأنه معصية (المحيط البرهاني، ج١ ص٣٢٥)

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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