Third-Party Product Reviews

Question

Ahmed sells his clothing online through sites like ______ or ____ etc. So another seller to compete, posts negative reviews against Ahmed’s clothing using third party services. So when a customer sees such reviews, he thinks twice before buying the product or may refrain from it. So to safeguard our products Ahmed also gets positive reviews posted through third party services for his products. So if a customer sees these reviews, he might consider buying the product. But this type of posting is against the terms of the site.

Answer

 This is not permissible. It is against the terms of the website and it is deception and dishonesty towards the customers who use the site. People who are interested in the product assume that only customers are writing reviews based on their personal experience with a certain product. Furthermore, when more than one account is used to place positive reviews, potential customers view the product as having a common liking amongst the general masses, whereas in reality, it is not a common liking but rather a single person has posted several reviews with different account names. This is dishonesty and deception. 

In a Hadeeth of Bukhari and Muslim, Rasoolullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam has prohibited the action of “Najash.” The meaning of Najash is that a person bargains with the seller of an item in the presence of some potential buyers at a price which is beyond its worth. He doesn’t intend to purchase the item, but he bargains at a very high price so that the potential buyers are deceived into purchasing the item at a price which is above and beyond its actual worth. From this we can gauge that the Shariah does not permit such transactions that are based on deception and dishonesty.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

References

عنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم نَهَى عَنِ النَّجْشِ
صحيحي المسلم    

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