Cheated in Exams: Are My Earnings Unlawful?
Home > Ask the Scholar > Financial Issues > Cheated in Exams: Are My Earnings Unlawful?

Cheated in Exams: Are My Earnings Unlawful?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jan 08, 2019

Question

As-salamu `alaykum. I cheated in my final exams and my assignments and essays and that was the only way I received my degree/qualification. If I use this qualification/degree to get a job will the wages from that job be halal (lawful)? What if I get a job that is not related to my degree? For example, say I have a degree in pharmacy but I get a job as a secretary, the only reason I get that secretary job was because I have a university degree in pharmacy but my job is not related to my degree so will my wages be haram (unlawful)?

Mufti

Answer


Cheated in Exams: Are My Earnings Unlawful?

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

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

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

1- It is not acceptable for a Muslim to cheat or deceive others. Cheating in exams results in serious consequences a Muslim should avoid.

2- If a person’s work is not dependent on the degree he or she got by means of cheating, then his or her earnings may be lawful, though he or she is still sinful for cheating; a sin that requires repentance.


Answering your question, Dr. Wael Shehab, PhD in Islamic Studies from Al-Azhar University and currently the Imam of the Downtown Toronto Masjid in Canada, states:

Cheating, in whatever form, is not allowed in Islam. A person who cheats and gets something, such as a degree, on the basis of cheating, has to repent and correct his or her mistake.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) happened to pass by a heap of corn. He thrust his hand in that (heap) and his fingers felt wetness. He said to the owner of that heap of corn, “What is this?” He replied: “O Allah’s Messenger! These have been drenched by rainfall.” He remarked, “Why did you not place this (the drenched part of the heap) over the corn so that people might see it? He who deceives is not of us.”(Muslim)

He who deceives is not of us” refers to the prohibition of cheating people in general, Muslims and non-Muslims as well.

It was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also said in an authentic hadith, “He who cheats us does not belong to us.” (Al-Bukhari)

In another authentic hadith Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “He who takes up arms against us is not of us; and he who cheats us is not of us.” (Muslim)

He is not of us” means: “He is not following the way of Muslims” or “His conduct is unlike that of Muslims.” It is therefore a must for every Muslim to refrain from such act.

If a person gets a degree by means of cheating, he or she should repent to Allah—by seeking Allah’s forgiveness, feeling remorse for his or her wrongdoing, and resolving not to commit such a sin again—and correct his or her wrongdoing.

For example, if a person cheats in some courses that are related to his or her career, he or she may re-study and pass in such courses in order to be eligible to earn his or her living by his or her degree.

If a person’s work is not dependent on the degree he or she got by means of cheating, then his or her earnings may be lawful, though he or she is still sinful for cheating; a sin that requires repentance.

Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.




About Dr. Wael Shehab

Dr. Wael Shehab has a PhD in Islamic Studies from Al-Azhar University. He is currently the Imam of the Downtown Toronto Masjid in Canada.

Add Comment


find out more!