Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Will my earnings be halal if I obtained my degree with dishonesty?

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Assalamvalaikum brothers and sisters,

I am a computer engineer from India. I have given my exams to get into the government as an officer. Now, the exams required that I must have at least one degree to be eligible, which I do have. But what bothers me is that during the 4 years of engineering, we used to submit our seniors projects with slight modifications to the examiners. Also, there was a workshop course wherein we had to do carpentry, welding, fitting and sheet metal which we were not at all good at and hence we used to pay the attender to do it for us.

Now my question is, if I inshaallah get into the government through these exams using that degree, will my income be halal? Considering the fact that the degree is just a prerequisite to filter out candidates and will have no bearing on the kind of job I do, which will be managerial and administration based.  Also, I asked a few of the scholars I know who said yes it would be halal and there is no problem with it. Plus, I found the following fatwah on the net:

"Nevertheless, the issue of the earning being halal with a fraud degree depends on the service provided. If such a person correctly and appropriately provided the service, his income in lieu of the service will be halal. The sin of speaking lies and fraudulently obtaining a degree is a different issue."

What is your opinion on this?

I heard one of the scholars whom I asked say that even if you start business with stolen money , the earnings you get from that income will still be halal, whereas, the original sin of stealing stays.

I plan to do a correspondance degree inshaallah if i get into a government job inshaallah.


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12 Responses »

  1. AsSalaamu Alaikum Brother,

    Hope this helps Insha'Allah, and Allah knows best.
    I am very glad to know that you are very careful in your search for Halal money, May Allah help us all to abstain from Haram money. Ameen!!!

    Anyway, I was going to say the same thing that has been said in the Fatwah above. Because, if you can provide the service very well as wanted, then the payment you get will be for the service and not for the degree, so the money will be halal in this case. But if you are unable to do the work appropriately or if your colleagues are the ones doing the work, then the payment you get is Haraam, since you are receiving what you didn't work for.

    However, if you are the one working and receiving the Halal payment, yet two things will remain, the first one is cheating to get a degree which will be between you and the institution that issued the degree, and the second one is lying to get a job, which will be between you and the company you work for. The lying was to get the job, and your service in the job is to get paid, and you probably don't get paid if you didn't work even with your degree right?! So the degree has nothing to do with the money being Halaal or Haraam.

    But since lying is not a good thing, it would be advisable to let your employer know the truth; they might still keep you in the company as long as you serve well in it, but if you are afraid of telling the truth for some reasons, you should see a particular Mufti for him to study your matter, and then you should follow what he advises you in this matter. He will be in the right position to know what is important to do and what is not, as such cases may vary individually. And the same thing applies to the cheating to get the degree itself, even though it will have nothing to do with your service and Halaal salary, but it's still a sin "Gish" which the Prophet (s.a.w.s) has forbidden, so you need to talk it with the Mufti as well.

    Hope this helps Insha'Allah, and Allah knows best.

    • He did not lie to get the job. He does indeed have a degree. Whether he is fully qualified for the degree or not is between him and the educational institution. Who knows, perhaps the university would only have disciplined him in some minor way while allowing him to retain the degree.

      In any case there is nothing he needs to tell his employer. What is in the past is between him and Allah. His focus should be on doing a good job, and serving his employer well.

      Wael Editor

  2. AsSalaamu Alaikum
    This is just to clarify something that I have mentioned in my first comment above, where I mentioned that "I was going to say the same thing that has been said in the Fatwah above"
    I actually was referring to the Fatwah that the questioner stated in his post, where he said:

    " Plus, I found the following fatwah on the net:
    "Nevertheless, the issue of the earning being halal with a fraud degree depends on the service provided. If such a person correctly and appropriately provided the service, his income in lieu of the service will be halal. The sin of speaking lies and fraudulently obtaining a degree is a different issue.""

    • Issah, I noticed that you recently started writing your email in the URL field on your comments. Please don't do that, as we do not allow the posting of private contact information on this website. Thank you.

      Wael Editor

  3. yukiyukio, As-salamu alaykum. I believe those scholars advised you well, and Allah knows best. As for your past mistake, make tawbah to Allah, and do not cheat again on exams or in your work. But do not reveal your mistakes to others - neither to the university nor your employer. What Allah has concealed for you, you should not reveal.

    As long as you are qualified for the job you are doing, and you are able to provide a legitimate service to people, then that's what matters. Do your work well, and take care of your family Insha'Allah.

    Wael Editor

  4. AsSalaamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakaatuh Brother Wael,

    could you please explain to me what you mean by I have started writing my email in the URL field on my comments.

    Well, I am just new in this zawaj site; I started commenting on this site since November 7, 2012. And on my first time before I commented, I left my name in the box that says " Name (required)" and then I left my email also in the box that says " Mail (will not be published) (required)" so since then I realized that my information has been there always whenever I wanted to make a new comment so I did not have to fill in the same information again.

    However, there is another box that is before the comment box and it says "Website" and it always has my email there, and I honestly don't remember putting my email there, so I don't know if that is what you mean by the URL field.

    So please let me know exactly, what you mean

    Jazaakallahu Khairan

    • Yes, that's what I mean. Do not put the email in the box that says Website. Probably you did it once by mistake, and now your browser is auto-filling it, so just delete it please.

      Wael Editor

  5. In sha Allah, this fatwaa should suffice to clarify the position of his earning.

    Abu Abdul Bari Editor

    • Jazak Allah khayr brother Abu Abdul Bari, I am copying it here:

      Fatwas of Ibn Baz> Volume 19> Book on Al-Buyu` (Sales)> Chapter on the Conditions of Sale>Ruling on earnings gained through false documentation

      Q: A man got a job on the basis of a certificate he obtained by cheating on the exam. Now, he is doing well on the job, according to his colleagues. What is the ruling on his salary – is it Halal (lawful) or Haram (prohibited)?
      ( الجزء رقم : 19، الصفحة رقم: 32)

      A: There is nothing wrong in sha’a-Allah (if Allah wills), but he has to repent to Allah for his cheat. If he is doing the job as it should be done, then there is no sin on him with regard to his earnings, but he made a mistake by lying and he must repent to Allah from this.

      Wael Editor

  6. AsSalaamu Alaikum Brother Wael, Jazaakallahu Khairan, I have deleted my email from the website box.

    However, concerning the Fatwah of Shiekh al-Islam Ibn Baz (Rahimahullah), I don't see any much difference between what he has said and what I have said in my first comment, I have mentioned that the brothers earnings are for his service and that it has nothing to do with the degree itself, therefore his earnings are Halaal as long as he does the job appropriately. I mentioned that the lying and the cheating is another thing, and you can see the same in the Fatwah of Shiek al Islam (Rahimahullah)

    There are two options regarding what the brother should do in his case, the first option is to face the person who was being lied to or cheated, as the person has the right to know the truth in the general level, and then the second option is to repent to Allah for what he did in the special level. I was talking about the first option publically which is for everyone, in order not to open the door to anyone else to repeat the same mistake, and you can see (in my first comment) that, I have directed the brother to find a particular Mufti whom I know might end up giving him the second option and that will be special to him alone in his case.

    Anyway, we are all here on this website just to assist and remind each other. We know nothing except the little that Allah has blessed us with, and verily He the Almighty Allah knows best.

  7. AsSalaam Alaikum Warahmatullahi Brother Wael and Brother Abu Abdul Bary, my appreciated editors, May Allah bless and reward you for your service for the Ummat.

    I have just learned to spell Fatwaa in English by you; I used to write Fatwah in English but just noticed from your writings that it's Fatwaa.

    Jazaakumullahu Khair al-Jaza

    • Issah, there are many ways to transliterate Arabic words. Fatwah is fine, I think. I usually write "fatwa", while I believe Abu Abdul Bari writes "fatwaa".

      Wael Editor

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