QUESTION: Assalaamu’alaikum, I have been working in a company for 4 years now. During the first 2 years, I was a trainee and as a trainee I had to go through lots of courses and take lots of exams. I had to pass all these exams in order to become an officer and continue working in the company. Failing any exam would result in being terminated from the company. I passed all the exams, but there were a few exams that I passed with the help of a friend who works for the department that conducts these exams. About 1 hour before the exam started, he had shown me the exam questions. However, he did not give me the answers. I had to find the answers myself in my textbooks during that 1 hour before the exam started. During the exam, I managed to answer those questions and passed the exam. After 2 years of training and passing all exams, I became an officer.
Now, I feel that what I had done is wrong. If my friend had not shown me the exam questions, I wouldn’t have passed the exams and become an officer. I would have been terminated from the company.
My question is regarding my income. Since I had cheated my way to get this job, is the money I earn from this job halal or haram? If it is haram, what should I do. Should I leave the job and look for other jobs. Please advise. Thank You. – Anonymous, Singapore
ANSWER: Cheating in exams is a forbidden act. A muslim should not be among those who cheat or deceive. In a narration, our Prophet s.a.w said:
“There are four characteristics, whoever has all of them is a true hypocrite, and whoever has one of them has one of the qualities of a hypocrite until he gives it up: when he is trusted, he betrays;
when he speaks, he lies;
when he makes a promise, he breaks it;
and when he disputes, he resorts to slander.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)
Therefore, a Muslim who has true Islamic sensitivities avoids deceit, cheating, treachery, and lying no matter what benefits or profits such activities might bring him, because Islam considers those guilty of such deeds to be hypocrites.
Firstly what you have to do is to repent to Allah s.w.t for cheating in the exams and promise him not to repeat it again.
As for the question pertaining to whether your salary that you get is halal or not. The answer is if you had performed your duties assigned by your employer that meet the specifications of your job’s contract and to your employer’s satisfaction, then you are entitled for the salary and it is halal for you.
Contributor: Ustaz Anwar Hussain