Cheating in University Exams

Fatwa ID: 02498

Answered by: Molana Ishaaq Hussain

Question:

Asalamu alaikum warahmatulahi wabarakatuhu. I am confused about some situations in my life, could you please answer the questions in detail in the light of religion.

I am a medical student, after getting the knowledge that cheating is a sin, I refrained from asking during my  exams, but what is the ruling when;

1; when the invigilator himself dictates some questions.

2; when the head of department himself helps the students

3; I recently had my community medicine paper; this subject wants word to word definition of WHO. But there were some confusing questions. The answer of which I was aware but I was not sure, my friends asked each other and they attempted those questions, but I didn’t ask any one because of the fear of cheatig. And in the result my friends cleared the exam. The invigilators during exams is lenient teachers just sit on their chairs and students interact in front of them and they don’t mind. (Question Shortened)

Answer

بسم الله الرحمن الرحي

Cheating, trickery and deceit is strictly forbidden in Islam. The Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) has said; “Whoever bears arms against us is not one of us and whoever cheats us is not one of us.” (Sahih Muslim p.70 v.1)

Once the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) passed by a pile of food in the market. He put his hand inside it and felt dampness although the surface was dry. He Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said; “O owner of the food, what is this?” The Man side; “It was damaged by rain, O Prophet of Allah.” He said; “Why didn’t you put the rain damaged food on top so that people could see it! Whoever cheats us is not one of us.” (Sahih Muslim p.70 v.1)

From the above mentioned Ahadeeth we come to know of how much cheating is disliked in Islam. 

With regards to your question, if the law of the university is such that it allows students to ask each other for help during exam time then it will not be classed as cheating. However, if the law of the university does not allow any sort of conversation during exam time then the above mentioned scenarios that you have mentioned will fall under the category of cheating. The reason being is that to follow the rules and regulations of the university is necessary upon the students and staff.

Only Allah Knows Best

Written by Molana Ishaaq Hussain

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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