What Should I Do About My Friend Who Plagiarizes My Papers?

Question: 

What should I do about my friend who plagiarizes my papers?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question.  You are certainly not responsible for your classmate’s work, and you should not feel guilty about his grades. You have a choice to help them or not, without obligation. Each person is responsible for their own studies, and their own deeds and will enter their grave alone.

 

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is illegal and haram, and you should be careful to take no part in it. If you are caught, it could mean the demise of your education and his, not to mention the shame that it would cause to your reputation. You would also need to repent. Please see this answer on the prohibition:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/helping-others-plagiarize/

 

Help

It is permissible and praiseworthy to help a fellow student with his schoolwork, but one needs to draw the line if that student is just being lazy and using you. It sounds like this is the case with your classmate, so I encourage you to withdraw a little and tell him that you will not be allowing him to copy your answers anymore. Put a time cap on how much you can help, like 10-15 minutes, and then walk away. Tell him that you simply do not have time.

 

Mercy

Although this may seem harsh to you, you are actually helping him to stand on his own two feet and to take his education seriously. He must learn now that he cannot lean fully on another and that he must show gratitude to Allah and his parents for his education by studying. If he goes on like this, he will be set up for failure throughout his life. Continue to be kind, but reduce your help to what is a good balance and does not burden you. May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

 

Please see:

https://seekersguidance.org/tag/dealing-with-people/
https://islamqa.org/hanafi/seekersguidance-hanafi/86202

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.