Does an Degree Based on Dishonesty Render Income Impermissible?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


If one were to do a Master’s degree in Data Science, and let’s assume the worst case, they cheated throughout the entire degree on everything, like exams and assignments. Eventually, they received their Master’s degree as a result of it.

If they apply to a job that requires a Master’s degree like the one they have, or they get a job due to the credentials that come with citing the Master’s degree on their resume, will the income from that job or subsequent jobs become Haram?

I worry that since that person cheated on almost all of it, if not all of it, their income is haram. Also, I read an answer about it being OK if they possess the necessary qualifications, but isn’t having the degree itself a qualification put forward falsely?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

I pray you are in good faith and health.

Dishonesty is a major sin which a Muslim should always refrain from. However, one’s income will be permissible if one has the necessary job skills and credentials to fulfill the job requirements.

Believers Have Many Temperaments, Except Lying and Dishonesty

Abdur Rahman ibn Yazid (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (Allah be pleased with him) said, “The believer may have all kinds of natural dispositions flowing throughout himself, except for treachery and dishonesty.” [Ibn Abi Shayba, Al-Iman]

Scholars and Muftis say that if someone has already obtained a job by using a degree based on cheating, they can continue to work in that job, and the income they earn would be considered halal as long as they have the required skills and credentials for that job.

However, if someone has yet to find a job, they should not use such degrees to secure employment because it would be considered lying and deceiving. Nevertheless, if someone uses them and possesses the necessary qualifications for that job, their income would still be regarded as halal.


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I pray this helps answer your question.

[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied within UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan and Turkey.

He started his early education in UK. He went onto complete hifz of Qur’an in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in UK where he studied the secular and Alimiyyah sciences. He then travelled to Karachi, Pakistan.

He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Qur’an, Tajwid, Fiqh and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He was teaching at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences.

He currently resides in UK with his wife. His personal interest is love of books and gardening.