Cheating is one of the major evils of the society. It is because of this that many have been destroyed and some have even lost their lives. Although cheating sounds something very small, but the effect it leaves cannot be described. An entire family might die of hunger just because they were cheated. A person might loose all his wealth just because of cheating. One may loose his life just because he was cheated.
Allah dislikes cheating and the people who do it. in the Glorious Quran, Allah has warned those who indulge in cheating of dire consequences. Allah says in Surah Al-Mutaffifeen 83: 1
“Woe to Al‑Mutaffifoon (those who give less in measure and weight). Those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, demand full measure, And when they have to give by measure or weight to (other) men, give less than due” [al-Mutaffifeen 83:1]
In this verse, Allah gives severe warning to those who cheat by giving less in weights and measures. If such kind of cheating is given this kind of warning, imagine what would be the condition of a person who steals, embezzles and withholds from the people the things that are due? No doubt, they are the ones more evil than those who cheat in weights and measures.
The Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (Pbuh), warned us of cheating and issued caution to those who do it. The Prophet (Pbuh) passed by a pile of food and put his hand into it, and his fingers touched something wet. He said, “What is this, O seller of the food?” The man said, “It got rained on, O Messenger of Allaah.” He said, “Why did you not put it (the wet part) on top of the pile so that the people could see it? He who deceives does not belong to me.” According to other reports, “He who deceives us is not one of us,” or, “He is not one of us who deceives us.” (Narrated by Muslim).
The version narrated by Al-Nawawi has wordings, “he is not one of us”, is enough warning against cheating and sufficient deterrent against indulging in this heinous sin.
We need desperately to instill this message in our hearts so that we might stir the conscience and be aware that Allaah is watching all that we do, without the need for any human supervisor.
Now that you know the dire warnings against cheating, let us examine the phenomenon of cheating:
Definition of Cheating
Al-Mannaawi said: Cheating is that which mixes bad with good.
Ibn Hajar al-Haythami said: The forbidden type of cheating is when the owner of the goods knows something which, if the would-be purchaser knew about it, he would not pay that amount of money for it.
Al-Kafawi said: Cheating causes blackness of the heart and frowning on the face, hence this word (ghish = cheating or deceit) is also used (in Arabic) to refer to hatred or enmity.
Where cheating takes place
Cheating in buying and selling:
Isn’t this a common phenomenon in the market places of Muslims! It may be in different forms like concealing faults in goods or other ways such as deceiving people about the quality of a product, or its components, quantity, weight, essential features or source. These are some of the ways in which that cheating is manifested:
Cheating in matters of marriage
These are some of the ways in which this cheating is manifested:
Enough of this cheating and deception which destroys homes and breaks up families!
Cheating in Naseehah (sincere advice)
The whole point of giving advice is to help a person meet his worldly objectives or his religious objectives. One of the mutual rights of brotherhood among the believers is to be sincere towards one another, and the hypocrites are cheats.
The believer is the mirror of his brother, so if he sees some fault in him he should correct it. Sincerity means refraining from harming the Muslims, teaching them about matters of their religion of which they are unaware, and helping them to adhere to it in word and in deed, covering their faults, filling their gaps, warding off harm from them, bringing things that will benefit them, enjoining what is good upon them and forbidding what is evil in a kind and sincere manner, showing compassion towards them, respecting their elders, being merciful towards their young, giving them good advice and choosing the appropriate time for doing so, loving for them what one loves for oneself of goodness and hating for them what one hates for oneself of disliked things.
Al-Haafiz Abu’l-Qaasim al-Tabaraani narrated with his isnaad that Jareer ibn ‘Abd-Allaah al-Bajali (may Allaah be pleased with him) commanded his freed slave to buy a horse for him. So he bought him a horse for three hundred dirhams, and he brought the horse and its owner to him so that he could pay him the money. Jareer said to the owner of the horse – look at this sincerity – “Your horse is worth more than three hundred dirhams. Will you sell it for four hundred dirhams?” He said, “Yes, O Abu ‘Abd-Allaah.”
He said, “Your horse is worth more than four hundred dirhams. Will you sell it for five hundred dirhams?” He kept increasing it by one hundred each time, with the owner agreeing and Jareer saying, “Your horse is worth more than that,” until he reached eight hundred, for which price he bought it. And he said concerning that, “I gave my oath of allegiance (bay’ah) to the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that I would be sincere towards every Muslim.”
Cheating in positions of authority
It was narrated that Ma’qal ibn Yassaar al-Muzani (may Allaah be pleased with him) said during his final illness: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘There is no person whom Allaah has put in a position of authority and he dies on the day he dies cheating those under his authority, but Allaah will forbid Paradise for him.’” This was narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim; this version was narrated by Muslim. According to one of the two versions narrated by al-Bukhaari: “There is no Muslim whom Allaah places in a position of authority over people and he is not sincere towards them, but he will not smell the fragrance of Paradise.”
This is a stern warning which includes everyone whom Allaah has placed in a position of authority, whether great or small, starting from the individuals of a royal family. Everyone must be sincere towards those who are under their authority, and not cheat or deceive them.
So an employee must be sincere in his work and do it in the manner required by sharee’ah, without cheating or deceiving anyone, and without delaying work for people. He should realize that he will stand before Allaah and that Allaah has only given him this job so that he can be sincere towards the Muslims.
Similarly a father must be sincere towards his children and not neglect their upbringing, rather he must do all that he can to save himself and his children from a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are appointed angels stern and severe (cf. al-Tahreem 66:6).
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “How many people have caused misery to their own children, the apples of their eyes, in this world and in the Hereafter, by neglecting them, not disciplining them, encouraging them to follow their whims and desires, thinking that they were honouring them when they were in fact humiliating them, that they were being merciful to them when in fact they were wronging them. They have not benefited from having a child, and they have made the child lose his share in this world and in the Hereafter. If you think about the corruption of children you will see that in most cases it is because of the parents.”
(Tuhfat al-Mawlood, p. 146)
Cheating in exams
How many ways and means of cheating there are among the students! The reason for that is the lack of any religious deterrent, weakness of faith, and the lack of any sense that Allaah is always watching.
Our Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “It was narrated that the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever cheats us is not one of us.’ This includes cheating in dealing with others and cheating in exams, including English-language exams. It is not permissible for students to cheat in exams in any subject, because of the general meaning of this hadeeth and other similar reports. And Allaah is the Source of strength.”
These are some of the ways in which cheating is manifested, and there are others, for this is just a drop in the ocean,
“so that those who were to be destroyed (for their rejecting the Faith) might be destroyed after a clear evidence, and those who were to live (i.e. believers) might live after a clear evidence” [al-An’aam 8:42 – interpretation of the meaning]
To everyone who has committed some form of cheating, whether it is mentioned here or not, we say: fear Allaah and remember that the Knower of the Unseen is always watching you. Remember His punishment and torment:
“Verily, your Lord is Ever Watchful (over them)” [al-Fajr 89:14]
Realize that this world is transient and that the Reckoning will examine the smallest details; righteous deeds benefit one’s children while bad deeds adversely affect them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And let those (executors and guardians) have the same fear in their minds as they would have for their own, if they had left weak offspring behind. So let them fear Allaah and speak right words” [al-Nisa’ 4:9]
Whoever ponders the meaning of this aayah will fear the bad effects that evil deeds may have on his children and will refrain from them lest something like this happen to them.
The harmful effects of cheating include
Cases where the kuffaar gained power over the Muslims, taking them prisoner and confiscating their property, taking their wealth and women, have happened a great deal in recent times, because of evil deeds that traders and others have committed, cheating in many different ways, because of the enormity of these crimes, deceit and trickery by means of which they took the wealth of the Muslims in any way they could, and did not feel that Allaah is always watching them.
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