Praise be to Allaah.
Cheating in exams is haraam, like any other kind of
The Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas was asked: What is
the ruling on students cheating in tests at school?
They replied: The hadeeth “The one who cheats us is not one
of us” is saheeh, and it is general in meaning; it includes cheating in
buying and selling, in giving advice, in contracts and covenants, in matters
of trust, and in exams in schools and colleges and the like, whether that
involves plagiarism, copying from another student, whispering answers to
them or writing answers and passing them to them. End quote from Fataawa
al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (12/200).
It is prescribed to punish and discipline the one who cheats
as the university sees fit, such as banning him from completing the exam or
banning him from that subject, so as to close the door to this haraam action
which leads to weakness, backwardness, promotion of those who do not deserve
to be promoted and appointment of people to positions for which they are not
qualified. The least that the student who cheats in his tests deserves is to
be be failed and banned from the subject in which he cheated. How can he be
given a grade that he does not deserve, and how can he advance ahead of
other students, when he deserves to fail?
Based on this, you should not intercede with the teacher for
this student. Perhaps he will benefit from this punishment and will not do
such a thing again, and perhaps others will benefit too. But if this student
did not cheat at all, rather he merely tried to cheat, and that is not his
usual habit, and he has shown signs of regret and has resolved not to do
such a thing again in the future, then there is nothing wrong with you
interceding with the teacher so that the punishment may be waived.
The fact that this student is not a Muslim does not mean that
you cannot intercede for him in principle. It is proven that Umm Haani’ bint
Abi Taalib put a kaafir man under her protection on the day of the Conquest
of Makkah, so that he would not be killed, and the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to her: “We grant protection to the
one to whom you granted protection, O Umm Haani’.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari
(3171) and Muslim (336).
This was intercession on her part for that kaafir man, so
that he would not be killed, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) approved of it. Similarly, ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan granted
protection to a man who had apostatized, then he came repenting and turning
back to Islam, and the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) granted him protection. Narrated by Abu Dawood (4385), classed as
saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
This is something that demonstrates the tolerance of Islam,
and the keenness of its followers to seek what is good and beneficial for
all people, which will motivate them to think about this true religion and
encourage them to enter it. This is the goal that leads the Muslim to treat
kaafirs well and uphold ties with them, so that Allaah might open their
hearts to Islam and save them from the darkness of kufr and shirk.
It is clear that this kindness does not mean that one loves
them and takes them as close friends, because that is not permissible in the
case of a kaafir, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians
as Awliyaa’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Awliyaa’ of each
other. And if any amongst you takes them (as Awliyaa’), then surely, he is
one of them. Verily, Allaah guides not those people who are the Zaalimoon
(polytheists and wrongdoers and unjust)”
“You (O Muhammad) will not find any people who believe in
Allaah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allaah and
His Messenger (Muhammad), even though they were their fathers or their sons
or their brothers or their kindred (people). For such He has written Faith
in their hearts, and strengthened them with Rooh (proofs, light and true
guidance) from Himself. And He will admit them to Gardens (Paradise) under
which rivers flow, to dwell therein (forever). Allaah is pleased with them,
and they with Him. They are the party of Allaah. Verily, it is the party of
Allaah that will be the successful”
And Allaah knows best.