Rulings regarding the False Certificate
There are two people with two cases that must be differed since they posses dissimilar law consequences.
The first one is the case of cheating in test or buying false certificates. It means that there is people who intend to break the sharia rules by playing tricks during the test or forging certificate. A false certificate, to be certain, could not be obtained but through bribery.
In this case, it is impossible for us to tell the person, in the name of sharia, to keep breaking the rules, do the forbidden thing then repent and carry your work as usual. That is because he will commit forbidden thing whereas forbidden thing must be abandoned regardless of what will he do after committing the violation of sharia.
A forbidden thing in sharia might not be allowed and turn to be lawful even if one who did it intend to perform lawful act or worship by committing the violation. Such person is no better than a burglar who stole other’s wealth to give charity using that unlawful wealth, and then apologized to it’s owner. It is an evident evil, because Allah never order His slaves to do wickedness. Allah the Exalted decreed,
قل إن الله لا يأمر بالفحشاء
“Surely Allah never enjoins any indecency.” (QS. Al A’raf/The Height: 28)
Second, is people who committed violation in his past and now he feels guilty whereas he got his current job due to his transgression. While performing his tasks, he was able to work properly, even better than his colleagues who own degrees without cheating or using false certificate. Is his salary unlawful, whereas in fact he managed to finish his tasks better, just because of his past in which he got the job through indecent way? Then we should say to his colleagues who have authentic certificate without cheating, but are fond of corrupting their working hours and have terrible working ethic, that their salary is lawful because your certificates are authentic and free from any stains?
It is off course a mistake. Salary is a compensation of works, not certificate. Certificate becomes one of the requirements in job seeking not merely because of the certificate itself, but generally, it acts as a mean to know whether or not the holder deserve a job. If a person was eligible for a job without having a certificate, but by having sufficient experiences, then the goal and benefits of job selection were already obtained. The consideration of meanings of sharia in relation to benefits and damages stated that as long as the work is accomplished properly, then the salary obtained is lawful. But if the person cheated in his work, then Allah has declared, which can be translated as,
“Woe to the stinters.” (QS. Al Muthaffifin:1), although they have authentic certificates.
The case will be different if the salary was given based on degree. For example, the employer said, “If he has a doctoral degree, then he deserves to get so and so (amount of salary) based on his certificate, whether he works or not.” If this was the job contract, then the salary of the holder of false certificate was unlawful even though he worked finely. Whereas the possessor of authentic certificate would obtain lawful salary, even though we worked as he pleased.
Our statement here that the salary of the person in the second case is lawful is not a motivation to cheat to get the certificate, because a muslim who knows that tricking or cheating in test is unlawful should be satisfied with that evident law to restrain himself from that sin and leave it, even without any further explanation, and even if there are temptations to break the rules. Numbers of temptations to do evil is not considered as motivation to violate the sharia laws.
When Allah decreed about intoxicant, “Wouldn’t they stop?!”, the companions answered, “We stop.” They poured down all of their stored intoxicants to the streets of Medina even though they were fond of it and were accustomed to drink it, moreover derived financial benefits from it.
Whereas some people who performed wickedness in the past, careless of Allah’s prohibitions, and later that wickedness affected him and after that he was curious of the laws regarding that effects, after he realized his mistakes; in this case, the laws should be issued by considering various indications in it.
Sometimes the sharia acknowledge the effects of forbidden matters in protecting the rights of rightful person. The examples are:
First, an invalid marriage. The sharia acknowledges the effect of this marriage even though it is an invalid one. In such case, sharia establishes that the woman must receive her bride price after they had sexual intercourse because she had given away her virginity. However, this ruling is not intended to motivate people to do invalid marriage.
Second, one who seized other people’s possession or steal it, or obtained unlawful property by selling intoxicants or cannabis, or committed bribery, then he invested that wealth in lawful trading by lawful transaction, and thus derived large sum of profit from it. In such case, majority of experts in jurisprudence stated that the profit is lawful for him because he has a responsibility to keep the whole number of his unlawful wealth, whereas the profit was obtained by his hard work, while the Prophet had said,
“Profit is the right of one who responsible of a wealth.” (Narrated by Tirmidhi in hadith no. 1285 and he said, “A good and valid hadith”).
This ruling is not a motivation for people to seize other’s wealth unlawfully, nor to work the unlawful occupation.
A comparative example in this matter is a man who obtained his driving license illegally, although he was able to drive properly. Should we tell him,
“It is unlawful for you to drive your car because of that driving license that you received through illegal way. ” Whereas to one who got his driving license legally despite the fact that he is unable to drive in proper way, we say, “You may drive overspeed and carelessly on the road because you’ve got your driving license legally without bribing or cheating?!”
If there was a man who entered a country using false documents, and after that he worked in that country, should we tell him, “You do not deserve this salary, because it was the effects of the false documents you’ve used. Those documents that brought you to this job. Without it, you wouldn’t get this job. Effects of evil are evil. Such are said by people.”
If there was an administrative mistake at the employment or human resource department, that caused a promotion for a person who didn’t deserve it, thus violated other who was more rightful of that promotion, was the new allowance received by the former employee unlawful, since his appointment violated other people’s right and it would only become lawful through legal and appropriate appointment?!
If there was a man who owed bank, and he used the money to buy house or land through legal transaction, after that he sold that house or land and obtained large profits; will we say that the profit was unlawful because the capital was from bank, and that confirming the lawful state of the profit is motivating that man to indulge in his wickedness still and keep owe the bank operating with usury system? And then we say, it is not allowed for anyone to buy that house or land because it is considered as motivating the seller to keep doing wickedness?
But the scholars didn’t say as such. Imam Malik said,
من بيده مال حرام، فاشترى به دارا، من غير أن يُكْره على البيع أحدا فلا بأس أن تشتري منه أنت تلك الدار التي اشتراها بالمال الحرام
“Anyone who holds unlawful wealth, and uses the wealth to buy house without forcing any party to transact with him, it is alright for you to buy that house from him. The house that he owned using unlawful money.” (See: Al Mi’yar, 12:66).
In a book titled “An Nawadir” by Ibn Abi Zaid, through the narration of Isa, from Ibn Qasim, Imam Malik said,
من باع جلود ميتة وابتاع بالثمن غنما فنمت ثم تاب، فليتصدق بثمن الجلود لا بالغنم، قال عيسى: فيرد الثمن إلى من ابتاع منه الجلود أو إلى ورثته فإن لم يجدهم تصدق بذلك
“”Whoever sold carcass skin then used the money to buy a goat, and the goat finally breed, after he repented, he is obliged to give alms which value is equal to the price of the carcass skin, not the goat.” Isa said, “That money which equals the price of carcass skin should be returned to the buyer of that skin, or his heir, and if they weren’t found, then the money should be given as charity.” (See: “An Nawadir waz Ziyadat”, 6:184).
Also refer to “Bayan wat Tahshil”, 7:444, and “Majmu Fatawa Ibnu Taimiyah,”, 29:308.
Applying for jobs using false certificate is unlawful according to sharia, because forgery is forbidden in Islam. Likewise collusion, that causes many of capable men are hindered from positions they deserved, and incapable ones get it, is unlawful because it contains violation of others’ rights, abandonment of mandate, and disliking of goodness for the people that being served.
But if it already occurred, anyone working properly and appropriately deserve to get his salary, but he is obliged to repent and clean up his salary from the past stain by being all out in working, in order to provide the best service to the muslim society.
Author: Ustadz Aris Munandar, S.S., M.PI.
Article of www.syaria.com