islam and cheating
6:14:52 2018-04-02 9694

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful   

May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you all.

Islam and Cheating

Cheating is not only forbidden in the Religion in Islam but is an aspect that is universal forbidden. Regardless of one’s religion, there are certain characteristics that are forbidden while others are recommended. The negative characteristics go against what our instinct believes, and it is through our constant sinning that even our instinct and our belief in goodness seem to vanish.

Like other acts it harms others as well as the deceiver.

How cheated you feel and how you complain if you buy food and then discover that it is bad and the seller has deceived you and has benefited himself at your expense!

How cheated you feel and how you complain if your watch is broken and you take it to a watch-maker to repair, but he deceives you about fixing it and after a few days it breaks down again with the same fault!

Indeed, you feel that these people are mischievous and troublesome and have misled you by taking your money in an unlawful (haram) way and by deceiving you and causing annoyance to you. You have the right to return the bad food to the one who cheated you and get your money back; and you have the right to return the watch to the watch-maker to repair it again because both tried to deceive you.

Surely, deceiving is unlawful and an immoral deed, so believers never do it.

Among our Islamic morals is to advise others both in speech and action on what is correct. Thus if one of us does something or carries out a task, it is obligatory for him to do it with sincerity and without deceiving people. If someone asks for advice, a believer should advise him truly without deceiving him.

Surely, the Holy Messenger (s) says: He who deceives Muslims is incomplete in belief and is not one of us!

As the Messenger of Allah (s) warned us against deceiving people through this hadith, he also warned us against any deed which causes harm and hurts others. Whoever causes harm to others intentionally is not a believer, so it is obligatory for a believer to indemnify people for any harm caused by him to them.

For example, the farmer who prevents water from reaching other farmers in order to destroy their crops is surely a destructive man who deliberately wants to cause harm. Whoever deliberately damages a footpath indeed causes harm to other people. These acts and others like them are intentionally damaging and cause destruction to society. A faithful should avoid doing anything which harms others. A Muslim is a useful man, who does good actions, tries to benefit others and never thinks of just himself.

Indeed, the Islamic religion wants a Muslim to deal with people in a straight manner - not to deceive or cheat them. Indeed, neither the cheater nor the deceiver are believers.

Among the examples of deceiving is the way some traders behave in order to cheat each other, such as one who goes to another trader and tells him: Surely, this product is no good, so do not buy it. He says this so that no one competes with him in buying that product, and if others listen to him, he can buy it in order to obtain maximum profits for himself.

Verily, this act of cunning and the like are forbidden, as it is a form of deceiving, which a Muslim with true belief never does.

Indeed, a Muslim does not cheat another Muslim nor does any act which causes harm to him.

Cheating and deception are despicable characteristics that are beneath a decent person.  Intentionally distorting the truth in order to mislead others contradicts the values of honesty, which requires an attitude of sincerity, straightforwardness, and fairness that leaves no room for cheating, lying, trickery, or deceit.  There are many texts from the Quran and the Sunnah conveying the meaning that cheating, whether the target be Muslims or non-Muslims, is forbidden.

Accepting the guidance of Islam leads a person to truthfulness, which means a person completely avoids cheating, cheating, and back-stabbing.  The Prophet of Islam said:

"Whoever bears arms against us is not one of us, and whoever cheats us is not one of us."

According to another report, the Prophet passed by a pile of food in the market.  He put his hand inside it and felt dampness, although the surface was dry.  He said:

"O owner of the food, what is this?’

The man said, ‘It was damaged by rain, O Messenger of God.’

He said, ‘Why did you not put the rain-damaged food on top so that people could see it!  Whoever cheats us is not one of us."

Muslim society is based on purity of feeling, love, sincerity towards every Muslim, and fulfillment of promises to every member of society.  Its members are endowed with piety, truthfulness, and faithfulness.  Cheating and deception are alien characters in contrast to the noble character of a true Muslim.  There is no room in it for swindlers, double crossers, tricksters, or traitors.

Islam views cheating and deception as heinous sins, a source of shame to the one guilty of committing them, both in this world and the next.  The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, did not merely denounce them by excluding them from the Muslim community in this world, he also announced that on the Day of Judgment every traitor would be raised carrying the flag of his betrayal.  A caller will cry out from the vast arena of judgment, pointing to him, drawing attention to him:

"Every traitor will have a banner on the Day of Resurrection and it will be said: This is the betrayer of so-and-so."

The shame of traitors – men and women - will be immense.  Those who thought that their betrayal had been forgotten will find it right there, exposed for the whole world to see on banners raised high held by their own hands!


Their shame will increase even more when they meet with the Prophet of Mercy, the advocate of the sinners on that terrifying and horrible Day.  Their crime is of such enormity that it will deprive them of divine mercy and the Prophet’s intercession.  The Prophet of Islam said:

"God said: There are three whom I will oppose on the Day of Resurrection: a man who gave his word and then betrayed it; a man who sold a free man into slavery and kept the money; and a man who hired someone, benefited from his labor, then did not pay his wages."

One should steer clear of all the various forms of deceit and deception present in today’s society.  Cheating is common in examinations, business transactions, and even between spouses and loved ones.  Placing a label on domestically-made products to make it seem that it is imported is a kind of fraud.  Some people give wrong advice when their council is sought and thus deceive the person who believes he is getting good advice.  An employee should do the job for what he is paid for without any deception or cheating.  Rulers rig  the ballot to win elections and cheat the whole nation.  Cheating between spouses and having extra-marital affairs is widespread in modern society.  A Muslim should value himself too highly to be among those who cheat or deceive perchance one might fall in the category of hypocrites about whom the Prophet said:

"There are four characteristics, whoever has all of them is a true hypocrite, and whoever has one of them has one of the qualities of a hypocrite until he gives it up: when he is trusted, he betrays; when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he disputes, he resorts to slander."

Therefore, a Muslim who has true Islamic sensitivities avoids deceit, cheating, treachery, and lying no matter what benefits or profits such activities might bring him, because Islam considers those guilty of such deeds to be hypocrites.

In the Qur’aan, Allaah has condemned cheating and the people who do it, and has warned them of bad consequences. This may be understood from the words (interpretation of the meaning):

“Woe to AlMutaffifoon (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]

This is a severe warning to those who cheat (by giving less) in weights and measures, so how about those who steal, embezzle and withhold from the people the things that are their due? These are more deserving of the warning than those who cheat in weights and measures.

The Prophet of Allah Shu’ayb warned his people against reducing the value of people’s property and cheating in weights and measures, as Allah (SWT) has told us in the Qur’aan.

Similarly the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) cautioned us against cheating and issued a warning to the one who does this. The Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) 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.”

The wording of the version narrated, “he is not one of us”, is sufficient 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 Allah is watching all that we do, without the need for any human supervisor.

So what are the harmful effects in Islam, The harmful effects of cheating include, Cheating is a way that leads to Hell. It is also an indicative of the mean and evil nature of a person. No one does this accept one who is ignoble and does not care about his soul, so he causes it to indulge in that which will cause its doom and destruction. It alienates one from Allah (SWT) and from other people. It causes one’s du’aa’s not to be accepted. Cheating also causes one to be deprived of barakah (blessing) in one's wealth and one's life. It is indicative of a lack of faith.

Cheating, as the questioner pointed out, is one of the greatest sins.  The Prophet (Peace be upon him) did not consider the person who cheats to be among the Muslims to be on their way or guidance in having good relations with others, or who deserve advice.

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Whoever cheats us is not one of us.”

The Muslim ruler has to reprimand the person who cheats with what will make him defer from cheating, and punish him until he becomes straight and correct, and he will be an example for others.

This is with regard to his punishment in this world, let alone the punishment that is awaiting him in the Hereafter, if he does not repent or if he is not forgiven by Allah.

It is possible as well that Allah will hasten his punishment to make it happen this world according to his sins.  It is reported that "Whoever cheats his subjects will not enter Paradise.  And this is his punishment in the Hereafter;” we seek refuge in Allah from that.

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