Lying to seek knowledge

Taken from SubulasSalaam

Shaykh Yahyaa al Haajooree
Topic: Knowledge and its Virtues
Reference: Responses to Questions from a Variety of Countries – more about reference here…
Question:
Is it permissible to lie in order to seek knowledge, for example; obtaining a fake certificate/degree, lying about your age to the interviewer, or having an id card with false information and so on, because this issue is widespread and may Allaah reward you with good.
Response:
Lying is from amongst the worst of sins, so how can it be permissible to lie in an affair such as this, or in other than it. The scholars only considered three situations to be exceptions; when rectifying between the Muslims, lying during war as war is deception, and that a man lies to his wife according to some scholars [i.e. that he says the food is delicious when he doesn’t really believe so and so on, not unrestrictedly.] They base it on the Hadeeth of Umm Kalthoom, which is a ‘Shaadh’ narration. So how about lying in order to seek knowledge!? I fear that this person would not be granted success, Allaah the Elevated says:

Is it then he who laid the foundation of his building on piety to Allaah and His Good Pleasure better, or he who laid the foundation of his building on the brink of an undetermined precipice ready to crumble down, so that it crumbled to pieces with him into the fire of Hell. [At Tawbah: 109]

This is the basing of the building of seeking knowledge, the basis of seeking knowledge must be upon Taqwaa, truthfulness, preserving the boundaries of Allaah, trustworthiness, fear of Allaah, supplication to Allaah… It is not based upon lies from the first step. I fear that this may be a cause for a transformation to the worse, for indeed sins are a cause for humiliation and evil, Allaah the Elevated said:

And those who have earned evil deeds, the recompense of an evil deed is the like thereof, and humiliating disgrace will cover them… [Yunus: 27]

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