Salary for work obtained through false certification

What is the ruling on the salary for work which was obtained through use of false certification of experience, then the person learned to do the job well. At first he was employed on the basis of false certification, but after six months he started to do the job as well as anyone who has the proper qualifications, so what is the ruling on the salary received after he started to do well?

Praise be to Allaah.

We put this question to Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, may Allaah preserve him, with whom the following conversation took place:

Shaykh: “I think that he should sit a test, unless he cheated in a matter that has nothing to do with his work.”

Question: “Say this is a high-school student who falsified a degree certificate – four years’ study…?”

Shaykh: “What counts here is the last year in which the certificate is granted, so if we think that he cheated at every stage except the last, that is sufficient.”

– : “Meaning four years, then he did not cheat in the last semester?”

Shaykh: “Yes, the semester in which he was given the certificate.”

– : “But if the whole certificate – as he says in the question – was false, i.e., he didn’t study at university at all, or he majored in a different subject? For example, a person studied business and produced a false certificate in computers, and he did the work well – as stated in the question – he did the work well after that. So he did not cheat in the last semester but he did not study this specialty at all…”

Shaykh: “This is not permissible, but now – so long as he is doing his work well – he has to sit a test.”

– : “Of course the company has nothing to do with the university. Do you mean that he should leave his job?”

Shaykh: “He should leave his job, or if he is ready now he should sit a test, or if the company does not care whether he is a university graduate or not, he should still sit a test in the relevant subject.”

– : “So he should say to the company, ‘Give me a test’?”

Shaykh: “Yes, he can say, ‘I want to be sure of my abilities, can you arrange for me to sit a test?’”

– : “And not a university exam.”

Shaykh: “If they do not care if he is a university graduate or not.”

– : “But they originally set the condition that the job was for a university graduate who has a certificate in computers.”

Shaykh: “This means that there are two conditions, that he should be a university graduate and that he should have experience in computers. This means that he has to get a university degree.”

– : “So he has to tell them, ‘I falsified my certificate. Either accept me now that I know the job well, or I shall leave.’ In other words, he has to tell them the truth.”

Shaykh: “Yes.”

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

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