Using ambiguous language to appear qualified for a job
Fatwa No: 288793

  • Fatwa Date:1-4-2015 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 12, 1436
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Question

Assalyamu Alaikum!Could you please help me? 1. Am I allowed to use Tawriyah (saying something which has more than one meaning and intending a meaning different from what the listener is likely to understand) when applying for a job? I don’t know if any other Muslims are competing for the same job with me (I know that it forbidden to use Tawriyah to usurps someone property (not sure about usurping someone rights).So am I allowed to use Tawriyah in job hunting? (I don’t know if other Muslims are competing with me for the same position).If I don’t get this job there is a chance that I will have to return in my home country (non-Muslim country) which is in the state of war and my live will be in danger because they can make me serve in the army. 2. Does the statement written below considered Tawriyah and does it forbidden to use it in cases when Tawriyah is forbidden? “I am familiar with these guidelines and I was working with them during my summer project” The usual understanding of this is that I was working a lot with these guidelines (several weeks) in a summer project.But I mean that in summer (at the same time when I was doing a project but not at the framework of the project) I just have read this document (I am familiar with it).

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger. {C}

It is not permissible to use Tawriyah (saying something which has more than one meaning and intending a meaning different from what the listener is likely to understand) if it results in causing others to lose their rights. Rights are not restricted to financial rights.

It appears from your question that your Tawriyah would result in deceiving your employer into believing you meet their requirements while the reality is otherwise. Hence, it is not permissible to use Tawriyah in this case.

An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said about the legal status of Tawriyah and other ambiguous and allusive language use: "If a legitimate outweighing benefit requires deceiving the addressee or if it is an absolutely unavoidable necessity to speak falsely, then there is nothing wrong with using it, but if there is no outweighing benefit or absolute necessity, then it is disliked and not forbidden. However, if it results in taking a right unjustly or denying someone's right, then it is forbidden."

The fact that the applicants to the job are not Muslims is of no effect. What has to be taken into account is the employers themselves and you meeting their requirements and whether you are able to perform the desired job in the desired manner.

Also, fearing returning to your country if you don’t get this job does not by itself justify deceit and cheating.

Allaah Knows best.

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