Lying about nationality to receive scholarship
Fatwa No: 367408

  • Fatwa Date:20-12-2017 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 2, 1439
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu. There is an American company that offers a global online scholarship about technology. However, you are from some specific countries, you are not eligible to participate in it, and I am from one of those banned countries. I contacted them to get an explanation regarding this restriction, and they said that they are subject to American law, which prevents exporting (proprietary information, documentation and or technology) to those countries. It is known that every company in the US is subject to their law, including Export Administration Regulations (EAR) which prevent companies from exporting their products to certain countries. So my question is: can I assume that the company is forced to apply this condition and that they are not willing to do this but that their law forces them to do so? So can I ignore that condition and apply for the scholarship? According to what I know, the government has no right to control people's business, and their laws have no value and are invalid. In the application, they ask me to name the country which I live in. So if the answer to the previous question is yes, can I choose another country given that, as I said, my country is banned (not in the list) and there is no other way to obtain said scholarship? May Allah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

It is impermissible for you to resort to lying and fraud by writing the name of another country in order to get the scholarship. This scholarship is a donation with conditions for eligibility, so whoever fulfils these conditions may benefit of it; otherwise, he may not. The scholarship donor has the right to specify who may benefit of it and who may not as they wish. You have no right to commit fraud in order to receive it. Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, "Whoever cheats is not one of us." [Muslim]

Allah knows best.

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