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Subject : Islamic Ruling on Assisting Post-Graduate Students in Preparing Dissertations and Research Papers

Fatwa Number : 3576

Date : 21-07-2020

Classified : Forbidden Money

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

Is it permissible for me to supervise, not sell, dissertations for post-graduate students? What about helping with certain parts of the dissertation: statistical studies,  theoretical framework, plan, defense and analysis, title, and proofreading?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions. 

The effort exerted in writing a research paper can be divided into two parts: 

First: Content-oriented: paraphrasing, deriving conclusions, ordering ideas, and clarifying controversial issues. Here, it is prohibited to help students accomplish these tasks because this leads their teachers to believe that it is their own effort; whereas, a research paper is a means of assessment that aims to make the student look for information from certified sources, and become accustomed to paraphrasing and ordering ideas to arrive at conclusions. As a result, such student gets a grade that he doesn`t actually deserve, and it equates him, before the teacher, with the student who worked hard and excelled in writing his own paper. In this regard, Prophet Mohammad said: "The one who makes a false statement of that which one has not been given is like one who wears a garment of falsehood."{Agreed upon}. In addition, the student that submits such a research paper as if it was his own effort makes him a liar, and lying is one of the grave sins. In this regard, Allah, The Almighty, says: " O ye who believe! Fear God and be with those who are true (in word and deed)."{At-Tawbah/119}. In addition, Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said:

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "He who takes up arms against us is none of us; and he who cheats us is none of us." [Muslim].

Second: Form-oriented: typing, formatting, indexing, and collecting bibliographies. There is no harm in helping students accomplish these tasks whether for a fee or not.

In conclusion, We (Iftaa` Department) advise students and those helping them with their studies to be conscious of Allah and avoid lying, cheating and forgery. We also advise the students to exert personal effort in pursuing studies and scientific research. And Allah the Almighty knows best.





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