Wednesday 10 August 2022 \


I have entered university by bribery

Last year I entered one of the Universities in the capital of our region. And I was lucky to enter the very Department, which I had dreamed of since the ninth grade - The Department of Law. The fact is that there are all lawyers in our family, starting with my great-grandfather. My father works at the regional prosecutor's office.

All would be well, but I suspect that my father "contributed" to my entrance. Although I had initially declared that I would enter independently and pass the Unified State Exam, my father told me to stop fooling around; that he would do everything as it should be.  And I really passed the exams myself and nobody helped me, or at least, I did not notice anything. Then I applied for admission to the university and later found my name on the list of those admitted. However, knowing my father, I still believe that he took part in my admission. Perhaps, without his “help” I would not enter the University. And if it’s true, I turned out to have taken someone else's place illegally. In that sense, what benefit (barakah) will I gain by means of my study?

I have been practicing the rules of Islam for already two years. Although my parents are still far away from religion, they don’t interfere with my faith, and moreover, they even praise me, because it can be clearly seen that I have got better. Only occasionally they do tell me not to cross the borders in practicing Islam and not to forget about my studying and future career.

Being sure that my parents will not understand me and may even get offended, I cannot share with them my doubts on the legitimacy of my education. And this situation is disturbing me very much. I am so preoccupied with it, that I have even lost the stimulus to learn, though at first I had been eagerly engaged in my studies. Is there any point in my prayers and fasting, if I am doing what is forbidden – occupying another’s place and studying instead of a person who really deserves it?

Can you give me any advice? What should I do? I’m looking forward to receiving an answer!

From the standpoint of religion:

I would like to start with the point that you have supposedly taken someone else’s place. First, you are not sure that your father “helped” you. This is merely your conjecture. Second, even if your father did contribute to the successful admission to the University, then according to the law of the Russian Federation, and Islamic law (Sharia), the responsibility for this act falls on him alone. Third, it says in your letter that since the ninth grade you had been dreaming to enter the abovementioned faculty, that you were ready to pass all the exams independently, including the SUE. All this indicates a good level of your knowledge, as well as your strong commitment. Given the level of knowledge and predisposition to a particular profession, I think you will be very beneficial for people and of great use to our society. 

It is said in one of the hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) : “The most beloved person for Allah is the one who is the most useful for a society " (Jami`ul-ahadith, № 696).

أحب الناس إلى الله أنفعهم للناس

So set a task - to become a good expert in your field and to bring as much benefit as you can to the society. Then Allah Almighty will be pleased with you, inshaAllah.

Anwer by Muhammad Amin Magomedrasulov,

Graduate of the Dagestan Islamic University

From the standpoint of psychology:

In your letter, I see at least two major points of emphasis.  First, let’s consider the possibility of your independent admission to the University. In favor for this variant can be said the following: your desire to learn and a long preparation, which might be the reason of your having passed the exams successfully and to a high pass rate. Besides this, you do not have clear evidences on the intervention of you father; all you have is nothing but speculations. Yes, of course, you know your father better, so it’s easier for you to predict his actions, but he might just get interested how the things were; whether you succeeded in admission or not, and that’s all . If it’s true, then your desire to give up studying and the sense of guilt for supposedly taking someone else’s place, have no ground. Moreover, it may negatively impact on your studies.

If we assume that your father did influence your admission, the situation is presented in quite a different manner. Yes, indeed, in this case, you have really taken another entrant’s place. But there is no slightest guarantee whether that other guy tried to enter honestly or not.  An entrant, truly craving to study at a particular Department, would pay enough attention to preparations and, in the case of rejection from the admission board he would lodge an appeal, and, eventually, prove his rightness. If we look at your problem from this perspective, then again, your unwillingness to learn is quite unreasonable and subjective.

No doubts, your determination to be honest and rightful is very commendable, but it shouldn’t turn into permanent doubts and self-humiliation.

Now let's go back to your situation. If, despite all the assumptions, you’ve taken someone else’s place, then, in my opinion, your giving up the studying would be absolutely wrong. Doing this you won’t return the other person his place. Plus, you will deprive yourself of the opportunity to get a profession you’ve always dreamed of. Nobody and nothing prevents you from acquiring knowledge and use them for the benefit of people, which is especially important today, when Muslims are unjustly oppressed, and not many men of law tend to help them and restore their rights. Studying hard to become a qualified expert in future, you can improve the situation and, what is most important, gain the satisfaction of God. If you still have doubts about all of this, think about one thing:  if God did allow you to take another's place, so it surely makes some sense, and maybe, you are given the opportunity to be of great use to our religion.

Answer by Aliashab A. Murzaev,

Consulting Psychologist of the Center for Social Assistance to Families and Children.

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