It goes without saying that cheating is generally prohibited in Islam, as hard workers are never equal to idle people in the sight of Allah. So those who are assigned a higher rank by virtue of cheating should turn in repentance to Allah and seek His forgiveness. Also, those who enable others to cheat should cease and then seek forgiveness from Allah the Almighty, as they are really guilty of misusing the powers entrusted to them.
In this regard, Sheikh Riyad Al-Musaimiry, a Saudi Muslim scholar, states:
Cheating in school exams is clearly haram; it is one of the major sins. Nevertheless, the door of repentance is wide open by the Grace of Allah. Hence, the guilty party of this act does not need to leave their faculty because of the sin of cheating in secondary school exams. Instead, they should offer true and sincere repentance and ask Allah for forgiveness. They can also hasten to do good deeds and observe your Islamic duties as much as you can, as good deeds wipe out sins.
Elaborating more on the issue of cheating, we would like to cite the fatwa issued by Sheikh `Atiyya Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee: It goes without saying that all kinds and forms of cheating are haram. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) made this clear in the hadith “He who cheats us does not belong to us.” Anyone who cheats is guilty of committing a sin and he who helps him in cheating also shares in the blame. It is important to stress that just because exams are difficult does not justify cheating, for examinations are originally meant to show how much one has exerted efforts to prepare for the test. It is not logical of course, to shower both the diligent and the indolent with the same reward. To do so would be injustice. A sound mind never accepts such an unjust equation.
Cheating in examinations is one of the things that threaten society, for it urges the spread of falsehood and forms an attack against truth. It causes total chaos in society and indicates that some people will have unjustified access to posts and undeserved honor.
A person who gets a job that requires a certain degree or certificate that he has gained through cheating should know that the money he gains is haram. He may be counted among those who are referred to in the verse that reads: “Think not that those who exult in what they have given, and love to be praised for what they have not done Think not, they are in safety from the doom. A painful doom is theirs” (Al `Imran: 188).
however, if this person has performed some kind of work and exerted efforts that are closely related to his qualifications, then he is entitled to the wage given to him in return for his effort. What is beyond this is considered haram.