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Claiming State Benefits

Q:

Dear Sheikh, Assalamu alaikum. I need a fatwa about claiming state benefits in the UK. As you are aware that many muslims living in the UK claim state benefits by means of false declaration of their income. They hide the actual income so that they can claim maximum benefit. I have two questions regarding this: Is it halal to claim benefits by fraudulent/ illegal means? If not, what is the rulling of islam regarding the asset/wealth gained by that method? If an imam of a mosque do the same thing then will it be correct to pray salah behind him. I would be grateful if you answer the above question. JazakAllah khair.

A:
Wa alaykum salaam
 
Thank you for your question. You cannot claim state benefits in any country by means of false declaration according to Ayatollah Sistani. Below is an answer from his website of regarding the issue along with the link:
 
2Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim to give false information to government departments in Europe to gain some financial or abstract benefits, through proper channels?
 

Answer: It is not permissible because it is lying.
 
 
As for the Imam of the mosque you should speak to him privately about the issue as perhaps he has a justification or is not aware of this rule.
 
May you always be successful.
 
Regards
Zohair Ali.