What to do if a college student has in the past years lied on her financial aid applications for university and as a result of the lies gets more aid from government than she was deserving of. The student didn’t know the exact consequences of them lying. From all of her aid each semester, most gets applied to the course expenses. Then there is also a sum of money that the student received back as a left over.
From a sharia perspective, how can the individual stop feeling guilt and how can they repent?
May Allah bless you.
First of all, going forward they should not make any false application.
Secondly, if there is a way for to return the money then they should do so. If they can’t return it, then should try to donate the equivalent into charity, even if its by instalments.
Finally, they should take the opportunity in this month of Ramadan to ask Allah for forgiveness, and to make the firm intention to always earn halal in the future.
Mistakes happen. This is why God asked us to repent, and to ask for forgiveness to make amends.
And Allah knows best!
If the person tries to return the money they could face other consequences such as fines and jail. Would you say it is permissible to donate the amount in charity in that situation?
Also, asking Allah for forgiveness in this month is a great opportunity. However, there is a sense of doubt when you still have to pay the equivalent. It also feels stressful when you give general sadaqah. A burdensome feeling like you’re paying down a debt.
How can an individual feel better in this situation? This causes a constant situation of guilt and a feeling of unaccepted repentance in the holy month.