Overall Meaning: Meaning of cheating:
Ghishsh linguistically: It is the opposite of advice. Ghashshahu yaghushshuhu ghishsha is said if one did not truly advise another, displaying to him other than what we internally withheld. [1082] al-Nihayah, Ibn al-Ahir (3/369); Lisan al-`Arab, Ibn Manzur (6/323); Taj al-`Arus, al-Zabidi (17/289-290).
Ghishsh technically: It is concealing that which would be disliked if it were known by the buyer. It is also described as the state where a seller is aware of a matter with a product that, had the buyer been aware of it, he would not have given for it what he did in return. [1083] al-Dhakhirah wa al-Qarafi (5/172); al-Zawajir, al-Haytami (1/396).

Dispraise of cheating and its prohibition in the Qur’an and Sunnah:
❖ Allah, exalted, says, “Leave no rancour in our hearts towards those who believe. Lord, You are truly compassionate and merciful.’” (al-Hashr: 10) Al-Mawardi said, “Rancour (ghill) has two facets here: Cheating, and this is Muqatil’s opinion; and hostility, and this is the view of al-A`mash.” [1084] al-Nukat wa al-`Uyun (5/507).
❖ Allah, exalted, says, “Indeed, Allah commands you to return trusts to their rightful owners.” (al-Nisa’: 58) Al-Maraghi said, “This is the slave’s trustworthiness with the people. From this is returning their entrusted possessions, not cheating, keeping secrets, and the like.” [1085] Tafsir al-Maraghi (5/70).
❖ Abu Hurayrah, Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ passed by some heap of food corn, etc being sold. He thrust his hand in it, and his fingers got wet. He said, “Owner of the food, what is this?” He replied, “Rainfall wet it, Messenger of Allah.” He ﷺ said, “You ought to have placed it at the top so the people see it! Whoever cheats is not from me.” [1086] Reported by Muslim (102).
❖ He ﷺ from the narration of Ma`qal ibn Yasar, Allah be pleased with him, “There is not a slave of Allah whom Allah gives responsibility over others then dies having cheated them but that Allah makes the Garden impermissible for him.” [1087] Reported by al-Bukhari (7150) and Muslim (142), and this is his wording.

Quotes of the Predecessors and scholars on dispraising cheating:
❖ Ibn `Abbas, Allah be pleased with them both, said, “A person will continuously better his views so long as he is advising the one who seeks his counsel. If he cheats him, Allah will remove his insight and accuracy.” [1088] al-Dhari`ah ila Makarim al-Shari`ah, al-Raghib (p. 211).
❖ Jarir ibn `Abdillah, Allah be pleased with him, would highlight his products’ faults when selling them and then say, “Take it or leave it if you wish.” It was said to him that if he does this, he will not sell anything. He replied, “We took a pledge with the Prophet ﷺ to give honest advice to every Muslim.” [1089] Reported by Ibn Sa`d in al-Tabaqat al-Kubra - Mutammim al-Sahabah (p.803) and al-Tabarani (2/359) (2510).
❖ Ibn Hajar al-Haytami said, “Due to these ugly deeds - meaning cheating - which business owners, craftsmen, and salesmen have committed, Allah allowed tyrants to overcome them. They took their wealth and dishonoured their women. Allah even allowed the disbelievers to overcome them, taking them as prisoners and slaves, making them taste all sorts of torment and degradation.” [1090] al-Zawajir (1/400).

Types and forms of cheating:
1- In buying and selling and other commercial transactions. 
2- The ruler to his subjects and vice versa. 
3- In speech, such as when giving a false, fabricated, or slanderous testimony. 
4- In advice, by not being truthful or sincere in advising others. 
5- In learning and acquiring knowledge. 
6- Not fulfilling contracts.

Impacts and harms of cheating:
1- The Prophet ﷺ is absolved from the cheating person.
2- The cheating person is far from Allah and the people. 
3- Is in the ranks of the hypocrites. 
4- Is unaccomplished and unambitious. 
5- Belittles Allah’s seeing him. 
6- Commits a major sin. 
7- Is forbidden from being blessed. 
8- Betrays others’ trust which he has been given. 
9- Is likely to have weak faith. 
10- Is one of the causes of the division among Muslims. 

Reasons for falling into cheating:
1- Weak faith in Allah and not having sufficient fear of Him. 
2- Ignorance of the unlawfulness of cheating, and that it is a major sin. 
3- Insincerity in one’s deeds, not doing them solely for Allah’s sake. 
4- Pursuing the worldly life and wealth obsessively. 
5- Not implementing the penal codes for cheating. 
6- Bad company. 
7- Unsound nurture that is averse to Islamic ethics. 
8- Lack of contentment in what Allah has shared out of provision. 
9- Not remembering death and the Last Day. 

Means to desisting from cheating:
1- Calling upon Allah and beseeching Him that He suffices one with His lawful rather than His unlawful. 
2- Being sincere in deeds for Allah. 
3- Actively enjoining what is right and forbidding what is evil. 
4- Nurturing individuals to adhere to the rulings and etiquettes of the Sacred Law. 
5- Strengthening one’s trust in Allah, being aware of His watchfulness. 
6- Visiting graves and remembering death and the Last Day. 
7- Patience over cultivating lawful provision through permissible means. 
8- Spending time with righteous company. 

A spiritually instructive story:
Zayd ibn Aslam narrates from his father, who narrates from his grandfather Aslam, that he said, “Whilst I was with `Umar ibn al-Khattab, Allah be pleased with him, as he was wandering the streets of Madinah at night, he lent against a wall as he got tired. We then heard a woman say to her daughter, ‘My daughter, mix this milk with water.’ She replied, ‘Mother, have you not heard what the Commander of the Faithful ordained today?’ She said, ‘What’s that, daughter of mine?’ ‘He commanded his caller to announce among the people that milk is not to be mixed with water.’ She said to her, ‘Daughter, go mix it with water, for neither the Commander of the Faithful nor his caller can see you here.’ The girl said to her mother, ‘Mother, I will not obey him openly yet disobey him privately.’ [1091] Reported by Ibn `Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq (70/253).

Cheating in poetry:
The poet said,
The cheating person is feared, the advisor is secure,
The reckless is confuted, and the rightful is victorious.
The truthful is never doubtful, justice stands upright
On the roads of truth, and fraud is bent and crooked.