April 9, 2020
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Rulings of oath in Islam


Actually, I’m awfully busy Awfully busy?! How is that? I’m busy participating in the
general knowledge contest [You must be participating] because
you’re fond of reading Then, we’ll put the game off until after the contest, God willing You must retreat to your home Definitely, I want to gain knowledge
and revise what I have learned Then, we’ll contribute books and references and we’ll back you up and
encourage you until you win the prize I seek success from Allah We both wish you to win this prize which must be a large sum of money Certainly, we’ll be included too as happiness is contagious Since there is a huge cash prize you’ll give us a generous gift, won’t you? If Allah grants me success,
I’ll get you what you ask for That’s a big promise! I swear by Allah on that! Why haven’t you gone
to bed early, Abdulrahman? Because I want to revise
these books, mom You must have entered the contest Yes, I did, mother
Please pray for me May Allah grant you success, my son and make you win the contest Have you seen Abdulrahman, Ahmed? No, I haven’t but I’ve sent him some
important educational books So did I I’ve sent him some tapes
and scientific magazines -Do you think he would win?
-Why wouldn’t he? Abdulrahman is a high achiever student and he’s well informed May be someone else will win the prize Why wouldn’t he win? What’s wrong, Abdulrahman? I can sense that
something is troubling you Yes, father Why are you so worried? I’m in a bind, father What’s the matter, my son? What’s this bind? I promised my friends a very expensive gift when I win the contest -but….
– but what, my son? The prize of the contest turned out
to be a big encyclopedia and not a cash prize What’s the problem with that? Knowledge is
more valuable than money, my son I expected it to be a
huge cash prize that I can use to buy the gift so you can buy an expensive gift
and offer it to your friends Yes, mom but what happened was
contrary to my expectations You can give them a simple gift instead No, Mom because I swore to do it and I can’t break my oath Allah -Glorified is He- says “guard your oaths” Yes Muslims are enjoined to guard
their oaths and fulfill his oath But because Allah is All-wise
and All-Merciful He has ordained for us
an expiation for breaking an oath If we swear not to do something but
we find out later that it is better to do it Anyone who takes oath to
sever the bond of kinship, disobey his parents, or refrain from doing a good deed
like giving charity or such must break his oath and
do this good deed and to expiate breaking his oath Allah -Glorified is He- said: “And do not make [your oath by]
Allah an excuse against being righteous and fearing Allah
and making peace among people. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.” It means that you shouldn’t make
your oath by Allah a deterrent that discourages you from
being dutiful and doing good to your kith and kin if you made an oath to sever ties with them If someone is asked to
do good to his kith and kin or to do any good deed,
then he restrains and says I made an oath to not do it thus the oath would be a deterrent
to him from doing good Instead he should expiate breaking
his oath and do the good deed It was reported in the Sahihain
that the prophet (PBUH) said: “By Allah, Allah willing, if ever I take an oath (to do something) and later on I find something else
better than the first, then I do what is better
and make expiation for my oath.” How can I expiate breaking my oath? This type of oath, my son, is called
a binding oath (Yamin Mun’aqidah) Are there types of oaths, father? Scholars have classified oaths
into 3 types which are: 1) Accidental oath (Yamin Laghw) 2) Binding oath (Yamin Mun’aqidah) 3) The Immersed/False Oath (Yamin Ghamus) What is the ruling of each of them? Allah, the Almighty says: “Allah will not impose blame upon you
for what is meaningless in your oaths, but He will impose blame upon you
for [breaking] what you intended of oaths.” So its expiation is
feeding of ten needy people from the average of that
which you feed your [own] families or clothing them or the freeing of a slave. But whoever cannot find [or afford it] –
then a fast of three days [is required].” Accidental oath (Yamin Laghw), my son,
is what someone may casually say without having
the intention to take an oath Like when someone says: No, by Allah or yes, by Allah not intending to make an oath How can someone expiate
this type of oath? This one doesn’t have
an expiation, my son What is the binding oath (Yamin Mun’aqidah), dad? It is to take an oath to do or to not do
something in the future In this type of oath expiation is a must,
if someone can’t fulfill his oath This applies to what I did In cases like yours, my son It is permissible for you to break
your oath and expiate it by feeding [the poor],
clothing [them], freeing of a slave
or fasting What does this mean, father? You should feed or
clothe ten needy people How do we feed them, father? Allah -Glorified is He- said: “from the average of that
which you feed your [own] families” It means that it should be equal to
what a man usually feeds his family Neither the fine food that he feeds
his family on occasions nor the cheap food that
he may feed them at times Thereby, either you invite ten
needy people over lunch or dinner where you make adequate food
to feed them or give each of them around
one kilogram of rice, for example, as some contemporary scholars
have estimated And in this case, it would be preferable to offer some kind of meat
or such along with it for the feeding to be complete It would be difficult to afford it
from my pocket money What about the clothing? Some scholars said: “Anything that is called clothes
can be used as an expiation with a minimum of
what the needy usually wear, which varies from one region to another Some said that it is the clothing
that is suitable for praying in This is also difficult to achieve right now And also you can’t free a slave Then you must fast for three days, my son I will, God willing Should the days of fasting be consecutive? There is a jurisprudential disagreement among
scholars regarding whether to fast consecutively or not but it’s undoubtedly better to
fast consecutively than not because by doing so,
you are hasting to good deeds, showing prompt obedience and you’re avoiding the disagreement Thereby you’ll learn not take oaths
by Allah -Glorified and exalted is He- frequently Because it indicates disrespect
towards Allah -Glorified and exalted is He- Allah says: “And do not make Allah an object
for your oaths (i.e., idle oaths)” I still haven’t learned the meaning
of an immersed oath (Yamin Ghamus) is yet It’s the oath in
which a person deliberately lies like when he says, by Allah
I didn’t do so and so while he actually did it or when he says, by Allah I did so and so
when he didn’t do it It is called an immersed oath because it immerses the one who
makes it in hell fire I seek refuge in Allah What is the expiation for
this type of oath? There have been different opinions
regarding its expiation Most scholars agreed that it is a
treacherous, deceitful, untruthful oath so, it isn’t concluded and there is no expiation for it it’s too big of a sin to be expiated because the one who made the oath made light of
the greatness of Allah, may His majesty be glorified when he took a false oath There isn’t an expiation for it
other than repentance and regret Some said that it is a binding oath
and there is an expiation for it If I make an oath by any creature
other than Allah should I expiate for it? You must know, my son, that on no account should you take an oath
by any creature other than Allah The Messenger (PBUH) said: ” He who must take an oath, may do so
by swearing in the Name of Allah or he should remain silent.” and he (PBUH) also said: ‘He who swears by anyone
or anything other than Allah, has indeed committed an act of
(Shirk) associating others in worship ‘.” Abdullah Ibn Masuud said: “I would rather take a false oath by Allah than take a truthful oath by
anything or anyone other than Allah” That’s because taking a false oath
by Allah is forbidden; however, making an oath by any creature
other than Allah is even more forbidden because it is an act of
(Shirk) associating others in worship Lying is a lesser sin
than committing the act Shirk both of them are grave sins As for anyone who habitually takes
oaths by a creature other than Allah he must say, when
he does it forgetfully, La ilaha Ila Allah (There is no God but Allah) that’s the expiation of this action As for me, I’ll fast three consecutive days to expiate breaking my oath,
Alhamdulillah -Alhamdulillah
-Alhamdulillah, my son

Jean Kelley

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