Fiqh


IBADAAT -> Oaths

  • INTRODUCTION
      1. It is an evil habit to take an oath over trivial matters unnecessarily. In doing this, great disrespect is shown to the name of Allah Ta'ala. As far as possible, an oath should not even be taken on things that are true.
      2. If a person takes an oath in the name of Allah by saying: "I swear by Allah", "I swear by God", "I swear by the power of Allah", or "I swear by the greatness of Allah", the oath will be considered. It will not be permissible to go contrary to the oath. If the name of Allah Ta'ala is not taken, and one merely says: "I take an oath that I will not do such and such work", the oath will still be considered.
      3. An oath will also be considered if a person says: "I swear on the Quran", "I swear by the word of Allah", or "I swear by the kalaam-e-majeed". If the person takes the Quran in his hand or places his hand on the Quran and says something but does not take an oath, an oath will not be considered.
      4. A person says: "If I carry out a certain act, I will die without Imaan", or "at the time of death I will not be blessed with Imaan". Alternatively, he says: "If I carry out a certain act, I am not a Muslim." In all these cases, the oath will be considered. If he does anything contrary to the oath, he will have to give kaffarah. However, he will not lose his Imaan.
      5. The following oaths are not considered, nor is kaffarah necessary. For example, a person says: "If I carry out a certain act, my hands must break", "my eyes must burst", "I must be afflicted by leprosy", "my entire body must disintegrate", "the anger of Allah Ta'ala must descend", "the skies must be rendered asunder", "I must become an absolute pauper", "the punishment of Allah must descend", "the curse of Allah must fall on me", "If I carry out a certain act, I will eat pork", "at the time of death, I will not be able to recite the kalimah", "on the day of judgement, I will be ashamed in the presence of Allah and His Rasul sallallahu alayhi wa sallam".
      6. An oath that is taken in the name of anyone other than Allah Ta'ala is not considered. For example, taking an oath in the name of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, in the name of the Ka'bah, one's eyes, one's youth, one's limbs, one's father, one's children, one's beloved ones, one's head, one's life, taking an oath in the name of the person who is being addressed, an oath in one's own name. Oaths of this sort are not considered. Acting contrary to them does not make kaffarah necessary. However, it is a major sin to take an oath in the name of anyone other than Allah Ta'ala. Many prohibitions are mentioned in this regard in the Hadith. To take an oath in the name of anyone other than Allah Ta'ala is an act of shirk. One should abstain from taking oaths in the name of anyone other than Allah Ta'ala.
      7. An oath that is taken in the name of anyone other than Allah Ta'ala is not considered. For example, taking an oath in the name of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, in the name of the Ka'bah, one's eyes, one's youth, one's limbs, one's father, one's children, one's beloved ones, one's head, one's life, taking an oath in the name of the person who is being addressed, an oath in one's own name. Oaths of this sort are not considered. Acting contrary to them does not make kaffarah necessary. However, it is a major sin to take an oath in the name of anyone other than Allah Ta'ala. Many prohibitions are mentioned in this regard in the Hadith. To take an oath in the name of anyone other than Allah Ta'ala is an act of shirk. One should abstain from taking oaths in the name of anyone other than Allah Ta'ala.
      8. A person says: "The food of your house is haraam upon me" or "I have made a certain thing haraam upon myself". By his saying this, that thing will not become haraam upon him. However, this oath is considered. If he eats that thing, he will have to give kaffarah.
      9. An oath is not considered if "Insha Allah" is said together with the oath, e.g. a person says: "I swear by Allah that Insha Allah I will not do that work." This oath will not be considered.
      10. It is a major sin to take a false oath on something that has already been done or passed. For example, a person did not offer his salaat but when he was asked about it, he said: "I swear by Allah that I have offered my salaat." Or, a person broke a tumbler and when asked about it he swears by Allah that he did not break it. There is no limit to the punishment that one will receive for taking a false oath intentionally. Nor is there any kaffarah for such a false oath. The only thing that a person can do is to continuously repent to Allah Ta'ala and seek His forgiveness. If a person takes a false oath mistakenly or due to some misunderstanding, it will be forgiven. There will be no kaffarah on such a false oath. For example, a person says: "I swear by Allah that so and so person has not arrived as yet", and in his heart this person had the full conviction that this oath which he is taking is a true oath. Only later did he learn that at the time of taking the oath, that person had already arrived. Such a false oath will be forgiven and there is no kaffarah.
      11. If an oath is taken for something that has not occurred as yet and would take place in the future, then if something contrary to this oath occurs, kaffarah will have to be given. For example, a person says: "I swear by Allah that it will rain today" or "that my brother will arrive today". If it does not rain today or his brother does not arrive today, kaffarah will have to be paid.
      12. A person says: "I swear by Allah that I will recite the Quran today." It now becomes wajib on the person to recite the Quran. If he does not do so, he will be sinning and he will also have to pay kaffarah. A person says: "I swear by Allah that I will not do such and such work today." It will not be permissible for him to do that work. If he does it, he will have to pay kaffarah.
      13. A person takes an oath of committing a sin. For example, he says: "I swear by Allah that I will steal a certain item from a certain person", "I swear by Allah that I will not offer my salaat today" or "I swear by Allah that I will never speak to my parents". If a person takes oaths of this nature, it will be wajib upon him to break them and thereafter to pay kaffarah as well. If he does not do so, he will be sinning.
      14. A person takes an oath that he will not eat a certain thing today. Thereafter, he forgetfully ate that thing and did not remember that he had taken an oath not to eat it. Alternatively, someone forced that thing into his mouth and forced him to eat it. In both cases, he will have to pay kaffarah.
      15. In anger, a person takes an oath and says: "I will not give you a single thing." Thereafter, he gives the person one cent or one rand. Even then the oath will be broken and kaffarah will have to be paid.
  • PAYING KAFFARHA ON BREAKING AN OATH
      1. If a person breaks his oath, he will have to pay a kaffarah which comprises feeding 10 persons with two meals each. Alternatively, he could give dry groceries to each poor person. When giving wheat, he should give approximately one and half to two kilos. When giving barley, he should give approximately three to four kilos. For the rest of the details connected to feeding the poor refer to the chapter on kaffarah for fasting. This has been mentioned previously.

        Alternatively, he could give some clothing to 10 poor persons. The clothing must be such that it can cover a major portion of the poor person's body. For example, if he gives a sheet or a long kurta, the kaffarah will be fulfilled. However, this clothing that he gives should not be very old. If each poor person is given a lungi or a pants, the kaffarah will not be fulfilled. But if he gives a kurtah with it as well, the kaffarah will be fulfilled.

        A person has the choice of either giving food or clothing. The kaffarah will be fulfilled with any one of the two. The above-mentioned rule regarding clothing is only applicable if the clothing is given to a man. If clothing is given to a poor woman, it must be such that her entire body is covered and she is able to offer salaat with that clothing. If the clothing is less than this, the kaffarah will not be fulfilled.
      2. If a person is poor and is therefore unable to feed or clothe 10 poor people, he will have to fast for three days consecutively. If he does not fast consecutively for three days, and instead misses a fast or two in between, the kaffarah will not be fulfilled. If a person fasts for two days, and misses a fast on the third day for some reason or the other, he will have to recommence fasting. The first two fasts will not be considered.
      3. Prior to breaking his oath, a person gave the kaffarah. After giving the kaffarah, he broke his oath. The kaffarah which he had given will not be valid. After breaking his oath, he will have to give kaffarah again. Whatever he had given to the poor persons prior to breaking his oath cannot be taken back from them.
      4. A person took an oath several times. For example, he said: "I swear by Allah that I will not do that work." Later, he repeats the same oath irrespective of whether he repeats it on the same day, the next day or even on the third day. Alternatively, he says: "I swear by God, I swear by Allah, I swear by the Quran that I will definitely do that work." Thereafter, this person breaks this oath of his. He will only have to give one kaffarah for all these oaths.
      5. A person had taken several oaths and therefore had to give several kaffarahs. According to the preferred opinion, he will have to give a separate kaffarah for each oath that he had taken. If the person does not give it during his lifetime, it will be wajib upon him to make a bequest in this regard before he leaves this world.
      6. The food or clothing that is given as kaffarah will have to be given to those poor persons who are eligible to receive zakaat.
  • OATHS RELATED TO ENTERING A HOUSE
      1. A person took an oath that he will not enter a particular house. Thereafter, when that house became completely delapidated and ruined, he entered it. His oath will break. But if that house was completely flattened to such an extent that there are no traces of it, or it has been turned into an orchard, or a musjid has been constructed in its place, or it has been turned into a farm and thereafter he entered it, his oath will not be broken.
      2. A person took an oath that he will not enter a particular house. Thereafter, it was ruined and reconstructed. If he enters the house, his oath will break.
      3. A person took an oath that he will not enter your house. He then landed onto your roof by jumping from the upper storey of the house next door. By him standing on your roof, his oath will break. This is even if he does not come down into your house.
      4. While a person was sitting in a house, he said: "Now I will never come to this house." After taking this oath, he continued sitting there for a little while. His oath will not break irrespective of how many days he may remain in that house. But the moment he goes outside and then enters the house, his oath will break. If a person takes an oath that he will not wear these clothes (i.e. the clothes that he is presently wearing) and immediately thereafter he removes them, his oath will not break. But if he does not remove them immediately and continues wearing them for some time, his oath will break.
      5. A person takes an oath that he will not live in this house any longer. Immediately thereafter, he begins with preparations to leave that house. His oath will not break. But if he waits for a little while and does not commence with his preparations immediately, his oath will break.
      6. A person takes an oath that he will not set foot in your house. This means that he will not enter your house. If he enters your house while being carried in a carriage and remains sitting in it and does not place his foot onto the ground, even then his oath will break.
      7. A person took an oath and said that he will definitely come to your house at some time or the other. However, he never got the opportunity of coming to your house. As long as he is alive, his oath will not break. The moment he is about to die, his oath will break. He should therefore make a bequest that the kaffarah for breaking an oath should be given from his wealth.
      8. A person says that he will not go to the house of a certain person. This person should not go to the house in which that person is living irrespective of whether it is that person's own house, whether he has taken it on rent or whether he has borrowed it from someone.
      9. A person takes an oath that he will never come to you. Thereafter, he asks someone to carry him and take him to you. Even in such a case his oath will break. However, if someone carries him and brings him to you without his asking that person to carry him, his oath will not break. Similarly, if a person takes an oath that he will never leave this house, and thereafter he orders someone to carry him out of the house, his oath will break. But if someone carries him outside without his ordering him to do so, his oath will not break.
  • OATHS RELATED TO EATING AND DRINKING
      1. A person took an oath that he will not drink this milk. Thereafter that milk turned into yoghurt and he consumed it. His oath will not break.
      2. A person had a kid goat and took an oath that he will not consume the meat of that kid. After that kid grew into a fully grown adult goat, he consumed its meat. His oath will break.
      3. A person took an oath that he will not consume any meat. Thereafter, he consumed some fish, liver or the tripe of an animal. His oath will not break.
      4. A person took an oath that he will not eat this wheat. Thereafter, this wheat was ground and made into bread or a dish made of crushed wheat. If he consumes any of these, his oath will not break. But if he boils or roasts the wheat and consumes it, his oath will break. However, if at the time of taking the oath, the person intended that he will not consume anything made from it, then his oath will break with anything that is made from it.
      5. A person took an oath that he will not eat this flour. If he eats bread that is made from this flour, his oath will break. If any pudding, sweetmeat or anything else is made from this flour, even then his oath will break. If he eats a mouthful of this raw flour, his oath will not break.
      6. A person took an oath that he will not eat bread. If he eats any bread, his oath will break irrespective of how it is made or what ingredients are used. As long as it is referred to as bread in that area, his oath will break if he consumes it.
      7. A person took an oath that he will not eat the head of any animal. If he eats the head of a bird, quail or fowl, his oath will not break. But if he eats the head of a goat or bull, his oath will break.
  • OATHS RELATED TO NOT SPEAKING
      1. A person takes an oath that he will not speak to a certain person. While that person was asleep, he spoke to him. Upon hearing his voice, that person awoke. His oath will break.
      2. A person takes an oath that he will not speak to a certain person without the permission of his (the former's) mother. Thereafter, his mother gave him permission to speak but her permission had not reached him as yet. If he spoke to the person and only learnt later that permission was granted to him, his oath will break.
      3. A person takes an oath that he will never speak to this girl. Later when she became mature or grew old, he spoke to her. His oath will break.
      4. A person takes an oath that he will never look at you or he will never look at your face. This means that he will not meet you, mix with you or stay in your company. If he looks at you from a distance, his oath will not break.
  • OATHS RELATED TO BUYING AND SELLING
      1. A person took an oath that he will not purchase a certain item. Thereafter he asked someone to purchase it for him. If that person purchases it, his oath will not break. Similarly, a person took an oath that he will not sell a certain item of his. Thereafter, he asked someone to sell it for him. If that person sells it, his oath will not break. The same rule will apply to rental transactions. If he took an oath that he will not rent a particular house, and thereafter took it on rent through someone else, his oath will not break.

        However, if he intended that he will not do these things himself nor will he ask someone else, then by someone else doing these things on his behalf, his oath will break. In other words, the rules will apply according to the intention that he makes. However, if the person is one who does not carry out such transactions himself, or if a woman is in purdah and does not carry out such transactions herself and they are used to relegating such tasks to orders, then in such a case even if someone else does the buying and selling on their behalf, their oaths will break.
      2. A person took an oath that he will not beat his child. Thereafter, he ordered someone else to beat him. His oath will not break.
  • OATHS RELATED TO SALAAT AND FASTING
      1. A person took an oath that he will not fast. Thereafter, he made the intention to fast. If he fasts for even a second, his oath will break. By his taking an oath not to fast does not mean that he has to fast the entire day. By breaking his fast even after a little while, he will have to give kaffarah for breaking his oath. If the person says: "I will not even keep one fast", his oath will break at the time of the end of the fast. As long as the time of fasting does not come to an end, his oath will not break. If the person breaks his fast before the end of the day, his oath will not break.
      2. A person took an oath that he will not offer his salaat. Thereafter, he regretted this and stood up to offer his salaat. The moment he makes the sajdah for the first rakaat, his oath will break. His oath will not break prior to making the first sajdah. If he breaks his salaat after the first rakaat, even then his oath will break. It should be remembered that it is a major sin to take oaths of this nature. If a person takes such oaths, he should immediately break them and pay the kaffarah for them.
  • OATHS RELATED TO CLOTHING AND OTHER MATTERS
      1. A person took an oath that he will not lie down on this mat. Thereafter he spread a sheet onto this mat and lied down. His oath will break. And if he placed some other mat or carpet onto the first mat and then lied down, his oath will not break.
      2. A person took an oath that he will not sit on the ground. Thereafter, he laid a mat, carpet, straw mat, a cloth, etc. on the ground and then sat onto it. His oath will not break. But if he spread a part of the clothing that he is wearing, or if a woman spread a part of her head covering while she is wearing it, and then sat down; the oath will break. If the clothing or head covering was removed completely from ones body, placed onto the ground and then the person sat down, the oath will not break.
      3. A person took an oath that he will not sit on this bed or couch. Thereafter, he laid a mat or a piece of carpet onto that bed or couch. His oath will break. But if another bed or another couch is placed onto the first bed or couch, his oath will not break by sitting on the top bed or couch.
      4. A person took an oath that he will never bath a certain person or child. However, on the death of that person or child, he gave ghusl to him. His oath will break.
      5. The husband took an oath that he will never beat his wife. Thereafter, he pulled her hair, throttled her or bit her out of anger. His oath will break. But if he bit her out of love, his oath will not break.
      6. A person took an oath that he will definitely beat a certain person. But that person had passed away prior to this person's oath. If this person did not know that he had already passed away and had therefore taken this oath, his oath will not break. But if he took this oath knowing fully that the person had already passed away, his oath will break the moment he takes it.
      7. A person took an oath of doing something. By doing that thing even once in his entire lifetime he will absolve himself from his oath. For example, a person takes an oath that he will definitely eat a pomegranate. By his eating it just once in his lifetime, he will absolve himself from his oath. And if he takes an oath of not doing something, he will have to abstain from doing it for the rest of his life. For example, he says that he will never eat a pomegranate. He will have to abstain from eating it forever. If he eats it at any time, his oath will break. However, if he had taken such an oath with regard to a particular pomegranate or any other particular fruit, his oath will only break if he eats those which he had specified. If he buys some other pomegranates or any other fruit and eats them, his oath will not break.