25) The Engulfing Oath

Beliefs & Practices, Major Sins / Monday, February 16th, 2009

Allah says,

“As for those who sell the faith they owe to Allah and their own solemn plighted word for a small price, they shall have no portion in the hereafter! Nor will Allah (Design to) speak to them or look at them on the Day of Judgement, nor will he clean them (of sin): they shall have a grievous chastisement.” (3: 77)

Al-Wahidi related, “The occasion of revelation of this verse was regarding two disputants who sought the Prophet to decide their case about a landed estate. At the time the defendant had been on the point of taking an oath (Al-Ghamus oath is the false oath taken by somebody intentionally to mislead and cheat people. So, it dips him into the Fire), Allah revealed this verse. At once, he turned away from swearing and admitted the claimant’s right to the estate.

“Whosoever is ordered (by the ruler or the judge) to give an oath, and he takes a false oath in order to grab the property of a Muslim, he will incur Allah’s Wrath when he meets Him on the Day of Resurrection.”

Al-Ash ‘ath said,

“By Allah, this verse was revealed in my connection. A dispute broke out between me and a Jew who had denied my right to the ownership of a piece of land. I reported him to Allah’s apostle who said to me:

“Have you got an evidence (i.e. witness)? I replied, “No” He said to the Jewish man” swear in!” At this moment, I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! He, my opponent, will take the oath and consequently consume my property”. For this Allah revealed, ”as for those who sell the faith…” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud narrated the Prophet as saying, A person who swears falsely to take possession of Muslim’s property unjustly, shall face the wrath of Allah on the Day of Judgement”. ‘Abdullah added, ‘the Prophet recited the following verse from the holy Qur’an in support of this statement. {As for those who sell the faith ……….}

The Prophet said,

“A person who usurps the right of a Muslim, by swearing (falsely) will be condemned by Allah the Exalted to the hell and will be derived of Paradise. A man asked, “0 Messenger of Allah! Even if it may be a small thing?” he the Prophet -answered, “Even if it be the (smallest) twig of a bush- tree.” (Muslim)

Abu Dhar narrated the Prophet say,

“There are three people whom Allah will not talk to on the Day of Judgement, look at, or exonerate, and there is a painful chastisement for them “. They failed and they lost who are these persons, Allah’s apostle? Upon this the Prophet remarked, “They are the draggers of lower garment, those who remind others of their favors, and the seller of goods by false oath.” (Muslim)

The Prophet also said,

“The biggest sins are: to join others in worship with Allah, to be undutiful to one’s parents, to kill somebody unlawfully, and to take (a false) oath- “Al-Ghamus” (Bukhari)

Of the forbidden oaths is swearing by other than Allah, such as: the Prophet, the Ka’bah, the angels, heaven, water, life, honesty, souls, the sultan’s life, or his favor, or by someone’s grave.

The Prophet said,

“Lo! Allah forbids you to swear by your fathers, so whosoever has to take an oath, he should swear by Allah or keep silent.” (Bukhari)

He said too,

“Do not swear by idols, nor by your fathers.” (Muslim)

“Whosoever swears by his honor is not from amongst us.” (Abu Dawud)

“Whosoever takes an oath that if he does such and such act, or he is wrong, he may go out of Islam, then if he should turn out to be a liar he will be as he said (swore) and if he is proved to have spoken the truth then he will not come back to Islam without a stigma.” (Ibn Majah)

Ibn ‘Umar heard a man swearing by K’abah. Thereupon he said to that man, “Do not swear by other than Allah for I have received the Prophet’s words which concluded, “Whosoever swears by other than Allah has indeed disbelieved in Allah and ascribed partners to Him.” (Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud)

By “disbelieved and ascribed partners to Him.” some interpreters assimilate it as referring to the misdeed of the sin.

The Prophet said,

“Hypocrisy stands for polytheism.” (As-Sakhawi in Al-Maqasid Al-Hasanah)

He also said,

“A person who takes an oath and swears (by error):” By Lat and “Uzzah”, should at once affirm:” there is no god save Allah.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Among the newly guided companions of the Prophet were some who spontaneously happened to use Al-Lat and A1- Uzzah as oaths. To them the Prophet gave a commandment to declare:” There is no god but Allah”, as expiation for what they have said.

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