OATHS


Bahishti Zewar, Fiqh, Part 3-Fasting, Zakaat, Qurbani, Hajj etc. / Sunday, August 31st, 2008

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. The oath will also be considered if the person says:
“Allah is a witness”, “I am making Allah a witness and saying this”, or “I am
saying this bearing in mind that Allah Ta’ala is present and listening to what I
am saying”.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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”.

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. By someone else taking an oath on you, the oath is
not considered. For example, a person tells you: “I swear by Allah that you have
to do this work!” This oath is not considered and one can act contrary to
it.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. 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.

One Reply to “OATHS”

  1. Lets say you are forced to take an oath on your mom’s life that you will never see a certain someone ever again. Is that oath considered valid?

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