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The penalty for breaking an oath


Question:


I swore an oath for the sake of Allah and broke it. How can I atone for my sin?

 

Answer:


As Muslims, we should constantly be conscious of the grandeur and majesty of our Creator. A true Muslim never takes the name of Allah in jest nor does he take an oath in the name of Allah for trivial issues. The name of Allah should be taken with utmost reverence and respect, especially when taking an oath. It is for this reason that a penalty has been imposed on a person for not fulfilling his oath if taken in the name of Allah. The Kaffarah (atonement) for breaking the oath is to feed ten poor people the average type of meal (the value of one meal is the value of 2.5kg of flour or wheat), or clothe them, or if he is unable to afford this, he will have to fast three days consecutively.

 

لَا يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ اللَّهُ بِاللَّغْوِ فِي أَيْمَانِكُمْ وَلَكِنْ يُؤَاخِذُكُمْ بِمَا عَقَّدْتُمُ الْأَيْمَانَ فَكَفَّارَتُهُ إِطْعَامُ عَشَرَةِ مَسَاكِينَ مِنْ أَوْسَطِ مَا تُطْعِمُونَ أَهْلِيكُمْ أَوْ كِسْوَتُهُمْ أَوْ تَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ فَمَنْ لَمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ ذَلِكَ كَفَّارَةُ أَيْمَانِكُمْ إِذَا حَلَفْتُمْ وَاحْفَظُوا أَيْمَانَكُمْ كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

Allah does not hold you accountable for your laghw (ineffectual) oaths, but He does hold you accountable for the oath with which you have bound yourself. Its expiation is to feed ten poor persons at an average of what you feed your family with, or to clothe them, or to free a slave. However, if someone cannot afford, he has to fast for three days. That is expiation for the oaths that you have sworn. Take care of your oaths. That is how Allah makes His signs clear to you, so that you may be grateful. – (Surah al-Ma’idah, Verse: 89)


And Allah Knows Best


Mufti Suhail Tarmahomed


Checked and Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) Fatwa Department