Oaths and their Atonement

Oaths and their Atonement


(Tr. by Shehzad Saleem)

Pledging oaths carries a great significance in Islam. Keeping one's word is a fundamental part of Islamic ethics. Oaths emphasize an assertion to the ultimate extent. When a Muslim swears by the Almighty on an intention or a plan that he wishes to carry out, it is as if he has called the Creator of the heavens and the earth to be a witness over his word. In spite of this importance that oaths and covenants occupy, many a time it becomes impossible for a person to honour his word or he may feel that fulfilling a certain oath might be instrumental in infringing the rights of the Almighty or of his own self or even of others. In such cases, one can break one's oath. In fact, in some cases, breaking an oath becomes a moral and religious necessity. In the Islamic shari'ah, an atonement (kaffarah) has been prescribed for a broken oath. Following are directives given in this regard:

1. At times, an oath is totally absurd, nonsensical and meaningless. No doubt, a believer should refrain from pledging such oaths; however, it is a great favour and blessing of the Almighty that He will not hold people accountable for the fulfillment of such oaths, neither in this world nor in the Hereafter.

2. On the other hand, if an oath is pledged with a solemn will and intention or if some contract has been made on its basis or it has an effect on the rights and obligations of the parties involved or it infringes upon the injunctions of the shari'ah, the Almighty would definitely hold a person responsible for it. So a person must not be careless and indiscreet in this matter. On the contrary, he should act in a very responsible manner in this regard.

3. If, owing to some reason, a person is forced to break such an oath, then he must atone for it. For this, he is required to feed ten poor people with the standard of food he normally feeds his own family or to give them clothes to wear or to liberate a slave. If he is unable to do either of these, he must fast for three days.




Articles by this author


Surah al-Tawbah (1-37) (2/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (1-37) (1/2)

Is Democracy Compatible with Islam?

Surah al-Anfal (41-75) (2/2)

Surah al-Anfal (41-75) (1/2)

Surah al-Anfal (31-40)

Surah Nisa’ (153-176)

Surahs Muzzammil and Muddaththir

Surah al-Anfal (1-30)

Surah al-A’raf (184-205)

Surah al-A’raf (163-183)

Islamic Punishments

Surah al-A’raf (152-162)

Surah al-A‘raf (123-153)

Surah al-A‘raf (80-122)

Surah al-A‘raf (57-79)

Surah al-A‘raf (26-56) (2/2)

Surah al-A‘raf (26-56) (1/2)

Surah al-A‘raf (1-25)

Surah An‘am (128-165) (2/2)

Surah An‘am (128-165) (1/2)

Surah An‘am (100-127)

Surah An‘am (74-99)

Surah An‘am (46-73)

Surah An‘am (25-45)

The Noble Wives of the Prophet (sws)

Surah An‘am (1-24)

Islamic Punishments

Surahs Falaq-Nas

Surahs Lahab-Ikhlas

Surahs Kafirun-Nasr

Surahs Ma‘un-Kawthar

Surah Fil – Surah Quraysh

Surah ‘Asr – Surah Humazah

Surah Qari‘ah – Surah Takathur

Surah Zilzal – Surah ‘Aadiyat

Khilafah

Surahs Qadr-Bayyinah

Surahs Tin – ‘Alaq

State and Government

Surahs Duha-Alam Nashrah

Surahs Shams-Layl

Islam and the State: A Counter Narrative

Surahs Fajr-Balad

The Basis of Legislation

The Shari‘ah of Preaching

Surahs A‘la - Ghashiyah

Variant Readings

Surahs Mutaffifin - Inshiqaq

Surahs Buruj – Tariq

Itmam al-Hujjah [1] of God’s Messengers

Theory of Evolution (2)

Surahs ‘Asr-Humazah

Theory of Evolution (2)

Surahs Nazi‘at-‘Abas

Surahs Mursalat-Naba

Dealings and Practices of God

Is Democracy Compatible with Islam?

Wudū and Nail Polish

Surahs Qiyamah-Dahr

Surahs Takwir - Infitar

Sūrahs Muzzammil and Muddaththir

Downfall of the Muslims

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi on Hadith

Your Questions Answered

Surahs Nuh and Jinn

Birth Control

An Interview with the Indian Media

Surahs Haqqah and Ma‘arij

Roles and Responsibilities of Muslims in the West

Surahs Mulk - Qalam

The Punishment of Intentional Murder

Hajj and ‘Umrah

Sūrahs Hashr – Mumtahinah

Religious Extremism

Sūrahs Hadīd – Mujādalah

The Right to make a Will

Talks of the Prophet Muhammad (sws)

Surah Waqi‘ah

The General and the Specific

Sūrah Qamar and Sūrah Rahmān

Surah Tur and Surah Najm

Inheritance of an Orphaned Grandchild

The Sharī‘ah of Preaching

The Source of Religion

Sūrah Mā’idah (90-120)

The Prayer

Sūrahs Qāf and Dhāriyāt (Part 2/2)

Sūrahs Qāf and Dhāriyāt (Part 1/2)

Sūrah Mā’idah (32-63) part (1/2)

Sūrah Mā’idah (32-63) part (2/2)

Dealings and Practices of God

Age of ‘Ā’ishah (rta) at her Marriage

Sūrah Mā’idah (1-31) part (1/2)

Sūrah Mā’idah (1-31) part (2/2)

Sūrah Nisā’ (153-176)

Belief in the Prophets

Sūrah Nisā’ (101-152)

Belief in the Hereafter

Sūrah Nisā’ (58-100)

The Consensus of Muslims

Sūrah Nisā’ (36-57)

Islam and the State

Our Call to Humanity

Sūrah Nisā’ (15-34)

The Rule of an Islamic Government

Sūrah Nisā’ (1-14)

Ijtihād

Verdicts of God

The Right to Punish a Wife

The Right to Divorce

Punishment for Blasphemy against the Prophet (sws[1])

Distribution of Inheritance

Abortion

Sūrah Āl-i ‘Imrān (144-200)

Insurance

Hifz al-Furūj (Guarding the Private Parts)

Organ Transplantation

The Fast

Fundamentals of Understanding Islam

Are Muslims a Single Nation?

Subject Matter of the Holy Qur’ān

Etiquette of Sexual Intimacy

Mosques

The Lawful and the Unlawful

Jihād and War in Islam

Head Covering for Women

Forbidding Wrong

The Question of Interest

Implementation of the Sharī‘ah (Divine Law)

Women Travelling with a Mahram

Islam and the Taliban [1]

Our Education System

Sūrah Āl-i ‘Imrān (118-143)

Sighting the Moon

Sūrah Al-i ‘Imrān (100-117)

Sūrah Al-i ‘Imrān (81-99)

Characteristic Values of Muslim Culture

Sūrah Al-i ‘Imrān (64-80)

Sūrah Āl-i ‘Imrān (42-63)

Sūrah Ali-Imran (21-41)

Sūrah Al-i ‘Imran (1-20)

Belief in Divine Books

Oaths and their Atonement

Islamic Customs and Etiquette

The Dietary Shari‘ah

The Penal Shari‘ah

The Shari‘ah of Jihad

The Shari‘ah of Preaching

The Economic Shari‘ah