Islam Uncategorized

Oaths in Islam

I have heard a lot of Muslims say “I swear on my children that .. ” or ” I swear on my mother .. “. According to Islam, it is unlawful to take an oath by anyone except Allah (SWT). You can only swear by Allah.  So, if you want to take an oath by something then take an oath by Allah (“I swear by Allah” or “wallahi” or “wallahi”).

Nafi’ related from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, met ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab while he was proceeding with a group of riders and he was swearing by his father. He said, ‘Allah forbids you from swearing by your fathers. If someone swears, should swear by Allah or be silent.” (Sahih Bukhari – 6270)

What is an oath?

From what I understand (and may Allah forgive me if I am wrong) an oath (or a vow) is a promise to do something. It can be a promise to stay away from cheese cake or a promise to clean someone’s backyard. However, just saying “I will come and clean your backyard” doesn’t make it an oath. You have to say “I swear by Allah I will do such and such” or “I make it obligatory on myself to keep away from such and such”.

If someone says “Wallahi I will feed 60 people tomorrow, inshallah”, then what he said is not a valid oath. “Inshallah” means “If Allah wills it” so if he didn’t feed 60 people the next day, then that just means Allah didn’t will it so he didn’t feed them. However, this is only valid if he says inshallah without a long pause. If someone says “Wallahi I will feed 60 people tomorrow” then gives a pause and says inshallah, then he will have to feed 60 people the next day or he will have broken his oath.

Conditions for an Oath to be valid:

  • It has to be taken in Allah’s name or his attributes. Oaths in the name of your children, parents, kabah, etc are not valid.
  • The one taking the oath must be sane and mature. Oaths taken by children are vain.
  • The oath/vow is not on something impossible. If you say “I swear I will grow wings on my back and fly” then it won’t be a valid oath.
  • “Inshallah” is not used in it. If someone says “wallahi I will travel to Syria tomorrow inshallah” then it is not a valid oath and the person who said it won’t have to atone for not traveling to Syria the next day.

If you take an oath, you MUST fulfil it. And, you should never take a false oath with Allah as a witness. It is one of the major sins in Islam. Quoted below are some proofs :

Do not make your oaths a means of deceiving one another or your foot will slip after it was firmly placed and you will taste evil for barring access to the Way of Allah and you will have a terrible punishment.” (16:92) Dakhalan means deceit and treachery.

6298. Ash-Sha’bi related from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr that the Prophet*, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The major wrong actions are shirk with Allah, disobeying parents, murder and false oaths.

“Those who sell Allah’s contract and their own oaths for a paltry price, such people will have no portion in the Next World, and on the Day of Rising Allah will not speak to them or look at them or purify them. They will have a painful punishment.” (3:77)

Atonement for Breaking an Oath:

If you vow to do something and you don’t, then you have to atone for it (kaffarah). You can do so by  :

  • Feed 10 people in need. They cannot be from his usul upwards (parent,s grandparents, etc) or downwards (chlildren, grandchildren, etc). You can’t feed one person 10 times. It has to be 10 different people and they all have to be fed on the same day
  • Clothing 10 people in need. The same rules as above apply.
  • Freeing a slave.

If you cannot do any of the above because you are poor, then you can fast for 3 days. In hanafi fiqh, they have to be 3 continuous days. If you fasted the first day but didn’t fast the second and third day then you have to start over again.

Allah does not take you to task for your inadvertent oaths, but He will take you to task for oaths you make intentionally.The expiation in that case is to feed ten poor people with the average amount you feed your family, or clothe them, or free a slave. Anyone without the means to do so should fast three days. That is the expiation for breaking oaths when you have sworn them. Keep your oaths. In this way Allah makes His Signs clear to you, so that hopefully you will be thankful.(5:89)

What should you do if you break an oath more than once?

A lot of people have asked what should they do if they took an oath and broke it more than once so I decided to include this question in this post.

Let’s say you took an oath to pray one nafl prayer every night. And, you you didn’t pray a nafl prayer in the night after that, then you would have to give kaffarah for it once. Now, the oath is broken so if you  didn’t pray nafl on any night after that,  you would not have to give kaffarah.

However, if you took an oath to pray nafl every night and didn’t pray it one night after that (which broke your oath), then took another oath that you will pray nafl prayer every night and broke your oath again, then you would have to give kaffarah twice. Why? because you broke two oaths.

What about taking an oath on the Qur’an, or Ka’bah or the like

A lot of people have asked me what they should do if they took an oath on Ka’bah or Qur’an or their mother, etc. Taking an oath on anything other than Allah is haram. So, you are not allowed to swear on your mother. However, taking an oath on the Qur’an is a bit more complicated than that. Please refer to the link below regarding this issue.

I have tried to keep this post as brief as possible so it has some details  missing. If you would like to read more on this topic then below are a few links which will help you :

By Moazzam

Moazzam is a software developer working in the big apple. He has over a decade of experience in development. While most of his work involves developing web applications, he does development for Android and Windows Mobile in his spare time.

141 replies on “Oaths in Islam”

asalaamu-alaikum brother! There is a muslim girl I felt love for but she fell out of love with me. I told her I love her and I said …”I swear by Allah you are best thing to happen to me” …She was very beautiful and sure enough gave me good advice, helped me when I had problems but so many good things have happened in my life like having good parents, having a good job, being a muslim. I don’t know if what I said is a valid statement or not to swear by Allah to. What should I do – please advice me brother or direct me to someone who has knowledge

Walaikum assalam Br. Akram,

Why dont you just do what you vowed to do. Unless you gave yourself a time limit in your oath. If you took an oath to not eat sweets for a week then just dont eat sweets for a week (unless you said in your oath that you will stop eating sweets for a week as soon as that thing happened)

Walaikum assalam Imran,

Yes, the oath is binding on you. However, you should speak to the brother and then pay the expiation for breaking your oath as that is probably better in this situation. A muslim is only allowed to not speak to his brother for a maximum of three days.

Salam brother,

few days back, i’ve done something wrong but i dont admit it. and somehow i had been forced to make an oath by someone. is my oath valid? because i was forced to do it

if you someone forced you to take an oath and you dont want to but he/she forced you does it count as an oath to allah

Assalam Alaykum,

Recently I was asked a question and i was so afraid and embarrassed to tell the truth that i swore on someone who i love very much and lied about it. It has been haunting me ever since because many people say that if you swear falsely taking that persons name (“i swear on her life i am telling the truth”) , the person falls ill or dies or something terrible happens to them. I am truly ashamed of what i have done but i dont know what to do in order to atone my sin. I read up alot on this subject but it says everywhere that a swear is only valid if taken in Allah’s name and everything else is just superstition. Please advise me as soon as possible. Everyday i live in fear of that person being harmed and it being my fault and that Allah will never forgive me.

Assalamu ‘alaikum Fahd,

I would need more detail than that to answer your question. What was the oath? How were you forced? etc. Also, I am not a scholar so I would encourage you to ask a scholar about your situation.

what is the kaffarah of an oath taken in the name of a deceased parent?suggest me someone whom i could get the right knowledge if possible.

You are not allowed to take an oath in the name of a deceased parent. You can only take oaths in the name of Allah. Oaths taken in the name of anything but Allah are invalid. So, there is no kaffarah. This is to the best of my knowledge. Allahu alam

Salamu alaekum. I recently vowed not to do a particular deed any longer. Later on I decided to stop the vow when I realized I didn’t need to stop it. So I made my intention that so and so that I said I was not going to do again I wish to stop the vow I made for it. Is it allowed because I am not sure any longer. May Allah assist us all

Assalamu alaikum. Iv never heard of this before but I thought i’d ask anyway just incase. I took a kasam in Allah (swt)’s name that I wouldnt talk to someone, of course I hesitated because I knew it would be almost impossible for me to do since this girl is one of my closest friends and I see her all the time. I took this kasam out a fit of anger, does it still count? If so, is there any way I can take it back?

First of all never take an oath in any circumstances, no matter what someone think about you is it good or bad and to clarify your self taking an oath and later you can’t fullfill it so its againts ourselves,Allah the creator of this world and universe is the most gracious and mercifull, just ask forgivness always even you had done something wrong or not but ask for forgiveness surely if we have faith we will be forgived Ameen Sum Ameen

Sir mein nay aik ehed kya tha quran pe hath rakh kar lekin ab wo mujh se poora nahi ho raha hei tou mera sawal ye hei kay koi aisa tariqa jaise kuffara ada kar kay us ehed ko khatm kya ja sakke ro kuffara ada kernay say wo ehad permenant khatam hojai ga plz ap mujhe jaldee jawab de kar meri mushkil asan kerdein or ap apna firqa bata dein tou ap kee meherbanee hogi

my family has been seeking the advice of a female alim for a few months. She claims that a good deal of black magic has been performed on us. She has made us wear taweez & drink dum wala panni but nothing has made the situation any better. She is from Toba Tek Singh & invited my father to her house for dinner since my father has a construction project there. She convinced him that her son would be a good match for me. Ever since i found out, i have rejected her ilaj. But my entire family dislikes me because they say she is very pious. I have done my research on how to spot imposters who pose as alims. She does not say all her prayers, swears a lot & uses Muawkkil to help her in her family matters. Please advise me.

Assalamu alaikum. A few day ago I made a kasam on my mother’s head that I wouldn’t interrupt my studies with any thing that is not educational. I am ashamed to say I broke it out of bad habit. I don’t believe I made this kasam in the name of ALLAH, I just put my hands on top of my mother’s head. I don’t know if this is valid or not or what I should do. I am only 15 so i can not feed 10 other people or cloth them. Should I fast for three days regardless the kasam valid or invalid. Please help me the guilt is really killing me.

is there any significance if someone says that “dont do this otherwise i will face an accident and die” or “i will suffer from cancer”… sir that person is very important for me and if i do that for which he said the above sentence then does it cause any harm to him?
sir i want to know that these type of sentences have any significance??? sir reply me as soon as possible its very irgent for me…..

hey i said ”i swear to God i wont talk to that person eva” in that person’s absence .. if i talk em i sinful??

I had taken oath by Allah’s name in front of Kabah that i would not smoke again….but the very next day i had broken it by smoking as i couldn’t resist. Surprisingly i continued the oath after an hour i broke it. I cannot control myself anymore what is my expiation (kaffarah) if i continue smoking? Thanks

Assalamu Alaikum Mustafa,

The expiation for breaking an is in my post. Please also read the post above on how many times you have to pay the kaffarah

i had sweard on quran though i dint wantd to bt i had to coz i ws left no option and the very next day i broke it but eventually i continued to stick to my promise bt im scared cz i already broke it plzz advise

Assalam u alikum dear brother kindly mention the circumstances where oath should be taken?

My question is dat in have spoken a lie to my sister in law regarding a phone call it haven’t made. I said bakhuda (meaning allah kasam) i have made d call which is a lie. By saying allah ka sam have I made a sin. What shuld I do to repent.plzz help

Assalamu alaikum,

I recommend you speak to a local imam. I don’t know the details of your situation so I can’t advise you properly.

Assalamu alaikum,
their is this guy am in a relationship with,i love him but he dosent seem to understand me every single time i try to explain things to him especially on oath taken..he took an oath using the qur’an saying he was never going to leave mi and now we are having lots of misunderstandings almost setting us apart cause he is letting his desiers get the most of him….please can you advice mi on what to do

If you have reached puberty then your oath is valid, to the best of my knowledge. Please confirm with a scholar.

I said wallahi I was not going to do something but I did. Is the oath valid if the were no witnesses to here me say it. And even so if I do have the punishment I did not think the oath was valid when I was doing the thing I said I wasn’t going to do.

my would be husband asked me about mt past life that whether i was having a b.f or not..

he asked me to speak truth on his and my parents oath..

and i took it..

i was not actually having a bf but i do have fb b.f but i never roamed around with him or met him officially he was not my b.f

but i cant tell him about that…as my life was just about to get started..

now what should i this the case of kaffarah ?

i have broken so many oaths in the name of i have stopped taking
oath in the name of question is do i have to fast 3 days for every
oath broken.
and anothe question is that i have forgooten some oaths i have broken
and so now i cant give kaffara for those oath as i dont remember them
that how many i have broken,so what to do about forgotten oaths.

I live in bd and my husband live in day at anger I massaged him that”if u don’t reply me ,I oath by Allah that I won’t talk to u by phn until I see u”
If we chat by video call,will my oath fulfill at the point ‘see’and can we talk again by phn?
Plz,ans as soon as possible, its so painful without talking with him

Pure men for pure women, pure women for pure men. This is what Qur’an tells us.

If you commit zina in any shape or form (it doesn’t have to be sexual intercourse), then you may very well get a husband who has done the same. Barakah from your marriage may be taken away. If you want a good husband, you have to make sure you are good. I would highly recommend you stop all communication with your FB boyfriend, seek Allah’s forgiveness and do not tell anyone about it.

Your oath was not valid so you don’t have to do anything. You are not supposed to take an oath on anything other than Allah (not your parents, not his parents, or anyone else’s parents).

What if you broke an oath and fasted for 2 days consecutively, then failed to fast on the third, but fasted the day after the third day but that fast broke too?

I was told to say wallahi to tell the truth about something. The question was if I knew anything about that specific question. I said no but I realized what I did and told the truth that I did know something right after the conversation on the phone ended.
My question is does that still count as breaking a wallahi

Assalamu alaikum, i make an oath by saying wallahi tallahi and i write it through text not saying it by mouth but i broke that oath now what would i do should i fast for three days or what. Am waiting for your reply

assalamualailum! I want to ask that what should my husband do to ask for forgiveness for breaking a promise he made on our 2 year old son he gambled in past lost a lot of money then he promised me that he will never do this again ” I promise on my baby that I will never go near that place ” and he did it again I’m really worried and can’t stop crying now I am worried that God forbid something will happen to our son because of my husband made a promise on him plz help me with it,

I have a bad habit of taking oaths, i have lied by taking oaths and broken many oaths in the name of God, i have forgotten the number of times i’ve done this. I feel really guilty, what should i do?

Hi, i wanted abit more information on when you said you can free a slave. How can we do that what is the procedures??

Thank you

Thank you for all the infromation. I wiah i read about this many years ago. I go very bad habit of taking oaths by the name of Allah, Quran anf my children, i have broken many oaths, I cant recall how many times i’ve done this.I have take oath on silly things ie, eating healthy,not shouting so many other small things and then I can’t keep my oath. Now that I read about oath I won’t be doing it afain. I feel really guilty and bad about it, what should i do?

If in youtube or facebook…etc i said wallahi, but after a while I delete the comment. can i do whatever i want, or should i stay on my promise?

We, Muslims, are not deceivers :). If you made an oath, you should not break it. Regardless of whether you deleted the comment or not.

The worth of a man is his trustfulness. If you can’t be trusted, you are worthless.

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