Connect with us
Advertise With Us

RELIGION

OATHS

Published

on


And make not Allah’s Name an excuse in your oaths against doing good and acting piously, and making peace among mankind. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower (i.e., do not swear much and if you have sworn against doing something good then give an expiation for the oath and do good. (al-Baqarah, 224)

Oaths are of three types: the one which Allah will call you to account for; the one that He will pardon, and the one on which He has placed expiation.

Why must you swear to affirm that something is true or to make an undertaking unnecessarily? If you swear with every sentence you utter, people begin to doubt your sincerity. Your integrity is under question. And you are certain to fall into repeated expiation or incurring the wrath of Allah knowingly or unknowingly, because many of your utterances may require expiation which you may not do. You may swear not to do something that is an act of obedience to Allah, or what is made lawful unto you. At times you swear in anger or swear on a flawed assumption only to discover your mistake later on.

Abubakr as-Siddeeq (RA) housed Mistah within his household, clothed and fed him like any member of his family. When the slander against Aisha (RA), his daughter, came up, Mistah was implicated in the contrivance and spreadingof the false rumour. Abubakr was pained, distraught by Mistah’s ungratefulness. It was like the Arab saying: “Fatten your dog; it will bite you.” Abubakr swore never to accommodate Mistah in his house let alone feed or clothe him.

On account of this oath, Allah revealed the following verse:

Let not those among you who are endued with grace and amplitude of means resolve by oath against helping their kinsmen, those in want, and those who have left their homes in Allah’s cause: let them forgive and overlook, do you not wish that Allah should forgive you?

When he heard this revelation, Abubakr (RA) said, ‘Yes, we desire that Allah should forgive us.’ So, he restored maintenance on Mistah.

So, “And make not Allah’s (Name) an excuse in your oaths against doing good and acting piously, and making peace among mankind.” Means, don’t use Allah’s name as an obstacle to doing good. If it is said to him ‘Obey your brother for peace to reign.’ He will say ‘No, I have sworn by Allah never to do that.’

‘Make peace between your brother and sister.’ He will say ‘No, I will not. I have sworn in Allah’s name against that.’ Or ‘Give and take care of your brother.’ He will answer, ‘For how long will I take care of someone who does not know what to do with his life? I swear by Allah I will not take care of him again.’

Continuing in a sinful vow is more sinful than breaking it by making expiation and doing the right thing. Allah’s Messenger said:

By Allah! It is more sinful to Allah that one of you implements his vow regarding (severing the relations with) his relatives than (breaking his promise and) paying the Kaffarah that Allah has required in such cases.

Allah, the Highest, out of His Favour to His creatures, said if you swear to do something that is likely to hurt any of My servants, and you make My name a barrier against doing good, forsake the oath, and do the right thing.

That is Allah who is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things.

(And make not Allah’s (Name) an excuse in your oaths) means, “Do not vow to refrain from doing good works. (If you make such vow then) break it, pay the Kaffarah and do the good work.”

Supporting this view, which is the majority view, is what is reported in the Two Sahihs that Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari narrated that Allah’s Messenger said: .

By Allah! Allah willing, I will not vow to do a thing and then see a better act, but I would do what is better and break my vow.

Muslim reported that Abu Hurayrah said that Allah’s Messenger said:

Whoever makes a vow and then finds what is better than his vow (should break his vow,) pay the Kaffarah and perform the better deed.

And make not Allah’s (name) an excuse in your oaths against doing good, or acting rightly, or making peace between persons; for Allah is One Who heareth and knoweth all things.

It is not proper, therefore, that you swear in every sentence while speaking on any issue.

Heed not the type of despicable men,- ready with oaths,

But man is created weak. There are instances where we may slip, or commit wrong in matters affecting oaths. Allah pardons some, while others we must expiate.

Allah will not call you to account for that which is unintentional in your oaths, but He will call you to account for that which your hearts have earned. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Forbearing.

Abu Dawud reported under Chapter: `The Laghw Vows’ that `Ata’ said that `A’ishah said that Allah’s Messenger said:

The Laghw in the vows includes what the man says in his house, such as, `No, by Allah,’ and, `Yes, by Allah’.

It has become an everyday language that people say meaning emphasis and not oaths. But the less we use Allah’s names in such ways the better.

Heed not the type of despicable men,- ready with oaths,

Ibn Abu Hatim reported that Ibn `Abbas said, “The Laghw vow includes vowing while angry.”

He also reported that Ibn `Abbas said, “The Laghw vow includes vowing to prohibit what Allah has allowed, and this type does not require Kaffarah (expiation).” Similar was said by Sa`id bin Jubayr.

In addition, Abu Dawud related under Chapter: `Vowing while Angry’ that Sa`id bin Musayyib said that two Ansari brothers both received an inheritance and one of them asked that the inheritance be divided. His brother said, “If you ask me about dividing the inheritance again, then all of what I have will be spent on the Ka`bah’s door.” `Umar said to him, “The Ka`bah does not need your money. So break your vow, pay the Kaffarah and come to terms with your brother. I heard Allah’s Messenger saying:

Do not make a vow against yourself, nor to disobey the Lord, cut the relations of the womb or dispose of what you do not own.

Another aspect of laghw as mentioned earlier is to swear upon the wrong assumption on something which mistake will be established later. A man approaches, for example, and you swear that he is Mukhtar, but when he comes close, you discover that it is Ibrahim. This is part of what Allah will not call you to account for… something that is unintentional in your oaths.

Another is where you swear not to go to a certain place, and through forgetfulness, you now go to that place. You swear not to be in a restaurant, for instance, then you find yourself there, maybe after taking the last course on the menu. Also, “Allah will not call you to account for that which is unintentional in your oaths,..”

but He will call you to account for that which your hearts have earned.

In another place:

but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths;

A man who deliberately takes an oath to do or not to do something, then he realises that going against his oath is better. This is in a lawful matter only, not where Allah’s prohibitions are involved. One who takes an oath to drink alcohol, for example, will not redeem such pledge. We are speaking concerning lawful matters. You vowed not to eat red meat, then you find yourself in The Best Steak In Town, a popular restaurant in Malaysia, and could not resist the temptation. Or you vowed never to visit someone, you then realise that it will amount to severing the ties of kinship. Visit the said person and expiate on your oath. Enjoy your steak, then expiate your oath.

What is the nature of the expiation?

In a similar verse in another place in the Qur’an, Allah said:

Allah will not punish you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths; for its expiation (a deliberate oath) feed ten Masakin (poor persons), on a scale of the average of that with which you feed your own families; or clothe them; or manumit a slave. But whosoever cannot afford (that), then he should fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths when you have sworn. And protect your oaths (i.e. do not swear much). Thus Allah makes clear to you His Ayat (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) that you may be grateful. (al-Maa’idah 89)

The expiation according to the verse is in three options:

“for its expiation (a deliberate oath) feed ten Masaakeen (poor persons), on a scale of the average of that with which you feed your own families; or clothe them; or manumit a slave.”

When will you expiate the oath? Is it before or after you have done what your oath is based on? For example, you vowed not to eat chocolate again, and you are tempted to eat it. Which one will you start with? Eating the chocolate or expiating the oath? The same example could be made on, say visiting your mom or relative, and change your mind because obviously visiting them and breaking your vow is better.

The hadeeth quoted earlier shows that taking of the chocolate or visiting the relative or mom comes first before the expiation.

By Allah! Allah willing, I will not vow to do a thing and then see a better act, but I would do what is better and break my vow.

So, from this, you see that breaking the vow comes first before the expiation.

But another hadeeth comes with the opposite of what is contained here:

By Allah! Allah willing, I will not vow to do a thing and then see a better act, but I would expiate and then do what is better.

From this, the scholars disagree. They are unanimous that kaffaarah after breaking an oath is valid. But they disagreed on doing kaffaarah before breaking of the oath. Those who allowed it before breaking an oath use the second hadeeth as their proof.

Those who opposed doing kaffaarah before breaking an oath said why will you expiate for what you have not done? Break the oath first, then expiate for that.

Another set of scholars said expiation before breaking an oath is valid in 1) feeding, 2) clothing and 3) manumission, setting free a slave. But kaffaarah, according to them, is not valid in the case of fasting as expiation before breaking an oath. Because fasting is a service you do with your body, like prayers, or Ramadan fast, and thus you cannot do that before its appointed time.

These are the areas in which they agree or disagree with regard to kaffaarah.

Now kaffaarah has been confined to three things among which the expiator can choose from.

1) “for its expiation (a deliberate oath) feed ten Masakin (poor persons), on a scale of the average of that with which you feed your own families; 2) or clothe them; 3) or manumit a slave.”

Feeding comes before clothing as an option, to the extent that the scholars said the prevailing economic situation at a given time determines what should be first – feeding or clothing. When the verse was revealed poor people were in need of feeding more than clothing. So, an expiator today should also asses what poor people in Nigeria or wherever he stays are in need of, and start with that as an option from the other.


Copyright LEADERSHIP.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from LEADERSHIP Nigeria Newspapers. Contact: editor@leadership.ng

In your opinion, between APC and PDP administration, which is better?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Advertisement
Comments
Advertisement

Sign up for our newsletter

Advertisement

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!