Giving Oaths beside Allah

We start off this khutba with an ayat from Sura Nisa, ayat 48 in which Allah SWT says:

Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin.

Dear brothers and sisters, it is clear in our faith that it is not permissible to give an oath using a creation of Allah, not using the life of any martyr or the life of any living person, including the lives of the Prophets peace and blessings be upon them despite their high status.

Imaam Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his Book, (Riyath Al Saliheen) – section of forbidding oaths in name of a creation like the Prophets, or the Ka’ba, or the skies or fathers or life itself.

And he identified in this section the Hadith from Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) that the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said :

Allah prevent you from taking oath using your father, and whoever has to take an oath, should take it with Allah or to be quiet.

And from the evidences of the danger of giving an oath using other than Allah is the hadith of Ibn Umar again, that the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said:

Whoever gave an oath using other that Allah then he has done Shirk (Taking a God beside Allah).

Dear brothers and sisters, we can not take oath using other than Allah, as narrated by Sa’ad Ibn Abeeda, that Ibn Umar may Allah be pleased with him heard a person say, “No and the Ka’aba”, Ibn Umar said: Do not give oath beside Allah, as I heard the prophet peace and blessings be upon him said whoever took oath beside Allah has rejected (Kafar) or has taken God beside Allah.

Therefore if the person taking the oath using a person then he has glorified this person to put him in a status in comparison to Allah, and this is Shirk which can take a person out of the fold of Islam, and we take refuge from this.

And whoever is used to doing this, to keep giving oaths without thought using other than Allah, then he should say after that, that there is no Lord beside Allah.

This is because it has been shown in reality that if a person tried to do this as a habit then he/she will stop this bad habit.

Dear brothers and sisters, we need to understand the reasons behind an oath in order to understand just why this topic is so important and not one that is overlooked.

The purposes of oaths taken are plenty, but the major ones are:

  1. To demonstrate the greatness of Allah SWT
  2. Oaths present an argument and points to ponder upon
  3. The oaths are in fact evidences
  4. The real purpose of an oath is reasoning
  5. They set Allah SWT as a witness to the argument being presented

Therefore, it is imperative that we recognize that only Allah SWT can be the basis of oaths.

May Allah SWT enable us to understand the meaning of oaths. May Allah SWT enable us to give an oath in the correct manner. And May Allah SWT reward us for correct delivery of an oath.

Ameen, Walhamdullilahirabilalameen.




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Oaths and Protecting one’s tongue

The topic starts with talking of oaths and so this is best started with an understanding of what it means by an Oath.

An oath is a vow or a promise to do something. As Muslims, this is something that we need to protect our tongues from uttering unless it is something we are serious about fulfilling.

Such is the importance of this mannerism that we have Allah SWT mention it to us in the Glorious Quran.

In sura Al-Maida, ayat 89 Allah SWT says:

Allah will not impose blame upon you for what is meaningless in your oaths, but He will impose blame upon you for [breaking] what you intended of oaths. So its expiation is the feeding of ten needy people from the average of that which you feed your [own] families or clothing them or the freeing of a slave. But whoever cannot find [or afford it] – then a fast of three days [is required]. That is the expiation for oaths when you have sworn. But guard your oaths. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be grateful.

Dear brothers, from this ayat we can see that Allah SWT is asking us to guard our oaths. And how does one guard one’s oath if not by guarding one’s tongue from uttering the oath.

However in some cultures the problem is more acute than a false oath. Amongst some Muslims we have the practice of oaths being sworn on someone other than Allah SWT.

For example, Muslims have been heard to say “I swear on my children that…” or “I swear on my mother that…”. This dear brothers, in accordance with the Sunnah is not allowed.

We must only swear by Allah SWT. If we are to take an oath then swearing by someone other than Allah SWT is against the teachings of Islam.

To illustrate this point, the following hadith states that the Prophet SAWS said:

“Allah forbids you from swearing by your fathers. If someone swears, then they should swear by Allah or be silent”

Dear brothers, as with all things there is an etiquette in Islam and taking an oath is no exception.

Therefore with that being said, what follows are 4 conditions that are widely regarding as conditions for an oath to be valid. And Allah knows best.

Firstly, it has to be taken in Allah’s name or his attributes. To say “I swear by Allah” or “Wallahi” is allowed. And therefore to reiterate, oaths in the name of your children, parents, kabah etc are not valid.

Secondly, the one taking the oath must be sane and mature. Oaths taken by children are invalid.

Thirdly, the oath or vow taken is not something that is simply impossible to do. If you say something like “I swear by Allah I will grow wings on my back and fly” is an invalid oath and it is a clear example of someone in need of protecting their tongue.

And lastly, the word ‘InshAllah’ aka Allah-willing is not used in it. For example, if someone says “I swear by Allah that I will travel to London tomorrow, Insh’Allah” then it is not a valid oath and the person who said it will not have to atone for it if they do not travel tomorrow.

Dear brothers we need to be wary that we do not take oaths that are invalid, in someone other than Allah’s name or worse still oaths that we break.

The tongue has great potential to serve us well on the Day of Judgement. Using it to perform Zikr, to recite Quran enables us to bank for the next life. But equally so, it is possible to use it to utter oaths that we forget as soon as they have been uttered.

We need to be mindful that we don’t fall into this bad habit as every uttered oath will be accounted for.

Allah SWT says in Sura Saba’:

But those who disbelieve say, “The Hour will not come to us.” Say, “Yes, by my Lord, it will surely come to you. [ Allah is] the Knower of the unseen.” Not absent from Him is an atom’s weight within the heavens or within the earth or [what is] smaller than that or greater, except that it is in a clear register

Dear brothers, from this ayat we can see that Allah SWT is specifically telling us that nothing will do unaccounted for. We must strive to ensure that all the good deeds we perform for our Lord isn’t undone by the actions of our tongue.

May Allah SWT give us understanding on the importance of oaths. May Allah SWT perfect our manners in relation to oaths. And may Allah SWT reward us for our efforts in relation to oaths.

Walhamdullilahi RabilAlameen.

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