The imam referenced the 111 ayat from Sura Tawba in which it is translated to say:
And who is more true in fulfilling his promise than Allah?
As well as ayat 152 from Sura Al-Anam which says:
And always observe your bond with Allah this He enjoined upon you, so that you might keep it in mind.
Scholars state that the “bond with God” (conventionally translated as “God’s covenant”) apparently refers here to man’s moral obligation to use his inborn gifts – intellectual as well as physical – in the way intended for them by God.
What this means is that we have a responsibility to use our speech and actions for the tasks that have been set by us by Allah SWT, his Messenger SAWS, and the roles we have been given in life.
And so, this reminder outlines 5 areas that we should focus on in order to establish that bond with Allah SWT.
- To fulfil the promise with Allah SWT. This one is a given as it is simply saying to follow the obligations as outlined by our Creator and to avoid those actions that are impermissible. By doing these actions and avoiding the wrong actions, we are considered of the people who have fulfilled their promises to Allah SWT.
The imam referenced ayat 23 from Sura Al-Ahzab in which Allah SWT describes the believers that fulfil their promise to Him. It is translated as:
Among the believers there are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah: of them some have completed their vow through sacrificing their lives, and some others are waiting for it, and have not changed their determination in the least.
- To fulfil the promise with the Prophet SAWS who put all his effort to pass the message on to the people. There existed no good for man that he did not direct us towards it and there existed no bad for man that he did not direct us away from it. We honour that by following in his path through the sunnah acts in Islam.
- To fulfil the promise with the parents. Dear brothers and sisters, parents have a great importance upon us and their rights on their children is great. It is easy for us to focus on what we need to do as children but maybe it is only truly when we become parents ourselves that we see what our parents did for us and are still doing for us for those who are still blessed to have them in our lives. The parent is that relationship where there is no hardship that is too much to bear for the sake of upbringing and teaching the offspring. We need to honour that by listening, being patient, being tolerant, being respectful and being humble in front of them.
The imam referenced a passage from the Quran in which Allah SWT speaks of the parents and our responsibilities to them. He mentioned ayat 23 of Sura Al-Isra which is translated to say:
And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment.
- To fulfil the responsibilities within the sanctity of marriage. This is for both the husband and the wife as each has responsibilities that they must fulfil.
This point can be a talk all by itself and so just for the purposes of this reminder, the imam summarized it by saying that the husband must be respectful to his wife, to value her and ensure that all her rights are met.
Remember, that she is not held ransom in a marriage and any injustices will be accountable and so be generous towards them. Often a husband may not understand the view presented by his wife, this is an example of generosity where the husband goes along with the view for the sake of the wife.
For the wife it is about respect too and that comes practically through listening to the husband as he has been given that status and honour, supporting him through times when he may be down as men are subject to emotional dips normally associated only with women and to remember that for all that you may not like in him, there is something good that he does which ought not to be forgotten.
- Lastly it’s about the general fulfilment of responsibilities towards people. This is about general conduct in society, about manners, about attitude towards others. We live in a time and a place where selfishness is rife and so it is the best of times to be that beacon for Islam and demonstrate what is means to be a Muslim.
The imam mentioned the following hadith in which the Prophet SAWS said:
“if anyone does you a kindness, recompense him; but if you have not the means to do so, pray for him until you feel that you have compensated him.”
Therefore it is good to give dua to the person that gives you dua for example, and to do good to whoever that does good to them, and to be thankful and return the favours. This contributes to a better community, better society and a fulfilment towards the people.
Dear brothers and sisters, Allah SWT has given us this life to enjoy and it is a great blessing to have the life we have. However, life is about living in accordance with the guidelines set by Allah SWT and by the path outlined by the Prophet SAWS. We need to establish that bond with Allah SWT by living our life whilst being mindful of the responsibilities we have towards one another. By doing this we can be of the people spoken by Allah SWT as being true to their covenant with their Lord.
May Allah SWT enable us to establish that bond with Him. May Allah SWT enable us to carry out our responsibilities in this life and may Allah SWT reward us for our efforts in doing so.Read More
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.Read More