I had made an agreement with a friend of mine making ALLAH as witness that we would not commit some particular sins and wrote it down on a piece of paper and both agreed on it.

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

I had made an agreement with a friend of mine making ALLAH as witness that we would not commit some particular sins and wrote it down on a piece of paper and both agreed on it. Also we mentioned that if one commits the particular sin, he would be punished by 100 belt lashes. After some days, i committed the sin and asked my friend to punish according to the agreement, but he denied. I have comitted the sins many times till now, but i only repent it by Tawba, i haven’t kept the agreement. Please let me know what i need to do now regarding the agreement, what kaffara will be on me?

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh

At the outset, we wish to explain the concepts of Nadhr and Yameen, and clarify the difference between the two.

Nadhr

Nadhr is generally translated as a vow in the English language. According to the Shari’ah, nadhr refers to the obligation of a permissible act by a Muslim (obligated to observe the precepts of Islam) upon himself.

 

Nadhr consists of two types:

1.      Direct obligation of an act of ‘ibadah. E.g. a person takes a vow that he will fast three days.

2.      Obligation of an act of ‘ibadah contingent on the happening of an event. E.g. a person takes a vow that if a certain wish or work of his is fulfilled, he will perform ten rak’ats of salah.

(Mu’jam al-Mustalahat wa al-Alfadh al-Fiqhiyyah Vol.3 Pg.408)

(Tanzheem al-Ashtat Vol.2 Part 1 Pg.225 – Nashriyyat-e-Islam)

Once he has made the vow (in the first circumstance) and his wish or work is fulfilled (in the second circumstance), it will be wajib (compulsory) upon him to carry out the act of ‘ibadah, on condition that the conditions mentioned hereunder are found:

·         The ‘ibadah should resemble a compulsory act (e.g. one can vow that he will perform two rak’ats as it resembles the obligatory five times salah).

·         It should not be a compulsory act (e.g. one cannot vow that he will perform Zuhr salah as it is compulsory in itself).

·         It should be an actual and direct act of ‘ibadah (e.g. one cannot vow that he will make wudhu as it is only a prerequisite for salah and not a direct ‘ibaadah in itself).  

If one does not fulfill his vow, he will be committing a great sin.

(Tafeer Mazhari (urdu) Vol.8 Pg.58 – H.M. Sa’eed Company)

Yameen

Yameen is generally translated as an oath or a promise in the English language. The definition of yameen in Shari’ah is to give assurance to an affair by mentioning either the Name of Allah Ta’ala or one of the attributes of Allah Ta’ala. Yameen could be used to assure an affair that took place in the past (e.g. the defendant takes an oath in court when the plaintiff cannot provide witnesses) or give assurance to do or refrain from an action in the future (e.g. a person takes an oath that he will not smoke in the future).

(Mu’jam al-Mustalahat wa al-Alfadh al-Fiqhiyyah Vol.3 Pg.517)

(Tanzheem al-Ashtat Vol.2 Part 1 Pg.225 – Nashriyyat-e-Islam)

When a person takes an oath upon the name of Allah to do or refrain from in the future, it will be incumbent upon him to fulfil that oath. When he does not fulfil (breaks) the oath, it will be compulsory upon him to give Kaffarah (penance) for misusing the name of Allah.

The Kaffarah for breaking an oath is:

1.      Free a slave (not applicable in these times), or

2.      Feed ten poor people an average two meals, or

3.      Clothe ten poor people enough clothes to cover the majority of their bodies.

If one can not do anyone of the above three for a valid reason then he may fast for three consecutive days.

 

(Rad al-Muhtar Vol.3 Pg.725 – H.M Sa’eed Company)

The feeding and clothing should be of moderate standard. One can feed or clothe 10 people in one day or one poor person for 10 days. One cannot feed one person 10 times in one day.

(Rad al-Muhtar Vol.3 Pg.725 – H.M Sa’eed Company)

Feeding:

One can either give each poor person one sa’a (3.18kgs) of dates or barley or half sa’a (1.59kgs) of wheat; or he can feed them two meals a day (i.e. lunch and supper). Only bread can be counted as a meal on condition that it is made out of wheat. A child who has just started eating will not be counted as one person. One can either call the poor people home and feed them or one give them the food for them to do as they like.

( Fath al-Qadeer Vol.4 Pg.365 – Maktaba Rasheediyyah)

Clothing:

Any type of clothing can be given that normally covers the body, and the person wearing it will not be counted as naked or half naked. One should also bear in mind that clothing a woman will not be complete unless it includes something that will cover her head (eg: scarf)

Giving only trousers will not be counted as clothing a person. Clothes don’t necessarily have to be new; old clothes can also be given on condition they last for three months.

(Rad al-Muhtar Vol.3 Pg.726 – H.M Sa’eed Company)

Besides the abovementioned general definition of yameen, there are certain other statements which will be regarded as yameen. A few of them are listed hereunder:

·         A person takes a vow, but does not mention the vow, i.e. he says, “I take a nadhr upon Allah Ta’ala”. Such a nadhr will be regarded as yameen and the person will have to give the kaffarah of breaking an oath.

 

لو قال علي نذر ولا نية له لزمه كفارة

(Rad al-Muhtar Vol.3 Pg.735 – H.M Sa’eed Company)

·         A person takes a vow of carrying out an impermissible act. E.g. he says, “I take a vow that I will kill a certain person”. Such a nadhr will also be treated as yameen and the person will have to give the kaffarah of breaking an oath.

وفي البحر شرائطه خمس فزاد : أن لا يكون معصية لذاته

 

قال الطحاوي : إذا أضاف النذر إلى المعاصي كلله علي أن أقتل فلانا كان يمينا ولزمته الكفارة بالحنث ا هـ .

(Rad al-Muhtar Vol.3 Pg.736 – H.M Sa’eed Company)

In the light of the abovementioned, the agreement you made will be regarded a yameen; hence, it will be compulsory upon you to give kaffarah upon committing the sin. The moment you have broken the oath once, the oath will no longer be valid; hence, it will not be necessary to give kaffarah for breaking the oath for the second or third time.

It will not be necessary for your friend to punish you, as this vow was not valid.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam

Ml. Abu Yahya,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah

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