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Making a Lot of Vows That Have Not Been Fulfilled

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Maulana Mohammed Dilwar Hussain


I had many so many vows to Allah, most of which were made when I knew the rulings and I just heard about the punishment of Allaah about vows and I want to repent. What am I to do?

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


The first step in the recourse would be to do Tawbah and repent to Allah Ta’ālā. There are three conditions to repenting. First of all; one must stop committing the sin, then feel remorse for the sin which has been committed and finally make a sincere vow to never return back to the sin.

Vows/oaths can be broken down into a few types;

  • Those which must be fulfilled (i.e., in the obeyance of Allah Ta’ālā)
  • Those which must be broken (i.e., in relation to a sinful act)
  • Those which it is better to break the oath (e.g., vow to sever a family tie)
  • Those which it is equal whether the oath is kept or broken

Allah Ta’ālā says “Allah does not hold you accountable for your laghw (ineffectual) oaths, but He does hold you accountable for the oath with which you have bound yourself. Its expiation is to feed ten poor persons at an average of what you feed your family with, or to clothe them, or to free a slave. However, if someone cannot afford it, he has to fast for three days. That is expiation for the oaths that you have sworn. Take care of your oaths. That is how Allah makes His signs clear to you, so that you may be grateful. [Surah Al Ma’idah; 5:8 ]

From this verse, we understand the process of expiating one’s vow. The process should be exacted in the order which has come in the verse. The first would be to feed ten people two meals a day, the amount that we would eat ourselves. Alternatively, the same person can be fed for ten days. If one is unable to do this, then the second option would be to clothe ten people. The minimum criteria of the garment would be that which suffices for one to pray in, that could be a single garment or multiple garments. If one is unable to do this, then the third option is to free a slave. This might be impossible to fulfil today. The final option is, if one is unable to fulfil any of the three options above, then one must fast for three consecutive days.

This is the expiation for a single vow. If, as you have stated you have multiple vows outstanding. You would need to recall and calculate the number of broken vows which you have. If it’s possible to fulfil any of them, then that should be done as this is what is advised towards the end of the verse. Otherwise, the method of kaffarah (expiation) stated above would need to be carried out for each outstanding/broken vow.

Only Allah knows best.

Written by Maulana Mohammed Dilwar Hussain

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

}[1]لَا يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ ٱللَّهُ بِٱللَّغۡوِ فِيٓ أَيۡمَٰنِكُمۡ وَلَٰكِن يُؤَاخِذُكُم بِمَا عَقَّدتُّمُ ٱلۡأَيۡمَٰنَۖ فَكَفَّٰرَتُهُۥٓ إِطۡعَامُ عَشَرَةِ مَسَٰكِينَ مِنۡ أَوۡسَطِ مَا تُطۡعِمُونَ أَهۡلِيكُمۡ أَوۡ كِسۡوَتُهُمۡ أَوۡ تَحۡرِيرُ رَقَبَةٖۖ فَمَن لَّمۡ يَجِدۡ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَٰثَةِ أَيَّامٖۚ ذَٰلِكَ كَفَّٰرَةُ أَيۡمَٰنِكُمۡ إِذَا حَلَفۡتُمۡۚ وَٱحۡفَظُوٓاْ أَيۡمَٰنَكُمۡۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمۡ ءَايَٰتِهِۦ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَشۡكُرُونَ{

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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