Q: I have 3 questions about a verse in the Quran.
1. The verse talks about oaths, does the verse refer to oaths made to God? E.g. I swear to God that I will not do this, and then one breaks the oath and then expiates it or does it refer to swearing on someone else, like when you swear on somebody e.g. I swear on you/I swear on your life that I didn’t do this or I will do this etc.
2. If one swears on their spouse, e.g. I swear on you/I swear on your life that I didnt do this, but actually the spouse did do what they were saying, would an expiation be needed as said in the Quraan or is it only in regards to making oaths to God?
3. If one says to their spouse, I make an oath (but didn’t say I make an oath to God) that I didn’t do this, but actually did do the thing they said they didn’t, would an expiation be needed?
The verse is as follows:
“God does not take you to task for the oaths you utter unintentionally, but He will certainly take you to task for the oaths you have sworn in serious intention. The expiation (for breaking such oaths) is the feeding of ten desperate persons with the average of what you feed to your own families, or to clothe them, or to set one subjugated person free from bondage. Who does not find the means, shall fast for three days. This is the expiation for your oaths whenever you have broken them. But do keep your oaths. Allah makes clear to you His commandments, so that you may fulfill your duties.” (Al-Maidah / The Feast 5:89)
1 – 2. The oaths that are taken in the name of Allah Ta`ala are valid oaths, and oaths that are not taken in the name of Allah Ta`ala are invalid, in fact forbidden.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)