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What Is Entailed by Breaking a Promise Made to Allah?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I broke a promise to Allah that I won’t smoke again. After 8 months I gave in and smoked. Now I know I have to pay an expiation. But I didn’t renew my promise because I know I can’t keep it. So will I have to pay an expiation for every time I smoke again?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

No, a “promise to Allah” is not an oath; thus breaking it doesn’t have any expiatory consequences.

If you took the means to uphold the promise, and fulfilled its requisite conditions, it would not have been sinful to slip up. But because what you are trying to achieve is very noble, and you did very well in getting so far, I would suggest you continue and don’t let this slip dishearten you.

Practically, see what help is locally available to help leave your smoking habit. Ask Allah Most High for right guidance and facilitation, and intend His Good Pleasure.

[Nahlawi, al-Durar al-Mubaha fi al-Hazr wa al-Ibaha (221)]

Please also see: Must I Pay Expiation for My Broken Promise to Allah? and: Is There a Difference Between Breaking an Oath and Breaking a Promise?

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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