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Is an Expiation Owed by Breaking a Promise?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

My mum talks quite often to her cousin, who is also her best friend. However, my uncle forced my mother to promise to Allah that she can’t talk to her anymore.

My mum keeps wanting to talk to her, but doesn’t know if she can because of the promise she made.

Is it permissible for her to talk to her?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

If she made a promise, she can break it without an expiation (kaffara). If otherwise, she would need to expiate by feeding ten poor people two meals each or clothing them with a decent piece of clothing; giving the monetary equivalent of 2.2kg of wheat to each poor person would also suffice.

Generally, the oath of somebody coerced is valid [but the definition of coercion is not met here in any case].

[ShaykhiZada, Majma‘ al-Anhur]

Please also see: What is the Difference Between a Promise, an Oath, and a Vow? and: What Should I Do After Breaking an Oath?

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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