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Am I Sinful for Breaking My Oath to Allah?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question 

I took an oath by Allah Most High that I would never play a specific game again if he makes the result of my medical test negative. The test came back negative, and I really want to play that particular game. Will I be sinful for every time I play the game or just the initial breaking of the oath?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Before directly answering your question, consider the following:

Taking an oath by Allah Most High is a severe matter. It should not be taken lightly. If you made such a vow, honor it. A mobile game will not benefit you in this life nor the next. Whereas all of salvation and success in this life, the grave, and the Day of Judgment are in the control of Allah Most High.

The Conditioned Oath

If one swears an oath by Allah Most High and conditions it with an occurrence he desires (in this case, the negative test result), it is obligatory for them to follow through and fulfill the oath (in this case, by abstaining from the game). [Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab]

A Broken Oath

As mentioned above, you must abstain from the game. If, however, you succumb to temptation and break your oath with Allah Most High, the following is required as amends:

1) Sincere repentance: see this link

2) Expiation for the broken oath

[Ibid.]

Expiation

Allah Most High says, “Allah will not call you to account for your thoughtless oaths, but He will hold you accountable for deliberate oaths. The penalty for a broken oath is to feed ten poor people from what you usually feed your own family, clothe them, or free a bondsperson. But if none of this is affordable, then you must fast three days. This is the penalty for breaking your oaths. So be mindful of your oaths. This is how Allah makes things clear to you, so perhaps you will be grateful. [Qur’an; 5:89]

From this verse, we see that the expiation for a broken oath is the following:

(a) free a slave – or,

(b) donate clothing to 10 poor people (clothing must be able to cover enough of the body for prayer to be valid) – or,

(c) feed ten poor people one meal (monetary value of the food donated to 10 poor people suffices).

If none of the above are within one’s ability, they must fast three consecutive days. [Ibid.]

Note that once the oath is broken, it is no longer binding upon one. Thus, if you succumb to temptation and break your oath, you are obliged to expiate for the broken oath, however, after that, the oath is no longer binding, and no expiation is required for playing the game. [Ibid.]

Hope this helps

Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.

 

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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