Breaking Promises and Repentance

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: My question/concern is that i constantly break my promise after repenting to Allah on a certain issue and re-act the specific action. What can you advise me?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

A promise is a firm affirmation or commitment to do something.

Abu Huraira reported that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), said, “There are three signs of a hypocrite: whenever he speaks, he lies; whenever he makes a promise, he breaks it; and whenever he is trusted, he betrays his trust.” [Agreed upon]

Nahlawi explains that breaking one’s promise is a sign of hypocrisy if coupled with the intention of breaking it. Otherwise, it would be deemed improper, and unbecoming of a serious believer. [Nahlawi, al-Durar al-Mubaha]

Allah Most High says, “O you who believe! Turn in sincere repentance to Allah.” [Qur’an, 66:8] The Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Verily Allah accepts the repentance of the servant so long as he has not sounded his death rattle [i.e., so long as he is alive].” [Sunan Tirmidhi]

Enforce something on yourself that will make you think twice about doing it: for example, give $10 in charity if it happens again.

Further, fulfil the conditions of sincere repentance (see link below), strive with sincerity, and ask Allah for assistance — as Ibn `Ata’illah said, “Nothing you seek relying on your Lord will ever be difficult, and nothing you seek relying on yourself will ever be easy.”

Please also see:

[1] A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

[2] Is it Obligatory to Fulfill My Promises?

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

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