Reversing an Oath

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed

How can I reverse an oath that I made by saying, “By Allah, I will perform tahajjud for my entire life.”

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

This is a valid oath and an oath to do good, so it is better not to break. Rather, the one who made the oath should persist in it. If he misses a night and doesn’t perform tahajjud during it, he has thereby broken his oath, but he isn’t sinful. However, he does have to expiate for a broken oath, which is to:

1. Free a slave (which can’t be done today); or to
2. Feed ten needy people, giving each a mudd ([m: approximately 0.51 litres]) of wheat, rice, or the like. (The Hanafi masters permit giving the value of the food in money.); or to
3. Clothe [m: ten needy people].

One is free to choose any one of the above to act upon. If one can’t perform any of them, then one fasts three days, whether continuously or separately.

Amjad Rasheed

(Translated by Moustafa Elqabbany)

لسؤال :” كيف أتراجع إن حلفت بالله ، عليّ التهجد طول العمُر ” الجواب : هذه يمين منعقدة وهي يمين خير ، فالأفضل عدم الحنث بها بل يداوم الحالفُ على ما حلف ، وإذا فاتته ليلةٌ لم يتهجد فيها فقد حنث في يمينه وهو ليس بآثم بذلك ، لكن عليه كفارة يمين وهي : عتق رقبة – وهي غير موجودة اليوم – ، أو إطعام عشرة مساكين لكل مسكين مدُّ طعام من البر أو الأرز ونحوهما ، ويجوز عند السادة الحنفية إخراج قيمة الطعام نقوداً ، أو كسوتهم ، فيتخير بين هذه الثلاثة فيعمل واحدة منها ، فإن كان عاجزاً عنها فعليه صيام ثلاثة أيام سواء متتابعة أو متفرقة .

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