Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The Fiqh of Oaths

The type of vows that is common in everyday colloquial speech and is not intended for oath making is classed vain, thus, ineffective [al-yameen al-laghw]. That is for example when somebody utters the words: ‘wallah’ ‘aiy wallah’ ‘bala wallah’, all which imply the meaning: ‘I swear by Allah!’ One is not legally accountable for such vows.

Allah swt states: ‘and Allah does not account you for the vain in your vows, instead he accounts you for what your hearts have earned’ [Baqarah: 225]

However, The Hanafi Scholars do add that the vow will only be vain if it was said about something of the past or present. Hence, if it was about something of the future, it will be effective even if it was un-intentionally said; thus, given rulings for effective vows will apply.

(Fath’ al-Qadeer, Ibn al-Hummam, v4:p5, Radd al-Muhtar, Ibn Abideen, v3:p707)