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Of the evils of the tongue: Intentionally false oath

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Oaths are divided into three sections

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Of the evils which some people fall into is swearing for something falsely. This kind of oath is called (Ghamous) because it sinks its sayer into Hell-Fire. Moreover, it has no penance because it tells about something in the past which cannot be delayed or changed, and the sayer cannot fulfill it.

 

Allah, may He be Exalted  says:

{إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَشْتَرُ‌ونَ بِعَهْدِ اللَّـهِ وَأَيْمَانِهِمْ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا أُولَـٰئِكَ لَا خَلَاقَ لَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَ‌ةِ وَلَا يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللَّـهُ وَلَا يَنظُرُ‌ إِلَيْهِمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَلَا يُزَكِّيهِمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ}

‘Translation’ {Verily, those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allâh's Covenant and their oaths, they shall have no portion in the Hereafter (Paradise). Neither will Allâh speak to them, nor look at them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them, and they shall have a painful torment} [1].

 

The necessity of fulfilling oaths:

Allah, may He be Exalted, says:

{لَا يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ اللَّـهُ بِاللَّغْوِ فِي أَيْمَانِكُمْ وَلَـٰكِن يُؤَاخِذُكُم بِمَا عَقَّدتُّمُ الْأَيْمَانَ ۖ فَكَفَّارَ‌تُهُ إِطْعَامُ عَشَرَ‌ةِ مَسَاكِينَ مِنْ أَوْسَطِ مَا تُطْعِمُونَ أَهْلِيكُمْ أَوْ كِسْوَتُهُمْ أَوْ تَحْرِ‌يرُ‌ رَ‌قَبَةٍ ۖ فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ كَفَّارَ‌ةُ أَيْمَانِكُمْ إِذَا حَلَفْتُمْ ۚ وَاحْفَظُوا أَيْمَانَكُمْ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُ‌ونَ}

‘Translation’ {Allâh will not punish you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths; for its expiation feed ten Masâkîn (needy persons), on a scale of the average of that with which you feed your own families, or clothe them or manumit a slave. But whosoever cannot afford (that), then he should fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths when you have sworn. And protect your oaths (i.e. do not swear much). Thus Allâh make clear to you His Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) that you may be grateful."[2]

 

Oaths are divided into three sections:

The first is oath of nonsense which is commonly repeated on people's tongues without intention such as saying: "No, by Allah," "Yes, by Allah."

Allah, may He be Exalted, says:

{لَّا يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ اللَّـهُ بِاللَّغْوِ فِي أَيْمَانِكُمْ وَلَـٰكِن يُؤَاخِذُكُم بِمَا كَسَبَتْ قُلُوبُكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ‌ حَلِيمٌ}

‘Translation’ {Allâh will not call you to account for that which is unintentional in your oaths, but He will call you to account for that which your hearts have earned. And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Forbearing} [3].

 

The second is the oath which may or may not be fulfilled which a person gives to something he may do or it may happen.

This type depends on whether an oath taker may or may not do it; so an intentional false oath is not of the types that subject to true or false, therefore it does not require penance.

Allah, may He be Exalted, says:

{لَا يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ اللَّـهُ بِاللَّغْوِ فِي أَيْمَانِكُمْ وَلَـٰكِن يُؤَاخِذُكُم بِمَا عَقَّدتُّمُ الْأَيْمَانَ ۖ فَكَفَّارَ‌تُهُ إِطْعَامُ عَشَرَ‌ةِ مَسَاكِينَ مِنْ أَوْسَطِ مَا تُطْعِمُونَ أَهْلِيكُمْ أَوْ كِسْوَتُهُمْ أَوْ تَحْرِ‌يرُ‌ رَ‌قَبَةٍ ۖ فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ كَفَّارَ‌ةُ أَيْمَانِكُمْ إِذَا حَلَفْتُمْ ۚ وَاحْفَظُوا أَيْمَانَكُمْ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُ‌ونَ}

‘Translation’ {Allâh will not punish you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths; for its expiation feed ten Masâkîn (needy persons), on a scale of the average of that with which you feed your own families, or clothe them or manumit a slave. But whosoever cannot afford (that), then he should fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths when you have sworn. And protect your oaths (i.e. do not swear much). Thus Allâh make clear to you His Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) that you may be grateful} [4].

 

The third type is the intentional false oath intentionally in which a person swears that such and such past matter was such and such while he is a liar.

It was called (Ghamus) because it sinks its taker into Hell-Fire as it is one of the major sins.

Allah, may He be Exalted, says:

{وَلَا تَتَّخِذُوا أَيْمَانَكُمْ دَخَلًا بَيْنَكُمْ فَتَزِلَّ قَدَمٌ بَعْدَ ثُبُوتِهَا وَتَذُوقُوا السُّوءَ بِمَا صَدَدتُّمْ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ ۖ وَلَكُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ}

‘Translation’ {And make not your oaths a means of deception among yourselves, lest a foot should slip after being firmly planted, and you may have to taste the evil (punishment in this world) of having hindered (men) from the Path of Allâh (i.e. Belief in the Oneness of Allâh and His Messenger, Muhammad peace be upon him), and yours will be a great torment (i.e. the Fire of Hell in the Hereafter)} [5].

 

Scholars disagreed about the penance of this type of oath into two views:

The first is: It requires a penance because of Allah's Saying:

{وَلَـٰكِن يُؤَاخِذُكُم بِمَا عَقَّدتُّمُ الْأَيْمَانَ}

‘Translation’ {But He will punish you for your deliberate oaths}, and because a person swears by Allah by his free will falsely as if he swears for something in the future. However it is sinful, it does not negate penance as in Zhihar; this is the view of Al Shafi`y and Al Awza`y.

 

The second is: It does not require a penance as Abu Hanifah, Malik, Sufyan Ath-Thawry, Al Layth ibn Sa`d, Ahmad, and Ishaq held. They held the following Ayah as a proof: "but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths."[6]

 

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[1] Surat Al `Imran: 77.

[2] Surat Al Ma'idah: 89.

[3] Surat Al Baqarah: 225.

[4] Surat Al Ma'idah: 89

[5] Surat An-Nahl: 94.

[6] Surat Al Ma'idah: 89.


Source: Alukah

  • Category: Oaths and Vows
  • Publication Date: 11 Jumada al-thani 1436
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