Clarifying misconceptions, Social relations

What is the Islamic judgement on swearing on other than Allah?

Question: What is the verdict of the Islamic jurists and the righteous Islamic jurists in this following matter:
 
Is it permissible to swear anything other than Allah? And if Zayd broke the oath while taking it by anyone other than Allah, then what is the Islamic judgment? Please provide guidance.
 
Questioner: Ahqar Ikhlaq Hassan Qadiri from Shahjahanpur in India.


The answer with the aid of the Almighty King, The Bestower.

Allah’s name be the beginning, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

We praise him, and we convey peace upon his noble beloved.

Answer:
 
It is not permissible to swear on anyone other than Allah. Swearing on anyone other than Allah is in some cases Islamic disbelief and idolatry, in some cases prohibited/haram, and in some cases, it is permissible, but it will not be considered an oath. In this regard, my truthful murshid Huzoor Taj al-Shariah Mufti Akhtar Raza Khan (Allah enlighten his resting place) discussed tremendously knowledgeable and thorough research in his promising book ‘Athaar Qiyamat.’ We will present a few selections from the discussion. He wrote:
 
From amongst the signs of Qiyaamat, another sign that has been mentioned by the Beloved Rasool is that the people will take Qasm of Ghairullah. To take the Qasm of Ghairullah is disallowed in Shariat. It has been mentioned as follows in the Hadith Shareef:
 
من حلف بغیر اللّٰہ فقد اشرک
“One who takes Qasm of Ghairullah is a Mushrik (Polytheist)”
[Faizul Qadeer Vol.2 Pg.120]
 
In other words, he is actually regarded as a Mushrik if he regards and intends the respect and honour for Ghairullah, which is unique and only for Allah. The issue of taking the oath of idols also falls in the same context.
 
A Hadith is reported from Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him) that if someone takes an oath and in doing so, he says, “I swear by Laat and Uzza, (so in this case) he should read Kalima-e-Tauheed, and if anyone says to his friend, Lets gamble! He must give Sadqa.”
 
From this part of the Hadith, it has become clear that when one makes a firm intention in the heart to commit a sin, then this too is sin and to put it into action is a second sin. The command of giving Sadqa is as compensation for the sin. In other words, giving Sadqa is a virtuous act and serves as compensation (for that sin of intending to gamble).

It has been mentioned in the Hadith Shareef:
 
الصدقۃ تطفی غضب الرب کما یطفی الماء النار
 
“Sadqa extinguishes the intensity of Allah’s wrath like water extinguishes fire.” [Tabrani Vol.19 Pg.145]
 
In this Hadith, the command being given to read لاالہ الااللّٰہ ‘La ilaaha il’lal laah’ (i.e. the Kalima) consists of two possibilities. One is that a new Muslim, based on his old habits unintentionally, in other words by slip of the tongue, swears an oath on the idols, then for him it is preferable to read لاالہ الااللّٰہ محمد رسول ا للّٰہ “Laa ilaaha il’lal laahu Muhammadur Rasoolullah.” It should be read as compensation for the bad words which he said. The second possibility is that the person really intends the respect of Laat and Uzza and other idols. In this case, the person will become a murtad (one who has turned away from Islam) and for making a statement against Islam, the person must make Tajdeed-e-Imaan (re-instate his faith) as this is necessary for him, and it will be necessary to read Kalima-e-Tauheed. If in swearing an oath in Ghairullah, he had no intention of showing the respect which is Unique to Almighty Allah, then in reality this is not shirk. However, the manner resembles the way of the polytheist and it is on this basis, the law of shirk will also apply here, and as a manner of reprimanding him and showing strictness, the one charged with this, will also be considered a Mushrik.
 
In this case, it means that such a person acted in the manner of the Mushriks. To swear an oath on the nasl (family lineage) of your father, grandfather or son in a boastful manner and to glorify this is also in the same category, just as it was common during the days of ignorance. This too has been disallowed in the Hadith.
 
I (Taajush Shariah) say, “From the style of my discourse, it has been made clear that the statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him) which he made to a certain Bedouin, does not fall under the category of being forbidden, but it was said to prove permissibility.
 
افلح وابیہ ان صدق
 
“He has reached salvation if the oath of his father is true.”
 
In other words, The Beloved Rasool is showing through this statement of his, that it is not impermissible to swear an oath on the name of your father, as long as it is not with boastfulness, as this was the tradition in the days of ignorance. There should also be no excessive show of respect in it, as this too is disallowed. One possibility is this that it is done at such a point where one needs to show the force of his word, or to caution someone through his statement. It will not cause the ruling of shirk to become applicable in this case as well.
 
Important Note: In Shariat, Ghairullah here refers to all those things that have no connection to Almighty Allah and the Beloved Rasool. In Shariat, there is no reverence for them and neither are they allowed to be respected (such as idols etc.).
 
Nabis, Rasools, The Kaaba and The Angels will not be regarded as Ghairullah in the category of Ghairullah in this context (like idols etc), (even though in the section of Halaf, they too are regarded as Ghairullah, but in context with what is explained above, they are not regarded as Ghairullah here) for according to Shariat, we have been commanded to respect them.
 
In this regard, it should be noted that Almighty Allah has commanded their respect, thus to respect them, is to respect Almighty Allah. To swear an oath in their name is not Haraam, but the Ulama have on the basis of caution, also mentioned that to take their Qasm is Makruh, but this has even been disapproved of in the Hadith.
 
Qasm-e-Shar’i (A Qasm as regarded as a Qasm in Shariat) is where the Kaffarah (compensation) becomes necessary. It is that Qasm sworn in the Name of Allah, and which is either taken on the Zaat of Allah or on the Attributes of Allah, in a customary manner. The Qasm of Ghairullah is not regarded as Qasm-e-Shar’i. The Ulama have mentioned, “If one regards swearing an oath on Ghairullah as Qasm-e-Shar’i, then it means that they regard that to fulfil such an oath is necessary; so in such a case, the person will become a kaafir.”
 
Imam Raazi has mentioned: “I fear that the person who says, “I swear by my life or swear by your1 life will be plunged into kufr and yet people say these words very commonly. If this was not so (i.e. if it were not so common), then I would have decreed it to be shirk.”
 
From this statement of Imam Raazi it has become evident that on the basis of a Qasm being Qasm-e-Shar’i, there are two statements of the Ulama: In one, the person is absolutely regarded as a kaafir and in the second there is the fear of him becoming a kaafir. The second statement is based on the way of the predecessors who exercised caution and their way is on good authority and reliable, and this will be explained further in detail as we proceed.
 
I (Taajush Shariah) say that (this applies) if the person who swears the oath regards it as Qasm-e-Shar’i, and if he regards the fulfilling of it necessary and he assumes that if he does not fulfil the oath, then he has to compensate, like some ignorant people who swear an oath on their children and then think it necessary to fulfil it, and they feel that it is necessary to give kaffarah if it is not fulfilled. If this is not the case, in other words, the person swearing the oath did not regard it as Qasm-e-Shar’i and does not intend it for showing excessive respect then this (the above rule) is not applicable to him.
[Athaar Qiyamat: p. 75-78][1]
 
In short, from the above discussion, it is concluded that swearing on others than Allah, which is usually done by people on the basis of ignorance, is not allowed in Islam, but is considered disliked [makruh] in Islamic law. And since swearing on anyone other than Allah is not an Islamic oath, there is, therefore, no need for compensation [kaffarah] once it is broken.
 
It is stated in Fatawa al-Alamgiri:
 
من حلف بغير الله لم يكن حالفا
Whoever has sworn on other than Allah has not sworn.
[Fatawa al-Alamgiri: vol. 2, p. 53 – کتاب الأیمان]
 
It is stated in al-Mabsut al-Sarkhasi:
 
أن الحلف بغير الله لا يكون يمينا شرعا
An oath to anyone other than Allah is not an Islamic oath.
[al-Mabsut al-Sarkhasi: vol. 7. P. 24 – باب الإيلاء]
 
Sadr al-Shariah states:
 
And swearing on anyone other than Allah is disliked [makruh] and this is not even an Islamic oath [shara’an], meaning no compensation is needed once it is broken.
[Bahaar-e-Shariat: vol. 2, part. 9, p. 298]
 
And Allah Almighty knows best with rectitude.
 
Mufti Muhammad Zulfaqar Khan Naimi Kakralwi
Nuri Dar al-Ifta, Madina Masjid Ali Khan Kashipur
7-Rabi al-Awwal-1442 || ≈ 24-Oct-2020
Click for more fatawa’s of Mufti Zulfaqar Naimi

[1] The translation of this text has been taken from the English translation of ‘Signs of Qiyaamat’ published by Imam Mustafa Raza Research Center from Durban in South Africa.
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