If an individual breaks a valid oath, does the oath remain incumbent upon him? Can the one oath be broken multiple times or is it nullified after the first time?
Once an oath is broken, the expiation is due on it. If he repeats the same oath and continues to not fulfill it, then only one expiation is due upon him.
Shaikh Bin Baz rahimahullah was asked:
A man made an oath more than once on one topic and he did not fulfill that oath. Now he asks, oh Generous Shaikh, what does he do? Is fasting upon him or are there other expiation [due upon him]?
“In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. And may peace and blessings be upon the Messenger, his family, Companions, and those who take his guidance.
As for what follows:
An repetitive oath on one subject does not have except one expiation. Even if it is much. For example he says, ‘Wallahi I will not speak to so and so [man], wallahi I will not speak to so and so [woman], wallahi I will not speak to so and so [woman]’, even if it is one hundred times, then there is nothing upon him except one expiation. For example, he says ‘Wallahi I will not visit so and so, Wallahi I will not visit so and so, Wallahi I will not visit so and so’. Or, ‘Wallahi I will not travel, Wallahi I will not travel, Wallahi I will not travel,’ then he travels, then he visits [like in the earlier example]], then [in that case] there is only one expiation upon him due to the statement of Allah, the Exalted:
لا يؤاخذكم الله باللغو في أيمانكم ولكن يؤاخذكم بما عقدتم الأيمان
Allah will not punish you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths; for its expiation [a deliberate oath]
So this oath was made regarding one thing, so there is only one expiation, even if he repeated that many times at different times unless he made an expiation for the first one then repeats the speech, then he expiates a second time. If he said, ‘Wallahi I will not speak to so and so,’ then he spoke to him, then expiated for that oath, then repeated it saying, ‘Wallahi I will not speak to him,’ then upon him is another expiation for this second oath because he repeated an oath after expiating for it. If he made an oath about different things, then for each action there is an expiation.
If he said, ‘Wallahi I will not speak to so and so, Wallahi I will not eat the food of so and so, Wallahi I will not travel,’ then upon him is an expiation for each action if he does not fulfill it. This is because the oaths are many on many topics. So every oath has an expiation. It is legislated that a believer preserve his oaths because Allah says:
And protect your oaths [i.e. do not swear much]
So it is legislated for a believer not to increase in oaths and be eager to decrease the oaths because increasing the oaths has belittlement in it. Increasing in oaths is a means to leaving off the expiation. So it is upon the the believing man and believing woman to have concern in decreasing the oaths and no to make an oath except when there is a need and a benefit. Jazakallahu Khairan.”
Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan
Shaikh Bin Baz rahimahullah said:
وإنما تجب الكفارة لليمين المستقبلة والله لا أفعل كذا، والله لأفعلن كذا، إذا أخل بذلك فعليه كفارة اليمين، أما على الماضي فإنها تعتبر يميناً غموس، يميناً كاذبة ليس لها كفارة إلا التوبة، لكن لو كان ناسياً فلا شيء عليه
“It is only obligatory to expiate an oath for something pertaining to the future, “Wallahi I will not do such and such” and “Wallahi I will do such and such”. If he fails to meet that, then an expiation is upon him for the oath. As for things done in the past, then it is considered a false oath. It does not need an expiation except repentance. However, if he did it forgetfully, then there is nothing upon him…”
ربنا لا تؤاخذنا إن نسينا أو أخطأنا
“Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error,
Shaikh Ibn ul-‘Uthaymeen rahimahullah said:
مثل أن يقول: والله لقد حضر فلان أمس، وفلان هذا لم يحضر، بل حضر شخص آخر، ولكنه ظن أنه هو الحاضر، فهو هنا جاهل.
أو يقول: والله لقد حرم الله علينا كذا وكذا، والتحريم سابق ثم قلنا له ما هو الدليل، قال: الدليل كذا وكذا، ثم وجدنا أنه ليس كذلك، فيمينه ليست غموساً.
“For example, he says, “Wallahi so and so was present yesterday” and this person was not present, rather another person was present. However, he thought he was present, then here he is ignorant. Or he says, “Wallahi Allah prohibited such and such upon us and the prohibition has already passed. Then it is said to him “what is the proof”? So he says, “the evidence is such and such”. Then he realizes that that it is not like that. Then his oath is not a false oath…”
Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan
Taking An Oath By Saying ‘By The Right Of Allaah’ – Shaykh Bin Baz
Ash-Shaykh Bin Baaz, rahimahullah, was asked the following question:
السؤال :ما حكم الحلف بهذا اللفظ ‘بحق الله’ هل يعتبر شركا ولو لم يقصده ؟
What is the ruling on taking an oath by saying “By the Right of Allah”? Is that considered to be a form of shirk even if he didn’t intend it?
لا يحلف بحق الله ,يحلف بالله والله بعزة الله والرحمن الرحيم وخالق كل شيئ ورب العالمين والذي نفسي بيده ولا يحلف بحق الله لأن حق الله علينا تعظيمه وطاعته وتعظيمه وطاعته من أفعالنا, من أفعال المخلوقين حق الله علينا توحيده وطاعته وتعظيمه وتوحيدنا له وتعظيمنا له وطاعتنا له من أفعالنا وهي مخلوقة فمعناه الحلف بالمخلوقات فلا يصح. الحلف لايكون إلا بالله وحده أو بأسمائه وصفاته.
One should not make an oath by the right of Allah, he should make an oath with Allah; By Allah, By His Might and His Name ar-Rahman ar-Raheem, The Creator of everything and By the One who my soul is in His Hand. One should not take an oath by saying “By the right of Allah” because the right of Allah over us is to glorify Him and it is His obedience, while the act of obedience is from our actions, from the actions of the creation. The right of Allah upon us is to single him out and to obey Him. And Our act of singling Him out and glorifying and obeying Him are from our actions and they are created which means it is making an oath by the creation which isn’t valid. The oath can only be by Allah Alone or By His Names and Attributes.
The Reference: من درس ‘القوادح في العقيدة’ للشيخ ابن باز رحمه الله (From the lesson “The Acts which taint the Aqeedah” by Bin Baaz, rahimahullah).
AbdulFattaah Bin Uthman
Making An Oath By The Right Of Allah – Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin al-Abbaad
Ash-Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin al-Abaad, may Allah preserve him, was asked the following question,
سائل : هل يصح الحلف بــ **وحق الله**
Is it valid to make an oath by the right of Allah?
الشيخ: لا,لأن حق الله العبادة, حق الله على العباد أن يعبدوه فلا يحلف بالعبادة, بعبادة الله.
No, since the right of Allah is the Ibadah, the right of Allah upon his servants is for them to worship him. Therefore, one should not swear by the Ibadah, the worship of Allah.
Reference: Sharh Sunan Ibn Maajah #69 (01:08:18).
AbdulFattaah Bin Uthman