As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 4


Swearing in the name of anything besides Allah is prohibited

Oath is a solemn appeal to Allah to witness one's determination, or to emphasize a matter by mentioning a glorified one in particular. Glorification and exaltation are due to Allah Alone, therefore, it is not permissible to swear by other than Allah. Scholars are agreed that an oath must be sworn by Allah, His Names or Attributes only, and that swearing by other than Allah constitutes Shirk. Ibn Umar (radhi allahu anhu) narrated, 'The Prophet (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) said, 'Allah has prohibited you from taking an oath by your fathers. He who must take an oath, may do so by swearing in the Name of Allah or he should remain silent.'' [Agreed upon] Ibn Umar (radhi allahu anhu) also reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) said, 'He who swears by other than Allah, commits Kufr and Shirk.' [Musnad Ahmad]

It is minor Shirk to swear by other than Allah, unless the one, who is sworn by, is aggrandized by the swearer, to the point of worship, then it constitutes major Shirk. Such is the case of the grave worshippers of today. They fear dead people (whom they aggrandize) more than they fear Allah, to the point that if one of them is asked to swear by a wali, he would not dare to do so, unless he swears on a truth, but if he is asked to swear by Allah, he would do so even if he is lying!

Swearing falsely is prohibited
Abu Umamah Iyas bin Tha`labah Al-Harithi (radhi allahu anhu) said, 'The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) said, 'He, who misappropriates the right of a Muslim by taking a false oath, Allah will condemn him to the fire of Hell and will forbid Jannah for him.' A person asked, 'O Messenger of Allah, even if it is something insignificant?' He replied, 'Yes, even if it is the twig of an Arak tree.'' [Saheeh Muslim]

Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn al-As (radhi allahu anhu) said, 'The Prophet (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) said, 'Of the major sins are; associating anything in worship with Allah, disobedience to the parents, killing without justification and taking a false oath (intentionally).'' [Saheeh al-Bukharee]

Another narration mentions, 'A bedouin came to the Prophet (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) and asked him, 'O Messenger of Allah, what are the major sins?' He (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) replied, 'Associating anything with Allah in worship.' The man asked, '(What is) next?' He (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) replied, 'Al-Yamin al-Ghamus.' He enquired, 'What do you mean by Al-Yamin Al-Ghamus?' He (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) replied, 'Swearing falsely to usurp the property of a Muslim.' [Saheeh al-Bukharee]

‘Ghamus' means to drown. A false oath drowns one in sin. For this reason, it is called Al-Yamin al-Ghamus, 'the oath that drowns one in sin.' Is it open to expiation? Some religious scholars believe that it is, while others think it is not, because in their opinion, it is a lie, which is employed to deprive somebody of his wealth and property. For this reason, they say that in such case, one should beg pardon from Allah and arrange to restore the wealth and property to the victim. This seems to be the more appropriate course because mere repentance cannot remit this sin. It is necessary to rectify the wrong and compensate the victim. [See, Riyadh as-Saliheen. Commentary by Hafiz Salahuddin Yusuf]

Swearing Frequently or Swearing in Transaction is prohibited, even if it be true.
Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) said, 'I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) saying, 'Swearing produces a ready sale for a commodity, but he will be deprived of Allah's blessings.'' [Agreed upon]

The Prophet (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) informs us in this Hadeeth that when a seller swears falsely concerning the worth of his goods, he may attain some benefit by selling a large quantity of it, but this is not a fair means of business. Even though, it increases the sale, it robs the business of its blessings. Therefore, even if a person is perfectly right in his statement in respect to his merchandise, he should not take an oath to influence his customers.

Food for Thought: If one's perfectly true oath robs the deal of its blessings, then how great is the sin of those who take false oaths to sell their goods?!!

Salman (radhi allahu anhu) narrated that Allah's Messenger (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) said, 'There are three types of people whom Allah will not speak to, and neither will He bless them, and for them is the severe torment. They are, (i) the white-haired old adulterer, (ii) the arrogant beggar and (iii) the one who has made Allah as his merchandise, i.e., he does not purchase except by swearing (by Allah), nor does he sell except by swearing (by Allah).' [At-Tabaranee with a Saheeh isnad]

The Prophet (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) informs us in this Hadeeth that there are three categories of people to whom Allah will not speak on the Day of Resurrection nor will He cleanse them of their sins with forgiveness. This is because they committed sins without any excuse or justification and the first of these three is the fornicator and adulterer, who continues to sin in spite of his advanced years and consequent lessening of sexual urge, and his knowledge that the end of his life is near. The second is the man, who behaves arrogantly towards people, though, he possesses none of the wealth, rank or privilege, which often lead men to behave arrogantly. The third is the one, who treats Allah's Name with impropriety, frequently swearing by Him, Most High, without cause or valid excuse. In light of the above, those who frequently use the expression, 'Wallahi' (i.e. by Allah) should restrict themselves from such loose speech.

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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