A Recurrent Vow

Question: I made a vow to Allah that whenever I overate, I would fast the next day. What do I do if I end up overeating? What do I if this happens again and again?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

When someone says something like ‘Every time I smoke/swear/drink, I have to fast/pray/give in charity for the sake of Allah.’, then this is a deterring vow (nadhr lajaj).

If they end up doing the thing that they were trying not to do, then they have to either do the act of worship that they made incumbent upon themselves, or expiate (kaffarah) (Minhaj al Talibin, Nawawi).

If they end up doing it again, then they have to do an act of worship or expiate again. This is because they used the word ‘each time’/’every time’ etc.

If you merely make a promise to yourself without mentioning Allah in the vow, then it is not binding.

Please also see:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/islamic-belief/promises-vs-vows-and-oaths/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/expiate-broken-oath/

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language