Will I Be Sinful If I Break a Promise to Myself of Doing Something?

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


If I make a promise (not an oath) to myself or someone saying that I will read 10 Quranic verses every day, and if I don’t read them one day, will that promise no longer be binding since I have technically broken it? If it is not binding, will I have to tell the person I have broken the promise? If it is still binding, will I be sinful, for I do not read the ten verses daily?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Your statement is a promise to yourself in front of your friend to recite ten verses daily. It is not an oath, as you did not firmly intend so in this way.  If you stop doing it, you don’t have to tell your friend, and neither will you be sinful. However, it is disliked to do so.

According to the prophetic hadith, one of the signs of a hypocrite is that “when he makes a promise, he breaks it.” [Muslim]

Imam Khalil Nahlawi explains that what is meant by this hadith is that it is unlawful for one to make a promise while intending to break it, as such an intention is deemed hypocrisy. [Nahlawi, Al-Durar al-Mubaha]

I encourage you to continue and renew your intention and start again. Remember best actions are regular, even if they are few. Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported, The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.” [Ibn Maja]

Check these links as well:
Promises vs Vows and Oaths – SeekersGuidance
Is It Obligatory to Fulfill My Promises? – SeekersGuidance

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SeekersAcademy (seekersguidance.org)

[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied within UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan and Turkey.

He started his early education in UK. He went onto complete hifz of Qur’an in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in UK where he studied the secular and Alimiyyah sciences. He then travelled to Karachi, Pakistan.

He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Qur’an, Tajwid, Fiqh and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He was teaching at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences.

He currently resides in UK with his wife. His personal interest is love of books and gardening.