Can I Pay the Expiation for Breaking an Oath in Advance?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I have accidentally taken an oath and I am sure that I cannot keep it. Can I pay the expiation for breaking the oath in advance [before actuallly breaking the oath]?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatuLlah,

No, performing the expiation (kaffara) before it is due is not legally acceptable because it is yet to enter your dues, just as it is invalid to perform the subsequent prayer before its time enters. Hence, paying it early will effectively be akin to voluntary charity (sadaqa). Then, if you actually end up breaking the oath later, the expiation will be legally due, and you will have to perform it a second time.

[Halabi, Multaqa al-Abhur, with ShaykhiZada’s commentary, Majma‘ al-Anhur]

Please also see: Expiation for a Broken Oath

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

قال في ملتقى الأبحر وشرحه مجمع الأنهر: (((فلا يجوز) أي لا يصح (التكفير قبل الحنث) سواء كان بالمال أو بالصوم. …، ولنا أن الكفارة لستر الجناية ولا جناية واليمين ليست بسبب؛ لأنه مانع غير مفض بخلاف الجرح؛ لأنه مفض، ثم لا يسترد من المسكين لوقوعه صدقة كما في الهداية)) اهـ.

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.