Should Multiple Oaths Linked to Single Action Require Separate Expiations?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Muhammad Carr


I would like to know whether a person, desiring to cease committing a specific sin, makes the following declarations: “If I commit this sin, I swear by Allah, I cannot eat for the whole day.” Subsequently, they declare, “If I commit this sin, I swear by Allah, next time I shower, it has to be with really cold water.” Suppose the person commits the sin, eats later, and showers with hot water. Should they expiate for each oath separately, or should they expiate only once since these oaths are linked to one primary action, the sin?

If someone misunderstood and believed that the oaths are connected to sin, can they expiate only once for their wrongdoing?


Thank you for your question.

A single expiation is insufficient to cover multiple oaths. Instead, you must dispense a separate expiation (kaffara) for each oath.

Two Oaths

“If an individual swears not to wear a specific item of clothing and, likewise, another item, he breaks his oath by wearing either of the garments. This is construed as two separate oaths; if he breaks the oath concerning one, the oath vis-à-vis the other remains intact. Should he do the other, he must give another expiation.” [Khatib, Mughni]

Ignorance of the Law

The ignorance of the law does not exempt one from its consequences. This rule is only relaxed for recent converts, Muslims distant from scholars, and in some minutia.

May Allah guide our tongues and make our words a source of elevation for us.
[Shaykh] Muhammad Carr
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Muhammad Carr has dedicated his life to studying and transmitting our beautiful deen. His studies have taken him around the globe, where he has benefitted from many luminaries. Under the guidance of his teachers – Shaykh Taha Karan, Shaykh Yaseen Abbas, Shaykh Muadh Ali, and many others – Shaykh Muhammad has grown to appreciate the beauty and benefits of diverse scholarship. He completed his memorization of the Qur’an at Dar al-Ulum Zakariyyah in September 1997 and received an Alimiyya Degree in 2006 from DUAI (Darul Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah). He is also affiliated with Masjid Auwal in Bo Kaap, Cape Town (the oldest mosque in South Africa), where he serves as a co-imam, and Dar Al-Safa, where he has taught since 2018. As a teacher, he imparts the wisdom of our heritage and tradition by opening the door to students. As an imam, he has the unique opportunity to serve his community in daily life. 

In addition to his roles as a teacher and imam, Shaykh Muhammad Carr has contributed significantly to the administrative and advisory aspects of Islamic institutions. Since 2023, he has served as the Administrative Director at The Imam Kurani Institute, contributing to the institution’s growth and development. He continues to pursue traditional Islamic Sciences, possessing a keen interest in Islamic Contract Law and Finance. Shaykh Muhammad has been a Shari‘a Board Member for Islamic Asset Management & Insurance Companies since 2001, aligning financial practices with Islamic principles.