Was It an Oath If I Said I Wouldn’t Use a Credit Card?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

Question

I was repenting from using a credit card, and I said, “Oh Allah, I regret using a credit card, and I will never do it again”. I am worried that this was an oath. So to get out of the oath, I said a few seconds later, “until I get confirmation that it is halal”.

So is this an oath or not? Can I use it without getting confirmation?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah guide us to that which pleases Him, forgive us for our shortcomings, and alleviate our difficulties, Amin.

The provided description appears to match a promise. A promise must be kept, but there is no expiation for breaking it.  Allah knows best.

What Are the Differences between Oaths, Vows, and Promises?

An oath is a solemn statement to do or refrain from something or that something is true, so if things turn out otherwise, the swearer must make an expiation (kaffara). [Misri, ‘Umdat al-Salik]

An Oath Is When You Say, ‘By Allah …’.

A vow is when you say something sunna is now obligatory on you ‘for the sake of Allah’ or ‘due to Allah.’ If there is no mention of Allah with His names, it usually cannot become an oath or vow.

In a promise, one says to oneself or someone else, promising to do something. There is no penalty or anything else for breaking a promise.

That said, one should keep one’s word as a point of honor and fear that one will be asked about it on the Day of Judgment. “And be true to every promise, for verily you will be called to account for every promise you have made.” [Quran, 17:34]

Credit Cards

Contemporary scholars generally agree that it is permitted to use credit cards with the following conditions:

  1. One has the firm resolve and ability to pay the amount before the accruing of interest; and
  2. One is sure to pay it off before any interest becomes due. This means that one has the financial means to do so, and one’s habits and experience show that one will do so.

Related:
Using Credit Cards & Reward Points

I pray this is of benefit.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.