Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question: I pledged 200 Euro at a mosque fundraiser, but then found out that my cousin in Iraq needs help for her basic food and needs. Can I go back on my pledge?
Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
Such a pledge is a promise. It is sinful to make promises without the firm resolve to fulfill the promise. Allah Most High says, “Believers! Fulfill all commitments.” [Qur’an, 5.1]
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) mentioned that among the signs of a hypocrite is that they don’t fulfill promises.
It is highly recommended to actually fulfill the promise, and wrong not to. However, it is not blameworthy not to fulfill a promise when there is a greater interest in not doing so, though high resolve would entail trying to take the reasonable means to both fulfill the promise and the greater interest.
And Allah alone gives success.