Violating a Promise to Allah

Answered by Ustadha Shaista Maqbool

Question: It is a very low point of life but still I am doing well. Some misunderstandings arose between me and my dear friend. I wrote a letter to Allah mentioning the situation and said that I promise you Allah to never to use a social networking site, where me and my friend interacted the most, until things got better between us. My friend has wronged me and I want to teach her a lesson by being totally out of her surroundings. I wanted her to miss me and hopefully, realize the mess she has created for our friendship. I promised this to Allah only to keep myself strong. Few days after, I realized that it is actually nonsensical to do so. Therefore, I started to use that site again. My question here is that: do I need to do Kaffara for breaking the promise that I made to Allah. The guilt is killing me.

Answer: Wa’alaikum assalaam warahamtu Allah,

Promising to Allah is not an explicit oath but may be used to express an oath if coupled with an intention to do so.

Therefore, if you intended by your promise an oath, then it would be an effective oath and you would have to pay kaffarah for violating it. However, if you intended it to be simply a promise, then there is no kaffarah for it. If you had no intention, or are unsure, then it would not be considered an oath either, going back to its original usage. (Ibn Abideen, Radd al-Muhtar)

Kaffarah for a broken oath is 1- to feed ten people, two meals each or 2- to clothe them with decent clothing.

Shaista Maqbool

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani