Does a binding oath expire by the passage of time?
Fatwa No: 108175

  • Fatwa Date:15-1-2014 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 14, 1435
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Question

I swore an oath that if my wife does not clean my shoes daily after I come back from work, I will clean them with one of her clean shirts. Until now my wife cleans my shoes daily, but I want to know what I should do if she did not fulfill this oath and abstained from cleaning my shoes? Do oaths expire by the passage of time? Should I offer expiation if I did not do what I swore to do? Allaah The Exalted Says (what means): {Allaah Will not Impose blame upon you for what is meaningless in your oaths...} [Quran 5:89] Is it considered a meaningless oath?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

If you were resolved and indented to do what you had sworn to do in your oath, it is considered a binding and not a meaningless oath and it does not expire by the passage of time.

Since the act that you swore to do in your oath is impermissible, as it involves transgressing against others' property and disposing of it without his permission, you should offer expiation for breaking your oath, given that your oath is considered broken if you did not do what you sworn to do when your wife does the act about which you took the oath. However, as long as your wife is cleaning your shoes (fulfilling your oath), your oath is not considered broken.

 Allaah Knows best.

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