Explanation of swearing by other than Allaah in some Ahaadeeth
Fatwa No: 208897

Question

assalamu alaykum.dear sheikh,may Allah reward you.what is the correct explanation of the hadith in which the prophet said ( by his father he would be succesful if he were truthful) transmited by muslim.it was also recorded in musnad vol.5 page 225 that the prophet said(i swear by my life commanding good and forbiding evil is better than keeping silent).while it is haram to swear with any being except Allah

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.

 

It is confirmed in the authentic Sunnah that it is forbidden to swear by other than Allaah. As regards what you mentioned, it is to be interpreted in a correct way which is in conformity with the aforementioned.

In regard to the first Hadeeth, Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in his interpretation of Saheeh Al-Bukhari: “If one asks how to reconcile between this and the prohibition of swearing by other than Allaah, then the answer is that this was before being prohibited or that it is a word that one utters out of habit while not intending to swear, like what the Arabs used to say ‘Aqra Halqa (may you be wounded and your head shorn) and the like, or that there is an omission of the phrase "the Lord of"; it is as if one says ‘By the Lord of his father…’, and it was also said that this is a specific case and needs evidence.…..However, the strongest answers are the first two.

As regards the other Ahaadeeth where the expression ‘by my life’ is mentioned, then Mulla ‘Ali Al-Qaari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Mirqaat Al-Mafaateeh: “If one asked: ‘how would I swear by other than the Name of Allaah and His Attributes’, we would say: ‘This does not mean to swear, but this is something which he (the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ))  uttered according to their (the Arabs') habit.

Similarily, Shaykh ‘Abdul-Muhsin Al-‘Abbaad said in his interpretation of Sunan Abu Daawood: “‘By my life’ is not swearing; rather, it is an expression to emphasize one's statement; so one utters it to emphasize his statement, similar to his saying: ‘no doubt’ or ‘verily’ and other expressions by which one stresses a statement, and it is not swearing at all. It is mentioned in the Hadeeth of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and the statements of the Companions  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them and it was also mentioned in the statements of the Taabi’is after them.

Allaah Knows best.

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