Making a promise to another human being is not Shirk
Fatwa No: 300061

Question

Salam alaikum, I have read your links, which you have sent me, but my questions continue:1. if have not understood what the exact difference between a promise, oath and vow is. When is it shirk? Is following Expression shirk? if someone would say: If i do such and such, then i promise you (a Person), that i will say it to you / or that i will buy you such and such /or i will go with you for example to the beach. Would that be shirk, because you say i promise you and you mean a Person with you? Another example is: If someone would say: if we succeed to make hijrah/or something else, then i promise you, that i will do such and such. Would that be shirk? 2. Can you give me a sentence as an example for a promise, an oath and a vow, so that the difference becomes clear for me in sha Allah. 3. Can you give me sentences as an example for shirk in a promise, oath and vow? Jazakum Allahu khayran.

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 ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

It is obvious from this question and your previous questions that you suffer from obsessive whisperings about matters pertaining to disbelief. The reason for experiencing such whisperings is that you yield to them and overindulge in thinking about them instead of repelling them and striving to ignore them. We have repeatedly said that the best treatment for obsessive whisperings, after seeking help from Allaah, is to repel them and totally disregard them. We have already clarified the difference between the oath, promise, and vow in Fataawa 82716 and 237325, so there is no need to repeat the explanation. Anything you don't understand, you may ask the scholars and students in your country about it.

As for committing Shirk (associating partners with Allaah) through a promise, an oath or a vow, you should know that anyone who swears by anything besides Allaah The Exalted has fallen into the abyss of Shirk. The Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, forbade such an act and labeled it as Shirk. He, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, said: “Whoever swears by something other than Allaah has committed Shirk.” [At-Tirmithi, Abu Daawood, and Al-Haakim with a good chain of narration]

As for the vow, when a person makes a vow to other than Allaah, such as the dead, it is considered an act of Shirk as underlined in Fatwa 30603. Moreover, if a person makes a promise to do an act of Shirk, like offering an animal sacrifice to a grave for example, he has committed an act of Shirk.

However, if one makes a promise to someone else, it is not considered an act of Shirk to merely make a promise to a created being instead of the Creator; however, it would be considered an act of Shirk if one promised to commit an act of Shirk. It is valid and permissible to make a promise to one's Lord or to another person.

Ibn Al-Jawzi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote,

Allaah The Exalted says (what means): { and fulfill the covenant} [Quran 17:34] The indication of the verse is general and refers to the covenants or promises made to Allaah or to people. Az-Zajjaaj said that everything that Allaah has ordained and forbidden are included in the covenant between the slave and his Lord.” [Zaad Al-Maseer]

So, it should be clear that the examples presented in your question pertaining to promises do not involve committing Shirk.

Allaah Knows best.

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