Delaying expiation is a sin requiring repentance
Fatwa No: 33257

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

I swore three times sporadically and then I broke my oaths. In order not to forget those oaths I wrote them on a piece of paper. I did not fast because I had money. But I delayed those expiations out of forgetfulness sometimes and out of hope for mercy at other times. The period of postponement has reached 5 to18 months. What should I do now?

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, is His Slave and Messenger.

If one takes many oaths on one thing and then breaks his oath, only one oath expiation becomes due on him according to the majority of scholars. The Maaliki scholars, however, are of the opinion that he should make as many expiations as the number of oaths he has broken, unless he intends (by making many oaths) only confirmation.

According to Ibn Rushd, there is a difference of opinion regarding the case of someone who takes many oaths on the same thing. Some scholars say that only one expiation becomes due on him. Others say that each oath should be expiated except if he intends confirmation by repeating the oaths. This is the opinion of Maalik  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him.

That you delayed the expiation for the period of time you have mentioned requires nothing other than repentance and seeking forgiveness. The expiation does not lapse over time because it has become a right due on you to the needy persons.

Allaah Knows best.

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