Swearing by created things when asking Allah for forgiveness
Fatwa No: 340903

  • Fatwa Date:28-12-2016 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 29, 1438
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu. This morning, I was supplicating, and I was saying something along the lines of, ‘O Allaah, forgive me by the multitude of your creation, by the sunrise and the sunset’. I did not intend to swear by other than Allaah; it just sort of came out of my mouth. I feel horrible, especially given that it is considered an act of Shirk (associating partners with Allaah). Is there a sin on me for my action? If so, have I just set up partners with Allaah? I would like to know if I can be forgiven for this action given that I have repented.

Answer

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

It is highly unlikely that a person believes that sunrise, sunset, and the multitude of creation have a right on Allah, the Almighty, or a standing with Him, so as to seek intercession by them with Allah or ask or swear by them before Allah; so we imagine that you said these words by mistake and that you did not really mean them; or as you said, ‘it just sort of came out of your mouth’.

This is in terms of meaning; in terms of wording, however, then such expressions are not permissible to be said while supplicating because they are considered either as beseeching Allah by some of His creation, or as seeking their intercession with Allah, while Allah did not make them a means of intercession, so both of them are not permissible.

Imaam Abu Haneefah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “No one should supplicate Allah except with Allah, and I dislike (that someone says), ‘by so-and-so’, or, ‘by Your Prophets and Messengers’, or, ‘by the House (the Ka’bah) and Al-Mash’ar Al-Haraam (in Muzdalifah)’.

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “Asking Allah by His creation is not permissible; because the creation has no right on the Creator, so it is not permissible to ask with something that is not worthy (to be asked with).

Ibn Abi Al-’Izz, from the Hanafi School of jurisprudence, mentioned two prohibitions regarding this in Sharh At-Tahhaawiyyah:

1- That he swore by other than Allah,

2- That he believes that someone has a right on Allah. Indeed, it is not permissible to swear by other than Allah, and no one has a right on Allah except what He has made a right on Himself.” 

In any case, such a wording does not lead to major Shirk, but it is a Shirk pertaining  to words or minor Shirk. So you should seek the forgiveness of Allah and say ‘La Ilaaha illa Allah’ (None has the right to be worshipped but Allah). It is enough for you to do so.

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, “Whoever swore and said, ‘By Al-Laat and Al-Uzza (pagan idols),’ let him say, ‘La Ilaaha illa Allah.’” [Al-Bukhari]

Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “Ibn Al-Arabi said, ‘Whoever swears by them (Al-Laat and Al-Uzza) out of ignorance or because of being distracted should say, ‘La Ilaaha illa Allah’; then Allah will expiate his sin and bring his heart back from forgetfulness to heedfulness (remembrance) and his tongue to the truth and repel the idle talk that he spoke from him.

Allah knows best.

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