Broke Many Oaths and Is Not Certain How Many
Fatwa No: 395485


Asalamu alaykum, i have made many oaths in the past and i broke them, maybe i made some even before i came to know that a kaffara has to be payed and only repentance isnt enough. i dont know how many excactly it were, i payed the kaffara for 6 oaths already. i remember that i used to think it were 8 but now i only concretly remember 6. what to do?


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.

If a person has to offer expiations for breaking many oaths and he does not know their number, then he must endeavor to estimate them. If he cannot exactly determine their number, then he is only obliged to expiate for a number that he is certain of; which is the least, because in principle he is acquitted from sin.

Shaykh ibn ' Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

If you have many oaths and you do not know their number, then you have to estimate. If you doubt whether it is ten or five, then take into consideration the least number; consider five because this is what you are certain of, and whatever exceeds five is doubtful, so you do not have to expiate for it.” [End of quote]

Therefore, if you do not know the number of oaths that you have broken, then you should expiate a number that you are certain of, because in principle you are acquitted from expiation.

The expiation should first be by feeding ten poor people, or clothing them, or emancipating a slave, and if one cannot do any of these three, then he should fast for three days; Allah Says (what means): {Allah will not impose blame upon you for what is meaningless in your oaths, but He will impose blame upon you for [breaking] what you intended of oaths. So its expiation is the feeding of ten needy people from the average of that which you feed your [own] families or clothing them or the freeing of a slave. But whoever cannot find [or afford it] - then a fast of three days [is required].} [Quran 5:89]

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 22725, 356647, and 252454.

Allah knows best.

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