Expiation of breaching a covenant is like that of breaking an oath plus repentance
Fatwa No: 7375

  • Fatwa Date:16-1-2014 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 15, 1435
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What is the ruling on someone who says: ‘I make a covenant with Allaah not to do that thing,’ and then he does it?


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.

Whoever makes a covenant with Allaah The Almighty should fulfill it in compliance with the Command of Allaah (what means):

·   {And fulfill the covenant of Allaah when you have taken it, [O believers], and do not break oaths after their confirmation while you have made Allaah, over you, a witness. Indeed, Allaah Knows what you do.} [Quran 16:91]

·   {O you who have believed, fulfill [all] contracts.} [Quran 5:1]

Contracts here mean covenants. If one does what he has made a covenant with Allaah not to do, he will have breached the covenant that is between him and Allaah. Hence, it is due on him to repent to Allaah and make an oath expiation.

In his Ash-Sharh Al-Kabeer, Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him says: "If one says: ‘Due on me is the covenant of Allaah not to do that’ or ‘By Allaah’s covenant I will not do so,’ it will be considered an oath."

The expiation is to feed ten needy persons from the average of his family food or clothe them or free a slave. If he fails to do any of those three, he should fast three days.

In confirmation of that, Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {Allaah 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]. That is the expiation for oaths when you have sworn. But guard your oaths.} [Quran 5:89]

Allaah Knows best.

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