Thinking about vowing is not a vow
Fatwa No: 91107

Question

Insha Allaah, I hope you can understand what I am going through. Many times a thought comes to me of making Nazr to do something or Nazr of not doing something. These kinds of thoughts come to me many times, and make me tired, because in many times I can not fulfill this Nazr. And all the time, I ask Allaah not to accept any kind of such thinking from me, because in many times I really don’t mean this thinking, or I simply can’t fulfill that Nazr. Recently, while I was praying (Taraaweeh), I thought I might pray Taraaweeh everyday even after Ramadhaan ( also I was worried so I thought yeah I could make this Nazr), but then also in prayer, I thought no I'd better not make such Nazr, because maybe I can’t fulfill it, and I’d better not make it a Nazr, but if I can do it then I’ll do without stating it as a Nazr because I am afraid I won’t be able to fulfill it and Allaah might not be pleased with/from me if I didn't fulfill it. So does this first thinking of Nazr still hold? I am really afraid it does still hold? Recently again, I wanted to punish myself, and I thought I might not get married and make a Nazr of such a thing, but again at the same time, I said I never want to make a Nazr of such a thing, because I am sure I can’t fulfill it, really this thought came in my mind while really I didn’t want to make it, and I said I don’t want to make this Nazr, I even wrote I don’t want to. And I asked Allaah again never to accept from me any Nazr, because usually I can’t fulfill these thoughts that come to my mind of making Nazr. What can I do to myself? Are these thoughts considered Nazr, even if I say after thinking of them, that I can’t fulfill them and please Allaah not to accept what I am thinking of? Because sometimes these thoughts come to me while I don't approve of what I am thinking of, and other times I am under stress that I think I can make Nazr of anything, and afterwards I realize I can't fully fulfill such a Nazr. What if I can't fulfill Nazr of not getting married ever?

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 is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.

 

Thinking about vowing is not considered a vow; even if you intended to make a vow but did not utter it, you are not obliged to fulfil it. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "My nation is not held accountable by Allaah for their thoughts as long as they do not act according to them or talk about them." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] A vow is expressed with an expression which a person who wants to make a vow utters. Moreover, you are not obliged to fulfil your vow not to get married even if you had uttered it. Indeed, it is either forbidden or at least disliked not to marry for a person who is able to do so. The scholars may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them stated that whoever vows to do what is disliked, it is desirable for him not to fulfil his vow but he is required to expiate for it because of breaking the vow, and whoever vows to do what is forbidden, it is forbidden for his to fulfil his vow and he should expiate for it. 

Finally, we advise you to stay away from these whispers as they may put you through hardships, and Allaah Says (what means): {and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty.}[Quran 22:78]. Besides, it is confirmed that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) prohibited making a vow and said that it does not bring any good. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

For more benefits on the ruling on making a vow and its categories, please refer to Fataawa 82716 and 90796.

Allaah Knows best.

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