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Kitaab At-Tawheed, Chapter: 59

What Has Been Said About Frequent Swearing

Allah (swt ), says:

" Allah will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths, but He will call you to account for your deliberate oaths: For expiation feed ten indigent persons what would be average food for your families; or clothe them; or give a slave his freedom. And whoever did not find [the means for that, let him] fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths you have sworn. But keep to your oaths. Thus does Allah make clear to you His Signs, that you may be grateful" (Qur'an 5:89)

Allah (swt ), Most High, informs us in this verse that He (swt ) Will not hold accountable those who make unthinking oaths, only those who swear positively, knowingly. He also tells us that the atonement for one who swears falsely, which is to feed ten poor persons, without extravagance and without niggardliness, or to clothe them, or to free a believing slave, but that whoever does not find himself able to do any of these things must fast for three consecutive days. Allah (swt ) has made this expiation as a solution for us, should we fall into error by making a false oath. Then Allah (swt ), Most High, commands the Muslims to keep to their oaths and not to make them excessively in order that they not swear falsely and be thus disgraced before their Rabb. Then Allah (swt ) informs us that what He has made plain of His Judgements are Blessings from Him, Almighty, All-powerful, for which we should be grateful. Thus does Islam, by Allah's Grace and Mercy make things easy for us and provide a way out for us from the problems which we sometimes make for ourselves. And Allah (swt ) called us and encouraged us to free the slaves more than fourteen centuries ago - long before the West awoke from its ignorance and claimed the initiative for the abolition of slavery for themselves.

Benefits Derived From This Verse

1. Evidence of the tolerance and forebearance of Islam.

2. That there is no sin and no expiation for unmindful oaths.

3. The forbiddance of deliberately making vain, false oaths.

4. The obligation to make expiation for swearing a false oath.

5. That Islam had taken the initiative in the abolition of slavery before any other nation.

6. The forbiddance of excessive swearing.

7. The obligation to preserve one's oaths from lying.

Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of the Chapter

That it proves the prohibition of excessive swearing.

Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of Tawheed

That the verse proves the forbiddance of excessive swearing because doing so diminishes the glorification which is Allah's right and is an imperfection in Tawheed.

..ooOOoo..

It is reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah (ra ) that he said: "I heard Allah's Messenger (saas ) saying:

"Swearing may benefit (the sale of) commodities, but it will erase the reward (in the Hereafter)." (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (saas ) informs us in this Hadith that when a seller swears falsely as to the worth of his goods, he may attain some temporary benefit from it, but in the long term he will not gain by it, for he will lose the reward of it in the Hereafter and loss will come to him from other directions: He might lose his capital and his profits might dwindle to nothing, for Allah (swt ) does not allow people to profit from disobedience to Him although He may delay their recompense. And in the end there awaits the disobedient ones loss and punishment in the Hereafter.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. The forbiddance of excessive swearing.

2. The forbiddance of selling goods by means of swearing.

3. That lying in order to achieve a sale will result in loss in the Hereafter.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That the Hadith proves the forbiddance of excessive swearing without adequate reason.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That it forbids excessive swearing because doing so diminishes the glorification which is Allah's right and is an imperfection in Tawheed.

..ooOOoo..

On the authority of Salman (ra ), it is reported that the Messenger of Allah (saas ) said:

"There are three types of people to whom Allah (swt ) will not speak and neither will he bless them and for them is a severe torment. They are: (i) The white-haired old adulterer; (ii) the arrogant beggar; and (iii) the one who makes Allah (swt ) as his merchandise: He does not purchase except by swearing (by Allah swt ) and he does not sell except by swearing (by Allah swt )." (Narrated by At-Tabarani, with an authentic Sanad)

The Prophet (saas ) informs us in this Hadith that there are three categories of people to whom Allah (swt ) will not speak on the Day of Resurrection nor will He cleanse them of their sins with forgiveness - this is because they committed sins without any excuse or justification; and the first of these three is the fornicator and adulterer who continues to sin in spite of his advanced years and consequent lessening of sexual urge, and his knowledge that the end of his life is near. The second is the man who behaves arrogantly towards people, though he possesses none of the wealth, rank or privilege which often leads men to behave thus. The third is one who treats Allah's Name with impropriety, frequently swearing by Him, Most High, without cause or valid excuse.1

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. Confirmation of Allah's Divine Attribute of Kalaam (Speaking) in a manner befitting His Majesty.

2. Evidence that Allah will speak to the obedient ones.

3. The forbiddance of adultery, pride and excessive swearing of oaths.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That it proves the forbiddance of excessive swearing without reason.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That the Hadith prohibits frequent swearing because doing so is demeaning to Allah (swt ) and this conflicts with correct Tawheed.

..ooOOoo..

It is authentically reported on the authority of `Umran Ibn Husain (ra ), that he said: "Allah's Messenger (saas ) said:

"The best of my Ummah is my generation, then those who follow them, then those who follow them." `Umran (ra ) said: "I don't know if he mentioned two generations after his, or three." "Then after you," continued the Prophet (saas ), "there will come a generation who will testify without being called upon to do so and they will be treacherous and untrustworthy. They will swear oaths, but they will not fulfill them and obesity will be seen in them." (Narrated by Muslim)

The Messenger of Allah (saas ) informs us in this Hadith that the best of this community of Muslims are his Companions and the two or three generations who succeeded them due to their adherence to Islam and their correct beliefs and practices and their freedom from hypocrisy, deviation and innovation. After them, the good will decrease in this Ummah and evil will increase with each succeeding generation until there will be seen people who will belittle the importance of giving testimony so that they will offer it even before it is requested from them and they will betray those who place trust in them and when they swear oaths, they will not keep them and they will become so immersed in the life of this world that obesity will become common amongst them due to their excessive eating of rich foods and lack of work or exercise.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. The virtue of the first three or four generations of Muslims over their descendants.

2. The forbiddance of treachery.

3. The obligation of keeping one's oaths.

4. The prohibition of becoming obsessed with the life of this world and its pleasures at the expense of the Hereafter.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That the Hadith proves the forbiddance of not keeping one's oaths.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That it prohibits not keeping oaths because to do so is to demean Allah (swt ), in Whose Name the oath was taken and this is in conflict with correct Tawheed.

Important Note

There is no contradiction between this Hadith and the words of the Prophet (saas ): "The best of witnesses is the one who comes forward with his testimony before he is asked about it," because this means that it is preferable for him to present his testimony without being asked in cases where there is a danger that a person may lose his rights due to any delay on the witness's part. However, in cases where the evidence is known to the person concerned, the witness should not present his testimony before being asked.

..ooOOoo..

On the authority of Ibn Mas'ood (ra ) it is reported that Allah's Messenger (saas ) said:

"The best of people are those of my generation, then those who follow them, then those who follow them, after which there will come a people whose testimonies will precede their oaths and whose oaths will precede their testimonies." (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)

In this Hadith, the Prophet (saas ) informs us that the best and most virtuous people of this Ummah are the Companions, then the first two generations after them and that after them the doors of evil will be opened and much of what He (saas ) has told us has already come to pass: Apostasy, atheism, materialism and following of baseless philosophies have become common and religious matters are taken lightly by many, including the swearing of oaths and giving testimony: People rush hastily into swearing oaths and bearing witness before they are requested to do so, as if these matters are of little moment.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. Evidence of the superiority of the first generations over their descendants.

2. The miracle of the Prophet's predicting events which have since transpired.

3. The forbiddance of hastening to give testimony before one is asked to do so.

4. The prohibition of swearing without cause or necessity.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That it proves the forbiddance of hastily swearing oaths.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That the Hadith prohibits hastening to swear oaths, because this demeans Allah (swt ) and belittles His Majesty and this is in conflict with correct Tawheed.

..ooOOoo..

Ibraheem An-Nakha'i said: "When we were children, they used to beat us concerning oaths and testimonies."

Relevance of This Narration to the Subject of the Chapter and to the Subject of Tawheed

That it shows that some of the Salaf used to forbid their children from hastily making oaths and giving testimony so as to protect them from falling into sin.

Footnotes

1. This is the case with many Arabic speaking Muslims today: The expression Wallaahi (by Allah I) is used in almost every sentence by some!

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