OATHS

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Making an oath means to swear by God that one will not do something. In Islam, one can swear only by God. People who make such an oath must do their best to fulfill it, and so should not make one carelessly.

People who make false statements by mistake or unknowingly, and then swear to them by God, are not held responsible for them and do not have make any expiation. However, consciously lying and then swearing by God or declaring God as a witness to the lie is an extremely grave sin that many times has resulted in misfortune descending upon the liar. Such people must perform an act of expiation, earnestly seek God’s forgiveness, and repair any damage caused by the lie.

If people swear by God not to do something in the future and then do that very act, they must seek God’s forgiveness and make an expiation. In this case, this involves emancipating a slave. If this is not possible, the oath-breaker must feed a poor person for 10 days with meals that are similar to what his family eats. If this is not possible, he or she must fast for 10 consecutive days.