Praise be to Allaah.
If a person swears many oaths and breaks them, and does not
offer expiation, one of two scenarios must apply.
1 – The vows were all to do with one thing, such as saying,
“By Allaah, I will not smoke,” then he breaks the oath and does not offer
expiation for that. Then he swears again that he will not smoke, then he
breaks the oath… in this case one expiation is required.
2 – The oaths have to do with several actions, such as
saying, “By Allaah, I will not drink; by Allaah, I will not wear (certain
clothes); by Allaah, I will not go to such and such a place,” then he breaks
all those oaths. Does he have to offer one expiation or as many expiations
as the oaths he swore and broke? There is a difference of opinion among the
fuqaha’ concerning this matter. The majority are of the view that he must
offer several expiations, but the Hanbalis say that he only has to offer one
The more correct view is that of the majority, because these
were oaths to do several things, and breaking one of them does not mean that
another is broken, they are not interconnected.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: I
am a young man and I swore to Allaah more than three times that I would
repent from a haraam action. My question is: do I have to offer one
expiation or three? And what is my expiation?
He replied: You have to offer one expiation, which is feeding
or clothing ten poor persons, or freeing a slave. Whoever cannot do that
must fast for three days, because Allaah, may He be glorified, says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“Allaah will not punish you for what is unintentional in
your oaths, but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths; for its
expiation (a deliberate oath) feed ten Masaakeen (poor persons), on a scale
of the average of that with which you feed your own families, or clothe them
or manumit a slave. But whosoever cannot afford (that), then he should fast
for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths when you have sworn. And
protect your oaths (i.e. do not swear much). Thus Allaah makes clear to you
His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.)
that you may be grateful”
This applies to every oath that is made to do one thing or to
refrain from one thing; if the oath is sworn repeatedly, only one expiation
is required, if he did not offer expiation the first time. But if he offered
expiation the first time, then he repeated the oath, then he must offer
another expiation, if he breaks the oath. Similarly, if he repeated it a
third time and had offered expiation the second time, he must offer a third
But if he swore oaths to do several things or to refrain from
several things, then he must offer expiation for each one, such as if he
said, “By Allaah I will not speak to So and so,” and “By Allaah I will not
eat food,” and “By Allaah, I will not travel to such and such a place,” and
“By Allaah, I will speak to So and so” and “By Allaah, I will hit him,” and
What must be done is to give each poor person half a saa’ of
the local staple food, which is approximately one and a half kilograms. With
regard to clothing, it should be what is sufficient for prayer, such as a
thobe or a rida’ and izaar (upper and lower garment). If he gives them
dinner or breakfast, that is sufficient, because of the general meaning of
the verse quoted above. And Allaah is the source of strength.
End quote from Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz
If the person asked about is suffering from waswaas, and he
swore these oaths under the influence of that waswaas, without intending to
do so or wanting to swear an oath, then he does not have to do anything.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: If
a person is suffering from waswaas, his divorce does not count as such if he
utters the words of divorce, if it was not done intentionally, because this
utterance of divorce was caused by the waswaas and was not intended, rather
he was compelled to do it because of the strength of the waswaas and his
lack of willpower to resist it. The Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no divorce when one is compelled.” So
the divorce does not count as such if he did not truly intend it willingly.
This is something that he was compelled to do and did not intend or choose
to do, so it does not count as a divorce. End quote from Fataawa
If this applies to divorce, then it applies even more so to
oaths, because the issue of marriage is more serious than the issue of
And Allaah knows best.
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