[Q 300] Expiation (Kaffarah) for Breaking an Oath (Yameen)

Question

What is the Kaffarah (expiation) for breaking a kasam (oath)?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الجواب بعون الملك الوهاب اللهم هداية الحق والصواب

Answer

The kaffarah (expiation) for breaking an oath (یمین) is to free a slave, or feed ten poor people, or clothe them. You have the option to choose any one of these three.

If you cannot afford any of these three, then you must fast for three consecutive days.

It is mentioned in Holy Quran:

 لا يُؤاخِذُكُمُ اللَّهُ بِاللَّغْوِ فِي أَيْمانِكُمْ وَلكِنْ يُؤاخِذُكُمْ بِما عَقَّدْتُمُ الْأَيْمانَ فَكَفَّارَتُهُ إِطْعامُ عَشَرَةِ مَساكِينَ مِنْ أَوْسَطِ مَا تُطْعِمُونَ أَهْلِيكُمْ أَوْ كِسْوَتُهُمْ أَوْ تَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ فَمَنْ لَمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيامُ ثَلاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ ذلِكَ كَفَّارَةُ أَيْمانِكُمْ إِذا حَلَفْتُمْ وَاحْفَظُوا أَيْمانَكُمْ كَذلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آياتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

(المائدة: 89)

Translation:

Allah does not hold you responsible for your oaths taken by misunderstanding, yes, He does hold you responsible for oaths which you have made binding (upon yourselves); so the expiation of such oaths is the feeding of ten needy people with the average (food) you feed your family with, or to clothe them, or to free one slave; and for one who does not have the means for any of these, should fast for three days; this is the expiation of your oaths when you have sworn; and guard (fulfil) your oaths; this is how Allah explains His verses to you, so that you may be grateful.

Additional Details:

– The poor people must be fed until they are full for both meals (morning and evening). The same ten people should be fed for both meals; feeding ten different people will not fulfill the requirement.

– You can feed all ten people in one day, or one person for both meals over ten days.

Regarding clothing, it should be sufficient to cover most of the body and should be of a quality that an average person would wear.

An easier method: 

Instead of feeding, you can give each of the ten poor people the amount equivalent to one fitrah (half a sa’ – approximately 1.92 kg of wheat or its monetary equivalent). If you wish to give this amount to one poor person instead of ten, you must give it over ten different days. Giving the total amount all at once will count as one day’s meal. Therefore, if giving to one person, distribute the amount over ten days, providing the equivalent of one fitrah each day.

It is mentioned in Binayah :

:کفارۃ الیمین عتق رقبۃ۔۔۔ و ان شاء کسا عشرۃ مساکین۔۔۔و ان شاء اطعم عشرۃ مساکین ۔۔۔فان لم یقدر علی احد ھذہ الاشیاء الثلاثۃ صیام ثلاثۃ ایام متتابعات

(Al-Binayyah Sharh al-Hidaiya, Volume 6, Page 32, Published in Quetta)

Note: A “poor” person (miskeen) refers to a Muslim who is eligible to receive Zakat, meaning someone who qualifies as a “shar’i faqir” (Islamically poor).

Answered by: Arslan Raza (Ask Mufti Scholar)

Verified by: Mufti Sajid Attari

Translated answer

Date: 28th May 2024

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