Swearing by other than Allah – Shaikh Bin Baz

Translated from:

http://www.binbaz.org.sa/mat/4813

Question: There are many people who swear by other than Allah.  For example, they say: ‘By the life of the Prophet Muhammad’ – (we ask that) – Allah raise his rank and grant him peace, or ‘By the life of Eesa’ or ‘(By the life of ) Musa’ – alayhe as-salaatu was-salaam, or ‘By the life of the quran’, or ‘By the life of the grave’, or if I swear by my honor – benefit us regarding this – (we ask that) Allah reward you with the best reward

Answer (Shaikh Bin Baz): It is not permissible to swear by other than Allah.  Rather, it is obligatory to swear by Allah Alone – He is the Most High and Free from all deficiencies and defects – due to what is established from the Messenger of Allah – (we ask that) Allah raise his rank and grant him peace – that he said:

‘Whoever swears, then let him not swear except by Allah, or keep quiet1

And he said – sallallahu alayhe wa sallam:

‘Whoever swears by other than Allah has committed polytheism.’2

And one wording says:

‘…has committed disbelief.’3

And one wording is:

‘…has committed disbelief or polytheism.’4

So swearing by other than Allah is from the prohibited things which are disbelief.  But they are from ash-Shirk al-Asghar (the lesser polytheism), except when the person swearing intends for the one being sworn by grandeur and magnificence like the grandeur and magnificence of Allah.  Or (the one swearing intends) that he (the one being sworn by) has ability to bring about change in the universe, or that he deserves to be called upon along with5 Allah – that becomes Kufr Akbar (the greater disbelief which expels a person from the religion) – and refuge with Allah is sought.

So when one says: ‘By the life of so-and-so’, ‘By the life of the Messenger’, ‘By the life of Musa’, ‘By the life of Eesa’, ‘By the grave’, or he swears by the trust, or by the Ka’bah, or what is similar to that – all of that is swearing by other than Allah, and it is all prohibited, and it is all rejected.

What is obligatory is that one does not swear except by Allah – He is the Most High and Free from all deficiencies and defects – or (that one swears) by an Attribute (sifah) from His Attributes, or a Name from His Names – Lofty and Exalted is He. And the Quran is from the Speech of Allah, so the Quran is from the Attributes of Allah.  So if one says: ‘By the Quran’ or ‘By the life of the Quran’, there is no problem with this.  Because the Quran is the Speech of Allah – He is the Most High and Free from all deficiencies and defects.  So when one swears by the Quran, or says ‘By Allah’s Might’, or ‘By Allah’s Knowledge’, or ‘By the Life of Allah’, then there is no problem, for the Attributes of Allah can be sworn by.  However, the created things can not be sworn by.  So the Prophet – sallallahu alayhe wa sallam – is not sworn by – even though he is the noblest of the creation.  Nor can one swear by the life of so-and-so, nor by the Ka’bah, nor by the trust, nor by the honor of so-and-so.  Because the Messenger -sallallahu alayhe wa sallam – prohibited that.  And he – (we ask that) Allah raise his rank and grant him peace – warned from this.

And the famous Imam Ibn Abd al-Barr – rahimahullah – said:

‘The scholars have agreed upon the impermissibility of swearing by other than Allah.’

So it is obligatory upon the Believer to be warned from this falsehood (swearing by other than Allah).  And that he warns his brothers from it, and that he calls them to swearing by Allah Alone – He is the Most High and Free from all deficiencies and defects.

{Footnotes}

1 Muslim recorded a hadeeth narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar that the Prophet – sallallahu alayhe wa sallam – said:

فمن كان حالفًا فليحلفْ بالله أو ليَصمُتْ

Whoever swears, then let him swear by Allah, or be quiet”

Bukhari recorded a hadeeth narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar that the Prophet – sallallahu alayhe wa sallam – said:

من كانَ حالفًا فلا يحلف إلَّا باللَّهِ

Whoever swears, then let him not swear except by Allah”

2من حلف بغير الله فقد أشرك  Shaikh Albaanee declared this hadeeth Saheeh in Saheeh Abu Dawood

 

3   منْ حلفَ بغيرِ اللهِ فقدْ كفرَ  Shaikh Albaanee declared this hadeeth Saheeh according to the conditions of Bukhari and Muslim in at-Ta’leeqaat ar-Radiyah

4    من حلف بغير الله فقد كفر أو أشرك     Shaikh Albaanee declared this hadeeth Saheeh and Saheeh at Tirmidhee

5 Or “instead of”, see this article: The Two Meanings of “min doonillah”

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