Question # 245: I was angry and said to wife… by Allah, I’ll never take you out for dinner. What should I do?

Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: The basic principle concerning here is that declaring something permissible to be haraam is a kind of oath. Based on this, one taking such an oath will need to expiate (kafaarat yameen) for the oath in one of the following three: feeding ten poor persons (not in cash), or clothing them, or freeing a slave. Whoever is unable to do any of the three, then he should fast three days. 

Long Answer: The basic principle concerning here is that declaring something permissible to be haraam is a kind of oath, because Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) in the Qur’an: “1. O Prophet! Why do you forbid (for yourself) that which Allah has allowed to you, seeking to please your wives? And Allah is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful. 2. Allah has already ordained for you (O men) the absolution from your oaths. And Allah is your Mawlaa (Lord, or Master, or Protector) and He is the All‑Knower, the All‑Wise” (Soorah al-Tahreem 66:1-2) So Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) describes declaring something permissible to be haraam as an oath.

In al-Bahr al-Raa’iq, it says: It is known that declaring something permissible to be haraam is an oath for which expiation must be offered… This includes saying “It is haraam for you to talk to me” or “talking to you is haraam”.                      

Based on this, one taking such an oath will need to expiate (kafaarat yameen) for the oath as indicated in the Qur’an: “Allah will not punish you for what is uninentional in your oaths, but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths; for its expiation (a deliberate oath) feed ten Masakin (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, Allah make clear to you His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) that you may be grateful.” (Soorah al-Maidah, 5:89)

Hence, the kafaarat yameen (the expiation for breaking a vow) expiation of breaking an oath is to do one of the following three:

  1. Feeding ten poor persons with the average kind of food that he feeds his family, by giving each person half a saa’ of the usual local staple, such as rice etc. This is equivalent to approximately one-and-a-half kilograms. If rice is usually eaten with some kind of sauce then along with the rice he should give them some sauce or meat. If he gathers together ten poor people and offers them lunch or dinner, this is sufficient.
  2. Clothing ten poor people, which means giving each one clothing that is suitable for praying in, so for a man he would give a thobe or dishdasha or a lower garment and upper garment (izaar and rida’), and for a woman a concealing dress and a head cover.
  3. Freeing a believing slave.

Whoever cannot do any of the above should fast for three consecutive days.

The majority of scholars are of the view that it is not sufficient to pay the kafaarah in cash.

(Most part of the above reply is based on various answers by Islam Q&A)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam