“From Shirk Is To Make a Vow For Other Than Allaah,” Ahmad an-Najmee’s Kitaab at-Tawheed, Chapter 11

“Ash-Sharh al-Moojaz al-Mumahhad li Tawheed al-Khaaliq al-Mumajjad alladhi allafahu Shaikhul-Islaam Muhammad”
(The Concise, Simple and Straight-forward Explanation of the Tawheed of the Exalted Creator – which was Authored by the Shaikhul-Islaam Muhammad b. Abdul-Wahhaab)

Sharh-Moojaz-An-Najmee

This is an explanation of Kitaab at-Tawheed of Shaikhul-Islaam Muhammad b. Abdul-Wahhaab (d. 1206H, rahimahullaah) by ash-Shaikh al-Allaamah Ahmad b. Yahyaa an-Najmee (rahimahullaah).

So Shaikhul-Islaam Muhammad b. Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:

Chapter 11. From Shirk Is To Make a Vow For Other Than Allaah

KT_C11

 

His saying, the Most High:

يُوفُونَ بِالنَّذْرِ وَيَخَافُونَ يَوْمًا كَانَ شَرُّهُ مُسْتَطِيرًا

They [are those who] fulfill [their] vows and fear a Day whose evil will be widespread. [7:76]

And His saying, the Most High:

وَمَا أَنفَقْتُم مِّن نَّفَقَةٍ أَوْ نَذَرْتُم مِّن نَّذْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُهُ ۗ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ

And whatever you spend of expenditures or make of vows – indeed, Allah knows of it. And for the wrongdoers there are no helpers. [2:270]

It is reported in the Saheeh from `Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu `anhaa) that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) said:

“Whoever makes a vow in obedience to Allaah, then let him obey Him. Whoever makes a vow in disobedience to Allaah, let him not disobey Him.”

[Reported by Bukhaaree 6696.]

Important issues of the Chapter:

1. The obligation of fulfilling a vow.

2. Since a vow is established as an act of worship for Allaah, then it follows that making it for other than Allaah is therefore considered as Shirk.

3. That it is not permitted to fulfill a vow of disobedience to Allaah.

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Explanation:

Making a vow (nadhr) to other than Allaah is considered as Major Shirk.

The definition of a vow is: That a servant obligates upon himself an act of worship that is not obligated upon him by the Sharee`ah rulings. An example of this would be that a person vows to pray every night between `Ishaa and Fajr a specified number of Rak`ahs. Or that he vows to fast each month a specified number of days. So this is an obligation that he places upon himself for Allaah as an act of worship that is not obligated upon him in the pure Sharee`ah. Rather it is something that he has obligated upon himself.

So it is binding upon him to fulfill that vow that he obligated upon himself for Allaah’s sake, the Most High. Indeed Allaah praised the believers due their fulfilling of the vows they make:

يُوفُونَ بِالنَّذْرِ وَيَخَافُونَ يَوْمًا كَانَ شَرُّهُ مُسْتَطِيرًا

They [are those who] fulfill [their] vows and fear a Day whose evil will be widespread. [7:76]

And the intent here of “a Day” is the Day of Resurrection. The fulfillment of a vow is mandatory. And if a person is not able to fulfill the vow he made, then he is must in such a situation make the expiation of breaking an oath due to the saying of the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam):

“The expiation (kaffarah) of a vow the same as the expiation for a broken oath.”

[Reported by Muslim from `Uqbah Ibn `Aamir (radiyallaahu `anhu). The expiation of an oath is:

Allah will not impose blame upon you for what is meaningless in your oaths, but He will impose blame upon you for [breaking] what you intended of oaths. So its expiation is the feeding of ten needy people from the average of that which you feed your [own] families or clothing them or the freeing of a slave. But whoever cannot find [or afford it] – then a fast of three days [is required]. That is the expiation for oaths when you have sworn. But guard your oaths. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be grateful.

al-Maa’idah: 89]

It is reported in the Saheeh from `Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu `anhaa) that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) said:

“Whoever makes a vow in obedience to Allaah, then let him obey Him. Whoever makes a vow in disobedience to Allaah, let him not disobey Him.”

[Reported by Bukhaaree 6696.]

It is understood from this hadeeth that the vow is of two kinds:

1. The vow of obedience.

2. The vow of disobedience.

A person is obligated to fulfill the vow of obedience. And upon examination we know that the act or object being vowed is either capable for the one vowing to fulfill, or he is incapable of fulfilling it. So if a person makes a vow that he himself will fly through the air, then this is not possible for him to do. So in this case he must make the expiation of a broken oath. However if he is capable of fulfilling the vow, then it is obligatory upon him to fulfill it. Then there remains the issue of whether the vow is in obedience or disobedience. So if he vows to pray or give charity, then it is obligatory for him to carry it out. However, if he vows for example to be smeared with filth or impurities (najaasah), or to take poison, then such a vow is not permissible. That is because being smeared in impurities and taking poison is not permissible. So it is not permitted to carry out such a vow because it is considered to be disobedience. Likewise is the case for the one who vows to sacrifice the camel belonging to someone else. This is to carry out a vow with something that he does not own. Or to vow that he will give the land belonging to someone else for purpose of building a Masjid. This again is to vow to carry out something that does not belong to him. So such a vow is not permitted to be fulfilled. This is because the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) said:

“It is not for the son of Aadam to make a vow regarding that which he does not own.”

[Reported by al-Bukhaaree.]

So is there upon the one who made such a vow an expiation (kaffaarah) or not? There is some differing amongst the scholars concerning this. What is apparent is that there is no expiation to be made. This is due to the fact that the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) did not mention that whilst he was forbidding the fulfillment of the vow in the case of disobedience and in the case of the one who does not own what he is vowing.

The reason for the hadeeth.

It has been narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh from `Imraan Ibn Husayn (radiyallaahu `anhu) who said: The people Thaqeef were the allies of Banee `Uqail. Thaqeef took captive two of the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam), so the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) took captive a man from Banee `Uqail. And along with him they caught al-`Adbaa’ (the camel). The Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) passed by him whilst he was in chains. He called out: “O Muhammad!” So he (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) can to him and said:

“What is the matter with you?”

He said: “Why did you capture me? And why did you capture the one that precedes the pilgrims (i.e. the camel)?” He said:

“I captured you because of the wrongdoing of your allies, the Thaqeef.”

Then the Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) turned away from him. Then the prisoner called out to him: “O Muhammad! O Muhammad!”

The Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) was merciful and kind, so he returned to him and said:

“What is the matter?”

He said: “I am a Muslim.” He (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) said:

“If you had said that when you were still in control of your affairs, you would have attained every success.”

Then the Messenger turned away, so the prisoner called him again: “O Muhammad! O Muhammad!” So he came back, and said:

“What is the matter?”

He said: “I am hungry, feed me. I am thirsty, give me a drink.” He said:

“These are your needs.”

So was ransomed for the two Companions.

Imraan Ibn Husayn said: A woman from the Ansaar was taken captive and the [camel] `Adbaa’ was captured, and the woman was put in chains. The people were letting their animals graze in front of their houses. She escaped from her chains one night and went to the camels. Every time she came near a camel it groaned, so she left it alone, until she came to al-`Adbaa’, which did not groan. She was a docile camel, so the woman climbed onto it and prodded her, and she moved off. They were alerted about her and they looked for her, but she got away from them. She vowed to Allaah that if Allaah saved her by means of the camel, she would sacrifice it. When she reached Madeenah, the people saw her and said: “Al-`Adbaa’! The she-camel of Allaah’s Messenger.” She said that she had vowed that if Allaah saved her by means of the she-camel, she would sacrifice it. They came to the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) and told him about that, and he said:

“Subhaanallaah! What a bad reward. She vowed to Allaah that if Allaah saved her by means of the she-camel, she would sacrifice her. Indeed, there is no fulfillment of a vow that involves sin, or a vow that involves something that a person does not own.” 

According to the narration of Ibn Hujr:

“There is no vow in that which involves disobedience to Allaah.”

[Reported by Muslim in Saheeh, Kitaab an-Nadhr, no. 1641.]

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