Oaths – right & wrong, intentional & unintentional
Surah ‘Al-Baqarah (The Cow) – Chapter – 2)
Stage – 1, Verses – 224 & 225 of 286, Section – 28 of 40 (Part - 2)
In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
224. And make not Allah, by your oaths, a hindrance to your being righteous and observing your duty unto Him and making peace among mankind. And Allah is Hearer, Knower.
224. Wa laa taj-‘alUllaaha ‘urzatal-li-‘ay-maanikum ‘an-tabarruu wa tattaquu wa tus-lihuu bay-nan-naas. WAllaahu Samii-‘un ‘Aliim.
‘Urzatan – (aim), this word is used for hindrance and shield/target also. Here it means hindrance only.
Samii-‘un – (Hearer), God Almighty hears the entire speeches of the human being as well as every creature. So, the mankind should think before speak in every matter.
‘Aliimun – (Knower), Allah Almighty Knows better the states and conditions of the human. Therefore, he should keep purity and sincerity in his intention every time.
Tabarruu – (treat with kind), this word has been derived from the word Barr, which means goodness.
Whenever the people displeased from any other, they used to make God Almighty, by their oaths that they would neither go toward him nor speak with him and nor try to make a truce between them with whom he has quarreled, even that; if the displeasure had been among the close relatives, and then these oaths used to become pretence for leaving many good deeds. At the very time if anybody used to say, “Why did you leave to do these acts?” they used to feign that they had made the oath for this action.
Even, it was worse to leave the good deeds also, what it had become bad that using the name of Allah Almighty, the Great, they used to grow the situation of being saved from the good deeds. This verse is signifying towards this matter and it is being commanded that “don’t do so in future and if anybody has sworn already then it is sufficient to break that oath and expiate. The scholars have disliked often swearing in abundance also and without any necessity, because, due to this reason; the name of Allah Almighty is devalued, and it is also not good to call the name of God Almighty for the bad deeds.
Allah Almighty is The Great, Glorious and Owner of the entire universe. His Name is also Grandeur and Great. It is very bad to make witness to so much High and Excelled Name upon any bad deed. Then it is worst to use His name for defense for not doing the good acts. Allah Almighty doesn’t prevent from good actions, so, this excuse is quite meaningless. The name of God Almighty should never be used for oath for the likewise deeds, and if any individual has already sworn erroneously; then he should break it and expiate.
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225. Allah will not take you to task for that which is unintentional in your oaths. But He will take you to task for that which your hearts have garnered. And Allah is Forgiving, Clement.
225. Laa yu-‘aakhizu-kumUllaahu bil-lagwi fiii ‘ay-maani-kum wa laakiny-yu-‘aakhizu-kum- bimaa kasabat quluubu-kum. WAllaahu Gafuurun Haliim.
Bil-lagwi fiii ‘ay-maani-kum – (your unintentional oaths), false oaths means; the oaths which are spoken either unintentional due to ignorance or those slip from the tongue only due to malice, and adulteration of a lie enters into them without intention. Learned men have told that there are many kinds of false oaths. Their relation may be also with past events as well as with the habit that a person uses to swear without reason, swear in every affair. The scholars have strongly disapproved this act.
Gafuurun – (Forgiving), Allah Almighty is Great Forgiving. Due to His such Dignity; He forgave the punishment against the false oaths like these.
Haliim – (Clement), it also means Mild, Patient and Merciful. God Almighty is Great Clement. Taking His Position into account; He doesn’t punish for false oaths too. Moreover, He postpones the punishment so that the mankind may get chance of repentance.
It was stated in the verse 224, “And make not Allah, by your oaths, a hindrance to your being righteous and observing your duty unto Him and making peace among mankind”. These kinds of oaths haven’t any value. For example; if someone says, “By God I shall never go to the mosque for prayer”. It is a false oath because Allah Almighty commands to offer prayers in the mosque. And this fellow is using His name refraining from this act.
Now it is being commanded in this verse, “that oath is reliable which is sworn wholeheartedly”, not that which is sworn habitual or false and emphasizing it.
Unintentional oaths are pardonable. The aim is that he should expiate against the broken oaths and should abstain from the false oaths like these in future. Islam doesn’t like this type of childishness and lowness.