Someone made a firm intention to never commit a certain action again (depending on the circumstance, this action can be impermissible, makruh, permissible, or even rewarding – the person intended/spoke generally about it, and intended to never again do any version of it, not even rewarding).
The person did not intend to make any oath or vow, but they did verbalise their intention to Allah to never do it again by saying some vague words out loud.
They definitely DID say: ‘Ya Allah, I will leave it, I won’t do it again’.
(Note: I am not writing ‘it’ to be ambiguous, ‘it’ is exactly what they said.)
They definitely did NOT say: ‘By Allah’ or ‘I swear’ or ‘I vow’ or ‘I promise’.
However, despite their original intention, it was ultimately too hard on the person to abstain from the action altogether, and they ended up doing it again. The person thought they had been too hasty in deciding to abstain from all versions of the action, since it had beneficial and permissible versions. They inwardly resolved to just abstain from the impermissible versions.
However, they are now concerned that what they previously said out loud might have constituted as a vow, and would thus make even the permissible versions of the action now impermissible upon them.
1)Did what the person say out loud count as making a vow?
2)Did this vow break when they did the action again, or is it still binding upon them?
3)Do they need to pay any kaffarah?
May Allah be pleased with you,
According to the Shari’ah a verbalized intention, no matter how firm, does not become a binding oath unless accompanied by the words “I swear by Allah” or their equivalent. Since such words were not used in the above-mentioned case, the verbalization will not be considered an oath and no expiation will be due for contradicting it.
Apa Myra Hamid
Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel