Hadith no. 2757 (below) is a repeat. Read it here.
Volume 4, Book 53, Number 360 :
Narrated by Marwan bin Al-Hakim and Miswar bin Makhrama (radiallaahu `anhumaa)
When the Hawazin delegation came to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) after they had embraced Islam and requested him to return their properties and war prisoners to them, Allah’s Apostle said, “To me the best talk is the truest, so you may choose either of two things; the war prisoners or the wealth, for I have delayed their distribution.” Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) had waited for them for over ten days when he returned from Ta’if. So, when those people came to know that Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was not going to return to them except one of the two things the said, “We choose our war Prisoners ‘Allah’s Apostle stood up amongst the Muslims, and after glorifying Allah as He deserved, he said, “Now then, these brothers of yours have come to us with repentance, and I see it logical that I should return their captives to them, so whoever of you likes to do that as a favor then he can do it, and whoever amongst you likes to stick to his share, let him give up his prisoners and we will compensate him from the very first Fai’ (i.e. war booty received without fight) which Allah will give us.” On that, all the people said. ‘O Allah’s Apostle! We have agreed willingly to do so (return the captives)” Then Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said to them “I do not know who amongst you has agreed to this and who has not. You should return and let your leaders inform me of your agreement.” The people returned and their leaders spoke to them, and then came to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and said, “All the people have agreed willingly to do so and have given the permission to return the war prisoners (without Compensation)” (Az-Zuhri, the sub-narrator states) This is what has been related to us about the captives of Hawazin.
Volume 4, Book 53, Number 361 :
Narrated by Zahdam
Once we were in the house of Abu Musa (radiallaahu `anhu) who presented a meal containing cooked chicken. A man from the tribe of Bani Taim Allah with red complexion as if he were from the Byzantine war prisoners, was present. Abu Musa (radiallaahu `anhu) invited him to share the meal but he (apologised) saying. “I saw chickens eating dirty things and so I have had a strong aversion to eating them, and have taken an oath that I will not eat chickens.” Abu Musa (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “Come along, I will tell you about this matter (i.e. how to cancel one’s oat ). I went to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) in the company of a group of Al-Ashariyin, asked him to provide us with means of conveyance. He said, ‘By Allah, I will not provide you with any means of conveyance and I have nothing to make you ride on.’ Then some camels as booty were brought to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and he asked for us saying. ‘Where are the group of Al-Ash’ariyun?’ Then he ordered that we should be given five camels with white humps. When we set out we said, ‘What have we done? We will never be blessed (with what we have been given).’ So, we returned to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and said, ‘We asked you to provide us with means of conveyance, but you took an oath that you would not provide us with any means of conveyance. Did you forget (your oath when you gave us the camels)? He replied. ‘I have not provided you with means of conveyance, but Allah has provided you with it, and by Allah, Allah willing, if ever I take an oath to do something, and later on I find that it is more beneficial to do something different, I will do the thing which is better, and give expiation for my oath.”
Read this hadith in Arabic here.
We’ve had a couple of posts based on oaths and vows before, discussing their types and rulings etc. But I wanted to do this hadith in a separate post since I, personally, can relate to this very well. About 5 years ago, I also decided not to eat chicken because of their unnatural feed and lifestyle in general. I don’t remember exactly how long I stayed away from eating it, but it was definitely more than 6-7 months. My friends had to include non-chicken dishes in their menu if I was on the guest list. Yup, it was that bad! Anyhow, when I broke my ‘vow’, I simply just ate chicken.. I did not offer any expiation for it because there was no need. When you take an oath to not do something and find out later that doing something else is more beneficial, you simply choose to do the latter, according to the above statement of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam).
So what was my ‘more beneficial something’? Go to town on KFC? (Ew!) Actually, it’s more to do with supporting local and organic chicken. Seriously, if you were to see the size of chickens available in the market (at least in Canada!) today, you would not be able to differentiate it from a turkey! La hawla wala quwwata illaa billah! I mean, what DO they feed them?!
What’s your take on this?
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 138 :
Narrated by Anas (radiallaahu `anhu)
I was in the company of Jarir bin ‘Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu) on a journey and he used to serve me though he was older than I. Jarir (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “I saw the Ansar doing a thing (i.e. showing great reverence to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)) for which I have vowed that whenever I meet any of them, I will serve him.”
When we talk about respect, there are certain norms in the society, for example, things like age, rank and status earn you respect. So the older a person is, the more his respect, and the higher one’s position is, the more he’s looked up to. Part of this respect is to be of service to such people. If your grandparents are visiting, you do their chores, your superior needs help with something, you do it before he has to ask, and the like. But what if roles were reversed? Elders serving the younger ones.. how awkward would that be? It was awkward for Anas (radiallaahu `anhu) that’s why he mentioned the age part. But Jarir (radiallaahu `anhu) was doing it because of his oath, for he felt no shame in serving a younger one, in bringing him water to drink or helping him make wudu by pouring water for him etc. To him, Ansaar were all the same.
I’m trying to think if I consider it beneath me to serve younger people or not. What about you?
Volume 3, Book 33, Number 248:
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu):
Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) asked the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) “I vowed in the Pre-lslamic period of ignorance to stay in Itikaf for one night in Al-Masjid al-Haram.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said to him, “Fulfill your vow.”
There are three main types of I`tikaaf:
- WAJIB: To vow or pledge to make I’tikaaf (on a fixed day) for the sake of Allah upon the fulfilment of some wish or desire.
- SUNNAT-MUAKKADAH: To reside the last ten nights and days of Ramadhan in the Masjid is Sunnat-Muakkadah, i.e. If a person from the community fulfills the obligation of I’tikaaf, the entire community will be absolved of this sacred duty. Otherwise all the residents will be sinful of neglecting this Sunnah.
- MUSTAHAB OR NAFL: This I’tikaaf can be for any amount of time, even for a few minutes.
Volume 3, Book 31, Number 204:
Narrated Mutarrif from ‘Imran Ibn Husain (radiallaahu `anhu):
That the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) asked him (Imran) or asked a man and Imran was listening, “O Abu so-and-so! Have you fasted the last days of this month?” (The narrator thought that he said, “the month of Ramadan”). The man replied, “No, O Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)!” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said to him, “When you finish your fasting (of Ramadan) fast two days (in Shawwal).” Through another series of narrators ‘Imran said, “The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, ‘(Have you fasted) the last days of Sha’ban?”
I had to wait long to understand this Hadith. Confusing really, but not anymore Alhamdulillah.
In this Hadith, Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) is asking the man why he didn’t keep the two fasts in the last days of Sha`baan, and telling him to make up for them once Ramadaan is over. Going through the issue of fasting in Sha`baan, we learnt that fasting in its second half is not allowed unless a person has a habit of fasting throughout the year, or he started fasting in the first half of Sha`baan to continue in the second half as well, or he’s making up missed fasts (fard).
So in the commentary of this Hadith, 3 scenarios have been given of which 2 are more stronger and more correct inshaAllah, and I’ll mention them here:
- The man had vowed to fast the last two days of Sha`baan for whatever reason. (A vow to fast any day will make that fast obligatory, except Eid.)
So Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) asked him to make up for them.
- The man had a habit of fasting, so he could have continued in the last half of Sha`baan. He was asked to make up for those two days in order to encourage him to keep his practice.
Alhamdulillah for clarity. Feels so good. <3
Hadith no. 1582 (below) is a repeat. Read it here.
Volume 3, Book 29, Number 87:
Narrated Qaza’a, the slave of Ziyad:
Abu Said (radiallaahu `anhu) who participated in twelve Ghazawat with the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “I heard four things from Allah’s Apostle (or I narrate them from the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)) which won my admiration and appreciation. They are:
1. “No lady should travel without her husband or without a Dhu-Mahram for a two-days’ journey.
2. No fasting is permissible on two days of ‘Id-al-Fitr, and ‘Id-al-Adha.
3. No prayer (may be offered) after two prayers: after the ‘Asr prayer till the sun set and after the morning prayer till the sun rises.
4. Not to travel (for visiting) except for three mosques: Masjid-al-Haram (in Mecca), my Mosque (in Medina), and Masjid-al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem).”
Volume 3, Book 29, Number 88:
Narrated Anas (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saw an old man walking, supported by his two sons, and asked about him. The people informed him that he had vowed to go on foot (to the Ka’ba). He said, “Allah is not in need of this old man’s torturing himself,” and ordered him to ride.
Volume 3, Book 29, Number 89:
Narrated ‘Uqba bin ‘Amir (radiallaahu `anhu):
My sister vowed to go on foot to the Ka’ba, and she asked me to take the verdict of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) about it. So, I did and the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “She should walk and also should ride.”
Volume 3, Book 29, Number 90:
Narrated Abu-l-Khair from ‘Uqba (radiallaahu `anhu) as above.
I’ve had to do a detailed study on this matter. Bear with me till the end please. I hope I’m able to make the reader understand the concept fully inshaAllah.
Vows are of two types:
- Conditional vows, in which the vow is dependent upon something happening, as when a person says, “If Allaah heals me, I will give such and such in charity, or I will fast such and such a number of days,” and so on.
- Unconditional vows (which are not connected to anything), such as saying, “I will fast such and such a number of days for Allaah.”
Both types of vows must be fulfilled, if what is vowed is to do an act of worship. (Because if it’s not, it’s impermissible to do it anyway.)
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
Whoever vows to obey Allaah, let him obey Him, and whoever vows to disobey Him let him not disobey Him.
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6696.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) condemned those who made vows but did not fulfill them. Muslim (2535) narrated from ‘Imraan ibn Husayn that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
The best of you are my generation, then those who follow them, then those who follow them, then those who follow them.
‘Imraan said: I do not know whether the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “and those who follow them” two times or three.
Then after them will come people who will bear witness without being asked to do so, who will betray and not be trustworthy, who will make vows but not fulfill them, and fatness will appear among them.
One must do everything in his capacity to fulfill his vow. If he falls short, he has to offer kaffaarah as mentioned in Surah al-Maa’idah:
“Allaah will not punish you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths; for its expiation (a deliberate oath) feed ten Masaakeen (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 Allaah makes clear to you His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) that you may be grateful.
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:
Whoever swears an oath then sees that something else is better than it, let him do that and offer expiation for his oath.
Narrated by Muslim, 1650
Exception/Difference of Opinion
The scholars have differed on this: if the vow entails extreme unnecessary hardship, should it still be fulfilled? The sound and more correct opinion is that it’s better to break that vow. And no expiation is to be offered for breaking (only) this kind of vow as the narrations above indicate. Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) did not order that man to offer any expiation. He was only asked to break his vow since it was bringing unnecessary hardship.