What is the decree about an oath in which a person swears by saying, " May Allah make me die as an unbeliever if I do or not do this or that"?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

According to the Hanafi madhhab, such words form a sin beyond being an oath. However, they are also regarded as an oath.

Therefore, if a person swears an oath by saying, "I will be an unbeliever if I do this!", "I will be a Jew or a Christian!", "I will not be a servant of Allah and a member of the the ummah of the Prophet!" "May Allah make me die as an unbeliever!", the intention of that person is taken into account. If he uttered those statements just for the sake of an oath and to strengthen the claim of his faith, it would be an oath; he should pay atonement and also repent and ask for forgiveness.

However, if he uttered one of those statements with the belief that he would become an unbeliever, it would not be an oath. That person needs to renew his faith and his marriage - if he is married - with repentance and forgiveness. Besides, a Muslim who knows how the Prophet (pbuh) swore an oath avoids swearing such an inappropriate oath. (see al-Fiqhul-Islami, III/384; Celâl Yıldırım, İslam Fıkhı, III/157).

According to the other three madhhabs, those statements are not regarded as an oath and there is no atonement for them. On the contrary, uttering such statements is haram and sinful. God forbid, they have the risk of making a person exit the religion. Therefore, anyone who utters such statements must repent and ask for forgiveness. (al-Fiqhul-Islami, III/384, al-Majmu, XVIII/19-20)

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