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Law of Breaking Promises In Islam – Brief Explanation

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The promise is a binding remark about yourself to what is said. The proverb says “promise is a debt and debt must be paid”.


It means that promise is a word to be fulfilled, therefore we are forbidden to sell promises that can not be endured. Islam sees that the obligation to fulfill the promise is an absolute matter. As affirmed in a hadith :

The signs of the hypocrites are three: if speak they lie, if promise they deny and if given a mandate they are treacherous. “(H.R.Muslim).

This means that the how of the importance of the matter keeps this promise, so that a hadith explains that those who do not keep their promises are among the hypocrites. In the letter of An Nisa verse 145, Allah says,

Indeed, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire – and never will you find for them a helper –

Naudzubillah min Dzalik, may we be kept away from things that can drag us to the hypocrites. Allah SWT The Word of Allah SWT in Surah An-Nahl verses 91-92 states the obligation to fulfill the promise and prohibition of broken promise in Islam which reads as follows:

And fulfill the covenant of Allah when you have taken it, [O believers], and do not break oaths after their confirmation while you have made Allah, over you, a witness. Indeed, Allah knows what you do.


And do not be like she who untwisted her spun thread after it was strong [by] taking your oaths as [means of] deceit between you because one community is more plentiful [in number of wealth] than another community. Allah only tries you thereby. And He will surely make clear to you on the Day of Resurrection that over which you used to differ” (Q.S An-Nahl 91-92)

The Law Breaking Promises In Islam

The promised law is a mubah, while the law of keeping promises is obligatory as to debt in Islam, thus breaking promises means a prohibition as showing off in Islamic and tattooed laws in Islam. As Allah says :

O you who have believed, fulfill [all] contracts.” (QS: Al-Maaida: 1)

More firmly described in the Word of God Surat Al-Isra verse 34 follows:

And do not approach the property of an orphan, except in the way that is best, until he reaches maturity. And fulfill [every] commitment. Indeed, the commitment is ever [that about which one will be] questioned.” (Q.S. Al Israa : 34)

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Ibn ‘Abbas, mujahid and some other scholars said: “The meaning of the contract is the covenant.” Ibnu Jarir also tells the existence of ijma’ about it. He says,

Covenants are what they agree on, in the form of an oath or something else.”

Ali ibn Abi Thalhah said from Ibnu ‘Abbas,

The meaning of the covenant is anything that is justified and forbidden by Allah, who is be supposed, and what Allah decrees in the Qur’an as a whole, then you do not betray and break them.”

However, sometimes people are underestimated about keeping promises and most of them deny and never even keep the promises made as well as including the law of hurting women in Islam.(Read Importance of Keeping Promise in Islam)

In this case, actually there are some laws of breaking promises in Islam, but must meet the stipulated requirements. Here are 7 laws breaking promises in Islam, see more.

  1. It is allowed not to be fulfilled or have to not fulfilled

As human nature is very close to disgraceful acts. Sometimes spontaneously we can make a promise that can lead to the disgraceful thing.

Such as a promise to cheat on exam, invite someone to the club or the discotheque and things that relates to disobedience. In this case the law of promises is permissible to be fulfilled. This is based on the syara ‘principle:

Anything that leads to the haram, then the law is forbidden.”

2. Sunnah Not to Fulfill It

The second law is the Sunnah not to fulfill it. In this case as an example you promise if you passes colleg  then you will look for part time work. But it turns out that you do not qualify for passing college, so you have to change your initial plan and choose to work full time. (Read Rights of Workers in Islam)

Because of that, the consequence is that you have to pay kifarat and that promise which is by doing kifarat fasting that are done 3 days respectively. Rasulullah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said :

By Allah, verily God willing, I will not swear an oath, then I see the other better than him but I will choose the better and I pay for his kafarat – in a narrated account – and I pay for the kafarat of my oath

3. The Sunnah Completes it

The next law of breaking the promise is that the sunnah to fulfil it or may it may be left. In this case, the promise that is uttered by is not characterized and related to the provisions of religion. Suppose you promised not to smoke anymore. So as a consequence is you can leave that habit. (Read How to Give Up Smoking in Islam)

4. In condition that body is not able to fulfil promise

The next law of breaking promise is permissible when in a state of illness. However, the pain referred here is a pain that makes us lie limp and unable to wake up. So in that condition we are not able to get up to be able to fulfil the promise that was spoken before.

5. Suddenly Missing Sense

The next condition is suddenly lost sense, like fainting or insane. Surely in this condition the law of breaking promises is allowed not to be fulfilled. So in this condition, the promise that has ever been uttered has no obligation to be executed or to be fulfilled.

You may also read : Bad Impact of Debt in Islam

6. Constrained by Extreme Weather

The law breaking promise is allowed due to weather constraints. In this case, extreme weather such as heavy rain and strong winds can cause a big risks if we drive.

So in this case you can break the promise that has been said earlier. For example at that time you promise to meet with the client then in that impossible condition you can break it.

7. Suddenly There is a Relative Who Sick or Died

One more law that allows breaking a promise is when suddenly there is shocking news where relatives get sick or die. So in this case, you can cancel the promise that has been made.

This condition would require you to visit or visit the house of grief. So of course you can break the promise you have made before. (read Law of taking care non mahram who is sick)

If not in the above conditions, then cancel the agreement or promise is not allowed. Due to cancel or break it can hurt other people so that it can tyrannize others.

and Allah does not like the wrongdoers” (QS. Aal-i-Imraan: 57).

Those are 7 laws of breaking  promises in Islam. Surely Allah SWT does not burden something that is beyond the ability of his people.

However, do not let the above things to be made up so it can be made an excuse to break the promise. Indeed, breaking a promise is a dangerous thing as to the danger of lying and its laws in Islam and the dangers of making debt in Islam. (read Law of Not Paying Debt in Islam)

Hopefully this article can be useful.

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Kategori : Islamic Law