Q 1: If a person
offers food for the poor in fulfillment of his vow, is it permissible for him to eat from that food?
The basic ruling is that if the thing that is offered in fulfillment of a vow is permissible, it should be spent on the channels specified by the person who made the vow. If he did not specify a channel, it should be considered as Sadaqah (voluntary charity) that is to be spent on the poor and needy. As for the ruling on eating from the food offered in fulfillment of a vow, it depends on the custom followed in the country of the person who makes the vow. If the custom accepts that a person who offers food in fulfillment of a vow eats from it, it will be permissible for him to eat from that food. Also, intention is another factor that allows the person who offers food in fulfillment of a vow to eat from it, if he intends to eat from it when making the vow. Both the custom and intention make it permissible for the person to eat from the food he offers in fulfillment of a vow, (Part No. 23; Page No. 391) but the food he eats is not considered part of the food offered in fulfillment of the vow. The Committee has issued a Fatwa on this issue, which reads as follows:Whatever is offered in fulfillment of a vow of obedience should be spent on the channel specified by the person who made the vow, within the limits of the sanctified Shari`ah (Islamic law). If he intends to offer the food for the poor, it will not be permissible for him to eat from it; and if he intends to offer it for his family or friends, it will be permissible for him to eat from it because he is considered one of them. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Actions depend upon intentions, and every person shall only have that which he intended.
The same applies if the person stipulates this in the vow or it conforms with the customs followed in his country.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions.