Swearing by other than Allah

Q: Some Muslims swear by the Prophet, by a person's life, or by their loved ones, along with swearing by Allah - we seek refuge in Allah from this. What is the reason for the spread of this phenomenon? Is it because of the people's ignorance of its seriousness, or due to their customs and traditions? Are there any other reasons? What is the role of the media in enlightening the people regarding this matter? What is the role of the Du`ah (callers to Islam) (Part No. 1; Page No. 135) in raising people's awareness as regards this phenomenon?

A: It is not permissible to swear except by Allah (Exalted be He) or by one of His Attributes, because swearing by other than Allah is Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship). The Prophet (peace be upon him) stated, Anyone who swears by anyone but Allah has committed Shirk. He (peace be upon him) also stated, Anyone who has to take an oath should swear by Allah or remain silent. Also, swearing is an act of glorifying what is sworn by and such glorification should be given only to Allah (Exalted be He). Thus, it is not permissible to swear by other than Allah, which includes the Prophet or any other creature. Likewise, it is not permissible to swear by any creature along with Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He), such as by saying, "By Allah and the Prophet, I did not do such and such." Muslim scholars in general, and Du`ah in particular, are required to warn Muslims against this and explain (the truth) to them so that they will be aware of what they are doing. They should warn people against these pre-Islamic customs and this blind imitation of parents. Similarly, mass media should turn the people's attention to this and warn them against such customs, by publishing the scholars' explanation of `Aqidah (creed) and Islamic issues and their warnings against Shirk and acts of disobedience.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.