Is swearing by other than Allah considered Shirk?

Q 1: What is the ruling on swearing by anyone or anything other than Allah? Is it Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) or not?


A1: Swearing by anyone or anything other than Allah, whether it is an angel, a prophet, a waliy (pious person) or any other creature, is forbidden. It is reported on the authority of Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) found (Part No. 1; Page No. 344)  `Umar ibn Al-Khattab amongst the riders and he was swearing by his father. Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) called them (saying): "Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) has forbidden you that you take oath by your father. Whoever wants to swear should swear by Allah or keep silent." Ibn 'Umar reported another narration where the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If anybody has to take an oath, he should swear only by Allah. The people of Quraysh used to swear by their fathers. The Prophet said: Do not swear by your fathers. (Related by Muslim and others). The Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade swearing by others than Allah. Prohibition means forbiddance. Moreover, it was reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) called it Shirk. `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: He who swears by anything other than Allah is committing an act of Shirk. (Related by Ahmad with an authentic Sanad "chain of narrators", and Al-Tirmidhy, who considered it to be Hasan "a Hadith whose chain of narration contains a narrator with weak exactitude, but is free from eccentricity or blemish", and Al-Hakim , who considered it to be a Sahih "a Hadith that has been transmitted by people known for their uprightness and exactitude; free from eccentricity and blemish"). It was reported on the authority of Ibn `Umar that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: He who swears by anyone other than Allah is a disbeliever or a Mushrik (one who associates others with Allah in worship). Scholars considered it to be Al-Shirk-ul-Asghar (minor form of associating others in worship with Allah) and said that this is a minor form of Al-Kufr Al-Akbar (major form of disbelief) that drives one away from Islam. Therefore, it is one of the most grievous major sins. Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "It would be better for me to falsely swear by Allah than to swear by anyone other than Allah." This is also backed up by what was reported by Abu Hurayrah (Part No. 1; Page No. 345) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Whoever amongst you swears, (mistakenly) in his oath 'By Al-Lat and Al-‘Uzza', then he should say, La ilaha illa Allah 'there is no deity but Allah'. And whoever says to his companions, 'Come let me gamble with you', then he must give something in charity (as an expiation for such a sin). (Related by Muslim and others). The Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded Muslims who swore by Al-Lat and Al-'Uzza to say La ilaha illa Allah. Swearing by anyone other than Allah contradicts the perfection of Tawhid (Oneness of Allah). Moreover, it also includes glorifying someone other than Allah with attributes that are due only to Allah as oaths. Some Hadiths that contain swearing by fathers were reported before that prohibition was revealed as it was used by Arabs in Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic time of ignorance).May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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