Q: Firstly, when I was seventeen years old, I was shepherding camels and lost one of them. I said, "O Allah, if I ever find my camel, I will never commit Zina (premarital sexual intercourse)." After a while, Allah (Glorified be He) willed for me to find the camel, but Satan and lust obsessed me (Part No. 23; Page No. 66) and I began looking for a woman who would agree to commit Zina with me. Allah (Glorified be He) did not ease that matter for me although I was really intending to commit Zina and tried hard to gratify my lust but in vain. I later regretted this, repented to Allah, and stopped trying to gratify my lust. I have been keeping to my repentance ever since.Secondly, I heard that
the Kaffarah (expiation) for an oath is to feed ten Miskins (needy persons).
Some people say that it is to feed sixty Miskins. Which opinion is the correct one? How can I find this number of Miskins and be certain that they are really in need? Is it a condition to know that they observe offering Salah (Prayer) or it is enough to decide by their outer appearances? Is it permissible to feed a number of needy animals and birds instead?
Firstly, if the reality is as you have mentioned, that you took an oath of not committing Zina but you intended and tried to commit it and could not, you will not be required to offer a Kaffarah for the oath.Secondly, the Kaffarah for an oath is to feed ten Miskins from the average food you provide for your family, or give them five Sa`s (1 Sa` = 2.172 kg) of wheat, dates, rice, or the food you provide for your family; so that each one of the ten Miskins would be given half a Sa`. Other options are to clothe ten Miskins or free a believing slave. If you are unable to do so, (Part No. 23; Page No. 67) you must observe Sawm (Fast) for three days and it is preferable to be consecutive, because Allah (Exalted be He) says,
Allâh will not punish you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths; for its expiation feed ten Masâkîn (poor persons), on a scale of the average of that with which you feed your own families, or clothe them or manumit a slave. But whosoever cannot afford (that), then he should fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths when you have sworn. And protect your oaths (i.e. do not swear much). Thus Allâh make clear to you His Ayât (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) that you may be grateful.
should exert yourself in finding the Miskins by examining their circumstances and outer appearances in addition to cooperating with your relatives, friends, and neighbors to know them. Moreover, they should be observing the Five Obligatory Daily Prayers at their due times. It is not sufficient to offer a Kaffarah by feeding animals or birds.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.