What is the Kaffarah (expiation)

Q: I have an elderly paternal aunt who receives an income from social security. This year she gave me a sum of two hundred riyals, but I swore not to take the money. Throwing the money at me, she declared that the money is as unlawful to her as it is unlawful for her to marry her father or her mother. (Part No. 23; Page No. 175) What is the solution, respected Sheikh, knowing that the money is still saved in a wardrobe? I refuse to put it in my pocket and my aunt refuses to take it back as she thinks that it is no longer lawful for her to take. I too think that the money is no longer lawful for me to take. I have forbidden myself to take it out of mercy to my old aunt who is in need of it. She is poor and she herself deserves charity. On the other hand, I am a well-off person and I receive a good salary from the government. Is it permissible for me to repay the debt of my aunt without her knowing of it or should I give it in charity to the poor and the needy while holding the intention to credit the reward either for her or for me? May Allah grant you reward and guide your steps!

A: If the case is as you mentioned, making the money unlawful for you or for your aunt will be considered a form of an unfulfilled oath. So, you must offer Kaffarah (expiation) for breaking your oath and then you will be allowed to take the money. The Kaffarah involves feeding ten needy people or clothing them, or freeing a believing bondsman. If none of these is affordable, you are to fast three days.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.