Q: I was twelve or thirteen years old when I was in the first year of intermediate school. I was suffering from acute depression at that time. I started to renounce life as I despaired of recovery.
I made a vow that if Allah cured me from my illness, I would slaughter twenty camels.
Allah (Exalted be He) did cure me from my illness. Twelve years had passed (Part No. 23; Page No. 200) since I made the vow. When I talked to my father about it, he said that I did not have to fulfill my vow on account of my young age then. He also told me that he had a similar story. When he was young, he used to tend the sheep for his family. When a sheep was lost, he would make a vow to slaughter a camel if Allah (Exalted be He) brought it back to him. He would then wonder at this, saying:"I vowed to slaughter a camel though I only lost a sheep."Kindly tell me whether I am required to fulfill my vow or not. If I have to, what is the proper way to fulfill it? I would like to add that I did not specify the time or the way I would fulfill my vow. By the "way" I mean the place where I am supposed to slaughter at and the people to whom I have to distribute the meat and so on. May Allah guide us and you to that which pleases Him!
You are not required to fulfill the vow you had made if you were still under age. Signs of puberty can be identified by having coarse pubic hair grown, experiencing a sexual dream, or reaching fifteen years of age.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.