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As-salaamu 'alaykum I've got a question. If a child breaks an oath can their parents pay kaffarah for them?

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  • Do you mean break an oath?, and it also depends whether the child is baligh or not.
    – AbduRahman
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 3:47
  • @AbduRahman what if the children are baligh? Can parents pay for them or on their behalf?
    – mnm
    Commented Mar 5, 2023 at 1:52

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There are two types of oaths; binding oaths and idle oath

Binding oath

When you swore the oath you meant to swear an oath, in whole or in part, i.e., you meant to swear a binding oath. In this case you have to offer kafaarat yameen. A binding oath is one which a person swears concerning something in the future, that he will do something or not do something.

If all or some of your oaths were binding, then you have to offer kafaarat yameen. As Allah says:

...He will impose blame upon you for [breaking] what you intended of oaths...[al-Maa’idah 5:89]

Does one have to offer it once or several times? That depends on the content of the oath. If all your oaths had to do with the same thing, then you have to offer expiation only once. But if you swore oaths concerning a number of things, such as saying, “By Allaah, I will not eat today” and “By Allaah, I will not drink today” and “By Allaah, I will not travel today”, then you have to offer expiation for each of these things if you did it. If you ate and drank and travelled then you have to offer three expiations. If you swore one oath concerning a number of things, such as if you said, “By Allaah, I will not eat or drink or travel,” then you have to offer expiation once for doing one or all of these things. (op. cit., p. 266).*

Idle oath

When you swore the oath you did not mean to swear an oath as such. This comes under the heading of idle oaths. The scholars differed as to the precise definition of idle oaths (laghw al-yameen). The most correct view is that the idle oath includes the following:

  1. That which the speaker utters unintentionally, such as when a man says, “No, by Allaah, I will never go” or “Yes, by Allaah, I will go.” This is the view of the Shaafa’is and Hanbalis.

  2. When a person utters an oath thinking that he is speaking the truth, then he realizes that it was not true. This is the view of the Hanbalis.

  3. Where the one who swears the oath thinks that the one concerning whom it is sworn will not go against him, then he does go against him. By the same token a person does not break his oath if he swore that another person would do something by way of honouring him, not by way of compelling him. He said: Because it is like a command; a command is not binding if it is understood to be by way of honouring, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded Abu Bakr to stand in the row but he did not stand. See Majmoo’at al-Rasaa’il al-Fiqhiyyah by Shaykh Khaalid al-Mushayqih, p. 234.

But if all or some of your oaths were idle oaths, then the majority of scholars have stated that no expiation is required for breaking an idle oath, because Allaah says:

Allah will not call you to account for that which is unintentional in your oaths. [al-Baqarah 2:225]


Expiation of Binding Oath

If someone breaks a binding oath, they must pay Kaffarah, which can be payed by

  • Feeding ten poor people
  • Dress up to them(poor persons)
  • Releasing a slave
  • Fasting three days (Only_if_you_are_incapable_of_above_three_options)
  • Giving Money (Hanafi_fiqh)

As Allah says

... He will impose blame upon you for [breaking] what you intended of oaths. So its expiation is the feeding of ten needy people from the average of that which you feed your [own] families or clothing them or the freeing of a slave. But whoever cannot find [or afford it] - then a fast of three days [is required]. That is the expiation for oaths when you have sworn. But guard your oaths. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be grateful. [al-Maa’idah 5:89].

Amount of food for feeding ten poor people

With regard to feeding a needy or poor person, it is sufficient to give a mudd of rice and the like, according to the majority of scholars. That is equivalent to approximately 750 grams. The Hanbalis differentiated between wheat and other foodstuffs; one mudd is sufficient in the case of wheat, but with regard to foodstuffs other than wheat, it is essential to give half a saa, which is approximately one and a half kilograms(3.24/2=1.67). Please search half a saa for more infomation.

Quality of Clothes for Ten Poor People

So, it is permissible for you to take ten items of clothing and give them to reliable associations or individuals so that they take charge of distributing them among the poor and needy, with each person being given one piece of apparel. A man should be given apparel that is appropriate to be worn during the prayer, and a woman should be given apparel that covers her entire body. The trousers here are not enough, according to the majority of scholars apart from the Shaafi‘i scholars, for they are not usually regarded as complete pieces of apparel.


Can parents pay kaffarah for their children for breaking an oath ?

There is no kaffarah on non-baligh children, neither are their parents obligated to pay kaffarah on behalf of their baligh-children, Kaffara-yameen can be paid by any adult Muslim. If you want to pay Kaffarh yameen on behalf of someone, you can do that.

Although If you swear an oath to your children or anyone else with the aim that they should do something or do not do something, and they go against your wishes, then you have to offer expiation for breaking an oath (kafaarat yameen). The sin of breaking of the oaths is upon you.

It is always better to ask a mufti, fatwa_sites and the like for these types of questions.


References:

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