Sat 19 Jm2 1435 - 19 April 2014
105953

Is it acceptable to give used clothes as expiation for breaking a vow (kafaarat yameen)?

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In the case of expiation for breaking a vow, is it acceptable to give one hundred riyals to a charity instead of looking for people and feeding them? Is giving old clothes that a person has and that are surplus to his needs to the charity so that they can give them to the needy acceptable as clothing people for the expiation for breaking a vow?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly: 

The expiation for breaking a vow is explained in the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Allaah will not punish you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths; for its expiation (a deliberate oath) feed ten Masaakeen (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 Allaah makes clear to you His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) that you may be grateful”

[al-Maa'idah 5:89] 

It has been discussed in detail in the answer to question no. 45676

It is permissible to delegate someone to feed or clothe poor people, whether that is a charity or an individual whom you know, but you have to make sure that the one whom you delegate will not give it in the form of cash, but will give food to ten poor persons. 

It should be noted that what is required with regard to the expiation for breaking an oath, if it is to be given in the form of food, is to give the average type of food. It does not have to be the best type of food, and it is not permissible to give the least type, rather it should be of average quality, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “for its expiation (a deliberate oath) feed ten Masaakeen (poor persons), on a scale of the average of that with which you feed your own families” [al-Maa’idah 5:89]

In that case, setting it at 100 riyals is not accurate, because he may be rich, in which case the average food that he eats will be worth much more than that. Or he may be poor, in which case the average food that he eats will be worth less than that. Each person must give expiation in the form of his own average food, whether he is rich or poor. 

Secondly: 

The kind of clothing that is acceptable for the expiation for breaking an oath is that which is suitable for praying in, such as a thobe or an izaar (lower garment) and rida’ (upper garment). It is not stipulated that it should be new, so it is permissible to give old clothes so long as they have not become worn out and useless. 

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: It is permissible to give them old or new clothes, unless they are worn out and useless; that is not acceptable because it is faulty. End quote from al-Mughni (10/9).  

Al-‘Adawi said in his commentary on Sharh al-Risaalah (2/26): Is it essential that the clothes be new or not?  

It seems that this is not essential; rather if they are still in good condition then they are like new clothes. End quote. 

If you gave ten sets of clothing to a charity that would distribute them to the poor, then that is acceptable. 

And Allaah knows best.

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