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11163: He wants to give up smoking; can he swear an oath concerning himself?

Is it permissible for a smoker to swear by Allaah that he will not smoke, and say “May the curse of Allaah be on me if I go back to smoking”? Because he cannot find any other means of making himself give it up. Or is this wrongful speech? 

Published Date: 2000-08-04

Praise be to Allaah. 

We put this question to Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, may Allaah preserve him, who answered as follows:

  He should not swear an oath to give up smoking, or pray for himself to be cursed. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“They swear by Allaah their strongest oaths, that if only you would order them, they would leave (their homes for fighting in Allaah’s Cause). Say: ‘Swear you not; (this) obedience (of yours) is known (to be false). Verily, Allaah knows well what you do.’” [al-Noor 24:53]

  Question: But this [aayah] has to do with the munaafiqeen (hypocrites), and our friend is sincere.

  Answer: This [ayah] is general [in meaning]. Every person who wants to worship Allaah should not swear an oath concerning his worship; let him strive of his own free will, not under compulsion.

  Question: so this way is wrong and he will be sinning if he does it?

  Answer: No, what is denounceable is the fact that he is trying to confirm something through this oath.

  Question: So we can say that this is an action which is not prescribed in Islam?

  Answer: Yes, undoubtedly. And Allaah knows best.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen
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