Ustadh Salman Younas is asked whether it is permissible to swear on the Qur’an in order to conceal a past sin one has repented.
Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.
It is not permissible to publicize one’s sins. I have committed a sin in that past from which I have repented. What should I do if I were confronted about this sin and made to swear an oath on the Qur’an?
Is it permissible to take this oath in order to protect myself and my future?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.
The general rule is that it is necessary to conceal one’s sins and repent. In a report related by Abu Hurayra, the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, stated that all members of his community would be forgiven save those who publicize their sins. (Bukhari, Muslim)
Based on this, scholars have stated that it would be permitted to lie when a person is confronted about their sins, though it is superior to utilize misleading words rather than engage in an actual lie. (Al-Saffarini, Sharh al-Manzuma; Al-Nahlawi, al-Durar al-Mubaha)
If one is forced to take an oath in regard to one’s sins, it would follow the same ruling mentioned above. Thus, one would be allowed to express the oath in a way that conceals one’s sin, such as by intending something other than the apparent and literal meaning of the words of one’s oath. For example, stating “I swear I did not lie” but intending by it not lying to a specific person.
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.