Q: What are the grounds in which a promise can be broken to someone?
Assalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,
الجواب و بالله التوفيق
A: Islam has given great importance to fulfilling one’s promise and has spoken against breaking one’s promise.
In one verse, the Holy Quran has stated:
(واوفوا بالعهد ان العهد كان مسؤولا (سورة بني اسرائيل
‘And fulfil your promise. Certainly you shall be questioned about this.’ (Bani Israel V.34).
The Quran has also mentioned that the true believers are those who fulfil their promises. Therefore, fulfilling one’s promise is an important duty upon a Muslim.
Failing to fulfil one’s promise and breaking it is sinful and reprehensible in Islam. The Prophet (S.A.S) has considered the breaking of one’s promise to be a sign of hypocrisy.
If however, one has made a promise to do something which is haram (unlawful), or has made a promise not to fulfil a compulsory duty or virtuous act, then in such cases, one must not fulfil one’s promise.
In a similar manner, if a person made a promise to do something and had the firm intention to fulfil it, but some obstacle came in his path which prevented him from fulfilling it, then not keeping one’s promise in this case will not be sinful.
Without any valid reason, it is not permissible to break one’s promise.
And Allah Knows Best.
Mufti Waseem Khan.