Swore to Not Speak to Wife; What Do I Do?

27 September, 2020
Q As-Salamu alaykum. I told my wife that I swear on Allah that I will never talk you again. What can I do now?

Answer

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

1- You should reconcile with your wife and start talking with her.

2- You may also do well to learn how to manage your anger and strengthen your marriage.

3- You should seek repentance and resolve never to repeat the same.

4- According to Imam Abu Hanifah, you should feed ten poor persons; if you are unable to do so, you should fast three days by way of expiation.


In responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

You need to ask forgiveness of Allah and resume talking to your wife. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever swears by Allah to obey Allah let him fulfill it; however if he vows to disobey he should never through it.” (Abu Dawud)

While most scholars are of the view that a person who has made a sinful oath should seek repentance and resolve never to repeat the same. That is all that is required of him or her. However, Imam Abu Hanifah is of the view that one ought to offer kaffarah by way of expiation.

Allah states in the Quran:

{Allah will not take you to task for that which is unintentional in your oaths, but He will take you to task for the oaths which you swear in earnest. The expiation thereof is the feeding of ten of the needy with the average of that wherewith ye feed your own folk, or the clothing of them, or the liberation of a slave, and for him who finds not (the wherewithal to do so) then a three day fast. This is the expiation of your oaths when you have sworn, and keep your oaths. Thus Allah expounds unto you His revelations in order that you may give thanks.} (Al-Maidah 5:89)

Therefore, according to Imam Abu Hanifah, you should feed ten poor persons; if you are unable to do so, you should fast three days by way of expiation. This is on top of seeking sincere repentance for your violation.

In conclusion, I would urge to reconcile with your wife and start talking with her. However, you may also do well to learn how to manage your anger and strengthen your marriage. Here is a book which I urge both of you to study and apply its lessons: Blissful Marriage: A Practical Islamic Guide by Dr. Ekram Beshir.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.