Making a False Oath

Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America, states: “Making a false oath in the name of Allah or by placing the hand on the Qur’an is a major sin. Allah says in the Qur’an, “Allah will not hold you accountable for that which is unintentional in your oaths, but He will hold you accountable for your deliberate oaths. The expiation of such oath is feeding of ten poor persons on a scale of the average for the food of your families; or clothe them; or give a slave his freedom. If it is beyond your means, fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths you have sworn. Guard your oaths. Thus Allah does make clear to you His signs, that you may be grateful.” (Al-Ma’idah: 89)
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) warned Muslims from the terrible consequences of making false oaths. The person who deliberately makes a false oath should repent and ask Allah’s forgiveness. He should also make the kaffarah (expiation) that is given in the Qur’anic verse mentioned above. Either feed ten poor people by giving them a day’s meal of the same standard as one eats himself. If one cannot afford it, then one should observe fasting for three days.
One must not take a false oath lightly because someone is putting pressure. However an oath taken under compulsion is not a deliberate oath and its sin will be on the person who forced the oath taker.”