Muhammad in the Quran, Vol. 3: Chapter 59



MUHAMMAD BREAKING/DISUSING WORDS/OATHS

- perhaps the pinnacle of Muhammad's verbal dishonesty: His point of view on disusing/breaking oaths.

We also point to that if oaths can be disused or broken, also weaker things like words and promises can be so of course.

But dishonesty like this is a double edged sword: Who can completely trust a Muslim's - or Islam's - word without additional real proofs?

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001 2/224a: "And do not make Allah's (name) an excuse in your oaths against doing good - - -." Some of the old Arabs had found a nice way to avoid tasks they did not like: They told they had made an oath never to do such things, and could not break their oath. Muhammad did not like this, as they sometimes made such oaths against things he wanted them to do. Break the oaths.

002 2/224b: "And do not make Allah's (name) an excuse in your oaths against doing good - - -." If breaking your oath (the use of Allah's name by swearing by Allah - the only god Muslims shall swear by) gives a better result, you are advised to break your oath, like Muhammad did and said he would do any time under such circumstances, according to the Quran and Hadiths. Pay expiation if there is a reason for that.

003 2/224c: "And do not make Allah's (name) an excuse in your oaths against - - - acting rightly - - -." Break your oaths if you find this will give a better result. Pay expiation if you think the break needs this. (Also see 2/225, 3/54 (if Allah can cheat, cheating is ok), 5/89, 16/91, 66/2.)

004 2/224d: "And do not make Allah's (name) an excuse in your oaths against - - - making peace between persons - - -." Break your oath if you find this will give a better result. Pay expiation if you think this is necessary. In cases of making peace - and also f.x. when you want to cheat women - also al-Taqiyya (the lawful lie) and Kitman (the lawful half-truth), etc. are permitted, if you think this will give better result than honesty.

##005 2/224e: To quote Asad: "The Message of the Quran", footnote A2/212 (to this verse): "- - - there are several authentic Traditions (= Hadiths*) to the effect that the Prophet Muhammad said: 'If anyone takes a solemn oath (easier ones are little binding*) (that he would do or refrain from doing such-and-such a thing), and thereupon realizes that something else would be a more righteous course (or give better result*)) then let him do what is more righteous (or gives a better result*), and let him break his oath and then atone for it". Definitely not compatible with the Bible.

###006 2/224f: The problems with verse 2/224 - and a few similar verses + some similar Hadiths - of course are for one thing that it never is possible quite to trust a Muslim's (included Muhammad's) word in serious cases - he may see no sin in lying - and for another thing a Muslim has no reasonably reliable way of strengthening his words if he is not believed, no matter if what he says is the full truth - no oath is really reliable. Also see 2/225a below. (That it also contradicts the Bible on this point, is highly unnecessary to say.)

007 2/225a: “Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your heart”. If you swear an oath without thinking it over - or not enough over – you are not bound by it. But how are other people to know if the oath you have made is binding for you or not - or if you will break it? Besides; you may break also a more serious oath if that will give a better result, only you may have to pay expiation to Allah for it. See f.x. 2/224e-f above.

####008 3/54b: ”- - - and Allah too plotted and planned, and the best of planners is Allah.” This verse in addition is one of the verses the Muslim phenomena al-Taqiyya (the lawful lie), Kitman (the lawful half-truth), and Hilah (the lawful pretending or circumventing - "the dishonesty in disguise") are based on – when Allah can “plot and plan” (indicating using dishonest means) of course his followers can do the same as long as it is not forbidden – which it is not. Also see 2/26h, 2/224e-f, 2/225a, 4/142a, 8/30, 10/21b, 13/42, 27/50, and 86/16 - dishonesty as a policy is one of the fundamental rules in the Quran's moral - or immoral - code. Al-Taqiyya and Kitman are permitted in 8 - 10 wide cases, and advised "if necessary" in 2: To defend and to promote Islam. Worth remembering for Muslims and non-Muslims alike; what is true and what is not true in Muslims' arguments about such things? And how much is true in a religion partly relying on dishonesty? - - - and what then about its claimed prophet, Muhammad? - how much of his words are Kitmans or al-Taqiyyas or deceit, etc.?

Just for the record: Al-Taqiyya, Kitman, Hilah, etc. can be used at least in these cases (for broken oaths there are given no real limitations if the broken oath will give a better result. By implication this also goes for ordinary promises, as an oath is something stronger than a normal promise. Also for deceit and betrayal there are given no real limits. Muhammad said according to f.x. ibn Ishaq, "The life of Muhammad", that "war is deceit" - and according to many Muslims "anything" is war (according to Islam also everything outside Islamic lands are "area of war")):

  • 1. To save your or others' health or life.
  • 2. To get out of a tight spot or a dangerous problem.
  • 3. To make peace in a family.
  • 4. When it will give a better result than honesty or honoring one’s oath.
  • 5. To cheat women (should be remembered by girls with Muslim boyfriends wanting sex - or wanting a marriage to get residence permit in a rich country.)
  • 6. To deceive opponents/enemies.
  • 7. To betray enemies.
  • 8. To secure one’s money (very clear from Hadiths).
  • 9. To defend Islam. (Advised if necessary to succeed.)
  • 10. To promote Islam. (Advised if necessary to succeed.)

But al-Taqiyya, etc. is a double-edged sword: In the short run you may cheat and deceive some ones – actually also in the long run if the opposite part does not know about this side of Muslims and of Islam, or if he/she is naïve.

But in the long run the surroundings learn that it is impossible quite to trust a Muslim in serious questions: When is he speaking the honest truth and when is he using an al-Taqiyya or some other kind of "lawful" dishonesty? - lawful at least according to the Quran and to the Sharia laws.

#####009 5/89a: “Allah will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths - - -" = oaths you just throw around - f.x. in anger or from habits, or for oaths you for other reasons did not mean, does not count, and is no sin for Allah. Quite a different from normal religions. Besides: How can others know when you mean an oath and when not? (Well, in some cases you can guess, but what about all the border-line cases and the cases where it sounds like you mean it?) The Quran and Islam are very special when it comes to breaking oaths and some other kinds of dishonesty (f.x. al-Taqiyya (the lawful lie) and Kitman (the lawful half-truth)) - it is the only of the big religions with such rules for accepted dishonesty, and the only of the big religions which accepts dishonesty, even as a part of the religion/religious life.

#####010 5/89b: “Allah will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths, but He will call you to account for your deliberate oaths (if you break such one*): For expiation, feed 10 indigent persons, on a scale of the average for the food of your families: or clothe them, or give a slave his freedom. If that is beyond your means, fast for three days. That is the expiation for the (breaking of*) oaths ye have sworn. But keep to your oaths.” In principle: Keep your oaths, at least if you meant them. But if you break them, not much is lost, as it is just to pay expiation, and everything is ok. And if the oath was made without thinking things over, you are not even bound to it or bound to pay expiation for it. Guess if this is different from NT! (- and from most other religions included all the big ones!)

No other of the big religions has dishonesty as an integrated and accepted part of the religion - also here remember al-Taqiyya (the lawful lie) and Kitman (the lawful half-truth) - and "war is deceit". (For points behind the legalizing of al-Taqiyya, Kitman, Hilah, deceit, betrayal, etc. see f.x 2/26h, 2/224e-f, 2/225a, 4/142a, 8/30, 10/21b, 13/42, 27/50, and 86/16. For legalizing of disuse/breaking of oaths see f.x. 2/225, 3/54 (if Allah can cheat, cheating is ok), 5/89, 16/91, 66/2). Just for the record: Al-Taqiyya, Kitman, and Hilah can be used at least in these cases (for broken oaths there are given no real limitations if the broken oath will give a better result. By implication this also goes for ordinary words and promises, as an oath is something stronger than a normal word or promise):

  1. To save your or others' health or life.
  2. To get out of a tight spot or a dangerous problem.
  3. To make peace in a family.
  4. When it will give a better result than honesty or honoring one’s oath.
  5. To cheat women (should be remembered by girls with Muslim boyfriends wanting sex - or wanting a marriage to get work/residence permit in a rich country.)
  6. To deceive opponents/enemies.
  7. To betray enemies.
  8. To secure one’s money (very clear from Hadiths).
  9. To defend Islam. (Advised if necessary to succeed.)
  10. To promote Islam. (Advised if necessary to succeed.)

But al-Taqiyya is a double-edged sword: In the short run you may cheat and deceive someone – actually also in the long run if the opposite part does not know about this side of Muslims and of Islam, or if he/she is naïve. But in the long run one learns that there is no way to really be sure a Muslim speaks the full truth - or the truth at all - in serious questions. (This also may be a big problem for Muslims telling the truth about something without being believed - they have no reliable way of strengthening their words.)

###011 5/89c: "That is the expiation for the oaths ye (Muslims'*) have sworn (and broken*)". Even though it is advisable to keep your oats, if you break one, it is just to pay expiation, and everything is ok. The Religion of Truth?!? - an ironical joke. Islam and Muslims for some reason seldom claim that "Islam is the Religion of Honesty" - not even "Islam is a religion of Honesty".

012 16/91e: "- - - break not your oaths after you have confirmed it." Well, Muhammad in the Quran and in Hadiths strongly advices you to break your oath if that gives a better result - pay a "fine" (expiation) to Allah afterwards if necessary. No wonder the Muslim areas are full of conspiracy theories about all and everything; When do the authorities and others speak the truth and when is it an al-Taqiyya (lawful lie) or a Kitman (lawful half-truth) or a Hilah (lawful pretending/circumventing)?

Besides, if you all the same break a serious oath, you blot out the sin by paying expiation afterwards. Very simple. And a very practical moral code. BUT WHO CAN TRUST EVEN THE OATH OF A MUSLIM?

And note the words: "- - - after you have confirmed it". You have to confirm your oath to make it binding (but still breakable if you pay expiation afterwards). A really strong proof for that Yahweh and Allah are not the same god - and Jesus and Muhammad not in the same line of anything in the world of morality, not to mention line of prophets (in addition to that Muhammad was no real prophet - he was unable to make prophesies).

###013 16/92a: "Nor take your oaths to practice deception among yourselves - - -". Once more the special moral code on the Quran - most religions in this case say: "Nor take your oaths to practice deception." This wording tells morally weak Muslims (perhaps correctly?) that it may be ok to do so against non-Muslims - cfr. f.x. the reputation the expression "Arab salesmen" had and may be has among sailors. Sailors and tourists and some others are not from "among yourselves".

###014 16/92b: "Nor take your oaths to practice deception among yourselves, lest one party should be more numerous than another". IF YOUR OPPONENT IS STRONGER THAN YOURSELF, YOU ARE PERMITTED TO USE FALSE OATHS EVEN "AMONG YOURSELF (MUSLIMS)" IF YOU FEAR PROBLEMS - - - AND WHAT THEN TOWARDS NON-MUSLIMS!?? (There does exist another claim: It means that you shall not use false oaths to switch to ever stronger alliance partners. But this does not fit the words in the sentence - an "explanation away" of a morally dark spot.)

#####015 66/2a: "Allah has already ordained for you, (O men), the dissolution of your oaths (in some cases)- - -". According to other places in the Quran, the cases when you can break your oat without sinning, are:

  1. Oaths you have given without really meaning them.
  2. Oaths where you later see you will get a more satisfactory result if you break your oat. In serious cases, though, you should pay a "fine" - expiation - to Allah to be forgiven".

Can anyone please tell us what remains of trustworthiness of a Muslim's words and oaths - especially when you add to this the al-Taqiyya (the lawful lie) and the Kitman (the lawful half-truth) and permitted betrayals? - and his point of view that "war is deceit" (and everything is war). And much worse in this case: WHAT REMAINS OF MUHAMMAD'S TRUSTWORTHINESS - NOT TO MENTION THE QURAN'S TRUSTWORTHINESS?

(For points behind the legalizing of al-Taqiyya, Kitman, Hilah, deceit, betrayal, etc. see f.x 2/26h, 2/224e-f, 2/225a, 4/142a, 8/30, 10/21b, 13/42, 27/50, and 86/16. For legalizing of disuse/breaking of oaths see f.x. 2/225, 3/54 (if Allah can cheat, cheating is ok), 5/89, 16/91, 66/2).

##016 66/2b: "Allah has already ordained for you, (O men), the dissolution of your oaths (in some cases)- - -". According to other places in the Quran, the cases when you can break your oat without sinning, are:

  1. Oaths you have given without really meaning them.
  2. Oaths where you later see you will get a more satisfactory result if you break your oat. In serious cases, though, you should pay a "fine" - expiation - to Allah to be forgiven".

One of the at least 100% proofs for that Yahweh and Allah are not the same god, and Jesus not in any line morally connected to Muhammad. NT tells you not to swear at all ( f.x. Matt. 5/34), and if you do it all the same, you have to keep your word.

Another point is that to forgive - or for that case to punish or reward or fulfill prayers - means for Allah to change his Plan considering the sinner/person, something which according to the Quran is something nobody and nothing can make him do. See 2/187d above.

Sub-total Chapter 59 = 16 + 5.653 = 5.669.


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This work was upload with assistance of M. A. Khan, editor of islam-watch.org and the author of "Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism, and Slavery".