Can I take an oath by the Qur’an?

Short Answer

No, you can only take an oath by Allah and nothing else. Taking an oath by anything else such as the Qur’an, the Ka`bah, or the Prophet is sinful and non-binding.

What the Qur’an and Sunnah Say

The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever takes an oath must take it by Allah or remain quiet.” (Sahih al-Bukhari #2533)

The Messenger of Allah found Umar ibn al-Khattab amongst a group of riders and he was taking an oath by his father. The Messenger of Allah called them (saying): “Verily, Allah, Most Exalted and Majestic, forbids you from taking oaths by your father. Whoever wishes to take an oath must take it by Allah or remain quiet.” (Sahih Muslim #1646)

What the Scholars Said

Imam Al-Mawsili said: “The principle is that taking an oath by other than Allah is unlawful according to us….because by taking an oath one expresses reverence for the one by whom the oath is taken, and none besides Allah is worthy of such reverence. And when it is established that taking an oath by other than Allah is unlawful, violation of the oath will not necessitate expiation (kaffarah), because it is not considered to be an oath…taking an oath by other than Allah Most High will not be considered to be a valid oath, such as taking an oath by the Prophet, the Qur’an, or the Ka’bah.” (Al-Ikhtiyar li Ta’lil al-Mukhtar, 2:280)

there are two aspects to the Qur’an. One being the actual Speech of Allah Most High, and the other being the Qur’an we have before us, consisting of the various Surahs, verses, written on paper with ink.

Imam Ibn Abidin says: “It has been related…that…in our times, taking an oath by the Qur’an will be valid. This is what we take and believe to be true…and is supported by the fact that the Qur’an is regarded to be an attribute of Allah by which an oath is customarily taken.” (Radd al-Muhtar, 3:713) This assumes that people are swearing by the Qur’an which is the speech of Allah and not by the physical book itself. Since most people don’t understand that difference, it should be avoided.

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Shaykh Mustafa Umar