Bismillahi Al-Rahmani Al-Rahim

Swearing: Using the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)

AsSalamu alaikum wa rahmatu Allaahi wa barakatuhu,

I was told that in the Hanbali Madhab it is acceptable to swear by Sayyidina RasulAllaah sal Allaahu alaihe wa salam. Is this the correct view of the Madhab and if so, which texts mention this? Barak Allaahu feekum.

wa `alaykum al-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

A quick look through Ibn Qudamah's Al-Muqni` (which points to differences within the madhhab), his nephew's Al-`Uddah, Nail Al-Ma'arib (a late book and reference for fatwa in Sham), Kash Al-Mudhadarat (another late book with lots of sub-issues), and Al-Raudh Al-Murbi` (a small book and reference for fatwa elsewhere) gives no indication that it is acceptable to swear by the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

What the books do indicate is that swearing an oath is only lawful using Allah, His essence, His attributes, and His names. It is binding using Allah, His essence, attributes and names; the Qur'an, the Mushaf, and the other revealed books.

As for swearing an oath using any created thing, whether one of the Prophets (peace be upon him) or one of the awliya: it is unlawful and is not binding. There is one exception, though: if it is made using our Prophet, Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), then it is binding and the person must make an expiation if he reneges. But it is still unlawful.

In Al-Muqni`, Ibn Qudamah uses language indicating that he considers these things to be offensive (makruh) instead of haram. We tend to look at things that are makruh as if they are permissible to do, while this is not the case: haram and makruh are identical in that we are prohibited from doing them both, and where they differ is that we are going to be held accountable in the akhirah for the haram, but not for the makruh. While this difference may be a loophole for lawyers, they are both poison for the devotee.

And Allah knows best.

wa al-salamu `alaykum

[See in particular: Nail Al-Ma'arib (2:419-20), Kashf Al-Mukhadarat (2:460-61)]