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AL-KAFI #1112: THE RULING OF NAZAR IN ONE’S HEART WITHOUT PRONOUNCING IT

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Question:

Once in my heart, when it was time for me to withdraw my savings from Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), I intent to organize an event for the orphans. However, when the time comes, I’m hesitant to organize it due to my other financial commitments. Is it obligatory for me to fulfil my nazar, or is nazar only an obligation when it is said verbally?

Answer:

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

Nazar is an obligation when it fulfils its conditions. Allah SWT state:

وَلْيُوفُوا نُذُورَهُمْ

“… and fulfil their vows,”

Surah al-Hajj (29)

The Prophet PBUH said:

مَنْ نَذَرَ أَنْ يُطِيعَ اللَّهَ فَلْيُطِعْهُ

“Whoever vows to obey Allah, let him obey Him.”

Sahih al-Bukhari (6696)

In term of nazar, an issue arises; if someone just has the intention of nazar in his heart, is it considered as nazar?

Generally, for this issue, there are two opinions:

  1. The opinion that states the intention or some thoughts in one’s heart is not considered as nazar. This is the opinion of madhab Syafi’e and Hanbali.

Imam al-Nawawi stated that this is the strongest opinion in this issue, and this is the opinion that has been agreed by scholars of madhab al-Syafi’e and the nazar is invalid if it is not said verbally or just an intention. (Refer: Al-Majmu’ Syarh al-Muhazzab, 8/451)

The same is stated by Imam al-Mardawi al-Hanbali where if someone has the intention of nazar without pronouncing it with words, then the nazar is invalid. He did not find any scholars of madhab Hanbali that contradict this opinion. (Refer: Al-Insaf fi Ma’rifati al-Rajih min al-Khilaf, 11/90)

Imam Jalaluddin al-Suyuti commented on the maxim: ‘Al-Umur bi Maqasidiha’ (الأمور بمقاصدها) said that nazar with just an intention in one’s heart is not considered as nazar. (Refer: Al-Asybah wa al-Nazha’ir 1/33)

  1. The opinion that considers intention as nazar that is obligated to be fulfilled. This is the opinion of madhab Maliki as stated by Imam al-Hattab, Imam Ibnu al-‘Arabi and Imam Ibn Rusyd al-Hafid (Refer: Mawahib al-Jalilli Syarh Mukhtasar al-Khalil, 4/491, Ahkam al-Qur’an2/548 and Bidayatul Mujtahid 1/422)

In this issue, we are inclined towards the first opinion where it is not considered as nazar if it is just an intention in one’s heart, for nazar should be pronounced in words. This is in accordance with a hadith of the Prophet PBUH:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَجَاوَزَ لِي عَنْ أُمَّتِي مَا وَسْوَسَتْ بِهِ صُدُورُهَا، مَا لَمْ تَعْمَلْ أَوْ تَكَلَّمْ

"Allah has accepted my invocation to forgive what whispers in the hearts of my followers, unless they put it to action or utter it."

Sahih al-Bukhari (2528)

This is the opinion of Dar al-Iftaa’ al-Misriyyah which can be accessed through the link: http://www.dar-alifta.org/ar/ViewFatwa.aspx?ID=13455&LangID=1 .

As a conclusion, the only nazar that is considered as nazar and is obligated to be fulfilled is when it is pronounced in words. As for intention or thoughts in one’s heart, it is not considered as nazar.

Wallahua’lam.


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