The Rules of Vows and Covenants

Issue 932: The vow (Nazr) is that people make a covenant to perform one of the good acts for Allah or abandon an act that is better to leave.

Issue 933: The vow is of two types:

First: The conditional vow. It is like saying: When I am cured of my illness, by Allah it is obligatory upon me to do such and such. This is called the vow of thankfulness (Nazr Ash-Shukr). Or when a such and such bad act is committed, the person says: It is obligatory upon me, by Allah that I do a good act. This is called the vow of prevention (Nazr Al-Zajr).

Second: The unconditional vow. It is to say without restriction or condition: I vow, by Allah that I will perform the night prayer or By Allah so and so is obligatory upon me. Each of these types of vows is proper according to Islamic law.

Issue 934: The vow is only proper when a Seeghah is executed for it whether it be in 'Arabic, Persian or any other language.

Issue 935: It is conditional that the act which people vow is desirable legally. According to this, it is not proper to make a vow to perform something unlawful or to abandon something obligatory or recommended.

Issue 936: It is not conditional that the particulars and the details of the vowed act be desirable legally, rather, it suffices that its basis be desirable legally. For example, when it is vowed to pray the night prayer in the every night of the beginning of the month, it is proper and obligatory to perform that act. Or when it was vowed to feed the poor in a particular place, it is obligatory to act in accordance with the vow.

Issue 937: When someone vowed to abandon an act permanently and has not specified the interval or date, then, if he voluntarily performs that act (again), the atonement (Kaffaarah) is obligatory upon him for the first instance. When the vow was such that each instance of that is independently related to the vow, then, the obligatory precaution is to give the atonement (Kaffaarah) for each instance of breaking the vow. As for when his intention was not as such (to vow something unconditionally) or he doubted whether it was his intention in the beginning or not or how (his intention was made), only one atonement (Kaffaarah) is obligatory upon him.

Issue 938: When something is vowed for one of the mausoleums of the A’immah or the children of the A’immah, upon them be peace, it is obligatory to disburse in that mausoleum in the way of renovation or the preparation of carpets or the lighting or for the attendants who serve that mausoleum or things similar to that.

However, when something is vowed for the Imam himself, peace be upon him, or the son of one of the A’immah without mentioning that mausoleum, in addition to what we have stated, it is permissible to disburse it establishing a mourning assemblies (Majaalis Al-'Azaa’) and lamentation for that Imam or to spread its traditions and the traditions of Islam or to help the pilgrims (to that mausoleum) or whatever scope is related to it in a similar manner.

Issue 939: The wool of an animal who is vowed for charity of one of the A’immah and its growth is part of the vow. When a child is born before its disbursement in the range vowed or it yields milk, then, the obligatory precaution is to disburse all of that in the same disbursement (intended in the) vow.

Issue 940: When the father or mother makes a vow that they will marry their daughters to a Sayyid (Haashimi), there vow is not to be considered (as valid). Whenever the girl becomes mature, the choice is in her hands.

Issue 941: The act (made obligatory) by an covenant ('Ahd) is obligatory like the act of a vow with the condition of executing the Seeghah of an oath, like saying: I swear by Allah that I will not do such and such action. As for when the Seeghah is not executed or that action was not desirable legally, the oath is not considered (as valid).

Issue 942: He who has not fulfilled his covenant with the aforementioned conditions, the atonement (Kaffaarah) is obligatory upon him additionally. The atonement of the covenant is like the atonement for the vow, meaning feeding sixty (60) poor people or fasting two consecutive months.