Fatwa No : 178265
He made several expiations for one oath
Fatwa Date : Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 4, 1433 / 25-4-2012
i made an oath that i would not tell such and such and broke it many times but did not retake the oath. at the time i did not know that only 1 expiation was needed so i made many expiations,but all had different intentions for the scenario i broke the oath in. my question is , since i didnt need to do these fasts, could they count for any other oaths ive broken? as the intention i made for them was specific to the first oath, but i didnt need to do them. jazakallah
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
If you made an oath and broke it, and then you made another oath and broke it again, then you are obliged to expiate for every oath that you broke. However, if you had made several oaths on the same matter and then you broke them, then you are only obliged to expiate once.
Also, if you had expiated many times, it is not permissible for you to count those additional expiations for other oaths which you did not intend; rather, you are obliged to expiate for all those oaths, and the fasting that you observed or the feeding (of the needy or the poor) that you made (as an expiation for other oaths) will be considered as optional acts of worship. The reward of these acts will not be lost; rather, you will be rewarded for them.
The scholars stated that if a person had freed a slave in a specific expiation and then he found out that he was not obliged to make such an expiation, it is not permissible for him to count this freeing (of the slave) as another expiation.
Al-Buhooti, from the Hanbali school of jurisprudence, said in Sharh Al-Muntaha: “If a person intends to pay Zakaah on his money that is not present and then he finds out that that money is lost, then he cannot count this Zakaah for other things (Zakaatable items of wealth) as he did not intend that.).”
Allaah Knows best.