I made a vow between me and Allāh to spend 15% of any incoming money that comes to me, and I have two questions to be specific!
1 – Is it allowed for me to retract from this percentage to 10%?
2 – Is it allowed for me to borrow it if need be before I take from it to spend, then when I receive the first payment I extract it and repay (the debt)?
This vow, you swore upon yourself to give charity from any income that comes to you 15%, and it is a vow of obedience not disobedience, and the Prophet ﷺ said;
من نذر أن يطع الله فليطعه، ومن نذر أن يعصي الله فلا يعصه
“Whoever made a Nadhr (a vow) to obey Allāh, then let him obey Him, and whoever made a Nadhr (a vow) to disobey Allāh, then let him not disobey him.”
So as long as that thing comes to you, you give charity from it. There will be no harm upon you inshāAllah, if you continue upon this.
While Allāh has praised those who fulfill their vows, Allāh said;
(يُوفُونَ بِٱلنَّذْرِ وَيَخَافُونَ يَوْمًا كَانَ شَرُّهُۥ مُسْتَطِيرًا)
“They (are those who) fulfill (their) vows, and they fear a Day whose evil will be wide-spreading.” [Al-Insān, 7]
This is in the form of praise.
And Allāh said;
رَبِّ إِنِّى نَذَرْتُ لَكَ مَا فِى بَطْنِى مُحَرَّرًا فَتَقَبَّلْ مِنِّىٓۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلْعَلِيمُ
“O my Lord! I have vowed to You what (the child that) is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services (free from all worldly work; to serve Your Place of worship), so accept this, from me. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knowing.”
Until His statement;
(فَتَقَبَّلَهَا رَبُّهَا بِقَبُولٍ حَسَنٍ)
“So her Lord (Allāh) accepted her with goodly acceptance.” [Āal-Imrān, 37]
This points towards that it is obedience and that Allāh puts blessing in a good vow.
Continue in this, and if you become incapable from the angle that you receive income which is only sufficient for you and your family, in these circumstances of necessity then expiate from your vow the expiation of Al-Yamīn (free a slave or feed/clothe ten poor persons or if incapable of previous two, fast three days) due to the statement of the Prophet ﷺ;
كفارة النذر كفارة يمين
“The expiation of a vow is the expiation of Al-Yamīn.”
The people of knowledge said: This is concerning a vow which he is incapable of fulfilling or in it is difficulty. As for if the situation is like this, there is no harm upon you inshāAllah so it still remains binding upon you, and in it for you is good inshāAllah.
From the angle that this could you guide you towards sadaqah and silatur-rahm (connecting the ties of kinship), and your statement spend.
So long as you didn’t specify a particualr group of people to spend on, it is in its proper place if you were to spend on kin, or if you were to spend on guests, all of this is spending.
Except if it came accross your mind at the time of the vow to be sadaqah to those whom it is not obligatory for you to spend on, and it would be on those whom you specified.
As for those you did not specify then it would be in it’s proper place if you spent it on them. A number of Hadiths point towards that spending on the family and children is from the most virtues spending.
Answered by: Shaykh, the Allamah, the Trustworthy Advisor, Abu Abdirrahman Yahya bin Ali Al-Hajuri – may Allah preserve him
Translated by: Abū ‘Abdillāh ‘Omar bin Yahya Al-‘Akawi