Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God (Yahweh Elohim) in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
This commandment is interpreted by many beyond what it actually says, but the primary and most simple interpretation is that you are not to make an oath or swear by the name of God and not fulfil that oath.
Did Muhammad Break an Oath Sworn in the Name of YHWH?
To be honest, I’ve not been able to find any information that Muhammad ever swore in the name of YHWH. Kind of interesting don’t you think? Or rather obvious because he did not know YHWH. So we could say that Muhammad did not break this commandment. But a Muslim could try and argue that Allah and the God of Jesus are the same. So let’s take a look at the life of Muhammad and see if he ever broke a oath he made in the name of Allah.
First of all Muhammad said this about swearing:
Narrated ‘Umar: The Prophet said, “If anybody has to take an oath, he should swear only by Allah.” The people of Quraish used to swear by their fathers, but the Prophet said, “Do not swear by your fathers.”
But what if Muhammad actually swore by a name other than Allah?
Well that’s exactly what happened. In the following narration:
2706. It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said: “A man came to the Prophet H; and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, tell me, which of the people has most right to my good companionship?’ He said: ‘Yes, by your father, you will certainly be told.’ – Ref
As you can see, and I made the text bold so it’s clear, Muhammad clearly swore by this man’s father. Later on in the same conversation Muhammad again swears but this time by Allah.
This conversation also took place after the beginning of what is called his prophetic ministry, so sorry but there is no excuse for him in this case.
Now let’s go a little further. In the Quran the following is written in Section 66 (At-Tahrim) verse 1 and 2:
1) O Prophet! why do you forbid (yourself) that which Allah has made lawful for you; you seek to please your wives; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
2) Allah indeed has sanctioned for you the expiation of your oaths and Allah is your Protector, and He is the Knowing and the Wise.
Again to make it clear, I’ve set the text in bold. This basically means that if the man is not able to fulfil an oath that he swore, Allah will compensate for the man. It sounds like Muhammad needed a way out in case he wasn’t able to keep the 3rd commandment. And that’s exactly what he needed. He needed a “revelation” giving him a way out of his oath.
The At-Tahrim actually refers to the following story:
“It is related that Mohammed was alone in company (with sexual purpose) with Mary in Ayshah’s or Hafsah’s turn. Hafsah became aware of that and therefore scolded him about it. He declared he had taken an oath, but admitted his unlawful behaviour, therefore these verses descended.” (“Mizanu’l Haqq, page 330). (The “Mishkat” names Zainab instead of Hafsah – “Mishkat” II, pages 680-681).
Mohammad basically took an oath that he would not have a sexual relationship with his wife Mary in return for another one of his wives, Hafsah who found out that he had sexual intercourse with Mary when it wasn’t her turn, not telling this to all Muhammad’s other wives, especially his favorite wife Aishah who he had married when she was only 9 years old.
It doesn’t say in what name Muhammad made the oath, so we will just assume he followed his own rule this time and swore in the name of Allah.
In that case if Allah was the same god as the God of Jesus, then Muhammad did break the 3rd commandment. If you say the 3rd commandment is against breaking an oath sworn in the name of God, then he most certainly broke it without a doubt.
And that’s really what it comes down to for this one. If you say that Allah of Islam is the same God (Allah) as the Jewish and Christian God, which Muslims tell me all the time is the case. Then Muhammad did break the 3rd commandment.
Otherwise, Muhammad only broke his own commandment in swearing by another name other than Allah.