Etiquettes of roads in Islam
The roads are the public property and are not owned by anyone. But unfortunately, we have mistreated them and considered them our own property and doing what we like with abnormal behavior or aggression against the rights of others on them.
Islam came with a set of virtuous morals and ethics to control the behavior of everyone in the public road. If we adhere to these etiquettes and ethics, all the abnormal and strange images and all the places of our gatherings, our stores and our clubs would disappear the unethical behavior we see daily on our streets. All these behaviors are not approved by our religion and are not permitted by the virtuous morals that we have learned from our Islamic law.
In view of the importance of the road in life, our true Islamic religion has taken special care in the issue of managing this aspect and provided it care and attention what works for people and what benefits them in this field and what makes the road always play its role without problems, as the Prophet ﷺ laid down a set of rules Etiquette, conditions, principles and rights to protect the roads, their maintenance, preservation and safety, and work to clean and purify them and remove harm from them. Urinating, defecating, littering, or throwing anything that hurts or obstructs traffic.
Here it is necessary to cite some of the honorable prophetic hadiths contained in this context in order to benefit from them. The Messenger of God ﷺ said: “Beware of those who curse.” The companions said: What is the curse, O Messenger of God?” He said, “He who remises the paths of people or in their shadows” (Muslim).
If the people see that, they will curse the doer. There are many hadiths in this sense that the road has a special sanctity that people must respect on their grounds, to maintain and fortify it with fences of chastity, dignity, modesty, decency and dignity so that it remains safe and respectable place for fulfillment of goals and purposes, and it is a responsibility of all citizens, whether they are riding, on foot, or sitting on its sides to talk or to fulfill useful needs.
We have in the hadith of our Messenger an explanation of the rights of the road. We stand by them and seek light by them in order to fortify ourselves from pests and to protect our way from all frivolity.
The Messenger of Godﷺ said: “Beware of sitting in the streets.” They said, “Oh, Messenger of God! We do not need our gathering to talk about. The messenger ﷺ said: if you refuse to sit in the streets then give the road its right. They said, “What is the right of the road, O Messenger of God?” He said, “Lower your gaze, refraining from harm, returning the greeting, enjoining good and forbidding evil” (Al-Bukhari). In this hadith is a discipline and education for the souls and urges people to manage and rationalize the matter of the prey to perform its role and functions.
A – Lowering the gaze: The command to lower the gaze mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah more than once for both men and women so that no harmful act will happen. The Almighty said: (Tell the believers to lower their gaze…and tell the believing women to lower their gaze…” (An-Nur: 30, 31).
B – To refrain from harm: One of the rights of the road is to refrain from harming and not to harm people in their bodies or their honor. And in the hadith narrated by Abdullah bin Amr, that the Prophet ﷺ said: “A Muslim is one from whose tongue and hand Muslims are safe” (Bukhari).In this regard, He ﷺ also said: “If one of you passes in our mosque or in our market with arrows, let him hold on to their blades” (Bukhari).About removing harmful things from roads, the Prophet ﷺ said: “Removing harm from the road is charity” (Muslim).
It is desirable etiquette on the way! Removing harm from the road, rather it is part of faith. He ﷺ said: “While a man was walking on a road, he found a thorny bough on the road, so he delayed it, so God thanked him and forgave him” (Bukhari). It is forbidden in Islam for a person who wants to Excrement in the resources or relieve himself to urinate or defecate on the road, in the shade, in public gardens, under a fruitful tree or in the water sources.
The Messenger of God ﷺ, always refrained from harming people, including that he forbade his companions from sitting in the streets and roads; Because this may cause distress to the passers. However, when he found that the sitting is necessary then it should be according to the prophetic conditions that are clear in the hadith. These are conditions that guarantee the safety and security of society.
C – Returning the salaam: One of the rights of the road is to return the salaam, which is an obligation, as messenger ﷺ said:“Five are obligatory for a Muslim to his brother, one of them is returning the salaam” (Bukhari). And he ﷺalso said: “The rider greets the one walking, the pedestrian greets the seated one, and the few greet the many” (Muslim).
D – The obligation of enjoining good and forbidding evil: This is a chapter of great significance and destiny that you enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, because it has great benefits for the nation, including: saving society’s ship from perdition and drowning, and from the suppression of falsehood and its people. The Messenger of God ﷺ said: “Whoever among you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand and if he is not able, then with his tongue and if he is not able then with his heart and that is the weakest of faith” (Muslim).
Respecting traffic lights and lanes is also etiquette:
To facilitate the people’s mission to go and return, roads must be opened, paved and restored. Paths and corridors are included in this framework, which are social facilities shared by the servants and each one of them has his share in it as a common property, and its presence in life constitutes what constitutes the presence of other necessary things.
Living without it to the extent that the matter is almost like food and drink for people, especially in this era in which the means of living have diversified and the lifestyles have changed and the channels of communication have multiplied until the matter of linking regions to each other has become a necessary and inevitable matter if one wants to distribute services Social justice in a fair manner and the spread of science and knowledge in all areas so that everyone can benefit and take something from something and so that people can expand the circle of exchange of opinions and ideas and promote goods and commodities so that the principle of equality and social interdependence is realized in them while allowing the possibility of equal opportunities among citizens, for the cross-fertilization of their culture. so that everyone can integrate into the circle of decent life that a calm and developed society seeks within the framework of virtuous values and morals.
All of us and others must be polite and observant of the right of way and be extremely responsible and respect other people. Officials and others must maintain this facility and provide it with the necessary supplies. Drivers should slow down the speed and not drive with excessively speed, while respecting the signs and all the rules regulating traffic until traffic accidents are completely eliminated, which due to their large number and exacerbation, has become described to us as a road war because this scourge has destroyed everything.
There are also those who are doing constructions and do not care about putting iron, dirt, and other building requirements, without taking into account the rights of passers. someone who digs for sewage, or make constructions, and disturbs the road, all of these things are contrary to road etiquette.
If we see in the reality of many people, we find it unfortunate that there are some behaviors that a Muslim should not adopt; Including: that some young people gather on the sidewalks of some roads, and bring food and drink with them, and leave their waste on the people’s way.
Likewise, those unfortunate dealings that we see from some people in their cars when they are walking on the roads, they deal in an all harmful treatment that does not have respect for rights, annoying sounds, shaking, rushing and recklessness, and disregard for people’s lives and property, and maybe you find some young people standing in their cars in the middle of the road talking for long hours, harassing the people by scrutinizing looks, false tongues, loose words, and heavy joking, and blocked some of the road indifferently.
Our religion is a religion of cleanliness and order, so whoever adheres to this religion and its teachings, he will live a happy, secure and reassuring life. It is the duty of the Muslims to fear God, and to take care of his Muslim brothers, their rights, and to preserve the rights of the roads and paths.
(The author is a research Scholar at the Department of Arabic BGSB University, Rajouri)