The Rights of the Ways

Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Beware of sitting on roads (ways).” The people said: “We have but them as sitting places.” The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “If you have to sit there, then observe the rights of the way.” They asked, “What are the rights of the way?” He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “To lower your gaze, and (removal of harmful objects), returning greetings, enjoining good and forbidding evil.”

[Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Commentary:

We learn a few lessons from this hadith:

  1. This Hadith tells us that it is improper to sit on roadsides and passages in such a way which causes inconvenience to men and women who pass by. It is really very unfortunate that now we do not care about such things at all.
  2. If sitting on roadside is indispensable at all, then it is essential to observe the requirements mentioned in the Hadith to justify the needful
  3. Some other Islamic etiquette mentioned in this Hadith have also been stated in other Ahadith. For instance, politeness of speech, sharing of someone’s burden, helping the oppressed and the troubled, guiding the wayward person to the right path, answering (in the prescribed manner) one who sneezes, etc.

And Allah Knows Best!

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