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Subject : Compliance with Traffic Laws is a Legal Obligation

Fatwa Number : 3266

Date : 11-01-2017

Classified : Current Issues

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

What is the ruling on giving way to other drivers?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Preservation of self/soul is an important higher objective of Sharia; therefore, any act of transgression against a person`s life is deemed impermissible. In order to maintain this objective, Sharia has made laws that forbid killing people. Allah, The Almighty, said{what means}: "If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein (For ever): And the wrath and the curse of God are upon him, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for him."{An-Nisa`/93}. Furthermore, The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "The blood, honour and property of a Muslim is inviolable for another Muslim."{Muslim}.

Moreover, the Muslim ruler is authorized to make laws that maintain public order so as to guarantee the preservation of people`s lives and properties, in line with the provisions of Sharia.

In light of the fact that traffic laws obligate giving way to other drivers, and penalize those who don`t comply, and given that these laws don`t violate Sharia; rather, they contribute in preserving lives and properties, and given that such violations cause substantial damages, or, sometimes, lead to death, then enforcing them is a legal obligation. This is because what leads to the fulfillment of an obligatory matter is obligatory as well. In other words, the preservation of lives and properties is completed by the issuance and enforcement of similar laws.

In conclusion, this Fatwa reiterates that compliance with traffic laws, including giving way to other drivers, is a legal obligation, and violating them isn`t permissible because it leads to substantial damages. In this regard, the Prophet(PBUH) said: “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.”{Ibn Majah}. Moreover, violating these laws entails disobeying the ruler`s injunction, which doesn`t contradict with Sharia, and so could lead to public disorder. Accordingly, we recommend drivers to comply so as to preserve their lives and those of others. And Allah knows best.



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