Day 16 (Driving Safe for Allah)
SubhanAllah, I realized that after I posted the inspired driving resolution yesterday which emphasized that people die daily in car accidents and we should strive to meet Allah while in a state of worship, the news of Br. Najib and his family being killed by a drunk driver after taraweeh shocked the Dallas community. In essence, he was hit from behind which caused his car to derail and find its way in the path of a truck.
Then this morning as I was driving on the highway, A car violently was riding my bumper and ran me out of the lane causing a near collision with the car in the next lane. I looked over at the driver and to my dismay, it was a brother with a long beard wearing a thobe and a kufi. Imagine if I was a Non-Muslim and that would’ve happened to me. What impression has that brother just given me of Islam?
But the issue is far greater than reckless driving being terrible dawah. Many times we fail to realize that we belong to a faith that is all encompassing. So with no ambiguity let me say this clearly: driving recklessly is Haram (prohibited). Yes I used the “H word”. In fact, some contemporary scholars (including Sh. Ibn Uthaymeen (rahimahullah) and Dr. Yusuf Al Qaradawi) have stated that even if you unintentionally cause the death of someone because of your reckless driving, you have committed murder. They further went on to say that if you die because of your reckless driving, you have committed suicide. My Shaykh also held this opinion. This is on the basis of a principle in Islamic jurisprudence that recklessness is judged by its end. What that means is that just because the drunk driver didn’t intend to kill anyone that night, he is fully responsible because he chose to drive drunk.
Even if you disagree with this opinion (probably because you’re guilty of this yourself), what if those scholars MIGHT be right? Would you really want to meet Allah having committed suicide or murder?
It’s just not worth it. Even if you’re late to prayer, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “When prayer has already started, do not walk quickly to join in. Proceed calmly and with ease; then join in whichever part you catch, and complete whichever part you missed” [Bukhari]
I personally can remember two incidents in which kids were run over in a masjid parking lot because of someone rushing to prayer.
If we are told to proceed slowly and with caution to the single most important act of worship for which we were created, then what excuse do we have to rush for anything else in life?
I hope this message will reach the young and old alike. Drive safely for the sake of Allah.