[FRIDAY SERMON]: Obeying Traffic Laws Is Islamic Duty, By Imam Murtada M. Gusau

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

All praise is due to Allah; we praise Him, and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah, the Most High, from the evils of our own selves and from our wicked deeds. Whomsoever has been guided by Allah, none can misguide him, and whomsoever has been misguided by Allah none can guide him. I bear witness that there is no true god worthy of being worshipped except Allah, alone, without partner or associate. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His true slave and Messenger.

“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims with complete submission to Allah).” (Ali-Imraan, 3:102)

“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, who created you from a single person (Adam) and from him He created his wife, and from them both He created many men and women, and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights) and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is ever an All-Watcher over you.” (An-Nisaa, 4:1)

“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the Truth, He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger; he has indeed achieved a great success.” (Al-Ahzaab, 33:70-71)

As for what follows: O servants of Allah,

Shari ’a (Islamic Law) considers the gift of life as the most precious blessing of Allah. Indeed, Islamic regulations aim at ensuring the safety of human beings, protecting them from any harm and strictly prohibiting endangering or killing them. Allah, the Exalted, says:

“…If anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or to spread mischief in the land – it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.”(Al-Maa’idah, 5:32)

Also self-killing or suicides along with killing of innocent people are strictly forbidden in Islam. Allah, the Almighty, says in the Noble Qur’an:

“…And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you.”(An-Nisaa, 4:29)

In order to observe this noble cause, Islam entrusted the authority in charge with the responsibility of laying down laws and issuing regulations to govern the conduct of people and protect human lives. It is, therefore, an Islamic legal duty to abide by these laws and regulations which fulfill Islamic principles. Allah, Exalted be He says:

“O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad, peace be upon him), and those of you who are in authority.” (An-Nisaa, 4:59)

My respected people,

Among those laws are the traffic laws applied all over the world. It is incumbent upon us to abide by these laws in compliance with Shari’a and societal duties. Studies have proven that reckless driving practices are blamed for most of the car accidents, disabling injuries and fatalities. Not only are you endangering yourselves but other people as well. Allah, Exalted be He, strictly prohibits it in the Noble Qur’an,

He the Most High says:

“…And do not throw yourselves into destruction…” (Al-Baqara, 2:195)

Brothers and Sisters, fellow Nigerians,

Many children have seen their lives shattered by losing the fathers in car accidents. They were looking forward to a happy life under his care. Many young men, who were dreaming about a bright future, passed away in car accidents. Many others lost their limbs and became disabled for the rest of their lives! Surely, the disabled and his family are experiencing daily pain. How tragic it is to lose beloved ones due to traffic laws violations and risky driving practices. Many deaths in car accidents were recorded in Nigeria in 2014. Statistics also showed that many were injured and many died in the same year, according to the Federal Road Safety of Nigeria (FRSN). Car accidents were blamed for properties and public utilities destruction as well as substantial waste of money.

O Muslims, O Nigerians,

We have to acknowledge the magnitude of the problem and the related trauma. We have to hold ourselves accountable. Blaming fate and destiny for car accidents is a misinterpretation of the concept. Believing in Qadaa’ wal Qadar (fate and destiny) means relying on Allah, after taking the necessary precautions and abiding by the laws and regulations in force. Further, violations may result in civil, penal or criminal indictments. Allah, the Almighty, says:

“Every soul will be (held) in pledge for its deeds.” (Al-Muddaththir, 74:38)

It is unconceivable that anyone of us would engage in reckless driving or illegal driving practices causing tragic accidents.

O servants of Allah, O fellow Nigerians,

It is our duty to be responsible for our driving practices and to prevent traffic accidents.

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said:

”Each one of you is a shepherd and each one is responsible for those under his care.”

One of the root causes behind car accidents is the parents’ attitude. They must raise their children as responsible citizens and instill in them human values such as caring for others, respecting their rights and avoiding any harm to them. Parents must also highlight the importance of abiding by the laws. They ought to be role models to their children in practicing safe and responsible driving habits, following speed limits and respecting traffic laws.

We ask Allah to protect all of us and help us obey Him and those He has commanded us to obey. Ameen.

And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As- Saabiruun (the patient)* Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Inna Lillahi Wa inna Ilaihi Raaji’uun” ( Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to him we shall return)* they are those on whom are the Salawaat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their lord, and (they are those who receive His) Mercy, and it is they who are guided ones.’’ (Al-Baqarah, 2:155-157) 

“Say: “O ‘Ibaadi (my slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the mercy of Allah: verily, Allah forgives all sins. Truly He is oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Az-Zumar, 39:53)

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us O Allah, from the defects of our selves! O Allah, cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us. I ask Allah (SWT) to bless our beloved country Nigeria with best, righteous and just leaders. Bless us O Allah, with peace and unity upon the truth, justice, stability, tranquility, harmony, mercy and protection from all kind of evil.

And lastly, servants of Allah! Know that, anything good I have said in my today’s khutbah (sermon) is from Allah the All-Mighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and Fitnah.

And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bound in anything I said or I do. With this, my beloved and respected people, I conclude my Khutbah (Sermon) and ask Allah again, the All-Mighty and the Sublime to forgive all of our sins and failings. So seek His forgiveness, He is All-forgiving, Most Merciful. And may the salutation and peace of Allah be upon our beloved Prophet, his family and his Companions.

Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached via 08038289761 and [email protected]