The Way the Prophet Taught Us to Walk

Muslim young woman walking
ID 56529246 © Eldar Nurkovic | Dreamstime.com

We have to go out on the streets almost every day to meet our own needs. As Islam is a complete way of life, it has certain rules for street walking. Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri: ‘The Prophet said, Beware! Avoid sitting on the roads (ways). The people said, there is no way out of it as these are our sitting places where we have talks. The Prophet said if you just sit there, then observe the rights of the way. They asked, what are the rights of the way? He said they are the lowering of your gazes (on seeing what is illegal to look at), refraining from harming people, returning greetings, advocating good, and forbidding evil.’ (Sahih Bukhari Hadith No. 2465)

A few things are clear through the hadith mentioned. They are highlighted below:

Hang out on the street:

It is often seen that different people hang out with friends on the street. Someone took the road and set up a shop in the footpath. The Prophet (SAW) forbade sitting on the streets and occupying the road.

Keep your eyes down:

When you walk on the road, keep your eyes down. Men can get involved in crimes like eve-teasing, and sexually abuse women due to perverted tastes. This is why the Holy Qur’an has said, ‘Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is acquainted with what they do.’ (Surat An-Nur [verse 30])

Do not make trouble:

Don’t smoke, abuse, and urinate on the road that will make trouble for people. Allah says, ‘And those who harm believing men and believing women for [something] other than what they have earned have certainly born upon themselves a slander and manifest sin.’ (Surat al-Ahzab [verse 58])

Narrated Abu Hurairah: ‘The Prophet (SAW) was saying: Be on your guard against two things which provoke cursing. They (the hearers) said: Prophet of Allah (SAW), what are these things which provoke cursing: easing in the watering places and on the thoroughfares, and in the shade (of the tree) (where they take shelter and rest).’ (Sunan Abu Dawood Hadith 25)

Responding to Salam:

Abu Umamah narrated: ‘The Prophet (SAW) said: Those who are nearest to Allah are those who are first to give a salutation. (Sunan Abu Dawood Hadith No. 5197). For this reason, one should try to greet everyone while walking on the road. If someone greets you, it is obligatory to respond to his greeting. Allah said, ‘And when you are greeted with a greeting, greets [in return] with one better than it or [at least] return it [in a like manner]. Indeed, Allah is ever, over all things, an Accountant.’ (Surat An-Nisa [verse 86])

Call people to honest acts:

It is the responsibility of all believers to call honest acts while walking on the road. Allah said, ‘And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoying what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be successful.’ (Surat Ali ‘Imran [verse 104])

Preventing wrongdoing:

A believer must prevent any wrongdoing. Allah said, ‘you are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoy what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are definitely disobedient. (Surat Ali ‘Imran [verse 110])