Throwing Harm in the Street (Littering)
The Prohibition of Littering
Ibn ul-’Uthaymeen rahimahullah:
“the conclusion is that everything that harms should be removed from the street. You will be rewarded for that deed. Therefore, if removing harm the street is an act of charity,then throwing harm in the street is a sin. Amongst those who are sinful are those who throw their garbage in the middle of the sin…” [Sharh Riyaadul-Saliheen (1/290) no. 248]
Shaikh Abdul-Muhsin al-’Abbad was asked:
Question: What is the ruling on throwing harm in the street?
Answer: “No doubt it is sinful for him to throw harm instead of removing it from the street. This is similar to one who urinates in the street. However his statement sallahu alayhi wa salam: “Beware of the two sources of curses” is intended to mean the one who relieves himself in the street or the shade of the people which they use to shade” [Sharh Sunan Abi Dawood no. 594]
The danger of Throwing Harm in the Street
سَعْدُ بْنُ أَبِي وَقَّاصٍ، فَقَالَ: ” إِيَّاكُمْ وَالْمَلَاعِنَ، أَنْ يَقْذِفَ أَحَدُكُمْ أَذَاهُ فِي الطَّرِيقِ، فَلَا يَمُرُّ أَحَدٌ فِي الطَّرِيقِ إِلَّا قَالَ: لَعَنَ اللَّهُ مَنْ فَعَلَ هَذَا
Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas said: “Beware of action that will incur cursing: that a person throw his garbage in the street. So no one passes the street except he says: may Allah curse the one who did this” [al-Musaawi ul-Akhlaaq of Kharaaiti no. 800 with the a Saheeh chain ]
Reward of Removing Something Harmful From the Street
The Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam said:
وتميط الأذى عن الطريق صدقة
Removing harmful things from the way is charity
And he said:
وإماطة الأذى عن الطريق صدقة أو قال : ” صلاة
And removing something harmful from the street is charity or prayer
[Reported by al-Bazzar (1/438) and al-Haythami said in al-Majma’: reported by Abu Ya’la, Bazzar, and Tabarani in al-Kabir and Sagheer with something similar. He increased in his narration with: “All of that is compensated for by two rakats of Duha. The narrators of Abu Ya’la are the narrators of the Saheeh]
The Ruling on Removing Something Harmful From the Street
Shaikh Abdul-Muhsin al-’Abbad hafidhuhallah was asked:
Question: Removing something harmful from the street, is it obligatory or recommended?
Answer: “That which I see is that it is obligatory because the people will be harmed by it” [Sharh Sunan Abi Dawood no. 594]
What to remove from the street
Shaikh Ibn ul-‘Uthaymeen rahimahullah said:
“If you find in the street a rock or glass or thorns or other than that, then remove it, then that is from Imaan. Even cars which are parked in the middle of the street and make it narrow for the people. So they harm the people in the street and removing that is from Imaan” [Sharh Riyaadh us-Saliheen (1/736)]
What if you cannot remove it?
Shaikh Ibn ul-’Uthaymeen said: “so like this it is necessary to remove the harm from the street. If he is not able to, like there is a big rock or piles of sand or the likes, then let him convey it to the Municipality, for example, because they are responsible for this. So let him convey it to them so that he can be from those who help in righteousness and piety” [Sharh Riyaadh-us-Saliheen (1/736)]
Removing Something Harmful From the Street in a Non-Muslim Land
Question: The one who is in the lands of disbelief, does he remove something harmful from the street?
Answer: “Yes. He removes something harmful from the street even if he is the lands of disbelief” [Sharh Sunan Abi Dawood no. 594]
The One who Throws Harm in the Streets is Deficient in Imaan
Question: “Is it allowed to say that the one who throws something harmful in the street is deficient in Imaan?
Answer: “Yes, not doubt he is deficient in Iman because this is abuse and harm to the people” [Sharh Sunan Abi Dawood no. 594]
Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan