In Trinidad it is a common practice to set fire to the grass & stubble in the fields during the summer months as a cheap means of clearing the land. Most often this results in a dense cloud of smoke that covers the surrounding area and lingers for hours or even the whole day. This poses a health problem to those living close by. In view of the high incidence of allergies in the nose & eyes as well as asthma in T&T, this becomes very significant. Moreover, the doors & windows have to be kept closed least a thick layer of ash & burnt blades of grass descends on all the furniture & floor.
Does this infringe upon the rights of the neighbors? What is the Islamic ruling on this practice? Does the injunction of ‘amr bil maaruf va nahiya bil munkar’ apply here?
في امان الله
Wa Alaikum As Salaam,
Yes, this infringes on the rights of the neighbor. This act of setting fire to grass etc. causes a great amount of harms to neighbors and all those who are in the area, and is totally prohibited in Islam.
Those who are involved in this should be spoken to. If they do not desist, then the relevant authorities should be informed and official reports should be made to the police or fire officers. At the same time, if one has the ability (without endangering oneself) to stop the fire from spreading, then he should do so.
Generally, Islam has given a strict prohibition on doing such things that bring about harm to others.
And Allah knows best,
Mufti Waseem Khan