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Ruling on Causing Traffic Accidents

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
I have parked my vehicle on the roadway side of a vehicle already stopped {Double-parking}. As a child was crossing the road from behind my car, he was run-over by a bus, because my car has blocked the driver`s vision. Am I liable for anything?

All perfect praise be to Allah The Lord of the Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Traffic accidents resulting in someone`s death are liable to the rulings of Islamic Law(Sharia) in terms of determining liability and the party on whom the Diyah(Blood-money), the Kafarah(Expiation) and the sin are due?

The accident report issued by the Traffic Department determines the liability of the accident elements. If it holds the driver liable or negligent, and proves that he had violated the traffic law, then he is accountable for what he did and liable for punishment.

Resolution(260) by the Board of Iftaa`, Research and Islamic Studies, on liability in run-over accidents, stated what follows: "Islamic jurisprudence has addressed the issue of liability in traffic accidents with a spectrum of generally agreed upon rules. One of these is that when initiation and cause of damage are combined the person causing the accident shouldn`t be held liable unless there is misconduct/transgression on his/her part. "The initiator should bear liability in case he/she has or hasn`t transgressed." {Al-EnayahShareh Al-Hidayah, 10/325}. Moreover, "The initiator is liable even if he/she hasn`t transgressed while the person causing the accident isn`t unless he/she has transgressed."{Maj`ma` Ad-Damanat, 146}."

Resolution (71/1993) by the International Islamic Fiqh Academy stated: "Car accidents undergo the rulings of criminology stipulated in Sharia……freedom from liability is granted only in the following situations:(One of them): The accident was due to the victim`s negligence and transgression, so it is his/her liability."

In conclusion, as made clear in the above question, the questioner has violated the traffic law by double-parking his car and blocking the vision of the bus driver and socausing that child to be run-over by that bus. Given this, the questioner is negligent, sinful and liable for causing the accident. However, since the parking of the latter`s car has coincided withthe running-over of that child by the bus driver, he(Car driver) is relieved from the Diyah and kaffarah, but he isn`t cleared from the sin and the discretionary punishment because of having violated the traffic law. That is of course in case the judge sees as such. And Allah knows best.

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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