Law of Tort in Islam – Proper Rules
What is Tort?
Tort is a violation of civil rights or agreement (outside the applicable contract) which causes harm, loss, potential offence towards others.
It can also be described as a wrongful action or violation or infringement of someone’s right (other than under the contract) which could leading those action into civil legal liabilities.
In our society, to punish people who commit crime or tress passing other right by criminal and civil law. Both law has their own rules, procedure, and etiquette.
The violation against right or tort is very detrimental to one person or even to society. Therefore in Islam we also knew the law of tort, which included of guidance for muslim to act and keep their behavior so they did not commit tort to others people. Also read about prohibition of begging in Islam.
Islamic View of Tort
The law of Islam or Islamic Sharia as the guidance for human being has two main goals :
- To regulate the relationship between human and Allah SWT
- To regulate the relationship between human itself, society, and surrounding including nature.
In those goals therefore Islamic Sharia basically have two domain of liability which are judicial and religious consideration.
And the judicial will also distinct it two liabilities which are legal liability and moral liability. Legal liability can cause someone in committed two different act that caused an impact of civil liability and criminal liability.
Islam see tort as civil liabilities and any kind of acts that related to trespass, damage, injure, or override other right will included as tort.
For example someone took off other people property because they have no state land ownership rights, even we know that they are they owner since the beginning.
Trespassing other right like this will included as tort and it strongly forbidden in Islam. Also read about the law of cutting hair while pregnant.
Law of Tort in Islam
In Islam the punishment of people who commit tort will be given to the judge which are based on the human law. But Islam also set rules on how people give the wrongdoers punishment by give them lesson and discipline them. The point is to correct mistakes or rehabilitates the wrongdoers so they did not commit another tort.
Law of torts in Islam is did not defined clearly but Islam give human a view of some punishment from the lgihtest to the most severe, and the decision will be given to the judgement of human law.
Shortly is there is no boundaries of how the law of tort in Islam. Some example of the guidance can be found in sins related to usury (riba), bribe, cursing others, and breaking agreement or promise. Like mentioned in the verse below,
“Indeed, the worst of living creatures in the sight of Allah are those who have disbelieved, and they will not (ever) believe – The ones with whom you made a treaty but then they break their pledge every time, and they do not fear Allah.” (QS. Al-Anfal : 55-56)
“But yes, whoever fulfills his commitment and fears Allah – then indeed, Allah loves those who fear Him.”
The verses explained about breaking a promise and agreement is the most hateful act for Allah SWT. And the person who commit means that they did not afraid of the punishment of Allah. Breaking agreement or promise may not cause physical harm, but it can leave disappointment for other, and sometimes it will lead for them a great loss materially.
Therefore muslim should fulfill their commitments, even the commitments does not written in paper and so forth but in the sight of Islam both is very important. Also read about law of marriage when pregnant in Islam.
Now, let see about the law of cursing other people, since this action also classified as tort. Why is that? Cursing, or creating commotion in society can cause violations of the right of others such as the right of to feel calm, to be respected, and right to safeguard their honor.
“O Allah, curse so-and-so-and-so.” (Al Bukhari)
And then Allah SWT revealed the following verse,
“That He might cut down a section of the disbelievers or suppress them so that they turn back disappointed. Not for you, (O Muhammad, but for Allah), is the decision whether He should (cut them down) or forgive them or punish them, for indeed, they are wrongdoers.” (QS. Ali’Imran : 127-128)
After that incident happened later the Prophet never curse people by name and he encouraged muslims to do so and not involving theirself in curse. Anas ibn Malik reported in the following hadith,
“The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, would not abuse others, he would not use obscene words, and he would not curse others. If he wanted to admonish anyone of us, he used to say : What is wrong with him? His forehead be dusted!” (Al Bukhari)
Cursing other means we hurt their feelings and we distrub their peace. Sometimes curse not only hurt those we want to cursed, but it is also annoyed other people surrounding and moreover it hurts the feelings of those closest to them like their parents and siblings. Therefore muslim should avoid cursing.
“It is not befitting the truthful that they curse others.” (Al-Bukhari)
“Those who indulge in curses will not be intercessors or witnesses on the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim)
Including with curse is slandering, it is also strongly prohibited for muslims to commit slander. Slander can be included as tort since it can be legally sued.
Slander is so cruel because it can take away the dignity and freedom of others. You can learn more about effects of slander in Islam.
The law of torts in Islam according to the above explanation is clearly forbidden or prohibited. It can legally impact people or at least create hostility.
Tort not only harm ourselves but other people too. Therefore in any action muslim should react with caution, do not interfere other people businesses, do not break your promises or contract, and stay away from stealing other people rights even though they do evil to you . Such deed is more noble in the view of Allah SWT. Also read about law of men wearing necklace in Islam.