What is the Shari’ah ruling on whoever blocks public roads with barriers to reserve a place for his car? And what is the ruling on store owners who use public roads for their personal benefit?
Praise be to Allah. May His Blessings and Peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad.
In general, blocking a road with barriers or stones is not permissible, and the perpetrator is guilty because that would cause harm to Muslims, and passers-by; and harm is forbidden. If the perpetrator knew what goodness s/he has missed by doing so, he would not do such act at all. The prophet (peace be upon) said, "I saw a man going about in the bliss of Paradise as a reward for removing from the middle of the road a tree which was causing inconvenience to the people". (Muslim's Collection of Hadith)
The Prophet (pbuh) also said, "Faith has over seventy branches - or over sixty branches - the uppermost of which is the declaration that 'No one has the right to be worshipped but Allah'; and the least of which is the removal of a harmful object from the road; and modesty is a branch of faith". Removal of a harmful object means putting it aside. What is meant by harm is everything that may cause harm, such as a stone, mud, spines or other similar objects.
It was reported that Abu Barzah Al-Aslami said, "O Messenger of Allah! Tell me of an action by which I may gain great benefit.' He (pbuh) said: 'Remove harmful objects from the path of the Muslims.'"
It was narrated from Abu Dharr that the Prophet (pbuh) said: "My nation was shown to me with their good deeds and bad deeds. Among their great deeds I saw a harmful thing being removed from the road. And among their bad deeds I saw sputum in the mosque that had not been removed.
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) told, "Once a man was walking on the road when he found a thorny branch and removed it. Allah appreciated his action by forgiving his sins".
We ask Allah Almighty to guide us all to what is good and beneficial, and to spare us what is damaging and harmful.