Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: My parents do not work due to health reasons and I am currently jobless. I don’t have any friends who live nearby and I wish to travel by train but the train tickets are very expensive so I opt for a child ticket. Is this okay?
Answer: assalamu `alaykum
From an Islamic perspective, it would be problematic for an adult to travel on a child ticket in the scenario you describe. This is because it is a form of cheating individuals, namely the owners of the train company, out of their rightful revenue.
However, with the above said, your need for positive and religious company is important. This is more so if a lack of such company causes emotional problems and stress.
I would advise you to use all means at your disposal to be able to meet your friends without having to commit something problematic in the religion. For example, instead of always traveling to them, you can have them come to you. You could also try to buy tickets well in advance when the price is likely cheaper, or for journeys during off-peak times. Alternatively, you could try to travel by bus for some journeys, which would likely be cheaper than taking a train.
Also, even if you do not have friends who live nearby, you could try to find events, a mosque, or any other setting that keeps you in the company of Muslims. You may find some of these things in areas outside of your own but closer to you than where your friends live, which may mean that the commute to these places is cheaper.
I understand your concerns and I will pray that your family and employment situation improves. The rights of other people, however, is something that our religion takes very seriously. It is sometimes better to be safe than sorry if a course of actions potentially entails infringing on the rights of another, to make compromises rather than getting what we would like. Remember that those who go about their lives with taqwa are assisted by God Himself. He finds a way out for them, as the Qur’an states.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani