Friday, July 13, 2012

Are Women Prohibited to Drive in Islam?

In the Name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Specially Merciful.

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of Mankind (male and female)

Islamic Center of Windermere:  Door to Door drive will begin, InshAllah, on July 14, 2012 at 5 PM, and continue until we cover all the communities. We need to select a person responsible for each community, so please let me know if you like to volunteer. 407-873-2187

After writing my last article, I received a comment from one of my dear brothers, who was worried that we may be drinking water with urine in it. So, let us investigate what is the truth. Following is his comment.

'' Islam does not ask us to ban women from driving''.  
Unfortunately this (driving ) of women [art of your article is not permitted in Islaam as it is against the laws of Hijaab.
Your article is 97% water mixed with 3% urine.
Therefore not good for Muslims consumption.


This brother is claiming that women driving a car is against the laws of hijab. In fact, Saudi Arabia bans women from driving, so he is not alone, and many Muslims seems to believe this. If a woman wants to go for grocery with her kids to the market, she is breaking the laws of hijab? If a woman goes to masjid, she is breaking the laws of hijab? If a woman drives with her husband sitting next to her, she is breaking the laws of hijab? How can that be? What laws of hijab are these? Are they mentioned in the Quran, or the Sunnah, or agreed upon by major scholars?

In fact, a little bit of investigation reveals that prohibiting women from driving is more of a cultural influence, and a minority opinion. There is no prohibition in Islam for a woman to go out alone and ride. In the following hadith, wife of Umar ibn AlKhattab (RA) goes out to the masjid, even when he did not give explicit permission. He was the strictest believer regarding hijab, and even complaint to the Prophet (PBUH) regarding his wives, and hence some of the orders of hijab were revealed.

Yahya related to me from Malik from Yahya ibn Sa'id that 'Atika bint Zayd ibn 'Amr ibn Nufayl, the wife of 'Umar al-Khattab, used to ask 'Umar ibn al-Khattab for permission to go to the mosque. He would keep silent, so she would say, "By Allah, I will go out, unless you forbid me," and he did not forbid her. (Muwatta Malik Book 14 Hadith 14.5.14)

There are other incidents where women came to masjid alone, and Umar knew about it.When Umar himself didn't prohibit women from travelling within the city alone, who else is more pious and understanding then him that can stand up and claim that women should not go out.

Banning women from driving is based on the fear that it will lead to immorality in the society, and it is certainly possible. Just like women going to masjid can lead to immorality. Just like women going to Hajj can lead to immorality. Just like allowing women to walk on the same street with man can lead to immorality. Just like allowing women to go to school can lead to immorality. Just like women working on the battlefield can lead to immorality. There are so many things that could lead to immorality that if we ban these, we will be enslaving women. Is that what Islam want us to do?

In fact, Saudi  Arabia bans women, because it goes against their culture norms, and it is no different than women being banned from masajid in Pakistan, and girls being banned from being educated in Afghanistan. These are not based on Islamic laws, but laws created to satisfy the cultural requirements.

Honestly, it is men feeling insecure and paranoid about the women, and I saw how a man behaved when a woman entered the masjid from the main door. His skin turns pale, eyes widened, face frowned, but the same person I know owns a gift shop where half naked women and covered women come and buy things, and he will smile and say "Thank you Maam." Why not he setup a separate counter for women? 

Islam does not ban women from driving, insecure men do, but we should change that. We should educate ourselves with Quran and Sunnah and replace these twisted ideologies with clear teachings of Islam.

After saying that, Islam does prohibit women from exposing part of her body except hands and face, and interacting with non-mahram men unnecessarily, but we don't have to police that, we should discourage that, without banning them from doing anything.

AbU Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) having said this: "Two are the types of the denizens of Hell whom I did not see: people having flogs like the tails of the ox with them and they would be beating people, and the women who would be dressed but appear to be naked, who would be inclined (to evil) and make their husbands incline towards it. Their heads would be like the humps of the bukht camel inclined to one side. They will not enter Paradise and they would not smell its odour whereas its odour would be smelt from such and such distance."( Sahih Muslim Book 24 Hadith 5310)

Brothers, please don't become the first type of residents of hell by banning your wives from doing anything. Teach them Islam and how to behave and don't chain them in the houses like cattles, and don't whip them with driving bans, masjid bans, school bans. You yourself should lower your gaze at work, at school, and at market. You should not be only worrying about banning women but banning your eyes from fornicating. And, you know what I mean. Protect your flock but modestly.

Sisters, please don't become the second type of residents of hell by preparing yourself when going out more than you prepare yourself for your husband. Don't wear the tight blouse and pants under a scarf. Don't socialize with non-mahram men unnecessarily. Your body, your voice, and your actions are all trials for men and an attraction for them. Please don't make it easy for Satan. Fight for your cause but with modesty.

And Allah knows best.

JazakAllah Khairin

A drinker of water without urine. (hopefully)
AbuArman Jumani


  1. On a lighter note, I think women should be prohibited from driving

    1. that is not funny. You know you cant lie even if you are joking and that is haram

  2. Many people think that the beliefs and laws of the Muslims is too much to be followed, most especially by the muslimah. On the other hand, I think this culture and laws are reasonable enough to be followed and respect by them.

    1. They are the laws from God himself, and they are designed to test us in this temporary life. Reward is everlasting for a few inconveniences.

      Do you mean culture of laws of Saudi Arabia?

    2. Dude, it is haram to steal women's God given rights for what is rightfully theirs. Women's "rights" get it?

    3. Valentino,
      It is not only haram, but it is Zulm (Opression) to take away anyone's right.
      Thats why no human should determine rights for another human, and only God has that ability to set rights with his infinite wisdom.
      However, what he has decided, we should surrender to his will, even our desires and limited knowledge oppose it.

      AbuArman Jumani