1 – Removal of hijab, because driving a car involves uncovering the face which is the site of fitnah and attracts the glance of men. A woman is only regarded as beautiful or ugly on the basis of her face, i.e., if it is said that she is beautiful or ugly, people only think in terms of her face. If something else is meant it must be specified, so that one would say that she has beautiful hands or beautiful hair or beautiful feet. Hence it is known that the face is the focal point. If someone were to say that a woman can drive a car without taking off her hijab, by covering her face and wearing dark glasses over her eyes, the answer to that is that this is not what really happens when women drive cars. Ask those who have seen them in other countries. Even if we assume that this could be applied initially, it would not last for long, rather the situation would soon become as it is in other countries where women drive. This is how things usually develop; they start out in an acceptable fashion then they get worse.
2 – Another evil consequence of women driving cars is that they lose their modesty, and modesty is part of faith as is narrated in a saheeh report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Modesty is the noble characteristic that befits the nature of women and protects them from being exposed to fitnah. Hence it is mentioned in a metaphorical sense (in Arabic), in the phrase “more modest than a virgin in her seclusion.” Once a woman’s modesty is lost, do not ask about her.
3 – It also leads to women going out of the house a great deal, but their homes are better for them – as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said – because those who love to drive enjoy it very much, hence you see them driving around in their cars here and there for no purpose, except to enjoy driving.
4 – You may find a divorced woman going where she wants, whenever she wants and however she wants, for whatever purpose she wants, because she is alone in her car, at any time she wants of the day or night. She may stay out until late at night. If people are complaining about this with regard to young men, then what about young women, going all over the place the length and breadth of the country, and maybe even beyond its borders.
5 – It is a means of women rebelling against their families and husbands; at the least provocation they may go out of the house and drive in the car to wherever they think they can get some peace, as happens in the case of some young men, who are able to put up with more than women.
6 – It is a cause of fitnah in many places: when stopping at the traffic lights, or at gas stations, or at inspection points, or when stopped by policemen at the scenes of traffic infractions or accidents, or if the car stalls and the woman needs help. What will her situation be in this case? Perhaps she may come across an immoral man who takes advantage of her in return for helping her, especially if her need is great to the point of urgency.
7 – When women drive it leads to overcrowding in the streets, or it deprives some young men of the opportunity to drive cars when they are more deserving of that.
8 – It causes fitnah to flourish because women – by their nature – like to make themselves look good with clothing etc. Do you not see how attached they are to fashion? Every time a new fashion appears they throw away what they have and rush to buy the new things, even if it is worse than what they have. Do you not see the adornments that they hang on their walls? In the same way – or perhaps more so – with the cars that they drive, whenever a new model appears they will give up the first for the new one.
With regard to the questioner asking, “And what is your opinion on the idea that women driving cars is less dangerous than their riding with non-mahram drivers?” – what I think is that both of them involve danger, and one is more serious than the other in some ways, but there is no necessity that would require one to do either of them.
Please note that I have answered this question at length because of the controversy that surrounds the issue of women driving cars, and the pressure faced by conservative Saudi society, which is striving to adhere to its religious commitment and morals, to allow women to drive cars.
This would be nothing strange if it were to come from an enemy who seeks to cause harm this land which is the last bastion of Islam that the enemies of Islam wish to penetrate. But what is even stranger is that this is coming from our own people who speak our language and live under our banner, people who are dazzled by what the kaafir nations have of material advancement and admire their ways which are devoid of any moral restrictions.
End quote from Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen.
With regard to countries in which woman are allowed to drive cars, Muslim women should avoid that as much as possible, for the reasons mentioned above.
In cases of necessity, such as helping accident victims or fleeing from a criminal, there is nothing wrong with a Muslim woman using a car in such situations, if she cannot find a man to help her.
There are other cases, such as women who have to go out to work and have no husband, father or guardian to look after them and no income from the government to meet their needs, and they cannot find work that they can do at home, such as some internet-based jobs, so they are forced to go out. In that case they can use the means of transportation that poses the least danger to them.
There may be some means of transportation that are available only to women, or a group of women may hire a driver to take them to work or university. Using taxis– for those who can afford it – may be better than using public transportation where a woman may be exposed to humiliation and aggression, so they should use taxis, so long as they are not alone with the driver.
If a woman is forced to drive a car in cases of extreme need, then she should drive wearing full jilbaab and hijab, and with fear of Allaah.
We have already mentioned above what constitutes need.
Women should also seek fatwas from the trustworthy scholars in their own countries – not those who are too lenient – who understand both sharee’ah and the situation in that country.
And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“So keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him as much as you can”
We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon his family and companions.
[courtsey of Islam Q&A]
This entry was posted on March 11, 2008 at 5:10 pm and is filed under Contemporary Issues, Fatawa, Fear the Dunya, Modesty in Modern Society with tags bin Baz, cars, driving, fatwa, haraam, Saudi, scholars, Uthaymeen, west, women. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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