The Reasoning behind the Ban on Women Driving

Any Saudi who is against women driving, when asked about it will first say: This is an old topic and it is done with and that Saudis have all agreed that they do NOT want women to drive except for an ignorant and misled few. Besides it is also a minor issue that not that many women care about. If the issue is still pressed then the Saudi will promptly give you the following reasons:

There are two rules in Ifta (the science of writing a fatwa):

a) Whatever leads to an Islamic prohibition, should be prohibited.

b) And if an issue’s detriments outweigh or equal its benefits then it should be prohibited.

Based on the above two Ifta rules, women should not drive because:

  •  Women driving cars will lead them to take off the face-cover.
  • It will lead to women losing their modesty and feminine shyness.
  • It will make it easier for women to leave their houses without need.
  • It will lead women to be free to go wherever they want and whenever they want.
  • It will be a tool of rebellion against husbands and families in that if a woman is upset she can get in her car and go someplace to cool down.
  •  It will lead to Fitna (a door to sin)in many ways:

a) at stoplights

b) at gas stations

c) at investigation points

d) if a woman is stopped for an accident or traffic violation

e) if she needs to fill her tires with air

f) If a woman’s car stops because of a malfunction and in this case a scumbag guy might come and bargain with her for sex in exchange for fixing her car.

  •  It is reason for financial excess because women are naturally frivolous and they are known to throw away clothes every time a new style comes out and as such she will do the same with cars; getting every new model as soon as it comes out.

These reasons and more are all across the internet and they are taken very seriously by a large number of Saudis. Some of the websites that carry these reasons include:


Filed under Uncategorized

42 responses to “The Reasoning behind the Ban on Women Driving

  1. Abs Yasin

    Well I guess it can’t be helped. As far as this country’s concern, I don’t think it’s ready to open this topic. Moreover, other issues are in line in order to obtain/grant the will to let women drive in this country.

    In the end, many matters are in need of change before discussing this issue.

    “Just my point of view, please do forgive me”.


  2. Cadenza

    Western woman
    -Women driving cars will lead them to take off the face-cover.- Women would have a psycholigical persona denied by the veil.
    -It will lead to women losing their modesty and feminine shyness.- WOmen can be modest and shy driving. There are many in other countries in latinamerica as an example.
    -It will make it easier for women to leave their houses without need.- This is awesome!!!!!!
    -It will lead women to be free to go wherever they want and whenever they want.- It is a freedom that human being deserve as human beings regardless of their gender.
    -It will be a tool of rebellion against husbands and families in that if a woman is upset she can get in her car and go someplace to cool down.- It is the lack of rebellion and the act of submission that makes all of this medieval.
    It will lead to Fitna (a door to sin)in many ways:
    I believe it is a sin and a waste of brain and female intelligence to hide who she is behind a veil and no to allow her to think , read or learn that life does offer her other options that have nothing to do necesarilly with men.

  3. asalaam alaikum warahmat Allah wabarakatu:

    those excuses are so laim. women who choose to wear the niqab for the sake of Allah will continue to wear it when they are driving. those who feel deemed to wear it, will continue feel deemed to wear for cultural reasons religious reasons)

    driving has nothing to do with shyness and modesty, didnt the female companions have their own riding animals and some were in the face of battles while doing so

    it will make it easier for women to leave their homes without need that is true, but it will also make it easier to care for her children by going to the schools, medical appointments, buying food for her children, and even bringing them to classes without relying on her husband who is busy working hard for his family’s sustenance..and not enable her to use a non-mahram driver in the case of an emergency

    women being free? oh really? women seem to be pretty free to go wherever they are with their personal non-mahram drivers anyway. permission does not seem to be needed anyway, its more like if their husband has the time to bring them..and women who are free to go as they please still rely on their conscious, self-respect, and personal principles. if she is a God-fearing woman who cares for her family-then her ‘freedom’ to go out as she pleases is aimed at serving Allah, her family..not to the coffee shop to gossip..female sahabas made their own decisions and did as they pleased so long as it did not go against their deen. i know the women of today are different..but the men aren’t prophets or companions either..

    if a woman is upset and feels like getting away..she doesnt need a car to do it..a good walk can do it..not granting her permission to drive because of this is really rather ridiculous..this can backfire by if she chooses to get into a taxi with a non-mahram in a vulnerable emotional state..this is better than getting in the car behind the wheel herself?? NO way.

    the fitna in many ways mentioned above..well, as a woman who lives in madinah, i admit can be quite intimidating to speak to another male at a store or something while my husband is not around..but with proper ettiquette and all in public view..these points made above can be worked around: at investigation points so long as i am in the car with my husband he doesnt get stopped anyway! maybe they can hire mahram women of the officers to help out stopping women drivers-same with the other points..but the truth is..there shouldnt be a fitnah so long as the women are covered and no side talk is done.. and as far as repairs..well if its such a big deal then have the shops only open for men but women in case of justifiable emergencies..

    prophet muhammad (sal Allahu alayhee wa salaam) spoke very highly of some women who were not related to him and kind deeds were done towards them and vice versa-also towards the companions.

    saudi needs to let up a little bit on women , i think rather than trying to justify driving something as religious when its clearly culture..they should try to delve into their issues of culture and let it follow more the religion! subhanAllah..

    Allah Knows Best

    (sorry havent gotten to your tag yet..been really busy and away from blogs for a while)

    • molly maisey

      Why do men want to work in a womens underwear store ? is this not perverse. If i went to Marks & Spencers and was messured for underwear by a male stranger i would be offended. Does this not offend you.

  4. Pingback: A Saudi woman rationizes why they cannot drive. This is what Shariah can do to break the spirit of a woman « Shariah Finance Watch

  5. In Saudi its either my way or the highway!
    you take what i say and like it, or go someplace else!
    when are they going to grasp the stupidity behind their prohibitions!
    Driving doesn’t add or take away anything!

    # Women driving cars will lead them to take off the face-cover.
    driving won’t be the reason women take off the face cover, if they wanted to they would take it off with or without driving!.. besides, you don’t need your face to drive.. you only need your eyes! some excuse they have come up with!!

    # It will lead to women losing their modesty and feminine shyness.
    so i guess every women in this world has lost her modesty and feminine shyness except the women in Saudi? I don’t think so! another lousy excuse!

    # It will make it easier for women to leave their houses without need.
    LOL I don’t get this!?!

    # It will lead women to be free to go wherever they want and whenever they want.
    a car, which is an object, won’t make or break a rule! Women can be free without it! if their parents raised them the right way, a car won’t shatter what the parents have taught!.. It is like TV. so many have said before that having cable inside Saudi homes will lead women and men to become more free! wrong! women and men when they see something on TV that they know is wrong, they block or change the channel!!

    # It will be a tool of rebellion against husbands and families in that if a woman is upset she can get in her car and go someplace to cool down.
    If a women has chosen to be away from her husband because she is upset and wants to “cool down” being carless won’t stop her. There is a taxi, friends drivers, her driver, brother, father, and it just goes on and on

    When will they wake up and smell reality 🙂

  6. Still I don’t understand why in Saudi Arabia they insist to live under the seige of rejecting anything outside the border

    What’s wrong with all muslim ladies driving in the whole world!! Why should it be so very different with saudi women!

    Fatwas in Saudi Arabia works with what the recent political situation draws.

    Very soon, women will drive under a NEW FATWA of PERMISSION becasue the new era has already started in the area and who lives in Saudia sees obviously how life changes to be kind of american life under the goverment recognition. Doors are opened now and women’s driving is coming on its way to green light.

  7. By the way,

    Blessed Ramadan for all of us

    Join and support our campaign here

  8. Pingback: Please let us drive « Saudiwoman’s Weblog

  9. Pingback: Saudi woman top five blog posts « Saudiwoman’s Weblog

  10. maha

    it might be this this kind of fear , fear from any thing new ! they reject it when its far away ! they talk about it when it is on the table ! and they eat it when its served ! this is what will happen with the driving issue , just as happened before with the satelite , education ,,,,ect!

  11. Ammar

    # Women driving cars will lead them to take off the face-cover. (face covering is debatable)
    # It will lead to women losing their modesty and feminine shyness. (her poor husband is the person who she will call to fix her car, or AAA)
    # It will make it easier for women to leave their houses without need. (and will make it easier for the poor husband for not leaving the house without need)
    # It will lead women to be free to go wherever they want and whenever they want. (She can walk out, she might take a cab, or anyone can pick her up. It is all based on trust, & doesn’t the wife have a FREE will in the 1st place. A sane lady will not do anything that will ruin her marriage or life.)
    # It will be a tool of rebellion against husbands and families in that if a woman is upset she can get in her car and go someplace to cool down. (LOL, no comments)

  12. Ammar

    (I as a man could come up with a 100 reason more, bez I know how mind-twisted, sexually-fantasizing, insanely-male-chauvinist our society is.)

    (let me give u an example of the double standards we men have in KSA, if I saw a a friend walking with his (let’s say) sister I will be immediately humble, bashful & respectful, & from that day on I will treat his sister with utmost respect, but if the same girl walks down the street (without me knowing that she is my friend’s sis) thoughts will rush to my mind saying “why she is walking alone? what made her get out of her house at this time? is she married? she most be looking for something? & all that wrongful thinking)

    Aren’t our cities famous for being the safest places on earth (that is what I always hear when a compassion between us & them “the west” occurs), bez we supposedly follow Islam rules, So why do we fear our wives, sisters, moms, etc. going out “doing necessary home errands” alone

    Aren’t we following Islamic shari3a, so we don’t fear for our safety, & we know if something bad happened (Allah forbid) we have Islamic laws to get justice!!!

    Unless we know (& we are being hypocrite about) that we are following shari3a as we see fit, & we have bigger problems that we sweep under the carpet

    Letting women drive is not our biggest issues & defiantly not our first priority

    Let’s look at the big picture & slap our selves on the face to wake up from this denial state of mind so we could tell our kids (or our kids will tell thier kids) one day, this is the gen that stood up & fought up for what u r having today

    & God bless KSA

  13. Maria

    What the hell is happening to these saudi women? They don’t know how luxurious their life is. Once the ban’ll be lifted then you’ll miss ‘those-old-days-when-women-weren’t-allowed-to-drive’. My friend in Uk loathes driving cos now it’s kind of a job for her. Her husband has become so lazy that she even ‘ve to pick & drop her kids from school.
    Every Saudi women is a queen. I don’t get it, why they want to make their life difficult? This is so ridiculous!
    Allah made the woman to take care of things inside the house and Allah’s vision is the best.

  14. Usman

    ” Maria

    In what sense?”

    In the sense that you have no idea what a choice is.

  15. Kit

    It’s real simple…..forbid the MEN to drive the next 50 years & let them feel the repression they gave women. Empower the women to make the rules that ALL men & boys need to follow.

    Better yet, to rebel & take down the Saud Kingdom….why the USA or any European Country allow this tribe to expand it’s goofy ideology is unforgivable.

    After 911, the USA should have take complete control of the Arabian peninsula to end this madness.

    Though since the expansion & fear of Iran, the Sauds with suck up & require the USA to protect their “ass”ets. Though I say, DON’T DO IT.

  16. Yara

    Anyone who tells you Women still can’t drive because of religious reasons is a fool.

  17. Kit


    Does the word delusional or brainwashed mean anything to you?

    “Since man exercises a sovereign authority over women, it is especially fortunate that this authority has been vested in him by the Supreme Being.” ~SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR

    If any man has the belief of an invisible all knowing, all powerful space daddy, which they invented, then their views toward woman as chattel will continue. What part don’t you understand?

    “Because Muslims hate their women, and any group who hates their women can’t love anyone else.” People then ask, but why do Muslims hate their women?” And I reply, “Because their god does.” Abdullah al-Qasimi (Arabia)

    Is this really a forum of FREE SPEECH, or is free speech used to eliminate free speech by Sharia?

    Saudiwoman…will you deny this comment too? Afraid of the truth?

    • Usman

      Judging by your several comments, one can easily tell that you are suffering desperation over men. Ge a male friend, It will help you understand that men are not demons.


      • Kit


        Would this be a comment or opinion from someone from one of the most repressive & controlling societies on the Planet that view & treat woman as chattel?

        Men are of course not demons, only men that take it upon themselves, and justified by the ancient writings of primitive men in a primitive time, to control the lives of women.

        Would the reverse of this behavior be justified & allow the WOMEN to make the rules?

      • Kit

        Usman…BTW, I am a MAN that believes in the empowerment of WOMEN worldwide with equal education & birth control to be her CHOICE & not from a man majority society. FREEDOM OF CHOICE.

        Women has the same rights to DRIVE AN AUTOMOBILE.

      • Kit

        Usman….I see we have reached the level of intelligent conversation that your comfortable with. And I understand your views as coming from a fear based society, especially being a woman.

        As an American man, I’m disappointed that after 911, we didn’t just focus our attention of your repressive dictatorial society & removed the Saud influences with changes that today you would be enjoying. Instead we made an error & went to Iraq, which is now stinging us & the area with Iran’s aggressive push.

        Western “tech” is chipping away in our “stealth jihad” against your repression with the internet & the World understanding your situation.

        Slowly we are being like you, & you are slowing becoming like us.

        Thank you for your one finger salute in support of repression….I’ll continue to point mine in the direction of the repressive Saud influence, & it’s fear toward women of the World.

        Saudiwoman….having fun trying to repress my comments? Still struggling with the truth? Don’t worry the American’s are in your back yard & we may be coming South soon.

  18. Omaima


  19. Hamza Farooq

    Honestly the Saudi society cant handle it now. Why , from your 14 Feb pics one can surely see they will make a very big mess around a girl seen in a car. Will you be able to drive with concentration in presence of these idiots?

    Haven’t u seen them harassing only female passengers in taxi?

    So i believe woman have equal right as man in islam. BUT this society cant handle it.

  20. hexxor

    The reason to forbid women to drive is that a car has a gearbox and a gearbox handle. Women could get sexually exhalted by touching the handle because the handle resembles a male reproductive organ. Many men I think would be jealous towards their own car if women were allowed to drive.

  21. Muslima

    Sooooo silly! I told my brother about this (and by the way I’m from a very religious, conservative Muslim family) and he couldn’t believe his ears! He started laughing, actually.

    And women will get the cars and waste money???? Gimme a break, that’s what the men do! Who hasn’t gone to the Gulf and seen guys switching SUVs like someone flipping channels?

  22. Pingback: Women participation in 2011 municipal elections: same old excuses | Saudiwoman's Weblog

  23. Pingback: Second Update on Manal Al Sherif | Saudiwoman's Weblog

  24. Saudi_analyst

    First of all, I am not Saudi but have lived in Saudi Arabia for more than 15 years.

    Saudi Arabia belongs to Aal Saud. So, it would be Arabia of Aal Saud or Property of Aal Saud ; They are the ones who make or break the rules. The real inhabitants of the land have no say what so ever.

    The same standards are not applied to Waleed bin Talal ibn Abdul Aziz aal Saud who owns many hotels which serve Alcohol and has bars in the hotels ( which women work as prostitutes ) ; This is another story…..

    The issue of Women Driving in Saudi Arabia means you need an infrastructure. There is no infrastructure for it. We all know to what extend saudi men are perverts ; they go outside saudi arabia to just have sex. You also know about the secret mutah marriages which are called misyaar marriages . The society is corrupt, shrewd and lewd. People from India, Pakistan, Indonesia, China are treated semi-humans. Maids from these countries are raped and where is the justice ?

    I mean do I need to write more, open your eyes, and look around. The Saudi Women are like pure hypocrites. They wear full hijab/jilbab while in their country but once they board the planes to western countries, everything is removed so that even the Western woman would shy away from the immodesty and indecency of these Saudi Women.

    Screwed up society , no one can help.

  25. almujtaba nigerian

    Saudi government u r right!! u hv lifted down ur civil responsibilities, let de jahil say wha ever he want 2 say, our prophet s.a.w says: who ever amongs u (muslims) seen a forbidng things stop it with his hands, otherwise with his mouth, or els with his heart, dis is de weaker one in imman. (Bukhari & Muslim).

  26. A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I believe that you need to write more about this subject matter, it may not be a taboo subject but usually folks don’t discuss such subjects. To the next! Cheers!!

  27. Oh my, I am a bus driver by profession and drive 15 tonn busses, big ones. I transport children to and from school, and grandparents, youngsters and adults. Does that make me a hore?

    Por you living there. I really feel with you.

  28. Daud isiaq

    Any body enjoyed female to drive is out of ingnorant which means they dont known the rules and regulation guid female islamically,they are just use western idiology that men and women have equal right which against islam,every body has his or her role to practice,go search for ibn bas fatwa on this particular issue it will guid you inshaalahu,allahu aalam

  29. Bad, saudi arabia often abuses islam and they were making islam like a christanity. its really bad, hated by Allah.

  30. This is absolutely irrational, they just can’t make up rules like this, if its not in the quran or the sunnah that its not forbidden

Leave a Reply to Usman Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s