Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
People have spoken a great deal in the al-Jazeerah newspaper about the issue of women driving cars. It is well known that it leads to evil consequences which are well known to those who promote it, such as being alone with a non-mahram woman, unveiling, reckless mixing with men, and committing haraam actions because of which these things were forbidden. Islam forbids the things that lead to haraam and regards them as being haraam too.
Allaah commanded the wives of the Prophet and the believing women to stay in their houses, to observe hijab and to avoid showing their adornments to non-mahrams because of the permissiveness that all these things lead to, which spells doom for society. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance, and perform As-Salaah (Iqamat-as-Salaah), and give Zakaah and obey Allaah and His Messenger. Allaah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs (evil deeds and sins) from you, O members of the family (of the Prophet), and to purify you with a thorough purification”
“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed”
“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, headcover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of feminine sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful”
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No man is alone with a (non-mahram) woman but the Shaytaan is the third one present.”
Islam forbids all the things that may lead to immorality or accusations of immoral conduct made against chaste women, who never even think of anything touching their chastity, and it has stipulated a punishment for that which is one of the most severe of punishments, in order to protect society from the spread of the causes of immorality.
Women driving is one of the means that lead to that, and this is something obvious, but ignorance of the rulings of sharee’ah and the negative consequences of carelessness with regard to the things that lead to evil – as well as diseases of the heart that prevail at present – and love of permissiveness and enjoying looking at non-mahram women all lead to indulging in this and similar things, with no knowledge and paying no attention to the dangers that it leads to. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad): (But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawaahish (great evil sins and every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allaah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allaah of which you have no knowledge”
“and follow not the footsteps of Shaytaan (Satan). Verily, he is to you an open enemy”
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I am not leaving behind me any fitnah more harmful to men than women.”
It was narrated that Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The people used to ask the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about good things, but I used to ask him about bad things, fearing that I would live to see such things. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, we were in a state of ignorance (jaahiliyyah) and evil, then Allaah sent us this good (i.e., Islam). Will there be any evil after this good?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘Will there by any good after that evil?’ He said, ‘Yes, but it will be tainted.’ I said, ‘How will it be tainted?’ He said, ‘(There will be) some people who will guide others in a way that is not according to my guidance. You will approve of some of their deeds and disapprove of others.’ I said, ‘Will there be any evil after that good?’ He said, ‘Yes, there will be people calling at the gates of Hell, and whoever responds to their call, they will throw them into it (the Fire).’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, describe them to us.’ He said, ‘They will be from among our people, speaking our language.’ I said, ‘What do you command me to do if I live to see such a thing?’ He said, ‘Adhere to the jamaa’ah (group, community) of the Muslims and their imaam (leader).’ I asked, ‘What if there is no jamaa’ah and no leader?’ He said, ‘Then keep away from all those groups, even if you have to bite (eat) the roots of a tree until death overtakes you whilst you are in that state.’” Agreed upon.
I call upon every Muslim to fear Allaah in all that he says and does and to beware of fitnah and those who promote it. He should keep away from all that angers Allaah or leads to His wrath, and he should be extremely cautious lest he be one of these callers to Hell of whom the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) tells us in this hadeeth.
May Allaah protect us from the evil of fitnah and its people, and protect this ummah from the evil of those who promote bad things. May He help the writers of our newspapers and all the Muslims to do that which pleases Him and may He set the Muslims straight and save them in this world and in the Hereafter, for He is Able to do that.
Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 3/351-353.