Women Driving In Saudi Arabia: My Personal Thoughts

Asalamu Alaikum

Please view the article on my other blog, Future Husbands And Wives Of Saudis.

Thank you, Tara Umm Omar


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Family historian of Broussard, Gregory, Sledge and Williams family tree

18 thoughts on “Women Driving In Saudi Arabia: My Personal Thoughts”

  1. Assalamu Alaikum.
    I felt the same way, as many female foreigners in the Kingdom. I lost my dependence.I don’t want to even tally the taxi fare I have used since I arrived here 4 years ago and being with a non-mahram it’s totally absurd.
    Many fear that men, especially the young, will harass or chase female drivers.Other arguments focus on practicalities, like traffic jams, accidents, car breakdowns, driving in remote areas, etc.
    I can also understand the hesitation in allowing women to drive but I would place the fault of this completely on the men of this country. The problems are structural and deep-rooted. You can’t just lift the ban, but on the other hand, the longer you wait the harder it will get to change it.
    I say if there is a will, there is a way.

  2. Sarah- Wa alaikum salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh. Yeah see you know how I feel because you’ve experienced it yourself and see how much of an inconvenience it is. Its a hardship on the men too! After a hard day of work, my husband doesn’t feel like taking me anywhere…he just wants to relax at home. Sometimes he even has to work on the weekends subhanAllah. I know that things happen slowly here as opposed to the fast paced West and I’m trying to be patient myself insha’Allah. If you’re interested in reading more on the reactions to my article and my responses on Muxlim you can go here…


    Thanks for understanding where I’m coming from πŸ™‚

  3. Asalamu Alaikum,
    The dialogue between the Questioner and the Shaykh indicate that it is not haram for women to drive a car and its purely cultural.
    Women will be allowed to drive freely in Saudi Arabia freely in the near future but they must be with their Mahram.

  4. Yakubu- Wa alaikum salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh. You got that right! Insha’Allah I will live to see that day. And I don’t mind my husband being in the passenger seat, he has let me drive our car in the desert on more than one occasion and it was fun masha’Allah.

  5. Well my wife drives occasionally to work just by herself, there’s nothing wrong about that. She’s just as good driver as I am. I just can’t figure out any practical or logical reason to deny her driving, so it’s allright and even suggested to do so. Saves a lot of time and makes things and personal hobbies a lot easier.

  6. Manwithawife- Welcome to lslamic Articles and thanks for commenting. The thing about Saudi Arabia is that its a male dominated society and the men are expected to shoulder and insist on shouldering the majority of the responsibilities related to women. However there are some Saudi men (like my husband) who wouldn’t mind their women driving and taking over some of these responsibilities in order to ease their burdens. As I have stated, my husband’s job is very demanding so my being able to drive and take care of whatever errands a woman is allowed to take care of in Saudi Arabia, including extracurricular activities me and my son participate in, would be a big relief for him. And that is not to say he is shirking his responsibilities but merely delegating some of the unimportant ones to me which I gladly would accept!

  7. Why does driving a car seem to be the thing that people hold up as an example of what is unfair in Saudi Arabia. I find it strange. As a muslim if you live in a land where there are muslim rulers then you are subject to the rules of those muslim rulers…even if they contradict the opinion of another scholar because Allah orders us in the Quran to Obey those in authority over us. For us who are Muslims, who live in Saudi(I dont) we are subject to the laws of the land that we live in as long as they dont contradict Islam and honestly we should be patient with it. Driving a car is not the be all and end all of what it is to be a woman…is it?
    Those people who asked the Shaykh (Raheemahu Allah) asked a question that was related to Saudi(The Shaykh lived in Jordan). The Mufti of Saudi Arabia Shaykh Ibn Baz (Rahimahu Allah) was asked the same question and he advised that the women did not drive. So you see an example of two formidable Scholars who didnt arrive at the same opinion and walhamdulillah. I think this just opens the door for those reformists who want to dismantle what Saudi is in place of something more “democratic”.
    Wa Allahu Musta’an!

  8. Faraz- Thanks! How you wish what? Ok I’m hoping you wish we women could drive in KSA lol

  9. Aaishah- Since you don’t live in Saudi Arabia, that means you live in a country where you actually have a CHOICE whether you want to drive or not. So not being able to drive is the least of your worries in your daily life. You have not experienced the same inconveniences that disrupt our daily life. What I find strange is that another Muslim doesn’t empathize or try to empathize with our plight. Perhaps if the shoe were on the other foot, you would.

    I am not calling for rebellion against the government rulers or disobeying against their laws. I’m asking for my right to drive which Shaykh Al-Albaani and Shaykh Al-Waadi’ee prove is not against Islam. Yes its the law not to drive but there is no law against stating my opinion on driving in a respectful way. If you want to follow Shaykh bin Baz fatwa then that is between you and Allah. You have your proof and I have mine. I’d like to ask you something if you don’t mind…If you ever live in Saudi Arabia and they have allowed women to drive…will you still not drive a car in accordance with following Shaykh bin Baz’ fatwa saying it is haram for women to drive?

  10. I would rather not use “male-dominated society” as a negative. Every society is a male-dominated one. And there’s nothing wrong in that as long as that power is not abused.

    What we need to do is give the Islamic rights to women. That’s what this is all about.

    Terms such as male-dominated having negative connotations are infused in us by the political propaganda.

    Allah says in the Qur’an that men are the qawwaamoon alan-nisaa.

  11. Aaishah does have a point there. But there is genuine effort by the rulers to bring about reforms. Some are needed.

    And yes there is also the extreme that is using one issue to bring about something else… to try and make it closer to western society.

    But what is really needed is a genuine effort to bring about Islamic solutions.

    It is for the people in authority to bring about effective legislation. And its good to see Islamic scholars take part in this. So Insha Allah any legislation will keep that interest in perspective.

    What would be wrong is to ignore Islam and go on an agenda-driven mission.

    Let’s hope and pray for Saudi authorities. We seek solutions but we do that gently and not in a rebellious and indecent manner.

  12. Male-dominated society in the context I used was not meant to be a derogatory statement but a fact just because the men are the protectors of women.. That is why I followed it up with the sentence that men shoulder the responsibilities here which I view as a positive trait. Giving Islamic rights to women does not mean that men lose their maintainers/protectors of women status given by Allah. They can give us the freedom of movement while protecting us at the same time by establishing laws that punish those who cross the line against women on the roads.

  13. Faraz- I am all for change to bring about Islamic solutions and I think that the Saudi government reforming under King Abdullah’s leadership has shown some good results so far. Insha’Allah he and the 3ulema will arrive at a favorable decision to allow women to drive that are in line with Islam without encroaching upon womens’ Islamic rights.

  14. Of course… I agree with u Tara on both the points. I was just saying it in a different way… and thought I would also try to put that media language in perspective. Though I fully know that u don’t hold it a negative way at all πŸ™‚

  15. Oh nooooo!!!! I forgot again, I’m so sorry. Why do I keep doing this subhanAllah. It would have been very good for an SL exclusive and then I could have put them on IA and FHWS later on. I just put a reminder on the wall above my desk πŸ™‚

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