It is noteworthy that Islam deals with women on an equal footing with men. At the same time, Islam pays much more attention to protecting women against any harm. Islam sets certain rules in order to safeguard Muslim women against immorality and indecency and to preserve their chastity. Therefore, it requires women to stick to the Islamic code of dress and to observe haya’ (modesty) in their walk, speech, and conduct.
Dr. `Abdul-Fattah `Ashoor, Professor of the Exegesis of the Qur’an at Al-Azhar Univ., states: “As long as a woman gets out abiding by the Islamic teachings, then there is nothing wrong if she drives a car. Given that woman is the equal mate of man, and thus has equal rights for education, joining different jobs and getting out for such matters, then there is nothing wrong in permitting her to drive cars.
Those scholars who did not allow women to drive cars did so as a precautionary measure. However, this caution is not warranted as long as women participate in all fields of life and take part in different works. But what should be stressed here is that a Muslim woman should stick to the Islamic manners (when getting out of her home); she should not drive her car to suspicious places or such places that may expose her to danger. Abiding by these conditions, there will be nothing to prevent women from driving cars.”
Having stated the above, we’d like to state that driving cars and other means of transportation is in itself permissible for women. In the pre-Islamic era Arab women used to ride camels. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: ‘The best women who rode camels are the women of Quraysh. They are the best to show affection towards children and to care for their husbands’ wealth.’ The only condition is that women should stick to the Islamic manners while riding different means of transportation.
Having stated the above, it becomes clear that a woman is permitted to drive a car or any other means of transportation as long as she abides by the above-mentioned guidelines.