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.

As regards riding bikes by women we’d like to state that riding bikes, cars and other means of transportation is in itself permissible. 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.”

Also, this practice may have something to do with the culture of a certain society. In some societies it is common that women use certain means of transportation rather than others. Islam doesn’t reject cultures which don’t conflict with the teachings of Islam. One of the distinguishing features of Islam is easiness. Allah Almighty says: (He hath chosen you and hath not laid upon you in religion any hardship) (Al-Hajj 22:78).

The only condition is that women should stick to the Islamic manners while riding the bike. She should abide by the Islamic code of dress, and she should not sit on the same bike behind or in front of a non-Mahram male, for this leads to forbidden touching.

“If riding a bike or a horse is a common practice, if the horse or bike is the method of transportation in the local area, and if the woman can ride it without revealing any of her `awrah (parts of her body that should not be exposed in public), then the answer is yes, the woman may ride it.” Given the above, the issue of women riding bikes as means of transportation is governed by what secures their honor and dignity.