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Islam In Alaska
The Famous Saudi-Salafi Fatawa
Prohibiting Women From Driving
(1990, 3:351-353 by Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Baz,
From: Majmu Fatawa wa Maqalat Mutanawwi'ah)
THE RULING ABOUT WOMEN DRIVING AUTOMOBILES
Thanks be to God and peace and blessing be upon His Prophet (S), and to the point at hand:
Much has been said in the Jazirah Newspaper about women driving automobiles even though it is well-known that their driving would introduce vices that are in no way unfamiliar to those 'who propagate its permissibility. Among these vices are a man's seclusion with a woman, unveiling, uninhibited mixing with men, and the violating of those restrictions by which these vices carne to be forbidden. The pristine Shari'ah blocks the means that lead to that which is forbidden and thereby prohibits the means altogether.
God Almighty commanded the wives of the Prophet (S) and those of the rest of the believers to _remain in their homes, to veil themselves, and to avoid showing their apparels in "front of non-mahram men because all of this leads to promiscuities that undermine all of society. God Almighty said: "And stay quietly in your houses and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance, and establish regular prayer, and give regular charity, and obey Allah and His Messenger" (Qur'an 33:33). The Almighty also said: "0 Prophet, tell thy wives and daughters and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad).
That is most convenient that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful!' (Qur'an 33:59). God Almighty also said: "And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And 0 ye Believers! Turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain bliss" (Qur'an 24:31). The Prophet (S) said, "A man does .not seclude himself with a woman except that the Devil becomes their third." The pristine Shari’ah blocks all avenues that lead to immoralities, including the slander of chaste women. The Shari’ah made the punishment for slander among the most severe in order to protect society from the proliferation of the causes of corruption. Women driving automobiles is among the causes of corruption that ought to be conceded. But the ignorance of people of Islamic laws and of the negative consequences of easing the means that lead to vice is among the calamities that afflict those people with diseased hearts, who revel in promiscuity, and enjoy gazing at women.
All of this leads people to delve into these discussions in this and similar matters without knowledge and without regard for the dangers that result from these positions. God, the Exalted, said: "Say: the things that my Lord hath indeed forbidden are: shameful deeds, whether open or secret, sins and trespasses against truth or reason; assigning of partners to Allah, for which He hath given no authority; and saying things about Allah of which ye have no knowledge" (Qur'an 7:33). God, the Glorified, also said: "and do not follow the footsteps of the Evil One, for he is an avowed enemy. For he commands you what is evil and shameful. And that ye should say of Allah that of which ye have no knowledge" (Qur'an 2:168-9). The Prophet(S) said: "I have not left behind me a fitnah more harmful for men than women." I:Iudhayfah b. al- YamanI (R)20 said: "People used to ask God's Messenger about goodness while I asked him about evil, lest it should broach me. Once I inquired, '0 God's Messenger, we were entrenched in ignorance and evil, then God bestowed upon us this goodness [i.e., Islam]; so will this goodness be followed by any evil?' He answered, 'Yes.' I asked, 'Will this evil be followed by any goodness?' He responded, 'Yes, but it will be obscure,' to which I probed: 'What is the nature of its obscurity?' He answered, 'A people will guide by other than my guidance, but you will recognize them and will therefore reject them.' Then, I repeated, 'So will this goodness be followed by any evi1?' He replied, 'Yes, callers at the gates of Hell. Whoever responds to their call shall enter it.' I asked, '0 Messenger of God, please describe them to me.' He answered, 'They share our complexion and dialect.' I asked, 'So what shall I do if I live to see all of this?' He responded, 'Adhere to the true Muslims and their leader.' I, then, asked, 'And suppose the Muslims have neither a political leader nor a recognizable majority?' He . cautioned, 'Then eschew all factions even if you had to bite into the roots of a tree until death visits you and finds you doing so.'" Related by BukharI and Muslim.
I, veritably, call upon every Muslim to be conscious of God in his speech and actions and to guard himself from enticements and from people who incite them to pursue these enticements. I beseech every Muslim to distance himself from every endeavor deserving of or leading to that which deserves God Almighty's anger, and to be especially cautious not to be included among those callers whom the Prophet (S) described in the time-honored hadith above. May God protect us from these tribulations and from its proponents, preserve for this community its religion, and save it from the evil of those who invite to corruption. May God direct our writers and the rest of the Muslims towards that which pleases God and benefits the affairs of the Muslims, and may God grant them prosperity in this world and the next. Indeed, God is the One in control of this and able to bring it to fruition.
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