Women working and driving

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

1. is it permissible for women to work.

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2. is it permissible for women to drive and ride motorbikes and bicycles.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

1.      Earning a livelihood is an integral part of life. In this regard Islam has allocated specific responsibilities and duties to each individual. If one were to peruse through the annals of history, it would become evident that the stability of a civilisation was more often than not structured around familial duties and responsibilities. Each member of a family played a specific role in maintaining a fully functional house-hold. If one member were to neglect their role in a house-hold, it will lead to a decline in a house-hold and society at large. Due to this, Allah Ta’ala has given men the responsibility of looking after women. Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Quraan:

الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنفَقُوا مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ  – (النساء: 34)

Translation: “Men are maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them excel over others and because they spend from their wealth on them” (An-Nisaa – 34)

As for a woman, her duties revolve around attending to the household duties, looking after the affairs of the husband and nurturing the children. Consider the following:

وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَى – (الاحزاب: 33)

Translation: “Remain in your houses and do not display your beauty as it was previously displayed in the Time of Ignorance.” (Al-Ahzaab – 33)

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ كُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْئُولٌ، فَالإِمَامُ رَاعٍ وَهْوَ مَسْئُولٌ وَالرَّجُلُ رَاعٍ عَلَى أَهْلِهِ وَهْوَ مَسْئُولٌ وَالْمَرْأَةُ رَاعِيَةٌ عَلَى بَيْتِ زَوْجِهَا وَهْىَ مَسْئُولَةٌ، وَالْعَبْدُ رَاعٍ عَلَى مَالِ سَيِّدِهِ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ، أَلاَ فَكُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْئُولٌ ‏”

(صحيح البخارى- 5188)

Translation: “`Abdullah bin `Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Every one of you is a guardian and every one of you is responsible (for his wards). A ruler is a guardian and is responsible (for his subjects); a man is a guardian of his family and responsible (for them); a wife is a guardian of her husband’s house and she is responsible (for it), a slave is… Beware! All of you are guardians and are responsible (for your wards).” (Sahih Al-Bukhari -5188)

We understand from the above Aayaat and Hadith that it is the duty of a man to bear the burden of the outside world and to support his family, while a woman must stay within the confines of her home and fulfil the duties of her household.

If the male members of her family are unable to support her financially and there is a necessity, then Islam does not prohibit a woman from earning a living. It is a common misconception in our age and time that a woman’s ability to earn for herself is completely disregarded. Islam does not prohibit women from working as long as no commands of Shariah are transgressed. This means that if a woman adheres to the laws of Hijaab, does not intermingle with the opposite sex etc. then it will be permissible to do so. However, if the job requires her to deal with male customers, then the interaction with male customers should be limited to the level of necessity. She should do so while maintaining her dignity and chastity.


2.      If there is a necessity, it will be permissible for a woman to drive with the following conditions:

  • She adheres to the laws of Hijaab when she leaves her home.
  • If she is driving without a Mahram, then the distance should not exceed the Safar distance (78kms).

Generally, the Hijaab of woman is compromised when riding a motorbike or bicycle, therefore, she should refrain from doing so.[i]

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Student-Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


البحر الرائق شرح كنز الدقائق ومنحة الخالق وتكملة الطوري (4/ 166) [i]

(قوله ومعتدة الموت تخرج يوما وبعض الليل) لتكتسب لأجل قيام المعيشة؛ لأنه لا نفقة لها حتى لو كان عندها كفايتها صارت كالمطلقة فلا يحل لها أن تخرج لزيارة ولا لغيرها ليلا ولا نهارا

والحاصل أن مدار الحل كون خروجها بسبب قيام شغل المعيشة فيتقدر بقدره فمتى انقضت حاجتها لا يحل لها بعد ذلك صرف الزمان خارج بيتها كذا في فتح القدير


الدر المختار (3/ 145)

 (و) لها (السفر والخروج من بيت زوجها للحاجة؛


فتاوى محمودية (ج-19 ص-183 – جامعة فاروقية)


اپ کے مساءل اور ان کا حل (ج-8 ص-69 – مکتبۃ لدہیانوی





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