Can a Woman Ride in a Taxi Alone with a Male Driver?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Can a woman ride in a taxi alone with a male driver?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

Major contemporary scholars, including Shaykh Mustafa Zarqa (who, though a huge Hanafi faqih, was generally very lenient), have studied this issue.

Their fatwas generally state that:

  1. At a first look, this seems to fulfill the criteria for being considered khalwa (strange woman and man being alone together in a contained area).
  2. However, within the city and during day time, when there are people around, this would not be a khalwa, as others can see them, and would therefore be permitted.
  3. Outside the city, and at night, when people are not expected to see them, this would be a khalwa, and therefore be impermissible, unless there are others with them.
  4. It is best and most cautious for women to avoid getting into a taxi alone when reasonably possible, even when permissible, by making suitable arrangements.

Walaikum assalam,
Faraz Rabbani.

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