Are women allowed to drive in normal circumstances (i.e. where there is no necessity)?
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful
Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Quran:
“And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance…” (Surah al-Ahzab, 33)
It is clear from the above verse that women are encouraged to remain within the home (as much as is possible). They should not come out of the home except when it is essential.
In respect to driving, it has to be established if there is a genuine need and/or requirement (i.e. no alternative arrangement can be made). If that is established then a woman can drive within 48 miles of her home. This is in keeping with the rules of hijab and traveling without a mahram. A distance in excess of 48 miles will require a mahram to be present with the woman.
“It is not permissible for a woman to travel the distance of three days and three nights. However, it will be permissible for her to travel the distance which is less than that without a Mahram because of need.” (Raddul-Muhtar, VOL2, P465)
Allah (SWT) knows best.
Darul Ifta, Birmingham