Riding in Cars with Satan

2001: Driver’s Education on a warm spring day. Despite years of riding in cars, I felt the tremors of Western decadence between my legs once I sat behind the wheel. My hijab felt a little looser, and I was overwhelmed with so many haraam thoughts that I could not hear a word that my driving instructor was saying.  My brush with life behind the wheel showed me a darker element to driving. Professor Kamal Al-Subhi recently warned against lifting the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia, as women driving directly correlates with the moral decline of society. I would have to agree with him; the moment that the key to the car rested in my own hand, I did not think of errands or going to school, but of unlocking a world of nightclubs, sin, in a station wagon that was most certainly steered by the devil.  It made me want to wear “a pair of pants so tight that [my] innermost organs were discernible.”** But thanks to Al-Subhi, I resolve to never drive again.

Please do not place pocket mahram in a haraam location, especially when batteries are in the device. This is to avoid forbidden sensations.

First and foremost, what Al-Subhi reiterates is something that I accept to be a reality about being a Muslim woman: my self-worth is directly proportional to my chastity, and we must never forget this. Clearly, this is our primary goal when we discuss Muslim women: keeping them pristine. I am not fooled when I read about the work of female activists in Saudi Arabia that want to drive. It is not about convenience or autonomy, or, I don’t know, trying to get to work on time. It is really about a Hollywood induced vision of broken hymens and debauchery in the backseat of cars, which, by the way, would be a logistical nightmare if women could drive.  Let us forget the other roles that women play in Islam; after all, what matters most is keeping women on the straight and narrow paths to avoid exciting them, as even the slightest taste of independence turns them into filthy-minded beings.

But in blaming the decline of society on women driving, Al-Subhi missed the real culprit:  unchaperoned women.  The problem is not the actual act of driving, but perhaps the fact that a woman is left in a space without a guardian. We cannot trust women with their urges, as even a speed bump could create worrisome scenarios. After all, a car can even become a portable whorehouse if it goes unsupervised. In order to avoid temptation and protect their honour, it would be wise for Al-Subhi to create Pocket Mahrams, which would be a collectible and fun way to teach women the importance of never leaving home without their small piece of patriarchy.

And as a final note: I would encourage Al-Subhi to push for heightened web censorship in Saudi Arabia. I was alarmed to read about such a learned scholar knowing what kind of a gesture would indicate availability. I presume that he gained this knowledge in research and good faith to protect the innocent and pure minds of Saudi women. However, I worry that women may be able to accidentally pollute their minds and perhaps expedite moral decline by being influenced by such rude gestures. Perhaps gender-based censorship would be most pertinent, after all, men must know what to keep out of the minds of women. Either way, I am glad that Al-Subhi is taking a stand and showing us the real value of women – and most importantly, keeping me from ever driving again.

** This part? Not making it up.  It’s a direct quote from Al-Subhi himself.

"Thanks Eren for another great article which I shared with many people."

#PrayforParis, Muslim Women and Third World ..."
"Very Informative,Jajak Allah khair"

Friday Links
"It's definitely one of my goals to further the discussion. Thanks for reading and your ..."

Has Quantico got positive female Muslim ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!