Senior Saudi clerics support royal decree allowing women to drive

RIYADH: A majority of Saudi Arabia‘s Council of Senior Ulema religious scholars on Wednesday expressed support for a royal decree allowing women to drive.

The Islamic clerics said that King Salman bin Abdulaziz made the right and proper decisions based on the interest of the citizens.
“God save the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques who seeks the interests of his country and his people in light of Islamic Sharia,” the Council said in a tweet.

“May God protect the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, who maintains the interest of his country and its people in the light of Islamic law,” the council said in a Tweet following the announcement of the decision.

According to the clerics, the majority of Council members saw no problem with women driving as long as there were guarantees and laws to maintain the respect and dignity of women, Efe reported.

“We refer to the view of the majority of the members of the Council of Senior Scholars regarding women driving vehicles and which states that the religious ruling in this regard is permissibility.

“The view of those who opposed it is based on considerations related to preventing possible [negative] results that are not certain or almost certain,” the royal order stated, Gulf News reported.

Council of Senior Scholars, Sheikh Mohammed Al-Issa, explained that, “Women, like everyone in this regard, have the right to drive, and it wouldn’t be right to deny anyone their legitimate rights because of the arguments of an isolated group,” reported Arab News.

He added: “The Islamic and universal consensus gave this positive step their blessings because the royal decree applied Sharia Law, which is keen on granting women their rights in every possible way — not only by allowing them to drive.”

King Salman on Tuesday decree paved the way for Saudi women to receive driving licenses after increasing demands from women and criticism from human rights groups over the prohibition.

In a post on Twitter, the official account of the kingdom’s Foreign Ministry wrote, “Saudi Arabia allows women to drive.”

“Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has issued a historic royal decree granting driving licenses for women in the kingdom,” the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya news channel reported.

Agencies input