Is it halal or not for a Muslim to drive a taxi because a member of the opposite sex might be alone in the car with him which would be khulwah?
Praise be to Allaah.
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No man is ever alone with a woman (khulwah) but the Shaytaan is the third one with them.” (Reported by Ahmad and by al-Tirmidhi in his Sunan, 2091; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2546). Allaah says in the story of Yoosuf, peace be upon him (interpretation of the meaning): “And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him (to do an evil act), she closed the doors and said, ‘Come on, O you’…” [Yoosuf 12:23]
It is not permitted for a man to be alone with a woman to whom he is not related, whether this is in a house, office, clinic, elevator, car or any other place, because this may be the cause of him doing something haraam. Shaytaan is keen to tempt people and make them fall into haraam deeds. The fuqaha’ are agreed that khulwah or being alone with a woman to whom one is not related is forbidden. They said: “No man should be alone with a woman who is not his mahram (a close relative to whom marriage is forbidden) or his wife, but is a stranger to him, because the Shaytaan will whisper to them and tempt them to do something that is not permitted. (Al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 19/267) It is not permitted for a man to be alone with a non-mahram woman even if he is teaching her Qur’aan, or to lead her in prayer if only the two of them are present. The guideline regarding khulwah is that this prohibition applies in any situation where their figures are hidden from other people (Fath al-Baari, 9/333). A taxi driver is bound to pass through empty streets or highways, and the structure of the car conceals most of the body of a person riding in it. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that a forbidden conversation will not take place, or that there will not be an agreement to do something forbidden. How many tragedies and painful stories and disasters have occurred because of a driver being alone with a female passenger! The wise sharee’ah of Islam has taken all precautions to avoid anything that may lead to wrongdoing. It is essential to completely avoid any situation where a man and woman who are not related may be alone together. A taxi driver should not accept a female passenger who is alone, except in cases of emergency such as accidents and the like. And Allaah is the Source of strength.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid