Can a Taxi Driver Serve the Opposite Sex, Transport Customers to Haram Locations, or Transport Customers Carrying Haram Items?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Sidi Faraz A. Khan

Question: As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum,

I am a taxi/cab driver. My only role is to take people from A to B. I mainly deal with corporate customers (lawyers/bankers, etc). However there are a few issues that are bothering me! Now that I have started practicing, Alhamdulillah, I don’t feel right in these situations and I don’t want to do this job any longer. But I would like to know the answers to the following please:

° The customers are about 50%-50% ratio of male-female. Is this permissible?

° Sometimes I get customers who are going to or coming from a bar/club and this can sometimes even include Muslims! Is this permissible?

° Sometimes customers would have alcohol and such like, as in shopping. Would the hadith about the 10 people re: alcohol apply here in the sense that I am transporting it?

° More generally, is my income from this job halal or not?

° And if it is not, does that mean there will not be any Barakah in spending this money? For example, I have recently started some Islamic Courses using the money from this job.

JazakAllah Khair.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and faith.

I want to commend you on your concern to learn and apply the Sacred Law in your life, especially with respect to your profession and income. May Allah reward you tremendously for that concern and open for you all the avenues of goodness and success in all your endeavors, spiritual and worldly.

Brief Answers to Your Questions:

(1) As a taxi driver, it is permissible for you to take a female customer, based on the following considerations. It would not entail seclusion (khalwa) that is forbidden, as long as the streets taken have people there that can easily see inside the cab. Avoid secluded streets, and avoid doing so at night.

(2) and (3) The scenarios you mention of transporting customers to bars or clubs, or transporting customers with their alcohol or other haram products, fall under the category of indirectly assisting in sin, which according to the Hanafi school is mildly disliked (makruh tanzihan). It is not deemed directly assisting in sin, which would be unlawful.

According to Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah have mercy on him), indirectly assisting in sin is not itself prohibited or sinful, but rather disliked. This is because the actual sin is incurred by an action of one who willingly chooses the sin itself (fi’l fa’il mukhtar). This meaning is absent in indirect assistance. In his discussion of this issue, the Imam specifically used the example of carrying alcohol for a non-Muslim for a wage. [Sarakhsi, Mabsut; Kasani, Bada’i; Zayla’i, Tabyin]

The hadith you refer to is as follows: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) cursed ten with respect to wine: the one who produces it; the one for whom it is produced; the one who drinks it; the one who carries it; the one for whom it is carried; the one who serves it; the one who sells it; the one who earns from the sale of it; the one who buys it; and the one for whom it is bought.” [Sunan Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja, Sahih Ibn Hibban. Shaykh Shu’ayb al-Arna’ut grades it as “good” (jayyid) in strength]

Our Master Abu Hanifa interpreted the category of “the one who carries it” in the hadith as referring to those who carry wine with the intention of disobeying Allah, i.e., for its consumption. Without that intention, then, one who carries alcohol would not fall under the accursed category mentioned in the hadith. [Dr. Salah Abul Hajj; Khulasat al-Kalam fi Mas’alat al-I’ana ‘ala ‘l-Haram]

Having said that, you should definitely hate such things in your heart, as hating the unlawful is an obligation. Try your best to avoid such situations, using pragmatic caution and reasoned judgment.

(4) and (5) Based on the Hanafi position, your income is inshaAllah completely halal and, as such, there will be baraka in your spending of it, especially for good causes like seeking Sacred Knowledge, and especially when coupled with a noble, lofty intention of seeking nothing but the good pleasure of Allah Most High.

Some Useful Links

Please see the following answers as well for more info on the issue of assisting in sin according to the Hanafi school.

And Allah alone gives success.


Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani