Is it permitted for woman to travel without her husband or her mahram?
Question: I know that in Islam traveling is forbidden for woman. She can travel only with her husband or mahram-relatives. But some scholars allow traveling if a trip will be safely. May we take this opinion?
And the second question - may a woman perform Hajj alone, without a husband or a mahram, if she has the financial opportunities? Or in this case the duty of the hajj is removed from her? (Муслима)
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh
The opinion of those scholars who permit the travelling of a female without a Mahram is restricted to the occasion of Fardh Hajj. It is the view of the Shafi-ee scholars that if a woman does not have a Mahram to accompany her to perform her Fardh Hajj and she is desirous of performing it, it will be permissible for her to join a group of upright and respectable females and perform her Hajj. As for her performing Umrah or travelling in general over a distance of 77.4kms, it is compulsory on her to be accompanied by her husband or Mahram even according to these scholars.
So you should know that under no circumstance will it be permitted for a Muslim female to travel over a distance of 77.4km without being accompanied by her husband or Mahram. Only if she is a Shafi-ee and she intends to perform her Fardh Hajj, there may be some concession for her in this regard.
According to the Hanafi Madh-hab, it is not permissible for a female to travel over the distance of 77.4 Kilometers without being accompanied by her husband or Mahram. Not even for her Fardh Hajj. This is clear from the Hadith of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in which he prohibited a female to perform Hajj without her Mahram:
ليس لها أن تنطلق إلا بإذن زوجها ولا يحل للمرأة أن تسافر ثلاث ليال إلا ومعها ذو محرم تحرم عليه
“It is not permissible for her (the wife) to leave the home without the permission of her husband and it is not permissible for a woman to travel the journey of three days (the Safar distance which amounts to 77.4kms) without being accompanied by a Mahram” (as-Sunan al-Kubra by Bayhaqi, Hadith #: 10420, Narrated by Ibn Umar)
If she has all the available means to perform Hajj but does not have a husband or Mahram to accompany her to perform her Fardh Hajj, she will not be sinful for not performing her Hajj. The jurists recommend that she should wait till she is married or has a Mahram available to accompany her and then perform Hajj. In the event of her not having any hope of being accompanied by her husband or Mahram, she should make a bequest whereby she delegates a person to perform Hajj on her behalf.
And Allah Knows Best.
Mufti Suhail Tarmahomed