Should Women only travel with a Mahram?

Some scholars are of the opinion that women cannot travel alone. They must be accompanied by a mahram (a relative with whom marriage is prohibited). Therefore, in journeys such as hajj they do not allow women to travel alone. The following hadith are the basis of their view:

It is narrated by Abu Hurayrah:

It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to travel a distance for one day and one night without a mahram with her.

Abu Sa’id narrates that the Prophet said:

A woman has been stopped from travelling a distance for two days except with her husband or mahram with her.

It needs to be appreciated that there are a number of hadith in which directives have been given by the Prophet for the well-being of the Muslims. However, if the circumstances in which such directives have been given change, then as is the case with all conditional directives such directives may no longer apply in the changed circumstances.

The directives given to Muslim women about traveling belong to the above mentioned category. To ensure a safe journey for a woman and to protect her moral character from any scandalous allegation in the strife-ridden society of Arabia, the Prophet bade them travel with a mahram relation.

Thus, all tours and journeys etc in which the above two bases still exist, the condition of a woman traveling with a mahram must be followed. However, with the changed circumstances of modern times, traveling has become a lot different from what it used to be in previous days. There are some travels in which safety both physical as well as moral is ensured. So, in such cases, the mahram condition no longer applies. As far as the decision as to which journeys have become safe is concerned, the traveler must decide for herself.

 

Shehzad Saleem writes for Renaissance Islamic Journal



By: shehzad saleem | Source: renaissance islamic journal | Category: Articles, Faith, Featured, Society, Women | Topic: women | Views: 5,818 | Comments: 37

SAME TOPIC(S)/VALUE(S) POSTS YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN:
[Next]

37 Comments

  1. Shehzad Saleem r u a scholar on Islam? I doubt very much pls remember Islam is a relgion for the past present and future as such ur interpretation is not at all valid.

  2. Depending on destination and intention for the traveller i.e for Umra the new rules now applied for women above 45 years.If the women is dependent enough as working women,capable to perform Umra as part of the religious event..why need to wait till 45 years of age.They should be given the chance once in their life for this deeds. This is my honest opinion does not rejecting the rules but form of flexibilities for some cases.

  3. I completely disagree with the author who is playing with the shariah. No matter how comfortable and safe the mode of transportation it is always in the best interest of muslim women to follow the method of travel endorsed by shariah. The Author is not an authority on shariah and should not try to give his own opinion on such issues. Ulema(Mufti) r the ones who r authority on this. Fear Allah and the day when all that we said will be presented before us.

  4. As the last part of the article stated the modernisation of virtually all aspects of life and moreso islam has given room to such changes, a woman can travel without Mahram while believing that her intentions and actions will be judged by Allah (SWA)

  5. The author is not a scholar of deen. (His bio: http://www.renaissance.com.pk/shehzcv.html) His opinion on this matter is of no significance, and it is irresponsible of islamicity.com to post such articles, thereby misleading the people, not so much in the conclusion on a particular question (in this case, whether women may travel without a mahram under some or any circumstances), but in the sources we seek answers from.

    We should look to the advices and explanations of recognized ulama (learned, competent, practicing scholars of Islamic sciences) who are students of authorized ulama and are regarded by their contemporaries as such.

  6. The author quoted two authentic ahadith that are straight to the point, to be understood by any 10 year old and still went ahead to propered his opinion different from the ahadith text! Who said the end of the world is not nigh!

    Abdullah bn Mas’ud (RA) was given a hadith to two other sahabas but they were bent on opinions profered by Abubakr(RA) and Umar(RA). Abdullah bn Mas’ud got angry and was reported to have said to the two, that they were close to having the wrath of Allah in the form of rain of baked stones, upon them that he (Abdullah) was quoting the Prophet(SAW) and they were sayin Abubakr or Umar say so and so. Everybody knows the position of Abubakr (RA) and Umar(RA) in this ummah, but even they cannot give opinion on matter(s) already determined by the Prophet.

    Here we have a dude of the 21st century (without) any evidence from the book(the noble Quran) distortin (no rather changing) the law as given by the Prophet! Subhanal-Allah.

    The religion of Islam is Allah says OR the Messenger Muhammad (SAW) said, no third source! Ijma’ and ijtihad by necessity are ALWAYS derived from the first two.

  7. In concurrence with what Brother Abdullah said the writer apparently is not a scholar.Therefore he cannot give Fatwah on this issue.It is left for the scholars to analyse all the circumtances before arriving at any definite conclusion.The Hadith which he also quoted clearly said “It is not permissible for a woman WHO BELIEVES IN ALLAH and the LAST DAY to travel a distance of one day one night without Mahram.” As far as we are concerned the Hadith still stands what it stresses to the woman is (conditional) who believes in Allah and the last Day if she doesnt she can travel without the Mahram.So it is left for the woman to make effort to travel with the Mahram as she is commanded. Therefore this is something to do with Ghaibiyat (unseen)It is not question of modernity or liberalism following the desires of the so called feminists who have no respect for the sayings of the Prophet.This is something to do with Iman which is only meant for believing men and believing women. At least if we continue to stress if the lady can travel with Mahram is much more preferable rather than justifying our flimsy excuses.We should not be giving excuses that at this time they cannot travel together why not.If there is will there is way.If we are sincere we want practice this Hadith this is the best time.Actions speak louder than words.

  8. just great. Now we have everyone making up garbage to confirm their own stupidity. If a woman was to be accompanied ( according to God ), then shouldnt she have been born with a companion, so she can be ” safe ” at all times? typical islamic nonsense from these so called scholars. They need to focous more about freedom and human charactrastics before runing the name of prophen Mohammad ( pbuh ). I had my laugh of the day. Please dont post these type of nonsense articles anymore. This is too good of a website to use these types of rediculous arguments.

  9. The explanation of the change in circumstances has not been adequately addressed. Circumstantial command, or Hukm Wada’, such as sabab, shart, etc., have specific evidences which uphold them. The onus is upon the author to establish his legal position on superior evidences which better address circumstances, rather than merely claiming “things have changed”.

  10. The author himself quoted a Hadith, and then he has the nerve to give his opinion about it.

    My question to the author and everyone who agrees with him are as follows:

    1) Did Rasulullah (S) say anything from his own desire or whatever he ever said was guided by Allah (SWT)?

    2) Does anyone, Alim, Mufti or even Ijma have any authority of reversing a hadith?

    The fact is that Ijma, or fatwa is taken only on issues which were not addressed at the time of Rasulullah (SAW).

    If Rasulullah (SAW) has given a verdict on anything, then our lips are sealed on that issue and no Ijma or Fatwa could reverse it.

    If we believe that he was the Messenger of God and guided by God and uttered nothing but the will of God, then we should know that God knows it all, even the future. He knew at the time of Rasulullah (SAW) that later in the time it would be safer for women to travel. Yet He did not let this issue unaddressed.

    The flexibility in deen is on issues which were not addressed before the completion of deen.

    The deen is completed upon Rasulullah (SAW) and he is the Seal of the Prophets (Khatimun Nabiyeen).

    The requirement of mahram for a woman to travel is not reversible and could not be debated.

  11. Slaam o Alaikum’

    Respected sir my knowledge is very less,but I know a thing that what our Beloved HOly Prophet(PBUH)said is final word for us,no logic will work after it.He is the PROPHET for all timesand His teachings sre also for all times.

  12. u state daleel(proof) from the sunnah while depending on your immateur conjecture to contradict its ruling… And such a small piece on such an important topic is indicative of how this is just a shallow opinion from one w/o credentials for hold an any opinion.

  13. What about Bibi Amna he travel, Bibi Mariam. What if there are situations where women has to has travel alone. In that situation what women can do.

  14. unfortunatly, this guy ask a question and exhibit his opinion as the only answer. he speaks about what the scholars use as evidence from the hadith and he debunks their proofs by offering nothing other than what he thinks…

    it is very disrespectful to Islam, to refer to what the prophet Sallah Allah alaih wa sallam said as the opinion of “Some” scholars. but it is not amazing for someone who had a so called Phd in ‘History of the Quran’ from wales UK University to have this kind of mentality. you forgot to quote for us, what the scholar Margaret Thatcher said in this topic he he he (worth laughing, isn’t it?).

    well, Allah guides to Him whom He likes. I still have to show you the problem in your weak point. I do that for the sake of Allah not expecting from you any reward:

    when you read the Hadith got a reasons, that’s not mean anybody can know those reasons! that’s why first, we always rely on the scholars before us untill the prophet to understand well those reasons.

    if you asked yourself this question, you could of never fail to understand the hadiths you quoted: do women traveled alone in time of the Prophet? yes kaffir women and moslem women (before the prophet said that) traveled alone. include the women who made Hijra alone! then the reasons of those hadiths are not the reasons you thought: it is not about the safety of women as you thought. it is a law to be fullfilled in Islam and one of the consequences of this law is to protect women!

    33:36 It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.

    try to have next Phd from Islamic University? it is much better, wa Allah A’alam

    Thank you brother Abdullah about introducing well this genius scholar

    Assalam Alaikom

  15. salam

    As Muslims we must move on and live in the 21st century but within the fold of Islam. Had Islam not been so versatile, it would not have conquered vast areas within such a short time span. Well done, more article, like this (women and travel) need to be written by scholars and transmitted to the grass root population. Too often academia gets lost within the pages of books.

    Keep it up and may Allah (saw) reward you for your efforts.

    was-salam

    Anjum Anwar (UK)

  16. The author himself quoted a Hadith, and then he has the nerve to give his opinion about it.

    My question to the author and everyone who agrees with him are as follows:

    1) Did Rasulullah (S) say anything from his own desire or whatever he ever said was guided by Allah (SWT)?

    2) Does anyone, Alim, Mufti or even Ijma have any authority of reversing a hadith?

    The fact is that Ijma, or fatwa is taken only on issues which were not addressed at the time of Rasulullah (SAW).

    If Rasulullah (SAW) has given a verdict on anything, then our lips are sealed on that issue and no Ijma or Fatwa could reverse it.

    If we believe that he was the Messenger of God and guided by God and uttered nothing but the will of God, then we should know that God knows it all, even the future. He knew at the time of Rasulullah (SAW) that later in the time it would be safer for women to travel. Yet He did not let this issue unaddressed.

    The flexibility in deen is on issues which were not addressed before the completion of deen.

    The deen is completed upon Rasulullah (SAW) and he is the Seal of the Prophets (Khatimun Nabiyeen).

    The requirement of mahram for a woman to travel is not reversible and could not be debated.

  17. oh,dear br and sisters i am not a scholor but i wish to give one advise that the holy quran was revealed to prophet mohammed (saws);and as such his interpretation should always be considerd when seeking solution to any confusion;there is no if and but after that since he was for the guidance for the human race till iternity not for a period of time.ALLAH swt sealed and protected the holy quran so in this context we all should look deep into the hadith and accept it as it is .

  18. basically author is trying to send quran back to mecca since its guidance is not applicable in today’s world…ma’az allah somma ma’az allah,next time he will write article that adultery,interest and liquor are also allowed because their form and existence is way different ,what it was used to be back then,may allah show author right path and also give guidance to islamicity editors,because it’s a shame for them to publish this kind of article,this is not the first article of its kind,islamicity post these kind of articles every now and then.

  19. The Deen of Islam should be taken from naql (authentic narrations) and not from aql (personal opinion), for what the author has written, are his baseless personal opinions. Therefore, such baseless opinions should never have been included in this website, which is visited by so many students of knowledge. This is to ensure the Sunnah of our great prophet is never corrupted in the minds of the weak.

  20. ASalaam Alaikum

    And what about Khadijah. Not only was she robbed of the honor of being the FIRST MUSLIM by these evil scholars, they stain her contribution to Islam by leaving her out of history.

    She travled alone, WHILE MARRIED TO PROPHET MUHAMMAD, go figure that one out.

    The guidelines for Women in Islam were written by MEN who were obviously insecure, twisting the lines from Quran to support this injustice.

    ALLAH NEVER put women in the position that ARAB scholars put them in.

    Remember, these are a people that once buried their daughters because of stupid pride! Imagine that bury your child ALIVE!

    Muslim men in general are insecure and afraid of a nation of sisters that can do a much better job than they can.

    That is TRUTH and eastern traditions for woman can never change that TRUTH!

    Wa salaam

  21. Shame on Muhammad al-Kashmiri. The man is not ignorant nor using conjecture. The man is educated in Islam. Modern conveniences do alter the way the Sunnah is interpreted. Is it haram to use toilet paper or ride in a car because these are new inventions too.

  22. In The Name Of Allah I pray that Allah help us. I wonder in which world does the author lives. “We live in a safe world where a woman is protected” he /she must not be aware of the rapes, disapperances etc. of women that takes place in this so call safe travel times.I pray that Muslims will have the insight to realize that what we were given in religion is for our own good and that we will stand up for that and not try to change it.

  23. PROPHET MUHAMMAD SAS NEVER GIVE ANY VERDICT UNLESS IT WAS CONVEYED BY JIBRIL FROM ALLAH, ANY WORD IN THE QURAN CAN BE CHANGED AND ANYONE WHO CHANGES THE MEANING OF THE QURAN AND SUNNAH IS IN DANGER OF ALLAH WRATH. SHOW ME WHERE A MUSLIMAH CAN TRAVEL WITH FEELING A SENSE OF FEAR OR TREAT OF THE KUFR, THIS PROTECTION IS NOT ONLY FOR PYSICAL DANGER BUT APPARENT DANGER OR HARM, WHICH A MAHRAM CAN CONSOLE OR ACTUALLY PROTECT.

  24. I am deeply saddened and embarressed by the negative reactions of so many to this article. You backward idealogues are the reason our ummah is so behind and hurting today. When will you ever open up your eyes and realize that Islam is not about constriction and misogyny? Hadith is not the word of God, nor is it 100% verifiable as what the Prophet PBUH related. We must use our intellect and common sense to decipher the truth from distortions. Ulema are only a guide, ultimately the truth must be decided by every muslim as an individual. We are not Catholics or Jews with a hierarchical priesthood, as Muslims we are all to read and interpret the Quran. In the end, the only thing that matters is what our beleifs lead us to do in action. These misogynist views only lead towards the patronization and discirmination against our mothers and sisters. Shame on you.

  25. The author quoted two authentic ahadith that are straight to the point, to be understood by any 10 y…The author himself quoted a Hadith, and then he has the nerve to give his opinion about it. . . By….Contradicting a clear unconditional saying of prophet swas, i wish we knoe what we are doing and saying by such acts, may Allah guide and forgive us

  26. Assalamalaikum wa rahamathullahi wa barkatahu: I think this article is incomplete it mentioned hadith about the women traveling with maharam only but it failed to mentioned hadith about the women taveling without maharam in changed circumstances. And also I don’t think the author is mufti to give his own opinion.

  27. Just another male dominated attitude to a male dominated religion. I get dizzy reading the Koran and it’s oppression of women so that men can maintain their power, ego and dominance over a community. Please do not reply to this post with it being the word of God. All relgions say it is the word of God. Happy will be the day when all realise that God is within us and we do not need all these Religions and reliance on the words of mere males hundreds and thousands of years previous. Islamn and Christianity are not Religions they are ideals ingrained into each generation’s psyche from an early age and then maintained through fear of reward and punishment until such time as the person knows no different and do not know and are not allowed the power of choice. Equality through love not division through physiology. Don’t worry this is rife within all Religions not just Islam. I will keep praying that one day all Religions will be united in love and peace.

  28. Aselamu aleikum. Not only did the methods of travel have changed into a better and safe way but travel has also become the norms in most jobs. I think that if the man also follows the principles of Islam like taking care of the female relatives mainly financially then this hadith should also be followed likewise by the woman. But If you tell me that a woman should not travel without a Mahram eventhough that Mahram doesn’t take care of her and she have to support herself financially, that would be utterly unfair. So to follow this hadith many other hadiths should also be followed by the man as a prerequisite. And Allah Knows Best.

  29. What century are you people living in? Are you saying that Muslim girls are less Muslim if they go off to college without a Mahram? My mother is somehow less of a believer if she takes a flight to visit her family in another city without a mahram? You people are not Muslims, you are idiots. We need to be concentrating on important issues like human rights, freedom from oppression from idiots like yourselves and authoritarian governments. All I ever hear from you so-called Muslims is how to control women. You people represent the worst of the ummah…thank God there are some sane people left who truly understand the message of our Prophet and Allah SWT….social justice, freedom, equality….not this medieval crap that you spew. I’m sorry for being so curt, but as a Muslim, I am so ashamed of people like you who are so backward, they can’t even use simple logic to understand that the mahram was particular to a time and place. Besides, why only women should be protected like this? Can’t men who are travelling be assaulted? What is the guarantee that a mahram will not be assaulted along with his female protectee? It is idiotic how you people cannot deduce the most basic of realities. The responses to this article leave me with a deep sense of hopelessness for the Ummah. Please use your God-given intellect and strive to promote compassion..the real message of Islam.

  30. Salaam alaikum,

    If women travelling outside the house by themselves was not permitted, then surely it would have been revealed in the Holy Quran.

    A persons freedom of movement is a constituting matter for the islamic community, thus the quran, the islamic constitution would not have been silent on this issue. Being silent may sugget consent on this issue, that women are allowed to travel by themselves outside the house. Allah knows best.

    Its obvious that this article does not put the issue at rest, with all due respect couple of hadiths alone is not enough to put the such an important issue at rest.

  31. brothers and sisters in Allah, I read many answers who are coming from a missunderstanding of the topic.

    it is not about men or women and it is not about protecting women! the problem of some here, is the author is an ignorant and you are going his way…

    the guy who wrote this article has mistaken something in the science of Hadith. he thought that the reasons of those hadiths is protecting women. if it was what he said, in that time there is no problem to change the work with the hadith if the reasons changed.

    unfortunatly, the guy who wrote this hadith it wrong and I believe because he learned Islam in British University…wa Allah A’alam.

    if the reason was to protect women, you will find hadiths came on such reason. like the story of the hadith will speak about something happened to a moslem woman traveling in time of the Prophet. also unfortunatly for this guy, the hadith narrated as a law in Islam and not as consequence of story.

    then, brothers and sisters, it is the consequences of the hadith that women get protected by fullfilling it. IT IS NOT THE HADITH who came as consequences of problems happened to moslem women in time of the prophet Salla Allah alaih wa sallam.

    conclusion, the hadith stated a law of Allah, I quoted in my last post what the Qur’aan says about the true believers when Allah or His prophet judge a matter.

    we know many moslem women break this law in our time for different reasons! then it is time for those moslem women to take things seriously and repent to Allah, and do their best to stop doing that unless it is a NECESSITY.

    for others who come here to make Fitnah with their ignorance. Islam is easy, or you obey Allah and His Prophet or you refuse! if you refuse, it is better to leave pretending to yourself to be a moslem! at least enjoy what kaffir enjoy? because Allah does not accept those who want pick and choose from His message.

    may Allah helps us…Amine

  32. Whomsoever are disagreeing the rulings, are missing the line said “A woman has been stopped from travelling a distance for two days except with her husband or mahram with her”. All of the diagreeing people are taking the subject out of it’s context not within the context.

    May Allah help us to understand the Quran and the Sunnah.

  33. As salaamu alaikum.

    Unforunately for Mustafa and the like, Islam is not based upon YOUR GOD-GIVEN INTELLECT – it is based upon the text in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. So watch how you talk to and deal with the people who HEAR AND OBEY! 2nd, you say that this issue is not important, well one of the Scholars from the Salaf said look not at the size of the sin, but the SIZE OF THE ONE WHOM YOU DISOBEY. This issue is easy – if there is a necessity and noone is avalible to travel with her, then she can do so, HATING IT IN HER HEART THAT SHE HAD TO DISOBEY ALLAH’S MESSENGER. Nowadays too many people make excuses for not following the dictates of Islam – ie, so what now, if the hijab is now inconvenient to women, do we say it is OK for women to remove it? Those without knowledge should learn to remain silent in the affairs of the religion. Point blank.

  34. Yes, for me as a sunni and muslim , those hadeeth are Sahih. But what in my concern now is about khilaf from several ulama’ regarding this. A muslim woman is allowed to travel if she is in a group of trusted female -Sheikh Yusuf al-Qardawi

  35. Salaam.The author starts out fine;giving her proof.Then she concludes that time and place alter legislation directly from Allaah Ta’alaa and His Last Messenger, AS. What she has failed to do is to build a credible argument that confirms her belief that time and place circumstances relax, alter or modify direct commands from Allaah Ta’alaa and the Prophet, AS. I think she has not done that because it is very difficult to do. Allaah Ta’alaa tells us in Qur’an, what means, that “today I have perfected your religion…” Was He wrong? If one makes that proposition, strong, no very strong proof is needed. I disagree for that reason. She has offered no such proof. To the contrary, Allaah, SWT, has told us, what means, that it is not permissible for a Muslim man or woman to have an opinion of their own once a matter has been made clear to them. She must present textual proof, or she should not speak, less she misguide those who are susceptible to misguidance. O Allaah! Help us to trust in your Hidayyah and to obey Your commands and Your Last Prophet, SAWS. Amin.

  36. I wrote Brother Dr. Edriss comment first, I thuoght he was a doctor with more Knowlege, What he wrote does’nt make any sense, I hope next time when he call someone ignorant, more prepare to provr it. The autor makes more sense than Dr. edriss.

Leave a Reply