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Resolutions of Iftaa' Board

Date Added : 02-11-2015

Resolution No.(92) by the Board of Iftaa`, Research and Islamic Studies: “Ruling on a Woman`s Travel without a Mahram “
Date: 28/6/1426 AH, corresponding to 48/2005


Question: Is a woman`s travel to a country, or from it without a Mahram(i.e. a husband or a person whom one is permanently prohibited from marrying due to suckling, marital, or blood relations) forbidden or not, and what is the ruling when she resides-without a Mahram-in the country where she works?
Answer: Praise be to Allah; and may His blessings and peace be upon Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.
In principle, it is forbidden for a woman to travel-or reside in a country- without a husband, or a Mahram for a distance longer than that allowed in case of shortening prayers. This is based on the Hadith of Ibn Umar who reported that the prophet (PBUH) said: “A woman should not travel for more than three days except with a Dhi-Mahram (i.e. a male with whom she cannot marry at all, e.g. her brother, father, grandfather, etc.) or her own husband. “{ Bukhari&Muslim}. Also for the Hadith of Abu-Hurairah who reported that the Prophet(PBUH) said: “It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to travel for one day and night except with a Mahram."{Bukhari&Muslim}. Moreover, Abu-Sa`eid  reported that the Prophet(PBUH) said: “A woman should not go on a two day journey except with her husband or a Dhi-Mahram.” {Mukhari&Muslim}. However, the majority of Muslim scholars have agreed that it is permissible for a woman to travel without a Mahram, or her husband in the following situations:

1-    Fleeing a war zone to a peaceful country.
2-    Fearing for herself.
3-    Captivity, then  managing to escape.
4-    Paying off a debt and returning a deposit.
5-    Abandoning the state of recalcitrance.
6-     Obligation to observe Iddah(waiting period) due to death of husband, or Ba`ien divorce while travelling. In this case, she should return to her home.

The Iftaa` Board is of the view that a woman is allowed to travel without a husband, or a Mahram for a legitimate cause, if her travel meets the following conditions:
1-    The road is safe.
2-    No temptations are involved.
3-    Travelling with God-fearing group of women.
4-    Adherence to Islamic wear, morals and etiquette.
5-    Using public means of transportation while accompanied by trustful women.
6-    Staying with God-fearing and righteous group of women.

This is indicated by the Hadith of Adi Bin Hatim who said: “While I was in the city of the Prophet, a man came and complained to him (the Prophet, ) of destitution and poverty. Then another man came and complained of robbery (by highwaymen). The Prophet said, "Adi! Have you been to Al-Hira?" I said, "I haven't been to it, but I was informed about it." He said, "If you should live for a long time, you will certainly see that a lady in a Howdah traveling from Al-Hira will (safely reach Mecca and) perform the Tawaf of the Ka'ba, fearing none but Allah”{Bukhari}. And Allah knows best.


Chairman of the Iftaa` Board:
Chief Justice/ Izzaldeen At-Tamimi
Dr. Abdolmajeed As-Salaheen   Sheikh Sai`ed Hijjawi
Dr. Wasif Al-Bakri     Sheikh Abdulkareem Khasawneh
Sheikh Na`iem Mujjahid   Dr. Yousef Ghaidahn

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