Can a Woman Live Alone?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I am single and I am working full time as a health professional.

I have recently successfully applied for another job which might require me to consider moving away from home. There is the option to stay at home but for other reasons I feel there may be benefits to move.

It is worth noting that I do not any have any issues with my parents.

My parents are not against me moving but have asked me to consider the Islamic perspective before making my decision of whether to move out or stay home and commute. What should I do?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

This is a sensitive issue. Many scholars do caution against single sisters living alone and away from family when there is a reasonable option of residing with or close to them. Generally, being alone was something that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also discouraged.

However, if there is a reasonable need, and this has been confirmed with some elders whom you trust, medical professionals, or a scholar who knows the details of your situation, it would be permitted to do so provided that you are somewhere safe and are confident in being able to uphold yourself to religious standards there.

If it’s reasonably an option, look into the possibility of living in a shared space with other believing sisters and the like. At any rate, do pray the prayer of seeking guidance (salat al-istikhara) and make the decision which you feel will be best for your religion in this life and the next.

Please also see this answer and this one.

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.