Can I Travel Alone without a Mahram for My Studies Abroad?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan


I am a nineteen-year-old interested in studying abroad, but my father refuses because he says I have to be with a mahram throughout my stay there. I wonder, what if the country I’m going to is safe and Islamic friendly? Do I still have to go with a mahram, and is it a must I fly with a mahram on a plane?


According to most scholars, a mahram will only be required for the actual travel journey. That is from your home city to the city you’ll be traveling to. Once settled in a female dormitory or your safe accommodation, there is no longer a need for a mahram from a legal perspective.

However, many scholars of the modern world opined that it would be permissible for a lady to travel without a mahram if the journey is considered safe. See here for more details.
Traveling without Mahram to Visit Parents

That being said, we advise you to adhere to your father’s wishes. According to our sacred law, a father is within his right to prevent a child from doing something that may be considered permissible. If this is the case, we strongly advise that you take up studies locally or consider some of our online offerings. While at the same time, pray Allah opens your father’s heart and that He facilitates a way for you to study at the institution you desire.

And Allah Most High knows best.

[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan received ijazah’ ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib’ Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib’ Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi’i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.