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Traveling without a Mahram

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked about a mother traveling to a wedding without a mahram and attending a walima that involves music, dancing, and mixing.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

My mother is going to travel to turkey for a wedding next week without a male mahram accompanying her. My father let’s her go. In those weddings there is music, dancing, and mixing between men and women.

Should I go with my mother so she doesn’t travel without a male mahram? Or should I stay here and not go to this wedding.

You should know that talking with my parents about this most likely isn’t going to help because they aren’t really religious.

Jazak Allah khayr.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Generally, the schools of law are quite restrictive with respect to ladies travelling without an accompanying unmarriageable kin (mahram) or husband. But there is a position in the Maliki school which allows safe, public and dignified travel for women. Contemporary jurists clarify that this is an acceptable dispensation to follow whenever there is a clear need or benefit in doing so.

Accordingly, you don’t need to accompany your mother on her journey, particularly if you may be pulled into compromising situations which you’d rather avoid. However, consider giving your mother some sincere counsel (nasiha) regarding avoiding any potential, un-islamic elements at the event. If she isn’t religious, don’t lecture her, as she’ll just ignore it, but say something sensible and straightforward that she is likely to accept.

Sometimes you need to give people the benefit of the doubt, and also weigh potential benefits and harms before deciding whether to attend such events. Family marriages are often sensitive occasions. Hence, it can be good to make an early appearance, bring a gift, congratulate the family and then make a discreet exit before things take a turn for the worst. Please note that this is general advice, so it may not be applicable in every single scenario.

(Baji, al-Muntaqa; Hattab, Mawahib al-Jalil; Zannati, Sharh al-Risala)

Please also see The Fiqh of the Marriage Feast (Walima) and Can I Travel by Plane Without a Mahram?

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Can a Woman Perform a ‘Mujra’ or Any Other Dance in Front of Her Brother?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Can a girl perform a ‘mujra’ or any other dance in front of her own brother without music?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

Dancing in front of someone of non-marriageable kin (mahram) would be permitted if: (a) it is done with one’s nakedness covered (b) in a manner that does not lead to fear of sexual arousal, and (c) not distinguishably of the type primarily associated with the corrupt and immoral.

Regarding the Mujra, it has negative connotations among people today with its association with prostitutes and its origin is also not something that can be religiously sanctioned. Therefore, it should be avoided. Other forms of dance that fulfill the three conditions mentioned above would be permitted.

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Dancing in Private For One’s Spouse

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it permissible for a wife to dance for her husband’s pleasure in private? Can she play music while dancing?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Merciful.

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray that this finds you well, and in the best of health and spirits. May Allah grant you all good and success in this life and the next.

The husband/wife relationship is important, and it is important that it be lived within the limits of the Qur’an and Sunna.

The guidance of the Qur’an and Sunna only permit certain types of music. Music that is associated with people of corruption and indecency is not permitted by any of the scholars. As such, it would be sinful to dance in any way to “belly dancing music,” because of the negative associations of such music. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) warned us that, “Whoever imitates people becomes like them” [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and Tabarani, from Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him); Iraqi said it is rigorously authentic (sahih)].

Thus dancing that is distinguishably of the corrupt and immoral dancing would be impermissible. But innocent dancing that is not like the dancing of the corrupt would be allowed in private, between husband and wife, even if sensual. This is what some leading scholars have explained on this issue.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani