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Can I Perform Umra without a Mahram? (Shafi‘i)

Shaykh Jamir Meah is asked if a wife can perform umra without her husband present.

I want to perform umra with my husband and children but he drinks alcohol so can I perform umra by myself? He can only travel with me and stay in the hotel while I go and do my umra.

In the Shafi‘i school it is permissible for a woman to travel alone to perform her obligatory hajj and umra. The permissibility to travel alone only applies to obligatory (first time) pilgrimages, and not sunna pilgrimages. (Bushra al-Karim)

 

If your husband travels with you and stays in the hotel, this would suffice in regards you traveling with a mahram, even if he ordinarily sins. Perhaps you could ask him to at least refrain from drinking to and during the trip out of respect, if you feel comfortable or safe enough to ask him.

Alternatively, you may ask another mahram to escort you, such as your father, adult brother, adult son, uncle etc.  

You may also find the following answer helpful for your situation: My Husband Is Not Practicing: What Can I Do To Make Him A Better Muslim?

I wish you all the best. 

Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Traveling without Mahram to Visit Parents

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan answers a question about the permissibility of a woman traveling without a mahram to visit here parents.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I hope this finds you in the best health.

I have been traveling by road for the past few years to visit my parents from home, which is about 41 miles. However, my parents have recently moved further and will be about 55 miles away from my home. Is it permissible for me to drive to their house without a mahram? I will have my two kids with me. My husband has offered to drive me every now and then, but I would like to be able to go on my own as well. Please let me know the ruling in this particular situation.

Jazak Allah.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Thank you for writing to us.

Undertaking a journey without a mahram has received much discussion from the scholars in recent years. This is primarily because the mediums of traveling have changed considerably from the agrarian world. With the change of these mediums, a lady traveling by herself, will often enjoy much more safety than had she been traveling with a mahram in an agrarian world. The Maliki school in particular was very clear that a lady may travel by herself provided that there is safety during her travels. (Mawahib al-Jalil)

Nonetheless, your journey is just outside the 83km (masafah al-qasr) radius. In addition, you will be staying with your father, who is a mahram. All these considered, it would be permissible for you to travel with your kids to visit your parents.

And Allah knows best.

Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


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.