How strong is your belief, Muslim sister, in the Hadeeth (narration) wherein the Prophet, , said: “Let no woman travel except with a Mahram (non-marriageable men).”? [Ahmad and Al-Bayhaqi: Authentic chain of narrators]
Chaste sister, do not be deceived by some strange indulgent opinions that are not founded on evidence, like the opinion that permits the woman to travel with a trustworthy group of women. This is because the Sharee‘ah (Islamic legislation) ruling cannot be taken from reason-based opinions whose holders have been influenced by the pressure of reality and a multitude of personal inclinations, so they were keen on producing juristic rulings that suit people’s dispositions even if these rulings oppose evidence. Thus, Sharee‘ah rulings cannot be taken from such points of view.
This matter is related to religion and religion is the greatest and the most precious thing that the Muslim owns. Hence, religion should not be taken from the people who have methodologies that think of facilitation in the saying of the Prophet, : “Make things easy, and do not make things difficult.” as indicating compliance with weak statements and irregular opinions. These people will not remove the sin from you when you follow their opinions.
As a Muslim, however, you should hold firmly to the Quran and the Sunnah (tradition) in matters like this one, even if you behave against your desires, so as to maintain the integrity of your religious commitment. The Prophet, , exempted a man from performing Jihaad (armed struggle) in the cause of Allah The Almighty to allow him to travel with his wife to perform Hajj. If it had been permissible for the woman to travel, unaccompanied by a Mahram, with other women, then the Prophet, , would have granted her a concession to do so. Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, was reported to have heard the Prophet, , delivering a Khutbah (sermon) saying: “‘No man should be alone with a woman unless her Mahram is present, and no woman should travel unless she has a Mahram with her.’ A man stood up and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, my wife has set out for Hajj, and I have enlisted for such-and-such battle.’ He said: ‘Go and perform Hajj with your wife.’” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Since this man was exempted from performing Jihaad to travel with his wife to perform Hajj, how could the Muslim woman allow herself to travel unaccompanied by a Mahram without a reason or even for a trivial reason? Since the Sharee‘ah has forbidden Muslim women from traveling to do an act of obedience such as Hajj without a Mahram, how could she be allowed to travel on a picnic or a visit or for other general purposes? It was narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, , said: “Let no woman perform Hajj unless her husband is with her.” [Ad-Daaraqutni] [Abu ‘Awaanah: Saheeh]
In short, one’s attitude confirms the deeds of the heart. No one can differentiate between their attitude and what is concealed in the heart. Hence, the Prophet, , combined both of them in explaining the criterion by which Allah The Almighty judges the deeds of His slaves by saying: “Allah does not look at your outward appearances or wealth; rather, He looks at your hearts and deeds.” [Ahmad, Muslim and Ibn Maajah]
The fact that Allah The Almighty looks at our hearts and deeds indicates that the deeds of the hearts are not separated from the deeds of the organs in the sight of Allah The Almighty.
Dear sister, do you not agree with me now that one’s attitude confirms the deeds of the heart? Do you not further agree that each minor or major deed that you perform and each form that you assume when you go out -- whether it is sanctioned by the religion of Allah The Almighty or not -- is a living, evident, and tangible reflection of the faith and the feelings of love, glorification and exaltation of Allah The Almighty that are concealed in your heart?
If you say that you do not agree with me, then you should seek help from Allah The Almighty and ask Him to guide you to the right course. You should also refer to the Quran and check it because it is full of evidence on this fact. If your answer, however, is that you agree with me, and I do expect that – Allah willing – then all perfect praise is due to Allah The Almighty. I supplicate Allah The Almighty to keep my heart and yours steadfast in the truth. In reality, steadfastness in the truth and consistent observance of it is a great blessing.