Woman traveling without Mahram for necessity
Fatwa No: 348115

Question

If a woman has migrated to a land to save her religion, honour, and life, and stays alone, but she has the nationality and passport of the land where she migrated from and the passport needs to be renewed, can she travel back to that land for this purpose and then return back without a Mahram to the new land if she does not have a trustworthy Mahram to accompany her)? If not, then what is the solution for this? Also please advise, if her non Muslim family members ask her to visit them during her visit to that old land (from where she fleed to save her religion, honour, and life), is she allowed to do so? If yes, how long is she allowed to stay with them? Please advise.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

This woman should not travel without a Mahram, because this is forbidden in the Shariah. Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, “A woman must not travel except with a Mahram.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

If she does not find a Mahram to accompany her, it is more appropriate for her to find a means to renew her passport without traveling, such as sending it by mail, for example. If this is not possible and she needs to travel without a Mahram, then there is no harm on her to travel provided that she takes precautions to be safe during her travel. Some scholars gave concession for a woman to travel with safe company in every permissible travel.

The Hanbali scholar Ibn Muflih said in Al-Furoo’:

Our Shaykh said, ‘Every woman is permitted to make Hajj without a Mahram if she is safe (in her travel).’ He also said, ‘This applies to every travel of obedience.’ This is what he said. Al-Karaabeesi quoted this from Ash-Shaafi’i in regard to an optional Hajj. Some of his companions said the same thing about the optional Hajj and about every travel that is not obligatory, such as a travel for visiting or for trade. The Maaliki scholar Al-Baaji also said this in regard to an old woman who is not desired for sexual intercourse. Abul-Khattaab mentioned the narration by Al-Marwathi and then said, ‘The apparent meaning is that she is permitted to travel without a Mahram.’ This is what our shaykh said in regard to an old woman who attends the congregational prayer.

The fact that she migrated from that country before in order to preserve her religion and honor does not prevent her from traveling to that country for her need if she feels secure, provided that she does not stay there, except if the reason for which she had migrated from her country no longer exists, as has been stated by some scholars.

There is no harm in her visiting her family.

Allah knows best.

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