My paternal aunt inherited a large sum of money from her deceased husband. She wants to perform ‘Umrah because she has grown elderly. The problem is that none of her Mahrams can go with her due to a number of reasons. Is it permissible for her to perform ‘Umrah with a group of casual acquaintances, including a woman who is used to performing Hajj? Is it permissible for her brother to borrow some money from her so as to accompany her in ‘Umrah and then pay her back later?
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 is His slave and Messenger.
It is better for your aunt to be accompanied by her brother or any other of her Mahrams (plural of Mahram who is either the husband or any unmarriageable male) during her journey because this complies with the fundamental ruling; it is narrated that the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention), said: "A woman should not travel a journey of one day except with a Mahram" [Al-Bukhari]
Your aunt has to bear the expenses of the journey of the Mahram who accompanies her. Al-Buhooti, the Hanbali scholar said regarding this, "She is to bear the expenses of her Mahram throughout his journey with her to perform Hajj or ‘Umrah.”
Scholars have held different opinions concerning a woman travelling with a trusted company of people. The Maaliki and Shaafi‘i scholars held that it is permissible for obligatory journeys (i.e. Hajj) whereas other scholars viewed that it is not.
Allah Knows best.