Can women go to hajj alone, without a mahram?


Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, in a letter dated 4 February 2020, stated the following regarding an edict issued by the nazim of dar-ul-ifta on the issue of unaccompanied women going on a journey to perform Hajj.

Huzooraa said: 

“In my view, the condition of having a male mahram with a woman for Hajj and Umrah was based on a temporary ruling, just as other travel was forbidden for an unaccompanied woman at that time, because in those days, journeys used to be very difficult and lengthy – facilities were not available on the way and on top of that, the risks of being robbed were very high. 

“Hence, when a complaint of a robbery was once brought before the Holy Prophetsa, he gave the glad tiding of peaceful journeys in the future and said to Hazrat Adira bin Hatim:

فَإِنْ‭ ‬طَالَتْ‭ ‬بِكَ‭ ‬حَيَاةٌ‭ ‬لَتَرَيَنَّ‭ ‬الظَّعِينَةَ‭ ‬تَرْتَحِلُ‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬الْحِيرَةِ‭ ‬حَتَّى‭ ‬تَطُوفَ‭ ‬بِالْكَعْبَةِ‭ ‬لَا‭ ‬تَخَافُ‭ ‬أَحَدًا‭ ‬إِلَّا‭ ‬اللّٰهَ

“‘If you live for a long time, you will certainly see that a lady in a howdah travelling from Al-Heera will [safely reach Mecca and] perform the tawaf [circumambulation] of the Ka‘bah, fearing none but Allah.’ [Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Manaqib]

“At the end of the same hadith, Hazrat Adira bin Hatim narrates: 

فَرَأَيْتُ‭ ‬الظَّعِينَةَ‭ ‬تَرْتَحِلُ‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬الْحِيرَةِ‭ ‬حَتَّى‭ ‬تَطُوفَ‭ ‬بِالْكَعْبَةِ‭ ‬لَا‭ ‬تَخَافُ‭ ‬إِلَّا‭ ‬اللّٰهَ

“‘[Later on] I saw a lady in a howdah travelling from Al-Heera till she [arrived safely in Mecca and] performed the tawaf of the Ka‘bah, fearing none but Allah.’ (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Manaqib)

“Al-Heera was a town in the Persian empire at that time and was located near Kufa, which means that it would have been a journey lasting several days at that time. So, in those days, if a woman could embark on a journey from Al-Heera and travel for several days and come to perform the tawaf of the Ka‘bah in Mecca, then why can’t a woman travel for a few hours by plane these days and go for Umrah and Hajj etc.?”

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