It isn’t permissible for a woman to travel for the purpose of Hajj or Umrah without a Mahram. This obligation imposed due to a tradition in al-Bukhaari, narrated by Ibn ’Abbas (R.A). He narrates that he heard the Prophet (S.A.W) state:

“‘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 Allaah, my wife has gone out for Hajj, and I have enlisted for such and such a campaign.’ He said: ‘Go and do Hajj with your wife.’”

Hanafi school of thought doesn’t permit a woman to travel on her own. In regards to distance, a Sahih (authentic) Hadith states the following:

“It is not permissible for a woman to leave the home without the permission of her husband and it is not permissible for a woman to travel the journey of three days (the Safar distance which amounts to 78 kms or more) without being accompanied by a Mahram (as-Sunan al-Kubra by Bayhaqi, Hadith #: 10420, Narrated by Ibn Umar).”

Maalik, al-Shaafa’I, and al-Awzaa’i hold a different opinion: they allow the women to perform Umrah under certain conditions. For instance, if a woman resides in Jeddah, then she can travel to Makkah to perform Umrah with a group of women as the distance between the two cities isn’t long.

Al-Shaafa’i school of thought states that it’s enough for woman to have a mahram with her, a close relative, or two or more women to undertake the pilgrimage for the ritual; hence, it’s important for the women, who desire to perform Umrah, to consult the scholars for a complete opinion on this issue.

So, when can you travel without a Mahram?

Rules as to when one can travel alone without a Mahram are different in different countries. However, certain rules are universal. So, for a lady to travel alone for Umrah from UK (and elsewhere in the world), she need to be at least 45years of age. There is a condition of the lady traveling in an organized group but that is loosely implemented. So, if you are someone wanting to travel without a Mahram, you should ideally wait for the time when you are legally able to go alone.

It can be frustrating and daunting in some cases, where ladies don’t have a Mahram at all or have Mahrams living in another country. The later can be solved easily. You can travel to the country in question and go together from there. This frustration can, however, lead to certain rogue elements suggesting illegal practices. In certain parts of the world, there is an unscrupulous practice of “attaching” ladies with other eligible males in a group as Mahrams. Here it would be suitable to warn our readers against such adventure. For once, you will be bound to enter (if also not exit) Saudi with the “Non Mahram” in question. You will be bound to their schedule and your papers would show them as your Mahram. Why start your holiest journey with a lie in the first place. Please consult us today to see how we can legally help in any such scenarios. Our extensive experience in the Umrah Visa regime makes us one of the best choices when it comes to complicaed itineraries.

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