Women Travelling with a Mahram
Social Issues
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

When is it okay for male or female Muslims to travel alone?  When is it not okay? Is it okay for sisters to travel without a mahram?  Please define travel and define mahram and tell me where this concept of mahram has come from? Is it mentioned specifically in the hadīth?



There are a number of Ahadīth in which directives have been given by the Prophet (sws) for the well-being (maslihah) of the Muslims. However, if the circumstances in which such directives have been given change, then, as is the case with all conditional directives, such directives may no longer apply in the changed circumstances.

The directives given to Muslim women about travelling belong to the above mentioned category. To ensure a safe journey for a women and to protect her moral character from any scandalous allegation in the strife ridden society of Arabia, the Prophet (sws) bade them travel with a mahram relation.

In my opinion, all tours and journeys etc in which the above two bases still exist, the condition of a woman travelling with a mahram must be followed.

However, with the changed circumstances of modern times, travelling has become a lot different from what it used to be in previous days. There are some travels in which safety both physical as well as moral is ensured. So, in such travels the mahram condition no longer applies. As far as the decision as to which journeys have become so safe is concerned, the traveller must decide for herself.

The word travel needs no definition since it is not a religious term. Everything which in the English language can be termed as `travel' is travel.

The word mahram is used for those relatives with whom a marital relationship is eternally prohibited by the Shari`ah. It has been specifically stated by the Prophet (sws) in the Ahadīth pertaining to this subject.

These directives have got nothing to do with male Muslims.

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