Joined: Sep 2002
As-Salaamu' Alaikum wa'Rahma tu'Llahi wa'berta'khatu, below is an fatwa with an example of a distance without a mahram and the shaikh's response to it... |
Ibn 'Uthaymeen's Fatwaa about Women Traveling Even For Hajj or Umrah
Translated by Abu Sumayyah Aqeel Walker
Ash-Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-'Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy upon him) was asked:
Question: A woman wants to travel to Jeddah to perform 'Umrah and a Mahram (male relative) of hers sees her off from Ar-Riyadh (the capital city of Saudi Arabia), and she rides in the airplane and another Mahram (male relative) receives her in Jeddah. Is this permissible?
Answer: If this matter happened already, then it is over. Along with this, verily this is forbidden for her because she is included in the generality of the Prophet's (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) statement, "A woman should not travel except with one who is a Mahram (male relative or her husband)." [Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim] And this woman traveled without a Mahram so it is true concerning her that she fell into what the Messenger (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) prohibited.
Indeed you may say, "Verily if her Mahram sees her off at the airport and the other Mahram receives her, the danger (of her traveling alone) is removed, and the Messenger (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) only prohibited that due to fear of danger. Therefore, if the danger is removed, there is no harm." The reply to this is that the Messenger (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) made an unrestricted prohibition. He said, "A woman should not travel except with one who is a Mahram (male relative or her husband)." So a man stood up and said, "O Messenger of Allaah, verily my wife went out for Hajj and verily I have been enlisted to go on such and such expedition." So he (the Prophet) said, "Go and perform Hajj with your wife." [Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim] Thus, the Messenger (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) commanded him to cancel his expedition and to go with his wife. Did the Prophet (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) seek an explanation from this man? Did he say, "Is your wife safe or unsafe?" No. Did he say, "Are other women with her or not?" No. He did not say that. Did he say, "Is she an old woman or a young lady?" He did not say that. So the principle is that the wording remains upon the generality of its meaning, especially since the story of this man occurred in support of the generality. In reference to the woman's Mahram seeing her off to the airport - and I hope that you all are with me in (understanding) this matter. If I am mistaken then correct my mistake, and if I am right then agree with me about this and warn the people. This man who goes with her to the airport, from what is customary is that the area that is for the travelers (in the airports), none can enter it except for the people who are actually traveling, only. [Translator's comment: This is the case in most airports around the world, especially in the Middle East. This wasn't normally the case in the United States in the past, but since September 11th, this may now be the case here too. Allaahu A'lam.] So her Mahram is going to see her off to this waiting area (for travelers only) and then leave. This is what usually happens. If he leaves, is he 100% certain that the plane is going to leave at the scheduled time? No. It could be delayed. Then if it leaves at the scheduled time, and travels in the air, is it guaranteed with certainty that the weather conditions will remain suitable or it could be that situations may occur that will force the airplane to return back (i.e. land again)? The answer is that the likes of these situations may occur. Then if it's a given that she continues on the flight and arrives at the land where the plane is to land, even that may not be feasible. The plane may go to some other place. So who will meet her at this other airport (i.e. a layover airport)? So if it is decreed that she lands at the airport which she intends to land at, is the Mahram whom it is agreed that he will meet her, is his meeting her guaranteed, and at the same time of her arrival? This is not guaranteed. He may become ill, and he may get lost or he could get caught in a traffic jam with other cars. All of this is possible, isn't it so? But lets just say that all of these obstacles do not occur and the matter goes as well as expected. However, who is the person who will sit beside her on the plane? Allaah knows best. It could be that an honorable man will be sitting beside her who has respect for the Muslim women and he will protect her from harm. He could be better than her true Mahram. And it could be that a wicked, plotting, treacherous man will be sitting next to her, who will trick her and try to seduce her. So the matter remains dangerous. The Legislator (Allaah) has exceedingly anticipated what is necessary to protect the honors. This is such that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, said: "And do not come near Az-Zinaa (illegal sex, fornication, adultery, etc.)." [Al-Israa' (17):32] He (Allaah) did not say, "And do not commit Az-Zinaa." This is so that we would stay away from everything that could be a means that leads to Az-Zinaa. So verily the obligation that is upon the believer who fears Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, and who feels defensive honor for the women of his family is that he not allow anyone from the women of his family to travel except with a Mahram (male relative or her husband). The matter is quite easy. Go with her (to her destination) and return. There is no overburdening in this. And all praise is due to Allaah.
Source: Al-Fataawaa Ash-Shar'iyyah fil-Masaa'il il-'Asriyyah min Fataawaa 'Ulamaa' il-Balad il-Haraam, pp. 452-454.
Baarak-Allaahu Feekum - wa sal-Allaahu wa-sallam 'alaa Nabiyyinaa Muhammad,
was-Salaam 'alaykum wa-Rahmatullaahe wa-Barakaatuh.
Abu' Salafia'tayn Faruq Al-Fauzani Rabee'us-Sunnah As-Salafi 'ibn Saja Huie As-Salafiyyah
-From As-Salafiyoon in Columbus-