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179. Prohibiting Woman from Traveling Alone

Chapter 179

Prohibiting Woman from Traveling Alone



  1. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to make a journey of one day and night unless she is accompanied by a Mahram (husband or any other relative to whom she is prohibited to marry).”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].


Commentary:  This Hadith offers four points. First, it mentions a twenty-four hour journey. `Ulama’, therefore, say that the time limit matters little and the real point is the length of distance to be called journey. A woman is not allowed to travel unless she is accompanied by her husband or a Mahram.

Second, Hajj is obligatory on her provided she has no financial problem. If a woman has no husband or Mahram, Hajj is not obligatory on her. Neither can she go for Hajj with a group of women, whether for Hajj or any other purpose.

Third, the term Mahram, apart from husband, applies to all of her male siblingss whom she cannot marry; these include the father, the son, the brother, the nephew, the son-in-law and the foster-father. She cannot travel with anybody but with any of these.

Fourth, when she goes out, she should wear a Jilbab (an outer gown) dress so that no part of her body should be visible. Moreover, perfume must not be used by her, wearing perfume in public by women is tantamount to fornication, nor should the jingling of her ornaments be audible to others.

  1. Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “No man must not be alone with a woman except in the presence of her (Mahram). No woman should travel except in company of a (Mahram).” A man said: “O Messenger of Allah! I have been enrolled for such and such expedition, and my wife left for Hajj.” He (PBUH) said to him, “Go and perform Hajj with your wife.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].


Commentary: This Hadih proves that under no circumstance woman may travel alone. The Shari`ah strictly bans a meeting of this kind between two opposite sexes. Even if nothing objectionable happens, a mischievous person may exploit this situation and talk about them slanderously. Families disregardful of Hijab provide instances of illicit relationship between a man and a woman related to each other.


Riyadh ul Saliheen



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