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Travel to Study Without Mahram: Permissible for Women?

06 July, 2019
Q As-salamu `alaykum. Do you think that a woman these days can travel without a mahram to attend conferences in foreign countries? And can she travel to these countries for study without being accompanied by a mahram?


Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

A woman can travel without a mahram if she finds a company of trustworthy people.

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In her response to your question, the prominent Muslim scholar and da`i, Zienab Mostafa, states:

Nowadays, the world has become a small village as the advanced means of transportation have gathered its parts, but we still follow our Islamic teachings. A woman can travel without a mahram if she finds a company of trustworthy people.

This applies to performing Hajj or any other travel that is meaningful or is meant to achieve any important aim in her life, such as education or attending an Islamic function like Islamic conferences and international meetings.

We can understand this from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) when he promised Adi ibn Hatim At-Tai (may Allah be pleased with him) three signs when he accepted Islam: that Islam would reach the east and the west; that the companions would obtain the treasures of Kisra, the king of Persia; and that peace would be spread all over the world when Islam reached the east and west so that a woman would be able to travel alone from Yemen to Hadramout not fearing anything but Allah and the wolf, meaning she would fear nothing.

Scholars understand from this hadith that a time will come when women can travel alone when they feel secure.

So, I can say that women can travel alone if the aforementioned conditions are fulfilled. If she really can’t find any mahram to accompany her during the period of study, she can stay alone with good, trustworthy sisters, such as a Muslim hostel for women or any other.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.