بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Answer to a Question
The Hadeeth of Prophet Muhammad (saw):
«لا يحل لامرأة تؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر تسافرُ مسيرة يوم وليلة إلا مع ذي محرم عليها»
“It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to travel for a day and night’s journey except with a mahram.” Narrated by Muslim from Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him:
1- A woman is prohibited from travelling alone without a mahram if the journey is for the period mentioned, i.e. a whole day (24 hours), a day and night.
2- The text indicates the time and not the distance, if the woman traveled by plane without a mahram for a thousand kilometers, travelling and returning in less than a whole day, then this is permitted. However, if she traveled twenty kilometers by walking which will take her more than a day and night then this is not permitted without a mahram.
3- The texts regarding shortening of prayer and the permission of breaking the fast, mentions the distance of (four Birad) and is estimated at about 89 kilometers. The distance approved is the one taken for shortening of prayer; if this distance is traveled by plane or ship or walking, it is permitted to shorten the prayer, however long the journey may be.
4- Travelling of women without mahram is considered according to the time taken for the journey, a day and night, no matter what the distance is, if the woman’s journey was less than a whole day, i.e. she traveled and returned within the time, then she is permitted to travel without a mahram. As for shortening of prayer and breaking the fast, the distance is considered and not the time, however long or short.
5- As for the issue of the woman’s security, it is a different matter, if she does not feel secure except with a mahram, then she must not travel even if the journey is for half a day, her security is another subject.
6- A mahram is any man from the maharim of a woman (unmarriageable male kin), while some scholars allow the company of trustworthy women, we on the other hand outweigh the opinion that a woman should travel with a male mahram in the required distance.
7- If someone is travelling to attend a course of study for three months, for example, he will be considered a traveler if he does not consider the country where he will study as his place of residence, but only for completing the course and returning to his native country, so he will be considered as a traveler in the hukm (rulings). But if he takes the country where the course of study is in as a place of his residence, in this case he is no longer considered as a traveler and he must follow the rules of the resident.