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Is It Permissible to Go for Hajj Without a Mahram?

Praise be to Allah.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This action – Hajj without a mahram – is haraam because of the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, when he was delivering a sermon, “No woman should travel except with a mahram.” A man stood up and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, my wife has set out for Hajj, and I have signed up for such-and-such a military campaign.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Go and do Hajj with your wife.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3006; Muslim, 1341.

From this, it is concluded that for a woman it is not permissible to travel without a Mahram. A mahram is a man who is woman's husband or the one for whom she is forbidden to marry because of blood ties. This is also subject to the condition that he be an adult of sound mind. A minor child cannot be a mahram, and neither can one who is not of sound mind.

The reason as to why a mahram is required to travel with a woman is because he would be able to protect her and look after her.

It is for the safety of the woman.

Many may argue that a woman is travelling with a group of other women and there is good security present for her. It must be noted that there is no difference whether there are other women with her or the conditions are safe. Even if she is extremly safe and with women of her family, it is still not permissible. It is because when the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him commanded the man to go with his wife, he didnt ask any questions. He didnt ask if there are other women or if it is safe or not. He simply commanded the man to go with her. The fact that he did not ask about that indicates that it makes no difference.
It was narrated that Ibn 'Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No woman should travel except with a mahram, and no man should enter upon a woman unless there is a mahram with her.” A man said: “O Messenger of Allaah, I want to go out with such and such an army, and my wife wants to go for Hajj.” He said: “Go for Hajj with her.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1763)

and Muslim (1341). It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allaah and the Last Day to travel for the distance of one day and one night except with her mahram.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1038) and Muslim (133). According to al-Bukhaari (1139) and Muslim (827), from the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed: “The distance of two days.”

Majority of scholars are of view that a woman who has no mahram to go with her is not obliged to perform Hajj, because having mahram is mandatory and part of hajj, without which it may not be accepted. And being a part of Hajj is one of the conditions of it to be obligatory. Allah says in glorious quran :

“And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka‘bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allaah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence)”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:97]

Which means if a person cannot afford to go for a hajj because of poverty, conveyance or residence then it is not obligatory for them. However, if a person can go for it and doesn't, then he becomes answerable on the day of Judgement.

Conclusion:

For a woman to go for Hajj and it being accepted, her mahram must accompany her. She is not allowed to travel alone.

It is not permissible for her to travel with trustworthy women without a mahram, or with her paternal aunt, maternal aunt or mother. Rather it is essential that she be with her husband or a mahram.

If she cannot find someone to accompany her, then she is not obliged to do Hajj so long as that is the case.

And Allah knows best.
End note:

It is not that Islam has snatched the freedom from woman to travel alone, rather it is for her safety. My dear sisters, they may tell you that they have freed you from the bondage of religion and you are allowed to go alone, wherever you wish than remember Allah, it is the law made by Him, rejecting it and embracing the false ideas of Kufaar will only cause you harm.

Moreover, why does one go for a hajj? To seek repentance, to get close to Allah, to get this worship of yours accepted by Allah. If you are not doing it properly and following all guidelines, will it benefit you? Will it be accepted if Allah's command is nullified? May Allah forgive us.

Think before you take a leap into disobedience to Allah.

May Allah make it easy for all of us.

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