What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: I married a woman from Pakistan and she asked at the time whether I could allow her to meet her family once or twice a year, and so I said that is fine. Now that I have called her over here to the U.K. would she therefore be allowed to travel to Pakistan on her own, and is it permissible according to Islamic Law for my mother to go with her?
Questioner: Mahmood from England, U.K.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایة الحق والصواب
Your wife cannot travel alone to Pakistan without a Mahram, and nor can she travel with your mother in this manner as well, because she is also a female herself, and it is impermissible & Harām according to Islamic Law for a woman to travel three days (i.e. 57.5 miles or 92km) without a Mahram. This is indeed the stance of the Hanafī School of Thought, and it is this which is Zhāhir al-Riwāyah [the apparent position of a Madh’hab]. Just as it is stated in Fatāwā Hindiyyah,
“وَلَا تُسَافِرُ الْمَرْأَةُ بِغَيْرِ مَحْرَمٍ ثَلَاثَةَ أَيَّامٍ وَمَا فَوْقَهَا”
“A female cannot travel for more than three days unless with a Mahram.”
[al-Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah, vol. 1, ch. 5, p. 142]
In addition, it has also been mentioned in a blessed Hadīth to refrain from this, just as it is stated in Sahīh al-Bukhārī,
“عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَاأَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ لاَ تُسَافِرِ المَرْأَةُ ثَلاَثَةَ أَيَّامٍ إِلَّا مَعَ ذِي مَحْرَمٍ”
“It is narrated from the dear & respected Sayyidunā Ibn ‘Umar – may Allāh Almighty be content with him – that the Noble Prophet ﷺ stated that, ‘A woman should not travel for more than three days except with a Mahram (i.e. a male with whom she cannot marry at all e.g. her brother, father, grandfather, etc. or her own husband).’
[Sahīh al-Bukhārī, Hadīth no. 1086]
Moreover, Sayyidī Alāhadrat, upon whom be countless mercies, states in Fatāwā Ridawiyyah that the only additional point in relation to females is that it is Harām for her to travel without having taken her husband or Mahram; there is no distinction at all for Hajj.
[Taken from Fatāwā Ridawiyyah, vol. 10, p. 657]
In fact, a female should also avoid travelling on a day’s worth journey (19.1 miles or 30.6 km) without a Mahram because the latter scholars have also stated for women to refrain from travelling this amount of distance unless with a Mahram. Just as it is stated in Bahār-e-Sharī’at that for a female to embark on a journey without a Mahram for a journey of more than 3 days is impermissible, but for her to go on a journey of even one day [without a Mahram] is not permitted.
[Bahār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, part 4, p. 752]
والله تعالی أعلم ورسوله أعلم صلی الله علیه وآله وسلم
کتبه أبو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء القادري
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qādiri
Translated by Haider Ali al-Madanī
Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0860] How is it for a woman to travel without a Mahram?