Thursday, November 16, 2006

Q&A: Woman travelling without a Mahram?

The following is a draft translation from Arabic.

Question: I read a Hadith from Abu Dawud in which he says:

«لا يحل لامرأة تؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر أن تسافر بريداً إلا معها ذو محرم»
“A woman who believes in Allah and the doomsday is not allowed to travel a -Bureid- without a Mahram” so how is it if we considered the other Hadith:

«لا يحل لامرأة تؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر أن تسافر مسيرة يوم وليلة إلا معها ذو محرم»
“A woman who believes in Allah and doomsday is not allowed to travel the distance of a day and a night without a Mahram”, knowing that the distance of the Bureid could be traveled in less than a day?

Answer:

Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated from Ibn Abbas -may Allah be content with them- that Rasulallah (saw) said:

«لا تسافر المرأة إلا مع ذي محرم»
“A woman should not travel without a Mahram”.

This is prohibition of a woman’s traveling -general traveling- except with a Mahram.

A limitation was mentioned for this traveling in three days, two days, a day and a night, a night:
- Al-Bukhari narrated from Ibn Omar (three days), and from Abi Sa’eed Al-Khudari (two days) and from Abi Hurairah (one day and one night) and from Ibn Abbas and Ibn Omar (one day and
one night).
- Muslim narrated from Ibn Omar (three, more than three) and from Ibn Sa’eed Al-Khudari (two days, three, more than three) and from Abi Hurairah, Ibn Abbas, and Ibn Omar (one day and one night).
- Al-Tirmithi narrated from Abi Sa’eed Al-Khudari (three days and above), and from Abi Hurairah (one day and one night).
- Ibn Majah narrated from Abi Sa’eed (three and above).
- Ahmad narrated from Ibn Omar (three), and from Abdallah Ibn Omar (distance of three), and from Abi Hurairah (three days, distance of a complete day), and from Abi Sa’eed (three days, two days, three, over two days, two days).
-Al-Darmi narrated from Abi Sa’eed (three days and over).
- Abu Dawud narrated from Abi Hurairah (one night, one day and one night). Then lately it was narrated from Abi Hurairah (distance of Bureid).

So, limitation of traveling was mentioned in the narrations of Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Al-Tirmithi, Ahmad, Al-Darmi and Abu Dawud in time (three days, or three nights, two days, one day and one night, one night).

Impelling the absolute (mutlaq) over the limited (muqayad), and gathering the evidences, the Shar’i Hukum is that a woman should not travel the lesser distance without a Mahram, meaning that she cannot travel the distance of one night, because not traveling one night leads to not traveling two days, three… in language the Arabs use the word -night- meaning a whole day -one day and one night- Allah (swt) said:

((قال آيتك ألا تكلم الناس ثلاث ليال سوياً))
“Thy Sign, was the answer, Shall be that thou shalt speak to no man for three nights” [Mariam: 10] and He (swt) said:

((قال آيتك ألا تكلم الناس ثلاثة أيام إلا رمزاً))
“Thy Sign, was the answer, Shall be that thou shalt speak to no man for three days but with signals” [Al-Imran: 41] it is obvious in both Ayat that (nights) means (days). The Arabs say: كتبته لكذا ليلة خلت من شهر كذا “I wrote it for some nights that elapsed from this or that month” meaning for a number of days.

Therefore the prohibition is traveling the distance of one day and one night except with a husband or a Mahram, and this is what we adopted.

What remains is the narration of Abu Dawud which is restricted with distance (Bureid) and distance of Bureid is four parasang, that is about (22 kilometers) what is noticed about this story is the following:

1. It restricts traveling to the distance, which means that the time is of no value, she therefore needs a Mahram if she travels (22) kilometers whether she travels them in one or in two days…
As for the other Hadiths, they are restricted to time, that is one day and one night, whether she crosses in them 100 or hundreds of kilometers…

So, talking about distances cancels the time, and talking about time cancels the distance, so here, there is contradiction, and when there is contradiction we resort to what is more probable, it is obvious that the Hadith of Al-Bukhari, Muslim and the other Sihah, even Abu Dawud himself narrates most of his narrations in time, all of these are more probable than the narration of Abu Dawud, the only one which mentions (Bureid) in it.

2. The narration of Abu Dawud in bureid is as follows: Yusuf Ibn Musa told us after Jareer after Suheil after Saeed Ibn Abi Sa’eed after Abi Hurairah he said that Rasulallah (saw) said:

«لا يحل لامرأة تؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر أن تسافر بريداً إلا معها ذو محرم»
“A woman who believes in Allah and doomsday is not allowed to travel –a distance of a Bureid- except with a Mahram”.

Abu Dawud himself relates from Sa’eed Ibn Abi Sa’eed from Abi Hurairah four Hadiths in which he says one day and one night.

Also Abu Dawud himself relates from Sa’eed Ibn Abi Sa’eed from his father from Abi Hurairah two Hadiths in the first he says (one night) and in the second he says (one day and one night).

So all the narrations of Abu Dawud after Sa’eed Ibn Abi Sa’eed (once after his father and another directly) after Abi Hurairah, he mentions restriction to time (one day and one night). Knowing that Ahmad narrated the Hadith in the same manner after Sa’eed Ibn Abi Sa’eed from his father after Abi Hurairah and mentioned (a complete day): There is one narration for Abu Dawud from Sa’eed Ibn Abi Sa’eed after Abi Hurairah -distance of a Bureid-.

These narrations makes it probable that Abi Hurairah mentioned from Sa’eed Ibn Abi Sa’eed (or his father) one day and one night, and did not mention -distance of bureid-.
Therefore what is probable is what we mentioned in the social system book (one day and one night) meaning;

«لا يحل لامرأة تؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر أن تسافر مسيرة يوم وليلة إلا مع ذي محرم»
“A woman who believes in Allah and doomsday is not allowed to travel the distance of one night and one day without a Mahram”.

As you notice, we say what is probable, and we do not give a decisive opinion, this is one thing. The second is that we say that she can travel less than one day and one night without a Mahram, but we do not say that she should do that, because if she does not want to travel the distance of half a day except with a Mahram, then she can have that, what is important is that she should not travel the distance of one day and one night except with a Mahram.

By Sheikh Ata ibn Khaleel Abu al-Rashta

18 Ramadan 1427 AH
10 October 2006 CE

Arabic source

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

The following is another Q&A verified by Sheikh Abdul Qadeem Zalloom (ra), it clarifies that the issue is to do with travelling and not moving from one secure place to another secure place:

Question: What is the adoption regarding a woman travelling for more than 24 hours is that this is haram. With regards to this rule some clarification is required.
1. By ‘travelling’ is this meant a mussaffir on a journey – i.e. does the woman become a traveller after 80 km travel and so the rule applies to her then. So if she travelled 70 KM she would be able to travel alone.
2. Is the rule indicating just the travelling i.e. actually engaging on a journey or does it include staying at a ‘safe place’. If for example a woman travelled 12 hours but stayed at her sisters house for 2 days without a mahrem would this be valid.
Is a woman allowed to live alone in a place where her mahram does not reside. Also is a woman allowed to go to university or work in a place away from her fathers home where there is no mahrem. Does it matter the length of time she stays at the place, if she is working she may stay for many years away from her fathers/mahrems home. Can a woman for this period of time designate the place to be ‘her home’ and so be exempt from the rule.

Answer: The Limit of the distance (80 km) is related to fasting and combining and shortening of prayers. This does not apply to the travel of the woman which must require a mahrem. Regarding the travelling of a woman (which is) necessarily accompanied by a Mahrem it is mentioned as 3 days, 2 days and 2 nights, one day and one night. The texts of these hadiths are as follows:“The woman does not travel three (days) without being accompanied by a mahrem” , “the woman does not travel the travel (maseerah) of two days and two nights except with a husband or a mahram”, “The woman does not travel except with a mahrem for a travel (maseerah) of three (days)” , “The woman does not travel the travel (maseerah) of one complete day except with a mahrem”, “It is not halal for a woman who believes in Allah and the last day to travel the travel (maseerah) of one day and one night except with a mahrem”.So the ahadith mentioned the maseerah (travel – journey) of one day and night, two days and two nights, or three (days). So the matter should be explained (and clarified?) by the least. So any woman who travels the journey of one day and one night must be accompanied by a husband or a mahrem. Whoever travels the journey of two days and two nights or three days, or three nights, she must be accompanied by a husband or a mahrem for greater reason. This is regardless of whether the travel was on foot, on an animal, a car or an airplane. Because what matters is the journey of the day and the night that such travel means takes, i.e. the walking (the foot), the animal, the car or the airplane. Once she reaches the place she aims, she is allowed to live with her mahrems, or in a house private to her without having a mahrem with her, unless her such living alone was not safe.
This is whether her travel was for study or for work.

sharbin said...

Q.suppose,a journey from A to B takes more than 24 hours & i stopped in the mid way,suppose in place C,D.A-C.C-D,D-B every part of journey takes 5-6 hours.that is each individual journey less than 24 hours,then is it necessary to have a mahram with me?if ans is yes,why?the 3 parts of journey would be considered as separate journey or not?would you please elaborate it?

Islamic Revival said...

@Sharbin. Sister what you described would not be allowed, as it would still be considered travel if you were to stop for a few hours on the journey at different places - as in reality this is still part of the travel. If you were to stop for a night at a secure place like your relatives house somewhere and then travel again on the next day for a period less than 24 hours then this is different and would be permitted.

sharbin said...

jazakallah for your ans..if 2 women travel together more than 24 hours then still is it necessary to have a male mahram with them?

Islamic Revival said...

Yes it is necessary based upon the ahadith - the issue is to do with travelling without a mahram and not the number of women.

sadia said...

salam, i have a question which needs to be answered very urgently.

sometimes we the sisters riding in public bus where men and women sits are not segregated. and if there is fixed sit but they are little in number. my question is-- is sharya permit to sit beside non mahram where body are being touched , and where intention is not to mixing ? plz give me answer with sharya principal in this case.

MY another questions is -- is it obligation( or suggestions) to sit last low at public gathering?

wating for early reply.....

sadia said...

assalmualikum,

what is the rule reagarding mixing with brother in law as islam says "its like death , which man cant avoid"?
say, we( me,my husband, brother in law) live in same apartment. if my husband is not at home is it allowed to live with brother in law at same home?
and, is it obligation to cover awrah ( means : accept face and hand) all time in front of him when he is all time live at home?

plz answer my q urgently regarding this issue..

Islamic Revival said...

If it is sitting with non-mahram men where the woman would be touched then this is not allowed and should be avoided.

Please refer to the following for the detailed rules and evidences for the rules of mixing between men and women: http://islamicsystem.blogspot.com/2006/07/shariah-rules-relating-to-mixing.html

Islamic Revival said...

Salams, yes you are right - the brother in law is not a mahram and the hadith you quoted indicates the danger of the possibility of zina occurring hence being referred to as death, as the punishment of zina whilst married is death.

It is not permitted to be in the house alone with your brother in law and a woman has to have her awrah covered in front of him at all times.

Anonymous said...

Brother can u provide any reference for this hadith? or its strength?

The Prophet (pbuh) promised `Adi ibn Hatim At-Ta’iy (rh) 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.

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu Alaikum,

I have a question which needs to be answered very urgently.

I would like to ask a question regarding women travelling without a mahram it's conditions and details.

The reality is;
A few sisters are planning to travel to a location and stay for 4 days for a small break/holiday the location is within the UK, (train: 6/7 hours away from where they live)

The sisters will be renting a house, surrounded by other houses.

would it be permissible for the sisters to go.


Jazak'Allah khair

Islamic Revival said...

salams

it is permitted for women to.travel from one secure place to another.secure place as.described in.the.question.

ibn Farooq said...

Salam
Is it allowed for a women to travel along with the couple where the husband is maharam to her ?