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Are Women Allowed to
Muslim women enjoy an exceptional and profound position in
society. As a consequence of the sanctity the Shari'ah
afforded to her, she attains a lofty and chaste position in
Muslim women are required by the Shari'ah to
remain indoors unless the need arises to leave the home, like
going for Hajj, visiting her parents and relatives, visiting
the sick, etc. The permission leaving home for the legitimate
reasons mentioned, is subject to the condition of fully
covering herself. When the conditions for a woman coming out
of her home for fulfilling a religious duty are so strict,
then what will be the position of that woman who ventures out
for a non-religious reason?
In order to safeguard the
integrity of Muslim women in general, the Shari'ah has
discouraged them from stepping out of their homes unless
accompanied by a Mahram. The following Ahadith will
sufficiently explain the matter in discussion.
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah
(Radhiyallaahu Anhu) reported Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi
Wasallam) as saying, 'It is not permitted for a Muslim woman
to make a journey of a night unless accompanied by a
Explanation: A woman can only travel with
a Mahram, i.e. a male with whom her marriage is forbidden
eternally viz. her father, son, brother, uncle, grandfather,
etc. In the case of a married woman she can be accompanied by
The above Hadith mentions the length of journey to be one
night while the aforementioned Ahaadith differ in the length
of journey, hence, the Ahaadith may seem outward to contradict
each other. These variations are due to various reasons.
However, it must be understood that the intention behind
specifying a particular length of journey denotes that if the
distance is such that there is fear of Fitna (danger and risk
of her chastity), a woman should not undertake the journey
alone, without a Mahram.
In the light of many similar Ahaadith, it is understood
that a woman cannot undertake a journey of three days alone.
The distance of three days journey is calculated as 88km. A
woman cannot travel alone for 89 km. However, for a distance
of less than 88km, due to Fitna, it will also not be
permissible for her to travel alone.
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah
(Radhiyallaahu Anhu) reported that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu
Alayhi Wasallam) said, 'It is not permitted for a woman who
has faith in Allah and the last day to make a journey of a day
reported the same as the previous Hadith.|
Explanation: The above Hadith makes
mention of one day and night.
Abu Saeed (Radhiyallaahu
Anhu) reported Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam)
saying, 'It is not permitted for a woman who brings faith in
Allah and the Last Day to make a journey of more than three
days unless she is accompanied by either her father, brother,
husband, son or a relative who is her Mahram.'
Hadhrat ibn Umar
(Radhiyallaahu Anhuma) reported Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi
Wasallam) saying, 'A woman must not make a journey of three
days unless accompanied by a relative who is her Mahram.'
Explanation: As regard to the length of
journey, four different measurements are recorded viz. that of
one night, one night and a day, two days and three days (and
three days or more). According to the Muhaddiseen
(commentators of Hadith) the term `journey' used refers to
such a length which can generally be considered to be a
journey. Consequently, the Jurists have declared that a woman
should not make a journey of 88 km without the company of a
Hadhrath ibn Abbas
(Radhiyallaahu Anhuma) reported that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu
Alayhi Wasallam) said, 'A woman must not make a journey unless
accompanied by a Mahram or her husband.'
Explanation: The above Hadith has no
stipulation as to the length of journey, and it's because of
such statements that the æ#154;lama have reached consensus
that it is desirable for a woman to be accompanied by a Mahram
on a journey less than 88km for the fear of Fitna, it becomes
And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best.
Source: Jamiatul Ulama (Kwazulu-Natal)