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In the Name of Allaah, All Compassionate, All Merciful
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The one who does not have a "male relative" is not obliged to perform Hajj

Question: A woman well-known for her piety, in her middle ages or close to being elderly, wants to make the Hajj of Islaam. However, she does not have a mahram. From the same country there is a man who is well-known for his piety who wants to make Hajj and he is traveling with women whom he is related to. Is it proper for that woman to make Hajj with this man and the women he is travelling with, being among the women with the man watching over them? Does she have to perform the Hajj or is this requirement dropped from her since she does not have a mahram, even though she is financially capable? Give us a response, may Allaah reward you.

Response: The woman who does not have a mahram is not obligated to perform the Hajj. This is because a mahram, with respect to her, is part of the necessary aspects of having the means to perform the Hajj. Having the means is one of the conditions for the obligatory nature of Hajj. Allaah says:

{And Hajj to the House is a duty that mankind owes to Allaah, those who can afford the expenses}, [Soorah Aal-'Imraan, Aayah 97].

It is not allowed for her to travel for Hajj or otherwise without her husband or a mahram. This is based on what al-Bukhaaree recorded that the Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) said:

((It is not allowed for a woman to travel a day and night's distance except with a mahram)), [al-Bukhaaree and Muslim], also recorded from Ibn 'Abbaas that he heard the Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) say:

((A man cannot be alone with a woman unless in the presence of a mahram of hers. And a woman does not travel except along with a mahram)).

A man said: "O Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) my wife has left to make the Hajj and I have enlisted for such and such expedition." He said:

((Go and make Hajj with your wife)).

This is the opinion of al-Hasan, al-Nakha.ee, Ahmad, Ishaaq, Ibn al-Mundhir and the scholars of juristic reasoning (as-haab ar-ra.ee). It is the correct opinion because it is in agreement with the generality of the Hadeeth of the Prophet that prohibits women from travelling without a husband or mahram. Maalik, al-Shaafi'ee and al-Awzaa'ee have a differing opinion. They all state conditions for which they have no evidence. Ibn al-Mundhir stated:"They all abandon the clear, obvious meaning of the Hadeeth and lay down conditions for which they have no evidence.

And with Allaah lies all the success, and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet Muhammad (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and his family and his companions.

The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa
Fataawa al-Mar.ah