Can a Muslim woman study abroad without a Mahram?

I study outside my country and live in a hostel, when I have to go home in my holidays I have to travel a distance of more than 48 miles, my parents are not that religious that some maharam of mine will not accompany me even if I tell them that it is a sin for a female to travel alone. So when as this Eid is coming, many students are going home and some are also staying, I want to go home too, but I wanted to ask you if it will be a sin for me to travel alone to my home and then come back again here, and will doing this journey alone or with other girls be a sin for me? If it is then I will not go.

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

Answer

1)     The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said, “A woman must not travel except with a mahram and a man must not enter upon her except if she has a mahram.”  (Bukhari p.250 v.1)

2)     The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said,  “A woman must not travel for three days except with a mahram.” (Muslim p.432 v.1)

3)     The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said, “It is unlawful for a woman who believes in Allah and the last day that she travels the distance of three nights without a mahram accompanying her.” (Muslim p.433 v.1)

Allahmah Ibn Aabedeen Shami (RA) writes that it will be impermissible for a woman to travel the distance of three days and three nights without a mahram. However, it will be permissible for her to travel a distance, which is less than that without a mahram because of need. (Raddul Muhtar p.465 v.3)

The reason why Islam takes these measures is to protect women from any sort of harm e.g. physical attacks from immoral people or thieves who might rob them where they will be defenceless to stop them.

When it is unlawful for women to travel then how would she be allowed to travel to another country for studying, which is not compulsory on her?

It will be obligatory for you leave the studying straight away and return home to your family. You will not be allowed to return unless you have a mahram accompanying you. If you cannot find a mahram to take you home now then you can travel without a mahram. Pray to Allah for forgiveness for what you have done.

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham.

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