Fatwa ID: 01787
Answered by Ustadha Mahdiyah Siddique
I understand that it is not permissible for a woman to travel a distance of more than three days (48 miles) without a mahram. But if a sister wants to go to study in a foreign country and a mahram accompanies her in her journey, sets her up at a new house/lodging and goes back to the country he came from what will be the case then?
When she starts living at the new place it logically becomes her new house. As far as I know it is permissible for a woman to stay alone as long as she does not allow any non-mahram man to her house and her safety is ensured. Please suggest whether staying under such conditions will be permissible for the sister. Also advise whether the sister will be able to travel within 48 miles of her new home when necessary or not.
Allama Ibn Aabedeen Shami 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, Page.465 : Volume.3)
There is nothing wrong with the sister in question going to study, but it has to be within the boundaries of Shariah. It will be permissible for her to go and reside if her safety is ensured furthermore it is permissible for her to travel within the 48 mile radius of her new residency when necessary.
As can be derived from a Hadith,
“For women, there is no share in going out except if it is necessary.” (Tabrani)
In addition to that we can never be sure of one's safety, the circumstances and situations rapidly change nowadays. Hence it is better that the sister takes along a mahram for the duration of her studies and he does something in that time to further enhance his life and skills, or the other options could be that she takes up an online class or finds a place to study within her vicinity.
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by Ustadha Mahdiyah Siddique
Checked and Approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham