Can Muslim Women Travel Alone? Insights and Scholarly Opinions

blog retreat soulofwomanhood May 20, 2024

Have you ever felt the yearning to embark on a spiritual journey, to reconnect with your faith, and to explore the profound history of Islam, but felt limited by the constraints of traveling alone? We understand that many Muslim women face this dilemma, and it’s precisely why we developed the Knowledge Retreat and Umrah specifically for Muslim women.

Why We Created This Retreat

At Soul of Womanhood, we recognize the unique spiritual and personal development needs of Muslim women. We wanted to create a space where women could delve deeply into their faith, find community, and embark on a transformative journey, both physically and spiritually. Our annual Knowledge Retreat and Umrah is more than just a pilgrimage; it’s an opportunity to grow, to learn, and to connect with like-minded sisters in a safe and supportive environment.

Navigating the Mahram Debate

One of the most common questions we encounter is whether a Muslim woman can travel without a mahram. This is an important consideration, especially for those who wish to participate in our retreat. We follow the opinion that it is permissible for Muslim women to travel alone when it is safe and within a group. This perspective is supported by many contemporary scholars and schools of thought, such as those of Imam Shafi’i and Imam Malik, who have examined the traditional hadiths in context and concluded that safety is the primary concern.

Historically, scholars like Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal have taken a stricter stance, emphasizing that a woman should not travel without a mahram based on certain hadiths. For instance, Abu Hurairah (r.a.) reported that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, "It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the last day to make a journey of one day and night unless she is accompanied by a mahram" (Al Bukhari and Muslim).

However, others, including Imam Shafi’i, Imam Malik, and numerous contemporary scholars like Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi, argue that if a woman can ensure her safety, the prohibition does not apply. They highlight that the original intent behind the prohibition was the concern for safety during travel. For instance, there’s a narration from the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that foretells a time when women will travel safely: “And if you live a long life, you will surely see women traveling from Hira till they tawaf the Ka'bah, fearing no one except Allah” (reported in Sahih Bukhari). This indicates a future where safe travel for women is envisaged.

Ensuring Safety in Our Retreat

We have taken every measure to ensure that our Knowledge Retreat and Umrah is safe and supportive. With trusted guides, carefully planned itineraries, and the companionship of fellow sisters, you can embark on this journey with confidence. Our group leader will be present at all times to assist with Umrah and Ziyarat, ensuring that every participant feels secure and cared for.

Join Us

We believe that every Muslim woman deserves the chance to explore her faith deeply, to walk in the footsteps of the Prophet (PBUH), and to find a supportive community. Our retreat is designed to provide you with the knowledge, spiritual enrichment, and companionship needed to make this journey a profound and life-changing experience.

We look forward to welcoming you to our sisterhood and embarking on this sacred journey together.


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