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umrah or hajj without mahram

Can I travel to Umrah or Hajj without a mahram?

For Muslims around the world, performing Umrah or Hajj for the sake of Allah (SWT) is both a sacred duty and the opportunity of a lifetime. Although Umrah and Hajj are different pilgrimages, they share some sacred rites and requirements, including who is eligible to perform them.

What is the difference between Umrah and Hajj?

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and is obliged of every Muslim at least once in their lifetime so long as they have the capacity. Learn more about Hajj and its rulings here.

Umrah is a voluntary pilgrimage to Mecca, which has its own unique set of rites. It is a greatly encouraged act of Ibadah (worship) but not obligatory for any Muslim.

If a woman wishes to perform Hajj or Umrah, according to the majority of scholars she must travel with her Mahram. Naturally, many will wonder whether a woman who has no Mahram will be allowed to perform Hajj or Umrah if she wishes – you can find out here.

What Is a Mahram?

Mahram is the Arabic word used to describe the male relative of a woman for whom it is Haram (prohibited) for her to marry. When a woman gets married, her husband also becomes her Mahram.

Mahram is any male relative that falls into the following categories:

  • All direct ancestors
  • All direct descendants
  • Siblings
  • Siblings of parents, grandparents, and further antecedents
  • Children and further descendants of siblings
  • All the ancestors of one’s spouse
  • All the descendants of one’s spouse
  • All who marry a direct ancestor
  • All who marry a direct descendant
  • Rada (one who became a Mahram because of being nursed by their foster mother as an infant): foster mother, foster sibling

Rulings On Performing Umrah or Hajj Without A Mahram

Some scholars believe that women who wish to perform Umrah or Hajj without a Mahram may do so if she is in the trusted company of a group or if the travelling routes are safe. However, the ruling on the requirement of a mahram is one in which scholars have differed over. You are encouraged to consult your Madhaab (school of thought), teacher, and/or conduct independent research to help inform you of your decision.

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We ensure our content is reviewed and verified by qualified scholars to provide you with the most accurate information. This webpage was last reviewed by Sheikh Saalim Al-Azhari.

Page last reviewed: 4 July 2022

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