Women no longer need a male guardian to perform Hajj, Umrah: Saudi Arabia

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travelling without a mahram

Saudi Arabia has made the groundbreaking decision to let women go to Mecca and Medina on their own for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages.

On Monday, Riyadh announced the change and stated that it would apply to pilgrims all around the world.

Tawfiq Al Rabiah, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah, stated at the Saudi embassy in Cairo that “a woman can come to the kingdom to undertake Umrah without a mahram.”

Reliable women or secure companionship

Without a mahram, women may perform the hajj or umrah if they are accompanied by “reliable women or secure companionship.” This is the viewpoint of the Maliki and Shafi’i scholars, according to Ahmed Saleh Halabi, Hajj and Umrah Services Advisor.

This statement ends a long-standing Saudi Arabian law, however, exceptions had been made for women traveling in sizable groups of other women for the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages.

While Saudi clerics have traditionally held that women must have a mahram to do the Hajj and Umrah, other Muslim scholars have held different positions.

According to Faten Ibrahim Hussein, a former advisor to the Minister of Hajj, travelers are given all the necessary resources to conduct the Hajj and Umrah in accordance with Saudi Vision 2030.

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