"Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing, and a guidance for Al-'Alamin (the mankind and jinns). In it are manifest signs (for example), the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim; whosoever enters it, he attains security. And Hajj to the House (Ka'bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allaah, those who are able to " (Q3[Aal-lmraan]: 96-97).
Thus, performing Hajj is the dream of every Muslim even when it only becomes obligatory on the Muslim if he is healthy, the road is safe and has the financial means for the journey to and fro and those over whom he is financially responsible at home. All these are clearly established in the various authentic texts and in the explanations of the Pious Predecessors.
One More for Her...
Besides all the above mentioned requirements to be met by the Muslim to be fit for hajj one more requirement has been mentioned for the Muslim female Not to travel for hajj except with her Mahram (her husband, child, father, brother and the like who must be a matured, sane Muslim Male).
Abdullaah bn Abbass (RA) in an authentic and explicitly clear narration reported that the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
"A woman should not perform hajj except one who is her Mahram is with her." (As-Saheehah no 3065).
He also reported that, "I heard Allaah's Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) say,
'A man should not stay in privacy with a woman except that one who is her Mahram is with her and a woman should not travel except that one who is her Mahram is with her.
A man stood and said, 'O Messenger of Allaah! I want to go out with the army of so and so and my wife intends to perform hajj. So, he (the Prophet) said:
'Go with her (to Hajj)'" (Bukhaari, Muslim and others).
Explaining these narrations AI-Haafidh Ibn Hajar AI-Asqalaanee (RAH) said, 'Were it (the company of a Mahram) not a precondition for her, he would not have ordered the husband to travel with her and abandon going for the battle for which he had enlisted.
This is despite the fact that Sa'eed bn Mansoor had reported on the Authority of Hammaad bn Zayd with another narration where the man said, 'O Messenger of Allaah! I have vowed to go out with the army of so and so...
' Were it not a precondition (for the woman to go to hajj with her Mahram) he would not have permitted him to abandon the vow. " (Fath al-Baaree 4/78).
Al-Imaam Abu Ja'afar At-Tahaawee and an-Nawawee RH amongst others also explained similarly.
With a Group of Muslims?
Some of the people opine, albeit mistakenly, that it is permissible for the woman to travel with a group of trustworthy Muslims even when none of them is her Mahram. They draw the proof for this position from the narration that, "Umar bn al-Khattaab (RA) permitted the wives of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) in the last hajj he performed to make hajj. So, he sent Uthmaan bn Affaan and AbdurRahmaan bn Awf to be with them". (Bukhaari): They express that Umar, Uthmaan bn Affaan and AbdurRahmaan bn Awf and the, wives of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) agreed on it and they were not known to have been opposed by any of the companions.
The Scholars refute this position based on two reasons. Firstly, that the evidence above does not prove the permissibility of such a journey for all Muslim women based on the fact that the women of the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) are the mothers of the believers and so, the Companions with whom they traveled form their mahram with whom they can travel. AlIaah had said:
"...And his (the Messenger of Allaah's) wives are their (the believers') Mothers " (Q33[Ahzab]: 6).
Secondly, it has been reported that the journey of the wives of the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) also took place during the Khilaafah of Uthmaan and Muaawiyah bn Abee Sufyaan .but ,it was never mentioned in any of these narrations that any of the women at the time traveled in such a congregation without her Mahram. This would imply that all other Muslim women did not consider it permissible to embark on a journey to hajj in the manner described.
Hence al-Imaam ash-Shawkaanee noted, "The Scholars differ regarding whether any other than the Mahram like a group of women can replace him in this case. So, some say it is permissible since it will weaken any suspicion. Others say it is not permissible and that she cannot do without a Mahram and this is what is Clear from the hadeeth (concerning female travels)." (Nayl al-Awtaar 5/15).
Modern Transportation Means?
Some other people also mistakenly reason that since the means of transportation such as the vehicles, airplanes and modern sea vessels which travel at relatively high speeds across long distances are now available then the narrations from the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) prohibiting the journey of the Muslim woman without a mahram should be taken to be restricted to the days of journeys on foot and beasts.
First, this notion is wrong, bearing in mind that while the Shari'ah has not prohibited the woman from walking on her foot or riding on a camel on a journey, it has actually prohibited her from the journey without her mahram.
Hence the subject of prohibition is the absence of the mahram during the journey and not the means of transportation during the journey. This implies that once she is with her mahram she can embark on the journey with the available means of transportation. Secondly, the reasoning is faulty since the Legislations of the Deen Islaam are perfected and beneficial for all ages and places and to Allaah be all Praise.
What was beneficial in the age of the camel and the sword is also beneficial in the age of air planes and bombs. Nothing is left out by Allaah and His Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) which can bring man closer to the Mercy of Allaah and liberate him from the punishment of the Most Merciful except that they had been explained. Nothing is to be added and nothing is to be removed.
"This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion." (Q5[An'am]: 3)
Ikrimah (RAH) , (one of the students of Ibn Abbass) was asked concerning, a woman who performs hajj without a mahram or her husband and he said, "The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) forbade a woman from traveling for more than three days (other narrations forbid her travel at all) except that she has her mahram with her. What will she do with what she has been prohibited from?" (Ibn Abee Shaybah)