Fatwa: # 18056
Category: Misc. Fiqh
Country: South Africa
Date: 13th June 2020


How do we calculate the distance when a women needs to travel alone or when she needs Mahram?


1) how do we calculate the distance when a women needs to travel alone.IS it from the centre of the city or boundary of the city?

2)And how will we define what a city is islamically?

3)IS Newyork city whihc is so big considered as city islamically ?

4)a women travels from her house to her mothers house in a foriegn country with her mahram.When she is in her mothers place does she need a mahram to travel within 77kms.

5)same as question 5 ,but if she is visitng a friend.What is the ruling.

6)Does female scholars have different ruling than laymen?

7)Can a woman travel from place to place with/without mahram within /outside 77 km in order to propogate islam?


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh


At the outset, it is prohibited in Shari’ah for a woman to travel the distance of safar (which is 48 miles or 78 km) without a mehram.

ولا تسافر المرأة بغير محرم ثلاثة أيام وما فوقها

(Al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya)

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:

« لا تسافر المرأة ثلاثا إلا ومعها ذو محرم ».

“A woman cannot travel (a distance of) three days unless she has a mehram with her” (Sahih Muslim #3322)


« لا يحل لامرأة تؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر تسافر مسيرة ثلاث ليال إلا ومعها ذو محرم ».

“It is prohibited for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to travel a distance of three nights unless with a mehram” (Sahih Muslim #3324)


There are many more narrations regarding this ruling from Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). In fact, other narrations even state a woman should not travel without her mehram for the distance of two days and even one day. Although the opinion in the Hanafi madhab is that it is forbidden for a woman to travel without her mehram for the abovementioned distance (48 miles), the fuqahaa still mention that a woman should not travel without her mehram for distances under 48 miles due to the abundant fitna nowadays. If out of necessity she needs to travel less than 48 miles, she may do so if proper hijab is observed and with the permission of her husband. Ibn Abideen (Rahimahullah) states:


( قوله في سفر ) هو ثلاثة أيام ولياليها فيباح لها الخروج إلى ما دونه لحاجة بغير محرم بحر ، وروي عن أبي حنيفة وأبي يوسف كراهة خروجها وحدها مسيرة يوم واحد ، وينبغي أن يكون الفتوى عليه لفساد الزمان شرح اللباب ويؤيده حديث الصحيحين " { لا يحل لامرأة تؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر أن تسافر مسيرة يوم وليلة إلا مع ذي محرم عليها } " وفي لفظ لمسلم " { مسيرة ليلة } " وفي لفظ " { يوم } " لكن قال في الفتح : ثم إذا كان المذهب الأول فليس للزوج منعها إذا كان بينها وبين مكة أقل من ثلاثة أيام  (رد المحتار)

“It is impermissible for a woman to travel the distance of three days and three nights. However, it will be permissible for her to travel the distance which is less than that without a Mehram because of need. It is reported from Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi Alyhima) that they disliked the travelling of a woman on herself even to the travel distance of one day and one night, and the Fatwa should be on this opinion due to the widespread immorality. This is also affirmed by the Hadith recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim:

‘It is Impermissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the last day that she travels the distance of one day and one night except with a Mehram accompanying her’.  However, it is stated in al-Fathul-Qadir: ‘When the relied upon opinion is the first (i.e. distance of three days and three nights), the husband does not have a right to prevent her from performing Hajj if the distance between her and Makkah is less than three days’.“ (Raddul Muhtaar)



This rule is so greatly stressed that if a woman intends to perform Hajj, she must be accompanied by her mehram if Makkah is at a distance of 48 miles or more. If she does not have a mehram, then even Hajj will not be compulsory on her.


( ومنها المحرم للمرأة ) شابة كانت أو عجوزا إذا كانت بينها وبين مكة مسيرة ثلاثة أيام هكذا في المحيط ، وإن كان أقل من ذلك حجت بغير محرم كذا في البدائع   

(Al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya)


Hereunder are the answers to the queries:


1) The distance of travel (48 miles) is calculated from the boundary of the city. In rural areas, this would mean after the buildings of the town (where the town has ended). In bigger cities and suburbs, e.g. as it is in the U.S., it would mean the boundary where the next independent city/suburb begins.


قال محمد - رحمه الله تعالى - يقصر حين يخرج من مصره ويخلف دور المصر ، كذا في المحيط وفي الغياثية هو المختار وعليه الفتوى ، كذا في التتارخانية الصحيح ما ذكر أنه يعتبر مجاوزة عمران المصر لا غير إلا إذا كان ثمة قرية أو قرى متصلة بربض المصر فحينئذ تعتبر مجاوزة القرى بخلاف القرية التي تكون متصلة بفناء المصر فإنه يقصر الصلاة وإن لم يجاوز تلك القرية ، كذا في المحيط .

(Al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya)

(Fatawa Mahmudiyya, 7/476, Faruqiyya)

2) Some ‘Ulema have mentioned that if a particular town or city has a distance of one ghalwa (about 137 meters) between it and the next town/city, then it will be considered an independent town. (Ahsanul-Fatawa, 4/73, HM Saeed)

This is more towards rural areas however. In our present times, especially in large cities, only the city itself will be considered an independent place. The various suburbs surrounding the city will be considered separate, independent towns on their own as well. It is also known that suburbs surrounding large cities are independent since they have their own city halls, police forces, fire departments, and other facilities to serve their residents.

3) New York City is considered one city, e.g. Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, etc. will all be considered part of New York City. Suburbs which surround New York City will not be considered part of the city.

4) After a woman marries, her new place of residence becomes the home of her husband where she dwells. Therefore, when she travels to her mother’s home with her mehram, she will be considered a traveler there if it is further than 48 miles and she is staying for up to 15 days. If she is a musaafir, then as stated in the introduction it will not be permissible for her to travel without a mehram since she is in a foreign land (because of her being considered a traveler). However, if her mother’s home is less than 48 miles from her town or she is staying there for over 15 days, then she will still be considered a resident. In that case, as mentioned above she may only travel without a mehram in cases of necessity where there is no other alternative.

5) Same ruling as #4

6) The same rules mentioned above apply to both scholars and non-scholars.

7) It will be permissible for a woman to travel with her mehram for the sake of propagating Islam whether within or outside the 48 mile boundary. It will not be permissible for her to travel outside the 48 mile boundary without her mehram. In the case of the woman traveling within the 48 mile boundary for this sake (without her mehram), it will depend on whether or not there is a dire need to do so. Each case in this matter must be evaluated on a case-to-case basis.


And Allah knows best

Wassalamu Alaikum

Ml. Asif Umar,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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