What is the ruling of women performing Hajj without a Mahram?
There are five general conditions before Hajj becomes compulsory upon someone. They are that the person is Muslim, has reached the age of discernment, is of full mental capacity and is not a slave. Additionally, they must be capable of completing the journey to Hajj, both physically and financially. Both males and females share these conditions. However, the Muslim woman has an extra condition before she can be held accountable for not performing Hajj and that is the accompaniment of a Mahram.
The statements of the scholars regarding this matter
The Shafi’iyyah state that Hajj is not obligatory upon a woman until she finds a male Mahram relative or a husband or a group of trusted women. If she finds any of the previous three, it is obligatory upon her to perform Hajj. If she cannot find one of the three, she is not obliged to perform the Hajj.
The condition that the Shafi’iyyah hold for a woman to perform Hajj is that she must be able to perform the journey securely. This security can be found when a husband or a Mahram or a group of trusted women accompanies her.
In the popular opinion of the Madhhab, it is permissible for a woman to perform Hajj if she finds only one trusted women to take the journey with. More so, they say it is permissible for her to travel alone if she shall be safe and she fears nothing on the road. This is how they understand the Ahadeeth which forbid women from traveling alone.
However, if she has already performed her first obligatory Hajj and this is a voluntary performance, then she is not permitted to travel alone - she must be accompanied by a husband or a Mahram. In this case, traveling with a group of trusted women is not permitted; this is the more correct position in the Madhhab.
The opinion of the Malikiyyah is similar to that of the Shafi’iyyah in that they allow a woman who does not find a Mahram or husband to travel with a secure group. They add that this secure group may be a group of men, a group of women, or a group made up of men and women.
In the Madhhab of Imam Ahmad, Hajj is not obligatory upon a women who does not find a mahram or husband to travel with her. In fact, Imam Ahmad specifically commented on this issue, as Abu Dawood states: I said to Ahmad, “A wealthy woman who does not find a mahram to travel with her to perform Hajj, is Hajj Waajib upon her?” He said, “No.”
They cited as proof for what the opinion that they took a selection of Ahadeeth which we shall mention shortly.
The Hanafiyyah held an opinion similar to that of the Hanaabilah. They said that Hajj is not compulsory upon a woman who does not find a mahram or husband to travel with. In addition to the following ahadeeth, they said that for her to perform Hajj without male assistance would expose her to situations that may very well harm her.
A Discussion of the Daleel
[The woman should not travel except accompanied by a mahram]
Hadeeth Adee in which the Prophet - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - said to him “…if your life is prolonged, you shall live to see Adh-Dha'eenah (a woman) traveling from Al-Heerah (in Iraq) all the way until she performs Tawaf of the Ka'bah, fearing no one except Allah.”
They also cite Qiyaas. They compare a woman traveling alone to that of a woman who converts to Islam in the land of the Kuffar. Or a Muslim woman who may have escaped from the clutches of the disbelievers - in both cases there is unanimous agreement that she is permitted to travel alone. So should the case be in her traveling alone to perform Hajj.
The Hanafiyyah and the Hanaabilah reject these proofs with the authentic ahadeeth that forbid a woman from traveling alone. It is true, they say, that the hadeeth of Adee is authentic, but it was a statement of the Prophet - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - that did not amount to him sanctioning the act. Rather, it was an account to Adee of what would happen in the future.
As Imam Ash-Showkani said, it is more befitting to take the hadeeth to mean that such a thing would happen - not that it is permissible. This is so there would be no contradiction between it and the Ahadeeth that forbid women from traveling alone.
Should a woman raise her voice when saying the Talbiyah?
The talbiyah is a chant that someone performing Hajj recites throughout his or her Hajj rites. It includes the words: [I am here, O Allah, I am here. I am here, there is no god but you, I am here. Verily, all praise and all blessings and all sovereignty belong to you. There is no god but you.]
It is a Sunnah to not only say this, but to chant it loudly.
As for women, they should not raise their voice above what is needed for them to hear themselves.
Ibn Al-Mundhir - rahimahullaah - said, “There is a consensus amongst scholars that the Sunnah regarding women is that they do not have to raise their voice when chanting the Talbiyah. All she is required to do is to raise her voice enough so that she can hear herself. This is the opinion of Ataa', Malik, Al-Awzaa'ee, Ash-Shafi'ee, and it is also the opinion of the Hannabilah and the Hanafees. They feared that with her raising her voice, a fitnah make occur. For the same reason, it is not Sunnah for her to give the Adhan for Salah, nor the Iqamah.”
Shaykh Al-Albanee - in his book Manasik Al-Hajj wal Umrah - said:
In regards to the talbiyyah the ruling for the women is that of the men - as the two preceding hadith are general. They too should raise their voices as long, however, as there is no fear of fitnah.
A'isha used to raise her voice until the men could hear her. Abu Atiyyah said: "I heard A'isha saying, `Verily I know how was the talbiyyah of Rasul Allah.' I heard her after that saying: Labbaikallaahumma labbaika..."
And Qasim ibn Muhammad said: Mu'awiyyah went out at night and heard the voice of someone making talbiyyah, so he said: `Who is that?" It was said: "`A'isha, Mother of the Believers, making `Umrah from at-Tan'eem." So that was mentioned to A'isha so she said: "If he had asked me I would have told him."
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