This morning I heard a snippet from a radio broadcast “mahramakaa nulaa dhathurkurumakee mulsim anhenaa ah haraam kameh” This in English translates to “it is not permissible for a Muslim woman to travel alone”
The word haraam connotes a meaning that says it is forbidden; it’s against the religion. Drinking (in terms of alcohol consumption) is haraam, extra-marital sex is haraam, any intoxicant is haraam. consumption of pork is haraaam. These I can agree to; “but traveling alone is haraam for women!” That is difficult for me to digest.
I live in a free country where women have a sense of freedom and independence. And I like that, I want that!
We live by our faith, I live by my faith! But lately, I’m starting to get very confused. These so very narrow interpretation of our religion by some so-called scholars just rubs me the wrong way!
In my over three decades of living, I have been lucky enough to have traveled far and near. Many a times traveled alone!
This fatwa I heard today “traveling without a mahram is haraam for women” means I’ve knowingly or unknowingly repeated this haraam act quite a few times.
I’ve traveled to 3 regional areas of my country on work purposes with colleagues, traveled alone; no mahram with me.
I’ve left my home country and returned 20 or more times during the past 1.5 decades. six of these were with hubs & family. two from the rest were with just my toddler son. three of it were with colleagues but not mahrams I should note. the rest of the trips were completed alone; and they were work vacations for me. On some trips I sat next to total strangers , sometimes making small talk, sometimes spent in total silence; but all were civilized.
I’ve managed perfectly well I’ve never been harassed, never been seduced :) I have never been tempted to do anything wrong!
Because I know who I am and I know my boundaries! I do not need anyone to tag along to remind me who I am! We live in a civilized world, and we (most of the time) only get what we ask for.
So I say, I’m perfectly fine traveling myself.
Oh people who call themselves “religious scholars”! have some faith in us woman folk. of course a ‘bodyguard’ would be needed if you go to a barbaric society. Thankfully, it is safe at least for people like me who travel on professional work related matters, there most often is a host institution overseas who are there to take care of us, where needed.
So please don’t call this haraam. That’s a very strong word to be used in this context.
Originally published on my blog @ https://mindblur.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/woman-you-cannot-travel/