My wife is 58 years old. We live in UK and have 3 sons all aged 25 and over. My wife has 2 brothers and 2 aunts (mothers’ sisters) in Africa whom she wishes to visit. However due to work and other commitments my sons and I are not always able to accompany her as a MAHRAM. The flight to Africa is about 10 hours if direct and 16 hours if there is a transit stop. I have 3 questions: 1. Can my wife travel on her own under these circumstances to visit her family? 2. If she can, does there have to be exceptional circumstances or a situation defined as “MAJBOORI”? 3. Does the ruling differ if the flight is direct or indirect? Your answer to the above questions is awaited as soon as possible.

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Darulifta-Deoband.org

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

(Fatwa: 1370/301/D=12/1434)

The scholars of fiqh have explicated that it is unlawful for women to undertake a long journey without the company of male mahram. Therefore in the case mentioned above, your wife is not allowed to travel alone to South Africa.
(2-3) The exigent and emergence cases are exempted, but there is no such case here which may be called ‘exigent compulsion’.

Allah knows Best!

Darul Ifta,
Darul Uloom Deoband

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