Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt
I was wondering, if it is permissible in Islam to allow our daughters to go to college away from home and to live on campus at their university?
In the Name of God, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate
Jazāk Allāh Khayr/ Thank you for your question.
In general circumstances, Islam instructs the maḥram male relatives such as fathers, brothers and husbands to always keep their daughters, sisters and wives in good care, safety and protection. Hence the islamic obligation for a Muslim girl to live and travel in the company and presence of maḥram male relatives.
It would be preferred for the Muslim woman to study in a college or university near to one’s home or in one’s own city so that way she can reside at home with her maḥram male relatives, without any major violation to the Islamic guidelines of modesty and morality. Learning online is also a viable option.
If for some reason, the arrangement of being in one’s local city is not possible, it is allowed for a Muslim woman to study in college or university away from home and reside on campus, provided she has permission from her guardians, she is in safety and she adheres to all islamic protocols of modesty and morality. It would be advised for her to have only female room mates and stay in the company of like minded practising muslim women while away from home. (See: Fayḍ Al-Bārī, Al-ʿUrf Al-Shathī, ʿAwn Al-Maʾbūd)
The Prophet Muḥammad (peace and blessings upon him) allowed his daughter, Zaynab (may God be pleased with her) to travel without a maḥram from Makkah to Madīnah due to the necessity that arose related to the migration. He also facilitated arrangements which guaranteed her safety during the journey. (See: Mirqāt Al-Mafātiḥ)
And Allāh Knows Best