Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalam ‘aleykum
May women pray in a public space (such as an airport or mall) if she doesn’t have access to a secluded area for prayer, and assuming it
would be possible for others, including non-mahrams, to see her?
If she is traveling and does not have access to a secluded area to pray, is it permissible for her to combine rather than pray in an area where non-mahrams may see her?
I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.
Yes, you must pray even if you cannot find a private space to pray in. However, you should take the means and plan beforehand so that you can fulfil your obligations without falling into difficulty or hardship.
As for taking dispensations, this is permitted in cases of need or benefit. Please see: The Path of Taqwa: Avoiding Differences of Opinion and: Can a Hanafi Follow the Shafi’i Opinion on Joining Prayers When Traveling?
And Allah alone knows best.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani