Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Umrah in groups with Mahrams and non-Mahrams


Taken by SisterZ during Hajj 2006/7


I wondered if you can advise me urgently on this matter, I am sure it will come to good use for other people too.

Me, my husband and mother in law are planning to go Umrah in February, In Sha Allah. I don’t have a father in law.  My mother in law wants to include the following in our group:

1)      A family friend [not blood related / mesab who taught her kids years ago- he also acts as a tour guide], his wife, son in law and daughter and son.

2)      My husband's sister in law's aunt and aunt’s son [not blood related to me]

Both the above group are not blood related to me at all and the men in this group are non-mahraams to me and my mother in law, they are strange men to me. Me and my husband have tried to make it clear that once we get to Umrah we will part ways with group so as to not waste time on idle talks etc. and to observe umrah to the fullest.

My mother in law has been many times however it is both of ours first time and therefore want to do it right. She also wants to share rooms with all females which is ok however I don’t feel comfortable as I don’t know these women, I would rather me, my husband and mother in law to share a room together.

Also I am sure there will be mixing of the group, aunt’s son would want to know how his mother is doing and so forth.

My mother in law objects to parting with the group as she believes her izat will go if she does, it really amazes me how she is more concerned with her izat rather than trying to ensure that her, her son and daughter in law performs umrah privately and correctly in sha Allah, without prying  relatives as I know they will come back and talk such and such did this and that as I have heard this talk before.

I want to know is it ok for us to perform Umrah within such group setting? I undertand that Hajj/Umrah is shown in groups by mesaab whilst there, but theoretically speaking the individuls do not perform whole umrah with these persons who they don't know.

What is the Islamic ruling on this and scholars advice?

~ popy

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3 Responses »

  1. Assalamu'alaikum wa Rahmatullah,

    Sister popy, I am so little in knowledge and we do not have scholars on our website.

    I will tell you of something I have read and heard from the scholars, and something that I have to say. The latter is something which you are free to take or throw it out of the window 🙂

    The scholars unanimously agree that a woman who does not have a mahram is not obligated to perform Hajj (which is one of the pillars of Islam), so there is no question of a Umrah. They say that these women are exempt under the following Hadith from Sahih Muslim, known as Hadith Jibril:

    “Islam is to bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and to perform the Salah; pay zakat; fast Ramadan; and to perform Hajj to the House if you are able.”

    And the following Hadith from Sahih al Bukhari:

    “'A woman must not travel except with a Mahram"

    Now, concerning your question. Group Umrah/Hajj is not wrong. It is done in order to guide the people to do the Umrah/Hajj correctly. This is done in all countries and the organizers of Hajj and Umrah, also the travel agencies included, make the job easy for the Hujjaj and Mu'tamireen by working for their Visas and taking them together to the Hajj/Umrah and guide them at each step of the 'Ibaadah. This makes the worship smooth and ensures it is done correctly, according to the Sunnah, lest a person should ignorantly act on bid'aat which most people from the sub-continent fall into.

    As regards to you, your Umrah/Hajj would be valid in sha Allah, and you can travel to Makkah, because you are being accompanied with your Mahram - your husband. You have nothing to do with the other women not related to you. But even if you look at their status, they have their mahrams accompanying them. So they are in a safe position, too. However, if you are all travelling with along with people other than the aforementioned (that is - a larger group), then you should go ahead with no doubt in your heart. But you should avoid interactions with the men not related to you.

    Concerning the stay, it is alright to stay with other women, you will make new friends, talk about deen, etc. If you fear that the aunt's son may come over looking for his mother, then you should know that mobile phones would solve these problems. In times of Hajj and Umrah when there are millions of people in Makkah, it is difficult to find a "privet" room and you should compromize on privacy. However, your visit to Baitullah is just for Allah's Sake, so face whatever challenges you face therein and have patience until the end and do the Umrah according to the Sunnah.

    P.S. : Make sure the "guide" is a person who is upright on Sunnah, because it has been observed that most people acting as "tour guides" speak lies and spread a great deal of bid'aat among the Hujjaj and Mu'tamireen who are less knowledgeable, thus making them fall into error, unknowingly. When you are doing such a great worship, it is worth checking if you are doing it correctly.

    If you need a written guide to Hajj / Umrah, you can print the following and take along with you. It has been approved by the 'Ulama:

    May Allah accept your Umrah. And remember this brother of yours in your Du'as when you be there.

    Jazakillahu Khair

    Abu Abdul Bari Editor

  2. cant go without mehram , according to pakistani's Ulama . but in some islamic countries like Indonesian Ulama says, women can go ummarh or hajj with mehram( in a group) . many women from indonesia go umroh or hajj without mehram. thy go with a group of women . .

  3. usefule information

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