Ruling On Studying Abroad, Alone.
Posted 27 July 2011 - 08:42 AM
I applied to a university in a muslim country which has female dorms and most classes are separated, but I would not have a mahram in the country itself. Is it permissible for me to be taken to the university by a mahram and stay in the dorms?
I looked around on Islam Q&A and I found a fatwa which said it is permissible (lost the fatwa, I'll post it when I find it), but I was wondering whether you could help me find fatwa's from people such as dr. Mohamed al Arefe or Abdallah Muslih. I'm trying to convince my brother to let me go, but he is more likely to accept the fatwa's of people he knows.
Thanks in advance!
Lots of love,
Posted 31 July 2011 - 09:46 AM
What is the Islamic ruling on a woman travelling to seek knowledge without a mahram?.
Praise be to Allaah.
The saheeh evidence indicates that a woman is not allowed to travel except with a mahram. This is part of the perfection and greatness of Islam, which protects honour, and honours and takes care of women, and strives to protect them and guard them against the causes of temptation and deviation, whether she is the one who is tempted or is the source of temptation.
The evidence includes the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari (1729) and Muslim (2391) from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No woman should travel except with a mahram, and no man should enter upon her unless there is a mahram with her.” A man said: “O Messenger of Allaah, I want to go out with such and such an army and my wife wants to go for Hajj.” He said: “Go out with her.”
Based on that, it is not permissible for a woman to travel to seek knowledge without a mahram. She should acquire the knowledge that she needs in the many ways that are available, such as listening to tapes, asking scholars over the phone and other means that Allaah has made available in these times.
The Standing Committee was asked: Can a woman go out to study medicine, if it is obligatory or permissible, if doing so will lead to the following things no matter how much she tries to avoid them:
a) Mixing with men, such as speaking to the patients, the tutor of medicine and on public transport.
Travelling from a country such as Sudan to Egypt, even if the journey will take only hours, and not three days.
c) Is it permissible for her to stay alone without a mahram in order to learn medicine, if she is going to stay with a group of women, along with the circumstances described above?
Firstly: if her going out to learn medicine will lead to her mixing with men during her study or when riding in mixed transportation that will lead to fitnah (temptation), then it is not permissible for her to do that, because guarding her honour is an individual obligation, but learning medicine is a communal obligation, and an individual obligation takes precedence over a communal obligation. As for merely speaking to a patient or a teacher of medicine, that is not haraam, rather what is haraam is making the voice soft and appealing when speaking to him, which may tempt those in whose heart is the sickness of evil and hypocrisy. This does not apply only to learning medicine.
Secondly: If she has a mahram who can travel with her so that she can learn medicine, or teach it, or treat a patient, that is permissible. If she does not have a husband or mahram who can travel with her, then it is haraam, even if the journey is by plane, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No woman should travel except with a mahram.” Saheeh – agreed upon. And because of what we have stated above about the interests of protecting honour taking precedence over the interests of learning medicine or teaching it, etc.
Thirdly: If her staying with a trustworthy group of women is so that she may learn medicine or teach it, or treat women, then it is permissible, but if there is the fear of fitnah (temptation) because of not having a husband or mahram with her, then it is not permissible. If she is going to treat men, that is not permissible unless it is a case of necessity and she is not alone with a man. End quote from Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (12/178).
And Allaah knows best.
Posted 31 July 2011 - 09:51 AM
I have the choice between staying without a mahram in a Muslim Arab country in order to study in a university that is not mixed (in fact, my maternal uncle through breastfeeding is in the same country, city and neighbourhood, but he does not really uphold ties with us) or staying with my family in a Muslim Arab country (that is less conservative) to study in a university that is mixed, in which there are evils and abhorrent things. Which option should I choose? Unfortunately, I cannot stay with my family without going to the mixed university, because all the universities in this country are mixed. And my father absolutely and totally refuses to let me stay at home and stop studying, because unfortunately my parents are not committed. What should I do? May Allah reward you with good.
Praise be to Allaah.
Mixing in workplaces and schools is haraam because of the evils and haraam things to which it leads. Please see the answer to question number 1200 and 103044.
It is not permissible for the girl's guardians to make her go to this mixed school, because that is heedlessness and a betrayal of the trust. Rather they should prevent her from doing that which is haraam and help to avoid sin, and they should be protective towards her and protect her honour.
It is not permissible for a woman to travel without a mahram, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “No woman should travel except with a mahram.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1862.
And Muslim (1339) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to travel the distance of one day's journey except with a mahram.”
As for her staying in a city without a mahram, that is not forbidden if she is safe and remembers that Allah is always watching when she comes and goes, and she avoids mixing with men.
Based on that, if a mahram travels with you and takes you to the city where you are going to study, and you stay there in a safe place and adhere to the Islamic guidelines when going out to the University, there is nothing wrong with that.
If we assume that the mahram cannot travel with you there or back, and your family insist that you study in one of the two choices that you mentioned, and there is no alternative to that, then the basic principle is that you should choose the lesser of two evils so as to ward off the greater of the two. So you have to choose the less evil of the two options. This means that you have to think about and study the two choices. Your travelling may be less evil, because in that case you will avoid mixing, but it involves the problem of your being alone and away from your family in a strange city. If you can get in touch with your paternal uncle through breastfeeding and he can keep an eye on you and help you and so on, then that is better.
You should strive to increase your faith and strengthen your connection with Allah, look for righteous friends and keep yourself busy with good deeds such as memorising Qur'aan, and regularly offering naafil prayers and fasts.
We ask Allah to help and guide you.
And Allah knows best.
Posted 31 July 2011 - 09:55 AM
Fatwa No : 121191
New Muslim woman needs to study abroad without a Mahram
Fatwa Date : Jumaadaa Al-Oula 9, 1430 / 4-5-2009
Assalamu aleikum! I am a student from Kazakhstan. I entered University of Malaysia. Although I had read hadeeth narrated by Bukhari that it isn't permissable to travel without mahram, I didn't realize importance of this prohibition. I just read this without understanding. I didn't know that it is haram without any exception (because it isn’t necessary education). Only now I really realize it, almost every day I find many fatwas that decide that it is HARAM. And this word of 5 letters set me changing my mind about studying here. Moreover, although it is Muslim country, this University is mixed. My studies are beginning in May. So I have time to make right decision. My parents haven’t converted to Islam yet. My father thinks I’m a fanatic. They neglect our call to Islam, and for them fact that their daughter is studying abroad is like a boast. I hope you understand me. If I say them about my refuse studying here they will… I don’t know… therewith they waste a lot of money for me. And is it acceptable if cancel my studies and come back to Kazakhstan for the sake of Allah Subhanahu ua Ta’ala? Or it is already late to change anything because I have already left my country without mahram, and it is better to obey my parents? Please, help me, I truly recognize my mistake now, and I don’t want to go on neglecting Allah’s order. What should I do? I am in Malaysia now. Dzhazakum Allahu khair.
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
First of all, may Allaah reward you for being keen on observing the religious rulings, so may Allaah increase your piety and guidance, and enable your parents to embrace Islam. We advise you to continue calling them to Islam and continue to be kind and dutiful to them hoping that Allaah will open their heart to Eemaan (faith). For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 85180 and 83566.
You should know that it is not a condition to have a Mahram in order to reside in the place of your residence, but you are obliged to reside in a safe place.
As regards studying in a mixed university, then this is not permissible if the two sexes are not separated, but if the two sexes are separated, then this is permissible. If we presume that the two sexes are not separated and you are in need of this study as it might be understood from the question, then if you are able to avoid the reasons of temptation and be present in the university according to the need only, and then you leave the university, we hope that it is permissible to continue the studies.
However, it is not permissible to travel without a Mahram. Therefore, you may be patient until you finish the studies and then you may travel afterwards. If you are in need for the studies, then some scholars are of the view that a safe company serves as a Mahram for a woman. So, you may travel on a safe route in a direct trip, and you continue your studies until you finish. Nonetheless, if you are able to marry a Muslim man in that country, then this might be better so that he would help you and accompany you when you travel to your family.
Finally, it should be noted here that it is permissible for a Muslim woman to propose herself to a pious man in order to marry him. In this regard, you may seek the help of some pious female friends of yours. In case you do not have a Muslim guardian to marry you off, then you may appoint a Muslim man to marry you off; for more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 88488 and 82471.
Allaah Knows best.
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