MAKKAH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah announced that women coming to Saudi Arabia can now perform their pilgrimages without a mahram, or male guardian.
This announcement, including others, came during a press conference held at the Kingdom’s Embassy in Cairo, according to state agency SPA.
The event was attended by Saudi Ambassador to Egypt Osama bin Ahmed Nugali and senior officials from the ministry and embassy.
Hajj and Umrah Services Adviser Ahmed Saleh Halabi said that it is now permissible for a woman to perform Hajj or Umrah without a mahram, accompanied by “trustworthy women or secure company to perform Hajj or Umrah. This is the view of the Maliki and Shafi’i scholars.”
He continued: “The supervisor of fatwa at Al-Azhar Al-Sharif in Egypt, Abbas Shoman, declared last March that a woman is allowed to perform Hajj and Umrah without an accompanying mahram,” Halabi continued.
Writer Faten Ibrahim Hussein, former adviser to the Minister of Hajj, said that the Saudi state provides all facilities for pilgrims to perform Hajj and Umrah based on Saudi Vision 2030.
“Allowing women to perform Umrah without the condition of a mahram makes life easier for them because many have difficult social conditions and may not find a mahram, or it may cost them a lot, while they are eager to perform Umrah,” Hussein said.
“Fortunately, the fight against all forms of social and economic corruption played a positive role in this,” she added.
When corruption is stopped, she explained, security is established.
“Security has extended throughout the Kingdom and in all means of transportation and at ports, giving women full protection. Moreover, strong infrastructure has been established in legislation, including the anti-harassment system,” she said.
“These are deterrent penalties for anyone who may contemplate breaking the law. In addition, surveillance cameras are obligatory in vital areas, including airports, border crossing ports, the Grand Mosque, the Prophet’s Mosque and others. Thus, a woman is safe, especially when she is in good company with other women.
“There are many women who come to the Kingdom to work without a mahram, and there are no significant incidents, thanks to the security we live in…There is no fear for women to come without a mahram because the reason for that no longer exists.”