Women Cannot Go to Hajj Without a Mahram
Hajj is not obligatory for a women who has no mahram (guardian) and she is exempted from traveling in these conditions. A visa may be denied by the Saudi government.
According to the hadiths (ways of Prophet Mohammad), a single woman who is without a mahram (guardian) should not travel for more than one day unaccompanied. For this reason, the Saudi government does not often grant visas to unaccompanied women, due to problems in the past, such as molestation and theft.
Hadith Documenting That Women Should not Travel AloneAbu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him*) reported that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to make a journey of one day and night unless she is accompanied by a Mahram [husband or any other relative to whom she is prohibited to marry]." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim.)
Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said, "No man must not be alone with a woman except in the presence of her (Mahram). No woman should travel except in company of a (Mahram).' A man said: "O Messenger of Allah! I have been enrolled for such and such expedition, and my wife left for Hajj.' He (PBUH) said to him, "Go and perform Hajj with your wife." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim.)
Four Points to Remember About This HadithThere are several points that should be noted concerning this hadith.
Commentary on Not Traveling to HajjThere are two rulings on the travel for women by the knowledgeable people of Islam.
- Under no condition may a woman travel alone, as per the hadith above.
- If the woman has reached old age, where she has no desire for men and has passed the age of marriage, she may travel if the roadway is safe and there are trustworthy companions.
The ruling is meant to protect the woman's reputation and dignity. There are some who have disease in their hearts and would take advantage of a lone woman. The woman who is alone, traveling through the desert must make many stops along the way and could be subject to theft and the desires of a rapist or another criminal. For this reason, Muslims believe it's important for the woman without a mahram to avoid traveling alone.
* Muslims invoke Allah's blessings on the Prophet Muhammad whenever this name is mentioned.
Read More: What is a Mahram and How to Perform Hajj