A Mahram of a woman is her husband or that pious male with whom Niqah can ‘never’ be permissible from direct family relation or sharing (suckling) foster mothers.

For example: (all the following relations are from the paternal side)
1. True brothers from one mother, true nephews (brothers sons), father/mothers elder/younger brother, sons son and daughters son, grandfathers…
2. Sharing (suckling) foster mothers, drinking milk in infancy from the same woman However for the milk relations (foster brother/sisters) extra caution should be taken and Hajj not be performed with such persons due to fitnah(threatening) conditions manifest today. (Fatawa Shami vol 2 p199)

Relations formed ‘in-law’
3. Father-in-law, son-in-law. (In this day and age of fitnah, it is recommended not to take up any journey ) : Fatawa Shami vol2 p199:

A Mahram must be of mature age (passed puberty) have mental understanding and be a practicing Muslim.

All women whether old or young have to be accompanied by a Mahram, without a suitable Mahram the requirement of Hajj will be fulfilled yet she will be sinning greatly.

Abu Said Al Kudri (RA) narrates RasulAllah (saw) said: ‘It is not Halal for a woman who believes in Allah (SWT) and the Last Day that she travel for 3 days or more without a Mahram.’(Muslim)

It should be understood, that in today’s terms, this translates to a journey of 48 miles one way. As in the time of Nabi (saw) journeys were undertaken by foot. For a woman to travel 48 miles or more alone is Haram.

If a woman does not have a Mahram or If there is a Mahram yet they are not able to travel with them during their lifetime, in this instance a woman must bequest(wasiyat) her Hajj to another to perform it on her behalf.

Note: Today people use the excuse of family relations that do not qualify as Mahram to travel, including to Hajj, this is not permissible. For example brothers-in-law, husbands nephews, cousins brothers, and servants.

May Allah (SWT) grant our woman a Hajj according to Shariah and accept our efforts and Duas. Aameen.

Mufti Yusuf Danka Al-Kauthar