Saudi Arabia Considers Permitting Women to Perform Pilgrimage Without a Male Guardian

Published October 20th, 2019 - 10:37 GMT

Saudi Arabia is considering abolishing the male guardian law for women to perform Umrah and Hajj without a mahram. A mahram is a woman’s father, brother, son or husband who accompanies her during the Islamic pilgrimage.

Translation: “Finally.. Thanks to Saudi Arabia’s royal family and ministers for allowing women to perform Hajj and Umrah without a mahram.”

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia has begun studying a request by private Umrah companies and travel agencies in the country to allow women to perform Hajj and Umrah rituals without requiring a mahram.

Current laws prohibit women from being granted a visa to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah or Hajj, unless they are being accompanied by a male legal guardian.

According to Mazen Darrar, Saudi’s secretary-general of the National Commission for Hajj and Umrah, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah is currently considering the request of Umrah companies and institutions, which stipulates that these agencies should take full responsibility for the women’s journey in Saudi Arabia.

This decision will be equal to the tourist visa requirement for women,” Darrar added.

There were some objections to the news, mainly from a religious standpoint.

Translation: "Shameful. The Prophet PBUH said a woman cannot travel except with a guardian and that includes traveling for Hajj. #BinSalman wants to wipe out Islam from the country and spread depravity."

More than 8 million pilgrims from around the world visited Saudi Arabia this year alone, as the kingdom came up with a plan to attract more pilgrims, by encouraging them to visit its cities and sights. 

In July, the Saudi cabinet decided to lift the limitation of access for pilgrims outside the borders of Mecca and Medina, which allows them to visit all areas of the country in an unexpected move that will bring the country more economic returns. 

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