Under the previous law, Muslim women can undertake Umrah like men, but there are some rules regarding their journey of Umrah.
Muslim women under the age of 45 wishing to perform Hajj and Umrah must be accompanied by a Mehram (a male guardian).
According to Islamic rule, a Mehram is a male relative, generally related by blood, and should be above puberty.
However, on July 18, 2021, Saudi Arabia officially removed the Mehram requirement clause.
According to the registration guidelines issued by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, women are now allowed to perform Hajj without a male guardian on the terms that they go in a group.
The new rules allowing Muslim women to perform Hajj without a male guardian, and this new rule will be applied to Umrah as well.
The decision is a part of the Saudi Arabian government’s efforts to expand women’s rights in the kingdom. So far, the Saudi Arabian government has issued several important decisions in favor of women, including allowing women to drive and go abroad without a Mehram (Male guardian).
Female pilgrims welcome the abolition of the mahram clause. Previously, few Muslim women found it difficult to perform Hajj and Umrah under the old regulations. For example, a mother will be distracted from concentrating on the rites if she performs Hajj or Umrah with her husband and child.
Here are some things that should be considered by Muslim women who are planning to Umrah without a Mehram:
- She must take care of herself and not wear perfume or clothes that attract men’s attention.
- She should always stay with her group and should not start a conversation with an unrelated man.
- She must pray in a separate area provided for women. And if there is a crowd, she must maintain a safe distance from everyone, especially men.
- She cannot recite Talbiyah (a prayer uttered by pilgrims during Hajj/Umrah) loudly like men.