Hajj 2023: In a first, 115 women from J&K embark on pilgrimage without ‘Mehram’
Raja Syed Rather
Srinagar, Jun 10 (KNO): A group of 115 women from Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday left for Jeddah to perform Hajj pilgrimage, but without the company of a male guardian (Mehram).
As per the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), this marks a monumental shift in traditions.
Mahram is the Arabic word used to describe the male relative of a woman for whom it is Haram (prohibited) for her to marry. When a woman gets married, her husband also becomes her Mahram.
According to the majority of Muslim scholars, a woman must travel with her Mehram. However, some scholars believe that women who wish to perform Hajj without a Mehram may do so if she is in the trusted company of a group or if the travelling routes are safe.
Many believe the shift underscores the progress being made in ensuring equal opportunities for women in religious practices.
Meanwhile, the women from various districts of J&K on Saturday bid farewell to their families and friends amid an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation. Dressed in traditional white garments, they embarked on this spiritual journey, ready to embrace the profound spiritual experience that lies ahead.
Executive Officer, Jammu & Kashmir Haj Committee (JKHC), Dr Shujaat Ahmad Qureshi told KNO that the first flight accommodated 320 pilgrims while the second took 319.
Today 639 pilgrims embarked on the pilgrimage while one was dropped due to illness, Dr Qureshi said. “In today’s flights, 115 female pilgrims travelled without mehram,” he added—(KNO)