Female pilgrims are required to accompany a male mahram for their hajj and Umrah travel. Though the necessity of a mahram for the Hajj pilgrimage still exists, umrah can now also be performed by female pilgrims traveling alone through Umrah packages UK.
For a female, her Mahram is the one with whom marriage is haram because of blood ties, breastfeeding, or ties through marriage. Therefore, with these men, having a sexual relationship is a sinful act and is considered Haram, as per Islamic Teachings. The only exception in this regard is of a husband because he is also considered the legal guardian of a female.
Mahram through blood.
- Uncle (paternal or maternal).
Mahram through marriage.
- Stepfather (mother’s husband).
- Stepson (husband’s son).
- Rada (ties with a male she has breastfed).
The minimum age for a mahram.
The minimum age of a mahram depends on several factors like;
1. Maturity and Responsibility.
For a male mahram not only it remains a necessity to be an adult but also mentally mature enough to understand and fulfil the responsibilities associated. In simple words, a mahram would be considered legal for a female pilgrim if he knows how to;
- Ensure her safety.
- Take care of her during the pilgrimage travel.
- Provide guidance.
- Fulfil all the necessary obligations.
- Take lead.
In most cultures, the second necessity for a mahram is that he must have reached the age of puberty. Nowadays, puberty typically occurs for most men around the age of 9 years old to 15 years old, but it can vary.
At this stage, men are seen to have developed a sense of responsibility and maturity in them biologically, physically as well as mentally.
3. Cultural Practices.
Though the religion permits the company of a Mahram as soon as he attains puberty, some cultural norms and practices play a significant role in determining the minimum age of a Mahram in order to travel for Umrah i.e., preferring older men. Therefore, there may be specific customs and traditions in your area regarding the age of male mahram to accompany a female on her pilgrimage travel.
4. Country and Visa Regulations.
Lastly, the age requirements of a mahram for female pilgrims may also be influenced by the individual policies set by the country issuing the Umrah visa. Included in your Umrah Packages 2024. Therefore, it remains essential for pilgrims to check with the relevant authorities (travel agent, embassy, or consulate) to get the most accurate and up-to-date information on the latest rules and regulations being precited for Umrah travel and Mahram requirements.
5. Consult Knowledgeable Scholars.
If you have confusion in your mind regarding Mahram for you and the minimum age requirement, it is advised to obtain specific guidance from religious scholars. This is because they can provide insights into your current condition based on Islamic teachings.
Documents requirements for female pilgrims traveling with a mahram.
If you are traveling with a male mahram, the following are the documents required to obtain an Umrah visa;
- Valid passport i.e., it must have a 6-month validity at least (at the time of visa application submission).
- Proof of prebooked hotel accommodation in the kingdom.
- Vaccinations certificate(s).
- A copy of nonrefundable, return airline tickets i.e., confirming the timely departure of the pilgrims from the kingdom.
- Health and Travel insurance.
- Passport-sized photographs of the applicant.
- Mahram relation certificate i.e., confirming the legal status of the relationship of the female with the mahram traveling along.
- If you have a non-Muslim name, a Shahadah certificate is also required i.e., confirming that the pilgrim is a believer of Islam. It must be issued by a credible Islamic centre in your area or a local mosque as well.
Umrah on any other visa type.
If you are opting for Umrah travel on your tourist visa, business visa, or family visa to Saudia Arabia, a Mahram certificate is not necessarily required.
So, typically a boy aged 15 or above fulfils the minimum age requirement of a mahram for a female pilgrim.