Beginning on July 18th, Haj pilgrims will begin arriving
Nadia Farooq

On Saturday, 115 women from Jammu and Kashmir, without a male guardian (Mehram), departed from Srinagar for Jeddah to conduct the Hajj trip.

The Kashmir News Observer (KNO) reports that this signals a radical break with the past.


The Arabic term for male relative to whom it is Haram (prohibited) for a woman to get married is “Mahram.” Upon marriage, a woman’s husband also takes on the role of Mahram.

Most Muslims believe that a woman should always accompany her Mehram. Some scholars, however, hold that if a woman travels in the reliable company of a group or if the travel routes are secure, she may conduct Hajj without a Mehram.

Many people think that this change demonstrates how far we’ve come in providing women with equal rights in religious institutions.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, ladies from all around J&K said their last goodbyes to loved ones amidst a buzz of excitement and expectation. They set out on their pilgrimage wearing customary white robes, their hearts open to the tremendous spiritual experience that lay ahead.

According to Dr. Shujaat Ahmad Qureshi, Executive Officer of the Jammu and Kashmir Haj Committee (JKHC), 319 pilgrims boarded Flight 1 and 320 boarded Flight 2.

Dr. Qureshi reported that 639 pilgrims had started the journey today, with one having to pull out owing to sickness. “In today’s flights, 115 female pilgrims travelled without mehram,” he said.



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