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Women in Saudi Arabia Can Now Perform Hajj and Umrah Without a Male Guardian

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Women in Saudi Arabia can now perform the Umrah and Hajj pilgrimages without a mahram (male guardian). The decision was announced by Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah at a press conference held at the Saudi Embassy in Cairo, and applies to female pilgrims from all countries visiting the Kingdom.

Hajj and Umrah Services Adviser Ahmed Saleh Halabi added that women are allowed to perform the pilgrimages accompanied by “trustworthy women or secure company to perform Hajj or Umrah. This is the view of the Maliki and Shafi’i scholars.”

Meanwhile, writer Faten Ibrahim Hussein, former adviser to the Minister of Hajj, remarked that the facilities for pilgrims fall in line with the Saudi Vision 2030. “Allowing women to perform Umrah without the condition of a mahram makes life easier for them because many have difficult social conditions and may not find a mahram, or it may cost them a lot, while they are eager to perform Umrah,” she said. “Fortunately, the fight against all forms of social and economic corruption played a positive role in this,” she added.

On the strict measures the Kingdom has taken to ensure the safety of women, she said, “Security has extended throughout the Kingdom and in all means of transportation and at ports, giving women full protection. Moreover, strong infrastructure has been established in legislation, including the anti-harassment system.  In addition, surveillance cameras are obligatory in vital areas, including airports, border crossing ports, the Grand Mosque, the Prophet’s Mosque and others. Thus, a woman is safe, especially when she is in good company with other women.”

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