The pre-conditions of a mahram

Reference: I’laam al-Mu’aasireen bi-Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen – Page 369

Question: Is it possible for my son who is nine years of age to be my mahram, since I travelled with him; Is there anything wrong in that?

Response: Regarding the mahram, the Scholars have mentioned that two conditions must be met:

1) The coming of age (puberty);

2) Mental awareness.

So, whoever has not yet attained puberty then it is not correct for him to be a mahram; and whoever is not yet mentally aware then it is not correct for him to be a mahram since the intent behind the [presence of a] mahram is protection of the wife and maintaining her and preventing any attack upon her. [Clearly] the young child is unable to undertake any of these [roles].

So I say, now the woman – as per the question – has reached her destination, so she is not to return to her husband until he comes and collects her and takes her [back] with him. Alternatively, she can travel with one of her mahrams (father, brother, etc.) – from amongst those who have attained puberty and are mentally aware. As for the young child who is nine years of age, then he cannot be her mahram.

Abu 'Abdullaah

- from London, UK. He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004.

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