In fact, Islam stipulates that a woman is not to travel by herself; rather, it is obligatory upon her to have as her companion her husband or a mahram. This ruling is founded on what was reported by Al-Bukhari and others from Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “A woman is not to travel except with a mahram, and a man is not to enter upon her except if she has a mahram.”
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a Senior Lecturer and Islamic Scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states the following: “The fatwas of the great Imams of the past permitting women to travel without a mahram are mostly related to travels for performing the obligation of Hajj, which is mandatory. I haven’t come across any great scholar permitting women to travel long distances without a mahram for the sake of optional studies. Y