Blackburn Muslim Association: Women Travelling without Mehram

6th May 2016

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh


The Telegraph on the 4th of May 2016 reported an exchange between David Davies (MP for Monmouth in South Wales) and Justine Greening (Secretary of State for International Development) about a Fatwa by (Maulana) Yusuf Ibn Shabbir.


It is not permissible for a woman to travel a distance exceeding 48 miles without a Husband or a Mahram (those men who can never marry the woman). The Prophet (peace be upon him) is recorded to have said, “It is not permissible for a woman to travel a distance of three days (48 Miles) without a Mahram or a husband” (Muslim, The Book of Hajj, Ch. 74). Thus, it will not be permissible for a woman to travel individually or with a group of women except with a Mahram or her husband, and this ruling applies to any form of travel including the journey for Hajj (pilgrimage).

Allah knows best

Yusuf Shabbir, Blackburn, UK

20 July 2006

Commons Exchange (04 May 2016/Volume 609):

DD: Does my right hon. Friend agree that her commendable efforts to improve sexual equality across the world would be made easier if organisations such as the Blackburn Muslim Association were not putting out ​information to people that women should not be allowed to travel more than 48 miles without a male chaperone?

JG: I am grateful for my hon. Friend’s question. I had a look at its website last night and, frankly, the view expressed on it is disgraceful and unacceptable. It has no place in Britain, and it is contrary to our British values. I think the Blackburn Muslim Association should very clearly and publicly withdraw those comments.

Fatwa vs Politica Interpolations:

Scholars of Islam reserve the right to define and articulate the boundaries, rules and regulations of Normative Islam. They are not part of the British state machinery so neither advocating nor forcing anything on anyone.

They are articulating a positon for Muslims. The insinuation by both David Davies (MP for Monmouth in South Wales) and the subsequent response by Justine Greening (Secretary of State for International Development) are ridiculous.  

The response by to somehow link this to “British Values” is absurd, who defines British Values and what is meant by contradicting them?

Let’s now judge the same David Davies according to the arbitrary criteria set by Justine Greening in the House of Commons, would love to say Justine Greening issue a statement on these:

David Davies being Judged by Justine Greening's British Values:

  1. Gay Children (10 December 2012): Most Parents don’t want Gay Children

  2. Fought a Gay Boxer  (10 Dec 2012): Responds to the accusations (above) about being a bigot by saying he isn’t a bigot he once fought a Gay Boxer!

  3. Same-Sex Marraige (5 February 2013): Voted against

  4. Charlie Hebdo (8 January, 2015): While the world unites, uses Charlie Hebdo to advance agenda to quash Human Rights Act, refuted and destroyed in his opportunistic argument

  5. Assylum Seekers (26 January 2016): Stop 'moaning' about having to wear brightly coloured identification wristbands

Mechitzah (Segregation in Jewish Halakha) being Judged by Justine Greening's British Values

There are many Jewish religiou scholars such as Rabbi Daniel Levy who back the segregation of sexes Halakha is the equivalent of Islamic Shariah in Judaism and Mechitzah is the Islamic equivalent of avoiding of Khalwah (i.e. being alone with a stranger).

There are many Jewish religious scholars such as Rabbi Daniel Levy who back the segregation of sexes quoting pretty much similar reasons as Muslim Scholars:

We live in a time of increased abuse, whether mental, physical or sexual; women suffer more at the hands of the abusers than men. As such, we should embrace the mechitzah and separate seating since it does not represent placing women beneath men - it never has done. On the contrary it is the ultimate mark of respect for both sexes.

Catholic Church England & Wales (Disapproval of Homosexual Acts) being Judged by Justine Greening's British Values:

First, the Church has always taught that the sexual (genital) expression of love is intended by God's plan of creation to find its place exclusively within marriage between a man and a woman. The Church therefore cannot in any way equate a homosexual partnership with a heterosexual marriage. Secondly, the sexual (genital) expression of love must be open to the possible transmission of new life. For these two reasons the Church does not approve of homosexual genital acts.

Act of Settlement (1700), Section II) being Judged by Justine Greening's British Values:

Provided always and it is hereby enacted That all and every Person and Persons who shall or may take or inherit the said Crown by vertue of the Limitation of this present Act and is are or shall be reconciled to or shall hold Communion with the See or Church of Rome or shall profess the Popish Religion F1... shall be subject to such Incapacities as in such Case or Cases are by the said recited Act provided enacted and established And that every King and Queen of this Realm who shall come to and succeed in the Imperiall Crown of this Kingdom by vertue of this Act shall have the Coronation Oath administred to him her or them at their respective Coronations according to the Act of Parliament made in the First Year of the Reign of His Majesty and the said late Queen Mary intituled An Act for establishing the Coronation Oath and shall make subscribe and repeat the Declaration in the Act first above recited mentioned or referred to in the Manner and Form thereby prescribed

In simple terms the Monarch of United Kingdom CANNOT be a Catholic

It would be wise for Justine Greening to continue to do her job and reform the antiquated laws passed by her predecessors in the House of Commons which are no longer fit for Modern Britain, this is why people voted for her. She should leave the matters of theology to experts of all faiths (and none).

Tories & Dog-whistle Politics!

Scholars of Islam may differ and hold different opinions on this or any other issue for that matter.  There is no central papal authority in Islam to dictate religious edicts from top-down, British Muslims are diverse and our heritage of Islamic Scholarship in this country reflects our diversity. There is ample rigour within Islamic Academic tradition and the opposition to despicable and heinous ideologies such as Daesh is ample proof that Islamic Scholars and Islamic Academia is able to challenge absurd and isolated opinions.

The Tories on the verge of losing the Mayor of London elections (tonight) are engaged in Dog whistle politics to undermine and attack Islamic Scholars who are the vanguards of Normative Islamic Tradition in Britain, shame on Tories!

This tactic hasn’t worked and Tories should refrain from it based on ground realties of yesterday’s election results if not common human decency.

posted by Muadh_Khan on 6th May 2016 - 0 comments


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