Men are allowed to go out to anywhere they like and at anytime they wish. Women on the other hand are restricted and can only go out with a mahram by their side. I understand that this is because men are obliged to protect women. However in today's society women can go out without needing protection, especially at times of day light. Also what if the men are at work and the female needs to go out for something?
Sunni view: The most accepted Sunni view is that it is permissible for a women to travel alone for up to three days.
Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “A woman must not travel for three days except with a Mahram”. [Sahih Bukhari, no. 1036 & Sahih Muslim].
However, some modern scholars argue that if it's safe for the women to travel, then it is permissible for them to travel alone without any restrictions. They generally cite the following narrations as evidence.
(Another chain) from 'Adi bin Hatim who said: "I went to the Prophet (ﷺ) while he was sitting in the Masjid, the people said: 'This is 'Adi bin Hatim.' And I came without having a treaty nor a writ. When I was brought to him, he took my hand. Prior to that he had said: 'I hope that Allah will place his hand in my hand.'" He said: "He stood with me, and a woman and a boy met him and said: 'We have a need from you.' He stood with them, until he was finished dealing with what they wanted. Then he took me by the hand until he brought me to his house. A slave girl brought him a cushion to sit on, and I sat in front of him. He expressed thanks and praise for Allah then said: 'What has caused you to flee from saying La Ilaha Illallah? Do you know of another god other than Him?'" He said: "I said: 'No.'" He said: "Then he talked for some time, and then said: 'You refuse to say Allahu Akbar because you know that there is something greater than Allah?'" He said: "I said: 'No.' He said: 'Indeed the Jews are those who Allah is wrath with, and the Christians have strayed.'" He said: "I said: 'Indeed I am a Muslim, Hanif.'" He said: "I saw his face smiling with happiness." He said: "Then he ordered that I stop with him at the home of a man from the Ansar, whom he would frequently visit in the mornings and the evenings. When I was with him at night, a people in woolen garments of these Nimar (a cloth with certain patters, and the word appeared before) came. Then he performed Salat and stood to encourage them (the people) to give (charity) to them. Then he said: 'Even with a Sa' or half a Sa', or a handful or part of a handful, to save the face of one of you from the heat of Hell, or the Fire. And even if it be by a date or a part of a date - for indeed one of you shall meet Allah and it shall be said to him what I say to you: "Have I not given hearing and seeing to you?" He shall say: "Of course." It will be said: "Have I not given you wealth and children?" He shall say: "Of course." It will be said: "So where is what you have sent forth for yourself?" He will look before him and behind him, on his right and on his left, but he shall not find anything to protect his face from the heat of Hell. Let one of you protect his face from the Fire, even if with part of a date, and if he does not find that, then with a good statement. For indeed I do not fear poverty for you - Allah will aid you and grant you, such that a woman can travel on her camel howda from Yathrib to Al-Hirah, or further, without fear of being robbed.' I began thinking to myself: "Where would the thieves of Taiy' be then?"'
[Sahih Bukhari Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith -2951]
Once, during the days of trouble and torture in Makka, I went to God’s Messenger, who was sitting in the shade of the Ka‘ba. I was still a slave in the hands of the Makkans then. They inflicted on me severe tortures. Unable to endure those tortures any more, I requested God’s Messenger to pray to God for help and salvation. But he turned towards me and said:
By God, previous communities had to endure more pitiless tortures. Some of them were made to lie in ditches and cut in two with saws but this did not make them forsake their faith. They were skinned alive but they never became weak against the enemy. Surely God will perfect this religion, but you display undue haste. A day will come when a woman will travel alone by herself from San’a to Hadramawt fearing nothing but wild beasts. However, you show impatience.
Traditional scholars reject this view stating that futuristic events don't count as evidence for permissibility.
Shia view: According to mainstream Shia scholars, it is permissible for a woman to travel alone.
it is not "going out", but it is "traveling". Women are not allowed to travel alone for long distances without mahram, and this is for her protection as you mentioned. If the travel is safe, i mean surely safe and secure, in the road, transport means , and the destination, then she may travel without mahram.
Wa Allah Aalam.
This is a refrence from Egypt's Dar-Alifta
I believe, the idea of Mahram about protecting women and ONLY for protecting women to be EXTREMELY lacking. Women need Mahram to ALSO protect men who sees women. When a woman is walking alone without anyone or anything protecting her(and living alone), it can make a man desire for her. The longer she is alone, the more.
The concept of Mahram, I believe, is to also protect men from having such feelings. God DID NOT give men desire for women from sight and love women without even talking to them in order for them to be TRIED even under the rules of Islam.
The rules of Islam is to make the LEAST amount of fitnah for all things for anyone and to live the best kind of life. Islam teaches us to let go of many worldly desires for Allah and live through many hard times, and even have things or whom you love to go away.
In order for MEN and WOMEN to coexist in peace, we need to follow the guidelines of Allah. Rules for women in Islam is mostly about not going out alone, but they are not given the responsibility to pray in the Masjid, work to provide food and wealth to family, and many other things.
Allah has COMMANDED Men to go pray in the Masjid and COMMANDED to take care of family, so women should consider what guys are going through and what they feel if they also plan to go outside(try to wear hijab nicely, avoid mingling or interacting with guys unless neccessary, etc).
Allah knows best, I am speaking this from my own logic and understand. I can very well be wrong. Do not take my word for it. I am willing to read the comments made to this post, inshallah!
Thanks a lot for all. I would like to say Islam does not allow woman to travel alone by herself, but this does not mean that woman is not good or faithful, no no, because she is physically is not strong enough to protect herself, so Islam prefers for her to go out or travel along with her mahram so as to grantee her safety of being attacked by any one.