- Pakistani women will not adopt Saudi Arabia’s new policy allowing women to perform Hajj without a mahram.
- The Ministry of Religious Affairs in Pakistan has confirmed that the previous regulations requiring a mahram for women undertaking Hajj will be upheld.
- Pakistani women generally prefer to undertake Hajj with their families and have a longstanding tradition of following the mahram policy.
Whilst Saudi Arabia has recently embraced a progressive change, allowing women to undertake the Hajj 2023 pilgrimage without the requirement of a mahram, Pakistani women have chosen to uphold the longstanding regulations.
A representative from the Ministry of Religious Affairs has confirmed that the preparations for this year’s Hajj in Pakistan will adhere to the traditional framework.
Consequently, Pakistani women will not be able to avail themselves of the newly introduced Hajj policy, which grants them the freedom to embark on the pilgrimage without a mahram.
The spokesperson has affirmed that the previously established rule, which necessitates women to be accompanied by a mahram during Hajj 2023, has been reaffirmed and will be strictly enforced.
Nonetheless, the spokesperson has emphasised that this decision will have minimal impact on Pakistani women, as they generally prefer to undertake the Hajj journey in the company of their families.
Moreover, it is important to note that, under the previous guidelines, Sunni women are permitted to perform Hajj alongside a mahram, while certain conditions allow Shia women to do so independently.
The mahram policy, deeply rooted in religious and cultural customs, dictates that a woman must be accompanied by a male guardian, typically a close family member, during the Hajj pilgrimage. This tradition has long been followed in many Muslim-majority countries, including Pakistan.
The recent alteration in Saudi Arabia’s Hajj 2023 regulations, liberating women from the mandatory mahram requirement, signifies a progressive stride towards gender equality in religious practices.
However, Pakistani authorities, guided by their commitment to preserving cultural traditions and familial unity, have chosen to maintain the existing regulations.
The Hajj pilgrimage holds immense spiritual significance for Muslims worldwide, and Pakistani women, by performing the journey with their mahrams, uphold the traditional values of unity, respect, and shared devotion to faith.
While Saudi Arabia’s decision has garnered attention and stirred discussions surrounding gender roles and women’s empowerment in religious observances, Pakistani women’s adherence to the mahram policy underscores the importance they place on familial bonds and communal harmony within the context of the Hajj experience.
As the global discourse on gender equality and religious practices continues to evolve, it remains to be seen whether more nations will follow Saudi Arabia’s lead or opt to retain their longstanding mahram policies.
Nonetheless, for the time being, Pakistani women will continue to embark on their sacred Hajj 2023 pilgrimage in the cherished company of their loved ones.
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