It’s 2018 and a religious scholar in Kuwait found the idea of a woman travelling without a male guardian “unacceptable.”
Just recently, a video of cleric, Dr. Othman Al Khamees, came to light in which he listed all the bizarre reasons of why women shouldn’t be allowed to travel alone.
The cleric’s statement came in response to a question asked by one of his followers who sought the scholar’s advice on whether his wife can travel without him.
"I am a Kuwaiti student based in the U.S. and my wife wants to come visit me here for a month, can she travel without a male guardian? I'll pick her up from the airport and another guardian will receive her when she travels back, this is because it's urgent that she comes to visit me and I can't travel back and forth to bring her here and take her back," the letter read.
From the sound of things, the unidentified follower had a pretty straightforward situation where it wasn’t possible for him to accompany his wife.
But Al Khamees shunned the prospect of the follower’s wife travelling on her own then and there. Also, in order to back up his reservations he churned out numerous worst case scenarios which were a little too far-fetched.
"You say you'll pick her up, what if something comes up and you don't end up doing that? What if you get into an accident, God forbids, and you're sent to a hospital where she can't find you? What if one of your phone connections suddenly fail," he said.
"What if she had to make an emergency landing in Holland or Germany, what if her flight gets diverted? It's not right, it's just not acceptable to have her travel alone," he added.
The cleric in question, instead of providing a solution to his follower, made things ten times harder for him. He completely disregarded the financial and physical difficulties the follower would have to face in order to accompany his wife all the way from America.
Also, what’s the guarantee that some sort of unforeseen situation wouldn’t befall the couple if they are together? But, apparently for the scholar everything would go perfectly smoothly if only a woman has a male companion with him.
Regardless, there were some social media users who found nothing wrong with the cleric’s assertions.
“His statement makes so much sense," commented one.
"There are still those who try to elaborate on this Quranic verse, even though it's clear. ('It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to make a journey of one day and night unless she is accompanied by a Mahram - husband or any other relative to whom she is prohibited to marry.') If she's traveling for over one day, there has to be a guardian with her, but to start talking about accidents that might occur if a woman travels alone, that's considered a deviation from the text," said another.
On the other hand, many of the online users were not having any of it.
"So what's required is for me to go from America to Kuwait, travel with my wife from Kuwait, and then accompany her all the way back from America to Kuwait, and then get back to the U.S. by myself... our religion is easy to follow only for those who use their brains," said an online user.
”In olden days, it was extremely difficult for a woman to travel alone, because travel routes were dangerous, but things have changed now," said another.
"May God give me patience to deal with these minds, everything is haram (unacceptable) when it comes to women. There's nothing left except them issuing edicts on whether we should breathe or not," said another frustrated online user.
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