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Narrated Ibn `Abbas may Allah be pleased with him:

That he heard the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saying, "It is not permissible for a man to be alone with a woman, and no lady should travel except with a Mahram (i.e. her husband or a person whom she cannot marry in any case for ever; e.g. her father, brother, etc.)." Then a man got up and said, "O Allah's Messenger! I have enlisted in the army for such-and-such Ghazwa and my wife is proceeding for Hajj." Allah's Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "Go, and perform the Hajj with your wife."

Being in seclusion with a woman is a reason of suspicion and temptation. It is a great sin for those who insist on committing it or take this matter lightly and disregard its consequences.

The travel of a woman without a mahram (non marriageable man) or a husband for a distance that makes her liable to risk is a type of self-endangerment, a deviation from the good manners and the customs that should be observed and followed.

The resolute and jealous man will not let his wife go out alone in a journey - even to perform an obedience to Allah - without being with her, unless one of her mahrams (non marriageable men) or a husband accompanies her.

This commandment is a strong warning to both women and men, because man is a guardian and responsible for their protection.

The intended meaning is that the man should not meet the woman in seclusion unless there is one of her mahrams (non marriageable men) or a husband present. The Muslim woman must not allow a non mahram man to be in seclusion with her. The presence of the mahram is not only meant to defend her, but also to ward off the suspicion and gossip. The honor is like the pure milk, if polluted it will not return to its previous state.

The travel for which it is obligatory on a woman to be accompanied with a mahram (non marriageable man) or a husband is not limited to the distance of shortening the prayer, nor the nights and days of traveling, but it depends the distance or period in which she is expected to be in danger if there is no mahram.

If a woman wants to travel, even if the destination is far away, while the road is safe and she is with a good companionship, this good companionship is the place of the mahram.

The good companionship is composed of two men and three women, according to the Maalikis point of view, or four women, according to the Shaafa'is point of view.

We should not be too strict about this, but we must take into account the circumstances in which women travel, and also take into account their ability to protect themselves, their experience with the road and their culture, and the place to which they are moving.