Is it permissible for a woman to sit with a non-mahram in a car due to need? Will this be counted as khalwah (seclusion)? For instance, sometimes a woman’s husband lives abroad and she becomes sick and she needs to go, so what would be the ruling if she goes with a non-mahram relative in a bus or car?
It is not correct for the woman to sit and go with a non-mahram man as asked in the question. This is considered khalawa bil ajnabiyyah (seclusion with a non-mahram). There are severe warnings against this in the hadiths. Due caution should be adopted in this matter. Majority of the women’s needs don’t come under (Shariah ordained) needs.
Yes, there is permission for her to go in a bus or a large vehicle, in which there are many women and other people, to a distance less than the Shar’ee distance of travel (Safar Shar’ee [48 miles]) on the condition that there is no fear of fitnah, seclusion (khalwah) and intermingling.
From a narration of Sahih Bukhari, it is discerned that there is permission to ride when people are around. There is no fitnah in it. From a second narration, it is known that there is no khalwah (seclusion) when people are present. However, it is not permissible, at all, to travel a Shar’ee distance [48 miles] even if other women are present.
And Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala knows best
(Hazrat Mufti) Radha-ul-Haqq (May Allah preserve him)
Fatawa Darul Uloom Zakariyah Vol.7 Pg.228-230
References Used in the Above Fatwa: