Hazrat Aayesha R.A reports that she once sought permission from Rasulullah (Salallaho Alaihi Wassallam) to go for Jihaad. Rasulullah(Salallaho Alaihi Wassallam) replied: “You Jihaad is Hajj.”
At another time Hazrat Aayesha R.A.. asked Rasulullah Sal’am whether is Jihaad is also obligatory on females. He replied: “Yes, such Jihaad, wherein there shall he no killing. Your Jihaad is Hajj and Umrah.”
Hazrat Hussein R.A. reports that a man came to Rasulullah Sal’am saying: “O Rasulullah Sal’am, I am a weak person having little courage.”
Rasulullah Sal’am said: “come, I shall show you such a Jihaad wherein no thorn shall prick you (no injury) and that is Hajj.” (Targheeb)
Hazrat Aayesha R.A. once said: “O Rasulullah (Salallaho Alaihi Wassallam), we see that Jihaad is the most virtuous of all deeds, shall we women not then fight in the way of Allah?” Rasulullah (Salallaho Alaihi Wassallam) replied: “The most virtuous form of Jihaad for you is Hajj-e-Maqbool.” (Targheeb)
Hazrat Abu Hurairah R.A. reports that Rasulullah Sal’am said: “The Jihaad of the old ones, the weak and the females shall be Hajj.” (Targheeb)
In another Hadith it is stated: “The Jihaad of children, the aged the weak and women is Hajj and Unrah.” (kanz). Further there are many Hadith to this effect. We shall look a tone more. In his farewell Hajj, Rasulullah (Salallaho Alaihi Wassallam) addressing the women said: “This is your Hajj which you now perform. Thereafter remain inside your homes.” It is the result of this saying of Rasulullah (Salallaho Alaihi Wassallam) that amongst his wives Hazrat Zainab R.A. and Hazrat Sowdah R.A. never again went on pilgrimage. They used to say: “when we had heard Rasulullah (Salallaho Alaihi Wassallam) saying this with our own ears, how then can we leave our homes to perform Hajj?” the other wives, however, used to go for Hajj often, having before them the Hadith wherein Rasulullah (Salallaho Alaihi Wassallam) encouraged the performance of Hajj and Umrah as many times as possible. (Targheeb)
it would appear that there is a clear contradiction in these two traditions from Rasulullah (Salallaho Alaihi Wassallam). In actual fact both are correct and there is no contradiction. For women to proceed on long journeys is rather a delicate matter in Islam. It is allowed only when certain strict rules laid down by the Shar’iat are observed. Thus as far as Hajj and Umrah are concerned these may definitely be considered Jihaad for them, and the most rewarding form of Ibaadat. Therefore, Rasulullah (Salallaho Alaihi Wassallam) called Hajj, the Jihaad of women. But because of the fact that very often it becomes exceedingly difficult for women to observe all the rules concerning Hajj and travel, Rasulullah Sal’am took the precaution by saying that they should remain in their homes after the first Hajj. One of the strict conditions for women before proceeding for Hajj, is the compulsory requirement of the presence with her of a Mahram- one you can never marry by law of the Shar’iat. In numerous sayings of Rasulullah Sal’am we find that it is not permissible for woman to travel without the accompaniment of a Mahram.
In Mishkaat we find this Hadith: “It is not permissible for a man to be alone in a house with any strange woman, an never even should a woman proceed on a journey alone.”
(“Strange woman” here means a woman other than one’s wife, mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, grand-daughter and aunts.)
Further Rasulullah (Salallaho Alaihi Wassallam) said: “A woman is something that should be covered. When she leaves the house, the Shaytaan follows her and constantly makes attempts to mislead her.”
In one Hadith it is stated: Wherever a man and a (strange) woman are alone in a house, the third person present is Shaytaan.” (Mishkaat)
Rasulullah (Salallaho Alaihi Wassallam) once said: “Refrain from visiting ‘strange’ woman”.
Someone inquired: “And if he is a brother-in-law?” Rasulullah (Salallaho Alaihi Wassallam) replied: “Brother-in-law is death (Mishkaat)
By death is meant by him being close and near to one another at all times, there are more chances of getting involved, which ultimately will be the cause of destruction. There are many such warnings in the Hadith. One should take very careful note of any contact with ‘strange’ woman during Hajj, because it very often does happen that women and men find themselves in such situations that they are alone in places. In any case it is not permissible for a woman to proceed on a journey all by herself, whether it entails her being alone with men in secluded places or not. It only means destruction of good deeds and situations fraught with sin.