"Ask the people of The Remembrance if you don't know".
[The Qur'an, 16:43]
When will the son of a woman be old or mature enough for the woman to be able to travel in the Maaliki Madhab?
Normally the son or mahram has to be an adult for him to serve as mahram for a Muslim women on a journey. However Imam Al-Haskafi mentioned someone close to being an adult can also serve as a mahram and Ibn Abidin concurred with this opinion:
(وَ) مَعَ (زَوْجٍ أَوْ مَحْرَمٍ) وَلَوْ عَبْدًا أَوْ ذِمِّيًّا أَوْ بِرَضَاعٍ (بَالِغٍ) قَيَّدَ لَهُمَا كَمَا فِي النَّهْرِ بَحْثًا (عَاقِلٍ وَالْمُرَاهِقُ كَبَالِغٍ)
She must travel) With her husband or mahram (unmarriageable relative) even if he is a bondservant, non-Muslim or related by suckling. He, the husband or Mahram, must be an adult as mentioned in ‘Al-Nahr ‘(book of Hanafi Fiqh). The murahiq (adolescent) is similar to the adult. Him being sane is also a condition.”
(Al-Durr al-Mukhtar, Chapter of Hajj)
As for adulthood according to the Hanafi School this occurs for a male between the ages of 12 and 15 (lunar years). It is established by the male have nocturnal emission (or emission during the daytime) between these years. If the male does not experience this and reaches the age of 15 (lunar years) then he is automatically considered an adult.
As for the definition of murahiq, this is provided by Imam Ibn al-Humam in Fath al-Qadir. Where he mentioned it is someone who is 12 or 13 years old. So a murahiq is someone who is in the age bracket of becoming an adult but has not yet seen the sign of adulthood (nocturnal emission):
بِخِلَافِ الْمُرَاهِقِ وَحدَهُ ثَلَاثَةَ عَشَرَ أَوْ اثْنَتَا عَشَرَ سَنَةً
And a woman is not permitted to travel with) a non murahiq (adolescent) male. As for the murahiq (adolescent) it is permitted. The murahiq is someone at the age of 12 or 13.”
(Fath al Qadir, Chapter of Maintenance)
Answered by Shaykh Noorud-Deen Rashid, Teacher at Fiqh Answers.
“Puberty is not a condition for a non-marriageable relative, rather discernment* is enough.”
ولا يشترط في المحرم البلوغ بل يكفي التمييز ووجود الكفاية كما هو الظاهر
(Hashiyah al-Dusuqi, Section on Conditions of Hajj Being Obligatory)
*The age of discernment is when the child can discern between certain things it usually occurs around the age of 6 or 7 years old.
Answered by Shaykh Bilal Brown, Director of Fiqh Answers.
All praise is due to Allah and may His salutations and peace be upon our Master Muhammad ﷺ.
When the son of the woman reaches an age which is close to puberty and has a presence such that it would bring about the sense of security for them, he will suffice as being the mahram to accompany the woman in travel. This is because onlookers would respect the boy due to the presence he has. Otherwise, the mahram must have reached puberty.
Shaykh ul-Islam Zakariyya al-Ansari and Shaykh Khatib ash-Shirbini have said,
وينبغي كما قال بعضهم عدم الاكتفاء بالصبي؛ لأنه لا يحصل معه الأمن على نفسها إلا في مراهق ذي وجاهة بحيث يحصل معه الأمن لاحترامه هـ
أسنى المطالب و مغني المحتاج
“It is also necessary, as some have mentioned, that the child who has not reached puberty does not suffice as being the mahram necessary for the woman to travel with. This is because the sense of security for the woman is not fulfilled. However if the child is at an age or point where they are close to puberty and they hold a presence, then this can be possible because the sense of security for the woman is fulfilled due to onlookers respecting the presence of the boy.”
(Asna al-Matalib, Chapter of Hajj and Umrah) (Mughni al-Muhtaj, Chapter of Hajj)
Answered by Shaykh Mohammad Jamili, Teacher at Fiqh Answers.