i have always followed the Hanafi opinion that a woman may not travel without a mahram if she is travelling a distance over the 48 miles or so laid down in Hanafi fiqh.
A Hanafi alim told me that this is actually the unanimous ruling of all the madhabs apart from one ruling from the Maliki madhab where a woman can travel as long as she travels within a 'group'.
Then i came across this Hanafi ruling from Sunnipath.com
So it looks like a woman can travel without a mahram after all in the Hanafi madhab as long as she has tried her utmost to take a mahram (but has failed); she travels with a trustworthy party; and the journey is necessary.
But which scholars exactly permit this? The Sunnipath ruling gives no names!
And would the following situation fall into the ruling above?
A sister who follows the Hanafi ruling of travel wishes to travel from the UK to Pakistan to visit her Grandfather who is ill and very old (may die soon).
Her father and brother cannot take her because they both need to stay and work.
i actually need to have the conclusive answer to this query because i have always been strict with the mahram issue and now it looks like there is a Hanafi opinion which says otherwise...