It is not permissible for a man to be alone with a woman who is not his mahram, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: âNo man should be alone with a woman unless there is a mahram with them.â Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1862) and Muslim (1341). And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: âNo man is alone with a woman but the Shaytaan is the third one present.â Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1171) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) narrated in Sharh Muslim (14/153) that there was consensus among the scholars that it is haraam for a man to be alone with a woman who is not his mahram. This was narrated by al-Haafiz in al-Fath (4/77).
âBeing alone withâ (khalwah) refers to when the man and woman are in a place where no one can see them.
The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas were asked: Does khalwah (âbeing alone withâ) refer to when a man is alone with a woman in some house, far away from the eyes of people, or does it refer to any situation in which a man is alone with a woman, even if they can be seen by others?
They replied: What is meant by the âbeing alone withâ (khalwah) that is forbidden in shareeâah is not only when a man is alone with a woman who is not his mahram in a place where they cannot be seen; rather it also includes situations in which he is alone with her in a place where she can converse with him and he can converse with her, even if they can be seen by other people, but their words cannot be heard, whether that is out in the open or in a car or on the roof of a house, and so on. That is because khalwah has been forbidden because it is the harbinger of zina and the means that leads to it. So everything that could lead to that, even making an arrangement to do that later, comes under the ruling of physical khalwah or being alone in a place where they cannot be seen. End quote.
Shaykh âAbd al-âAzeez ibn âAbd-Allah ibn Baaz; Shaykh âAbd al-Razzaaq âAfeefi; Shaykh âAbd-Allah ibn Ghadyaan; Shaykh âAbd-Allah ibn Qa âood
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daaâimah, 17/57
Khalwah can be avoided with the presence of a mahram or the presence of a righteous woman, according to the correct opinion.
It says in Asnaâl-Mataalib (3/407): It is permissible for a man to be alone with two women, but not the opposite; i.e., it is not permissible for two non-mahram men to be alone with a woman even if it is unlikely that they would agree to commit immoral actions, as was clearly stated by al-Nawawi in al-Majmooâ; that is because a woman feels more shy of another woman than a man feels shy of another man.
Shaykh Ibn âUthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: In the case of someone who drives the girls or female teachers, no woman should ever ride on her own with him, because that is âbeing alone withâ (khalwah) that is haraam. But if two women ride, there is nothing wrong with that.
End quote from al-Liqaâ al-Shahri, 58/1
Based on that, if you need to meet this official and you do not have a mahram with you, then you should take a righteous woman to be with you during the meeting.
And Allah knows best.