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Ash-Shawkaanee’s View On The Niqaab

Ash-Shawkaanee says:

“The Muslims have unanimously agreed that women are not allowed to go out of their homes with their faces uncovered, especially in places where there are many evil people.”

[Nayl Al-Awtaar, 6/226]

A Woman Is Obliged To Cover Her Face, By Zayd Al-Madkhalee

Any person with common sense will not doubt that… the face is the chief area of temptation, thus it is an obligation to cover it… Men and women should keep their hearts pure, and this cannot be accomplished except by preventing the means that lead to fornication and shutting down its avenues, the greatest of which is encountering a woman and enjoying a look at her uncovered face, (perhaps) with decorated eyes, arched eyebrows, and dyed fingernails. So fear Allaah O you who call to the unveiling of women, and fear a day that Allaah has prepared for Recompense…

Whoever claims that a woman has the right to uncover her face and hands in front of male-strangers, he has steered away from the truth and correctness. If he is form those who are qualified to make investigations and ijtihaad (come up with rulings), and he is free from deviations, then he receives the reward for his ijtihaad, and his error is pardoned.

However, it is not permissible to follow him in that opinion. But if he is not from this kind of people, then none of his opinions and arguments should be given any regard since the truth has more right to be followed (than individuals).

[Taken from “Four Essays On The Obligation Of Veiling” Ch.4: The Obligation Of Veiling The Hands And Face, by Sh. Zayd Ibn Muhammad Ibn Haadee Al-Madkhalee, Pp. 81-82]

A Discussion Of The Khimaar That A Woman Must Wear

Then Allaah specifies women with a command apart from men where He says: “And to not display ther zeenah (adornment) except for that which is apparent from it. And (tell them) to draw their khumur (veils) over their bosoms (juyoob).” Noor:31]

Here Allaah commands the women to wear the hijaab, which is a comprehensive covering that veils the woman’s body including her face, hands, feet, and entire body. This goes as well for her hair, which she must cover in front of men who are not from her mahrams.

And not to display their zeenah (adornment)” meaning she should not expose her adornment regardless if whiter it is her physical adornment, which consists of her body, such as the face, hands and so on, or her artificial or applied adornment such as jewellery, hair-dye, kohl and os on.

A woman was commanded to cover her bodily adornment as well as her artificial and applied adornment, which she decorates her body with, such as dyes, jewellery, kohl and its likes.

Except for that which is apparent from it” refers to the outer garment according to the correct opinion. Meaning: what is apparent by itself without her having to expose it (i.e, what cannot be hidden), and this is the outer garment, which does not constitute temptation or incitement…

And (tell them) to draw their khumur (veils) over their bosoms (juyoob).” Allaah orders the women to draw close their khumar that are over their heads. So a khimaar is that which a woman places on top of her head. Allaah commands hr to spread it over her upper chest.

And (tell them) to draw their khumur (veils) over their bosoms (juyoob).” This refers to the openings in the upper part of their garments which expose that throat and neck area. A woman should not leave these parts exposed for men to look at, but shoal instead lower her khimaar over it. If a woman was ordered to cover her throat, then the face is also to be covered for all the more reason.

In fact, the aspect of drawing the khimaar over the upper chest and neck are necessitates that it also fall over the face. the reason for this is because the khimaar is placed over the head. So if it is placed over the head to fall down on the upper chest, it also includes the face.(1)

What further illustrates this is the statement of ‘Aa’ishah where she said:

“Male riders would pass by us while we (wives) were in the state of ihraam with the messenger of Allaah. When they would approach us, (each) one of us would let her jilbaab fall down from (the top of) her head over her face. And when they had passed on, we would uncover our faces.” [Ahmad, Aboo Daawood and Ibn Maajah]

Footnotes:

(1) As the face is between the top of the head (hair) and neck/chest area, and the woman has been obliged to cover her head with a khimaar that falls down to her chest, it is only obvious that this falling from the head to the chest covers her face as well. What further illustrates this is the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah the shaykh then quotes.

[Taken from “Four Essays On The Obligation Of Veiling” Ch. 3: Advice To Muslim Women, by Sh. Saalih Al-Fawzaan, Pp. 62-63]

The Niqaab Is Nothing But Good

Ibn ‘Uthaymeen says:

“So every affair taht is purely good or of which the good is superior to its evil, then it is prescribed in the religion as something either obligatory or recommended. And every affait that is purely evil or of which the evil is superior to its good, then it is prescribed in the religion as something either forbidden or disliked.”

[Taken from “Four Essays On The Obligation Of Veiling” Ch. 2: An Essay On Hijaab, p. 41]

The Woman Is ‘Awrah

Ibn Mas’ood reported that the Messenger of Allaah said: “The woman is ‘awrah.

This is a clear-cut proof that every part of a woman is ‘awrah (i.e. must be covered) in front of male strangers, whether that includes her face, or any otter part of her body. In fact, her face and hands have the most right to be covered since they are the areas that are sought after by men and the places of enticement from women.

Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal understood well the aforementioned hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood, as he said:

“A woman’s fingernail is ‘awrah (i.e. it must be covered). So when she goes out from her home, she must not reveal any part of herself, not even her khuff (sock), for the chuff describes the foot. What is preferred, in my opinion, is that she put a button on her sleeve where her hand is so that nothing could be exposed from her.”

Many scholars and Imaams throughout the history of time have come up with the same understanding of the hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood and other similar texts as that of Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal – that the entire body of a woman is ‘awrah without the exception of the face and hands…

As for the logical proof, then from the things which there is no doubt according to sane and unbiased people is that the fitnah involved in a woman unveiling her face and hands is greater than that of her exposing her feet, foe which the Prophet (saw) ordered the women to lengthen the hems of their dresses by a forearm’s length so that their feet would not be exposed.”

[Taken from “Four Essays On The Obligation Of Veiling” Ch.4: The Obligation Of Veiling The Hands And Face, by Sh. Zayd Ibn Muhammad Ibn Haadee Al-Madkhalee, Pp. 82-83]

From The Textual Proof For The Obligation Of The Niqaab

‘Aa’ishah said:

“Male riders would pass by us while we (wives) were in the state of ihraam with the messenger of Allaah. When they would approach us, (each) one of us would let her jilbaab fall down from (the top of) her head over her face. And when they had passed on, we would uncover our faces.” [Ahmad, Aboo Daawood and Ibn Maajah]

Ibn ‘Uthaymeen comments:

“In her statement: “When they (male riders) would approach us, (each) one of us would let her jilbaab fall down from (the top of) her head over her face” is a proof for the obligation of covering the face. this is because when one is in the state of ihraam, it is obligatory to uncover the face. So if it were not for the strong restriction against exposing teh face, it would have been obligatory for them (i.e. the Prophet’s wives) to remain uncovered, even in the presence of the male riders.(1)

To clarify this point further: Uncovering the face in the state of ihraam is obligatory on all women, according to the majority of scholars. And the obligatory act does not get overridden, except by something else that is obligatory (to a strionger degree). Therefore, if veiling the face in front of make strangers were not obligatory, it would not have been permitted to abandon the obligatory act of exposing the face in the state of ihraam.

Shaykh Al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said: ‘This hadeeth is from that which shows us that the face veil (niqaab) and the gloves were widely known to women who were not in ihraam. This is evidence for teh covering of their faces and hands.’ “

Footnotes:

(1) What the shaykh means here is taht those in ihraam are obligated to uncover their faces, however ‘Aa’ishah would cover her face in the presence of male riders, so it is only obvious to assume that there is a stroniger obligation overiding this obligation (of those in ihraam uncvering their faces). So even though someone in ihraam must uncover their face, the obligation of a woman covering her face is an even stronger obligation.

[Taken from “Four Essays On The Obligation Of Veiling” Ch. 2: An Essay On Hijaab, Pp. 40-41]

Adh-Dhahabee’s Advice To Women (And Their Husbands)

Imaam Adh-Dhahabee said:

If a woman wears the clothing of a man and it is tight on her such as around her body like that of some of men’s clothes, like tight sleeves, tight private regions and so forth, (then) indeed she has imitated him and she has brought the curse of Allaah upon herself (1).

If her husband does not prevent her from doing so, or is pleased with what she is doing, he has indeed shared in that curse, (as he has) aided her in such a sin and he will be sinning with her which is the opposite of what Allaah has ordered him to do. That is to have Taqwaa and he has also bee ordered to save himself and his family form the Hell-Fire, as Allaah The Exalted says in the Quraan:

O you who believe, ward off from yourselves and your families against a fire whose fuel is mankind and stones.” [66:6]

Footnotes:

(1) Ibn Abbaas said, “The Messenger of Allaah cursed those men who imitate women, and cursed women who imitate men.” [Bukhaaree]