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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]

What Is More Fitnah The Feet Or The Face?

Regarding Allaah’s statement, “…and let them not stamp their feet, so as to reveal what they hide from tehir adornment.” [Noor(24):31]

Ibn ‘Uthaymeen says:

“This means that a woman must not strike her foot so as to let it be known what she conceals (from her adornment), such as her ankle bracelets or anything else that she adorns herself with for a man. So is a woman is forbidden (in this aayah) from stamping her feet, for fear of causing fitnah for a man, due to what he hears rom the sound of her ankle-bracelet or its types, then how about exposing the face?

Which of the two is a greater cause for fitnah? That a man hears the sound of tthe ankle-bracelet produced by the foot of a woman, not knowing who she is, nor her beauty nor if she is young or old or if she is unattractive or beautiful. Which of these two is a greater fitnah? This, or that he looks at a woman’s uncovered face that is perhaps beautiful, fair, young, bright, enticing, and which is perhaps beautified with that which attracts fitnah (temptation) and calls for the prohibited look?

Indeed, every man that has an interest in women knows which of the two is a greater fitnah and which is more deserving of being covered and concealed.”

[Taken from “Four Essays On The Obligation Of Veiling” Ch. 2: An Essay On Hijaab, p. 31]

What Is The Khimaar That A Woman Is Obliged To Cover Herself With?

Regarding the statement of Allaah: “And to draw their khimaars (veils) over their juyoob (bosoms)” [24:31], Ibn ‘Uthaymeen mentions:

“The khimaar is that which a woman uses to cover and veil her head, such as a head cloth. So if she was commanded to place the khimaar over her jayb (bosom), then she was also commanded with covering her face, whether it is because wearing the khimaar necessitates that or because it is understood from general reasoning.

This is since if covering the neck and bosom are obligatory, then veiling the face is an obligation for all the more reason, since it is the source of beauty and enticement.

Indeed, when people seek the beauty of a figure, they do not ask except concerning the face. If it is beautiful, they do not look towards anything else in the same manner as possessing importance. This is why when it is said that such and such woman is beautiful, one doesn’t understand from these words anything except the beauty of the face.(1)

So it is clear that the face is the place of beauty that is asked about and informed of. And if it is this way, then how can we come to understand that this religion, which is based upon wisdom, would obligate the covering of the neck and chest and then allow the exposure of the face?”

[Taken from “Four Essays On The Obligation Of Veiling” Ch. 2: An Essay On Hijaab, p. 29]

Footnotes:

(1) As the shaykh mentions elsewhere: “There is no doubt that the face is the place of attraction and beauty and from where temptation is derived.” [Ibid. p.31]

Poem: Hijaab

Hijaab

[By Sister Fatme H. Jaber from USA]

You look at me and call me oppressed,
Simply because of the way I’m dressed,

You know me not for what is inside,
You judge the clothing I wear with pride,

My body is not for your eyes to hold,
You must speak to my mind, not my feminine mould,

I’m an individual. I’m no man’s slave,
It’s Allah’s pleasure that I only crave,

I have a voice so I will be heard,
For in my heart I carry His word,

“O ye women, wrap close your cloak,
So you won’t be bothered by ignorant folk”.

Man doesn’t tell me to dress this way,
It’s law from God that I obey,

Oppressed is something I’m truly not,
For liberation is what I’ve got,

It was given to me many years ago,
With the right to prosper, the right to grow,

I can climb mountains or cross the seas,
Expand my mind in all degrees,

For God Himself gave us liberty,
When He sent Islam, to you and me!

Niqaab: A Means Of Protecting Ones Private Parts

Allaah says:

And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.)…” [Soorah Noor(24):31]

Ibn ‘Uthaymeen comments saying:

“Allaah commands the believing women to guard their private parts. This command is a command for guarding the private parts as well as all of the means that eventually lead to that. And there is no doubt for one who has common sense that from the means that lead towards guarding the private parts is the veiling of the face. This is since exposing it is a cause for drawing looks towards it, reflecting on its features and finding pleaser in that. And consequently this leads to a man trying to communicate and get in touch with a woman.

In a hadeeth the Prophet (saw) said:

The eyes commit zinaa (fornication) and their zinaa is looking… The heart ardently desires and awaits, and the private parts either confirm it or deny it.” [Bukhaaree & Muslim]

So if covering the face is one of the means that ultimately leads towards guarding ones private parts, then indeed it was commanded since the means take on the same ruling as the objective.”

[Taken from “Four Essays On The Obligation Of Veiling” Ch. 2: An Essay On Hijaab, Pp. 28-29]

Proof From The Scholars Regarding The Obligation Of Niqaab

Allaah says:

O Prophet (saw)! Tell your wives and your daughters and the believing women to cast their jilbaabs upon themselves (i.e. their bodies). Thats is better, that they should be known so as not to be bothered. And Allaah is Ever Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Al-Ahzaab: 59]

Ibn ‘Abbaas  said:

“Allaah has commanded the believing women, when they come out of their homes, due to a necessity, to cover their faces by placing their jalaabeeb over their heads, and only expose one eye.” [Mukhtasar Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 2/114

Muhammad Ibn Sireen (d.110?) said:

“I asked ‘Ubaydah As-Salmaanee about Allaah’s saying, ‘… to cast their jalaabeeb upon themselves…’ so he veiled his face and head and only exposed his left eye.” [Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 6/470]

Abu ‘Ubayd As-Salmaanee and others mentioned that:

“The believing women used to cast their jilbaabs from (over) the top of their heads downwards, to the point that nothing was visible except their eyes, for the purpose of seeing the road.” [Ibn katheer, 6/470]

Aboo Su’aad said:

“What is mean by the ayah is that they should cover their faces and bodies with it.”

Imaam As-Suddee said:

“She should cover one of her eyes, her forehead and the other (lower) portion of her face, except one eye.”

Shaykh Bin Baaz says:

“Shaykh Al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, as well as oter scholars held this view (of the obligation for women to cover their faces), and it is the truth in which there is no doubt.”

Aboo Bakr Al-Jassaas Al-Hanafee said:

“In this ayah is evidence that a young woman is commanded with (a) covering her face in front of male strangers, (b) remaining covered, and © refraining from going out (without it) so that the people will not place any doubt upon her.” [Ahkaamul Quraan, 3/371-372]

Jalaal Ud-Deen As-Suyootee said:

“This is the ayah of the hijaab applying to all women. There is proof in it that covering the head and the face is obligatory.” [Al-Ikleel, p.180]

‘Imaad Ud-Deen At-Tabaree said:

“So He commanded the women to veil their faces and cover their heads.” [Tafseer Ilkiyaa Al-Haras At-Tabaree, 4/135]

Jalaal Ud-Deen Al-Mahallee said:

“It means that they should let some of it fall over their faces, except for one eye, when they go out for their necessities.” [Qurratul-‘Ainayn ‘Alaa Tafseeril-Jalaalayn, p.560]

Ibn Al-Jawzee said concerning this ayah (ahzaab:59)(1):

“It means that they must cover their heads and faces so that they may be known as free women. The definition of a jilbaab is a loose outer garment, as has been stated by Ibn Qutaybah.” [Rawaa’i Al-Bayaan, 2/382]

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What Is The Dress Of The Woman In The Prayer? By Shaykh Al-Albaani

Umm Ayyoob quotes some of the narrations which Shaykh al-Albani brings about the permissibility for the woman to pray wearing her house dress (regular home clothing) and a Khimar (head covering) and then he brings the narration that she should wear an outer garment type of covering (e.g. like a Abayyah).

Then the Shaykh says:

‘Then all of this is understood to be, that it is more complete and better for her to wear an outer garment type of covering and Allaah knows best.’

[Mentioned in ‘Tamaam al-Mina Fee Taleeq ala Fiqh-us-Sunnah’ p.161-162]

Umm Ayoob says:‘So in summary: Shaykh Albani -Rahimullaah- holds the opinion that it is recommended for the woman to wear the Jilbaab (Abayyah) on top of her house dress and a head covering for the prayer.  His sources for this are the following:

1- His understanding of the authentic Athaar (narrations) which show that it is sufficient for the woman to wear a house dress and head covering for the prayer.

2- The Shaykh affirms the Athaar which show that the dress of the woman in prayer should be a house dress and head covering along with a Jilbaab or wrapping sheet worn for prayer, or a wrapping garment.

3- Combining between these Athaar which are all authentic, Shaykh Albani concludes that it is recommended for the woman in the prayer to wear a Jilbaab and that it is better and more complete.

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