Truth Regarding the Niqaab

The Niqaab

In light of the Holy Qur’ân and Sahih Hadeeth and in the Opinions of the great scholarsniqab-group.jpg

From the Qur’ân (This tafseer is Agreed upon by Ibn Kathir, Al-Qurtubi and At-Tabari).

The Noble Qur’an

Surah Al-Ahzaab, Verse #59
‘O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (“Jalabib”) veils all over their bodies (screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way Tafseer Al-Qurtabi) that is most convenient that they should be known (as such) and not molested: and Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.”

Surah An-Nur, Verses #30 and #31
‘And Say to the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, head cover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)

From the Hadith

Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 6, Book 6 0, Hadith # 282
Narrated Safiya bint Shaiba (Radhiallaahu Ánha) “Aa’ishah (Radhiallaahu Ánha) used to say: “When (the Verse): “They should draw their veils over their necks and bosoms,” was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their faces with the cut pieces.

Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 1, Book 8, Hadith # 368
Narrated ‘Aa’ishah (Radhiallaahu Ánha) Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) used to offer the Fajr prayer and some believing women covered with their veiling sheets used to attend the Fajr prayer with him and then they would return to their homes unrecognized . Shaikh Ibn Uthaimin in tafseer of this hadeeth explains “This hadeeth makes it clear that the Islamic dress is concealing of the entire body as explained in this hadeeth. Only with the complete cover including the face and hands can a woman not be recognized. This was the understanding and practice of the SAHÂBAH and they were the best of group, the noblest in the sight of Allaah (swt) with the most complete Eemaan and noblest of characters. So if the practice of the women of the sahabah was to wear the complete veil then how can we deviate from their path? (Ibn Uthaymeen in the book “Hijaab” page # 12 and 13)

Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 1, Book 4, Hadith # 148
Narrated ‘Aa’ishah (Radhiallaahu Ánha): The wives of Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) used to go to Al-Manasi, a vast open place (near Baqia at Medina) to answer the call of nature at night. ‘Umar used to say to the Prophet “Let your wives be veiled,” but Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) did not do so. One night Sauda bint Zam’a the wife of the Prophet went out at ‘Isha’ time and she was a tall lady. ‘Umar addressed her and said, “I have recognized you, O Sauda.” He said so, as he desired eagerly that the verses of Al-Hijab (the observing of veils by the Muslim women) may be revealed. So Allaah revealed the verses of “Al-Hijab” (A complete body cover excluding the eyes).

At-Tirmidhi with a SAHIH chain reports…
“Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said “All of a woman is ‘awrah.” (Shaikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid quotes this hadeeth narrated by Tirmidhi with a sahih isnaad and says this is a direct hadeeth from Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam ) and has made it clear that a woman must cover everything including the face and hands!)

Abu Dawood Book 14, Hadith # 2482
Narrated Thabit ibn Qays (Radhiallaahu Ánhu): A woman called Umm Khallad came to the Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) while she was veiled. She was searching for her son who had been killed (in the battle) Some of the Companions of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said to her: You have come here asking for your son while veiling your face? She said: If I am afflicted with the loss of my son, I shall not suffer the loss of my modesty. Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said: You will get the reward of two martyrs for your son. She asked: Why is that so, oh Prophet of Allaah? He replied: Because the people of the Book have killed him.

Abu Dawood Book 32, Hadith # 4090
Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu’minin (Radhiallaahu Ánha): When the verse “That they should cast their outer garments over their persons” was revealed, the women of Ansar came out as if they had crows over their heads by wearing outer garments.

Abu Dawood Book 32, Hadith # 4091
Narrated Aa’ishah, Ummul Mu’minin (Radhiallaahu Ánha) “May Allah have mercy on the early immigrant women. When the verse “That they should draw their veils over their bosoms” was revealed, they tore their thick outer garments and made veils from them. Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalanee, who is known as Ameer Al-Mu’mineen in the field of Hadeeth, said that the phrase, “covered themselves”, in the above Hadeeth means that they “covered their faces”. [Fath Al-Bari].

Imaam Malik’s MUWATTA Book 20 Hadith # 20.5.16
Yahya related to me from Malik from Hisham ibn Urwa that Fatima bint al-Mundhir (Radhiallaahu Ánha) said, “We used to veil our faces when we were in Ihram in the company of Asma bint Abi Bakr As-Siddiq (Radhiallaahu Ánha). “This again proves that not only the wives of Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) wore the Niqaab and that even though in Ihram women are not supposed to wear Niqaab but if men are there they still have to cover the face.

Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 1, Book 8, Hadith # 347
Narrated Um ‘Atiya (Radhiallaahu Ánha) We were ordered (by Rasulullaah ‘(Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) to bring out our menstruating women and veiled women in the religious gatherings and invocation of Muslims on the two ‘Eid festivals. These menstruating women were to keep away from their Musalla. A woman asked, “O Allaah’s Apostle ‘ What about one who does not have a veil (the veil is the complete cover with only one eye or two eyes showing)?” He said, “Let her share the veil of her companion.” Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen in tafseer of this hadeeth explained “This hadeeth proves that the general norm amongst the women of the Sahaba (Radhiallaahu Ánhuma) was that no woman would go out of her home without a cloak, fully concealed and if she did not posses a veil, then it was not possible for her to go out. it was for this reason that when Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) ordered them to go to the Place for Eid Salah, they mentioned this hindrance. As a result Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said that someone should lend her a veil, but did not say they could go out without it. If Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) did not allow women to go to a place like the Eid Salah, which has been ordered by Sharee’ah for women and men alike, then how can people let women to out to market places and shopping centers without where there is open intermingling of the sexes, without a veil. (by Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen in the book “Hijaab” page # 11)

Abu Dawood Book 33, Hadith # 4154, Agreed upon by Nasai: Aa’ishah (Radhiallaahu Ánha) narrates that on one occasion a female Muslim wanted to give a letter to the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam), the letter was delivered to the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) from behind a curtain.

Note: Quoted in the famous book Mishkaat. Here the Mufasereen of hadeeth have explained that the hadeeth where women came up to Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) face to face were before the ayah “And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts.” (Surah Al­Ahzâb ayah # 53) And this hadith proves this order is for the whole Ummah not just for the wives of Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam)!

Abu Dawood Book 2, Hadith # 0641
Narrated Aa’ishah, Ummul Mu’minin (Radhiallaahu Ánha) “Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said “Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a veil.”

Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 9, Book 89, Hadith # 293
Narrated ‘Aa’ishah (Radhiallaahu Ánha) Utba bin Abi Waqqas said to his brother Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas, “The son of the slave girl of Zam’a is from me, so take him into your custody.” So in the year of Conquest of Mecca, Sa’d took him and said. (This is) my brother’s son whom my brother has asked me to take into my custody.” ‘Abd bin Zam’a got up before him and said, (He is) my brother and the son of the slave girl of my father, and was born on my father’s bed.” So they both submitted their case before Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam). Sa’d said, “O Allaah’s Apostle! This boy is the son of my brother and he entrusted him to me.” ‘Abd bin Zam’a said, “This boy is my brother and the son of the slave girl of my father, and was born on the bed of my father.” Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, “The boy is for you, O ‘Abd bin Zam’a!” Then Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) further said, “The child is for the owner of the bed, and the stone is for the adulterer,” Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) then said to Sauda bint Zam’a, “Veil (screen) yourself before him,” when he saw the child’s resemblance to ‘Utba. The boy did not see her again till he met Allaah.

Note: This hadith proves Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) did in fact order the veil to be observed.

Abu Dawood Book 32, hadith # 4100
Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu’minin (Radhiallaahu Ánha): I was with Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) while Maymunah was with him. Then Ibn Umm Maktum came. This happened when we were ordered to observe veil. Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said: Observe veil from him. We asked: oh Rasulullaah! is he not blind? He can neither see us nor recognize us. Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said: Are both of you blind? Do you not see him? [Top]

From the Sahaba (Radhiallaahu Ánhuma)

Ibn Ábbaas (Radhiallaahu Ánhu), who was one of the most knowledgeable companions of Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam), Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) even made duwaa for him saying “O Allaah, make him acquire a deep understanding of the religion of Islaam and instruct him in the meaning and interpretation of things.”

Ibn Jarir (Rahimahullah) with an authentic chain of narrators has quoted Ibn Abbaas’ (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) opinion was “that the Muslim women are ordered to cover their head and faces with outer garments except for one eye.” (This is quoted in the Ma’riful Qur’an in the tafseer of Surah Ahzaab ayah # 33, with reference of Ibn Jarir with a sahih chain of narrators). The Tabiee Ali Bin Abu Talha explained that this was the last opinion of Ibn Abbaas and the other opinions quoted from him were from before Surah Al-Ahzaab, Verse #59 and the order of the “Jalabib”. Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen commented on this saying of Ibn Abbaas (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) by saying “This statement is “Marfoo” and in Sharee’ah that is the same category as a hadeeth which is narrated directly from Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam). The quote of Ibn Abbaas is quoted by many tabi’een like Ali Ibn Abu Talha and Ibn Jarir in Ma’riful Qur’ân by Mufti Muhammad Shafi vol.7 pg.217 and also in Tafseer Ibn Jarir, Vol. 22, pg.29 and also by Imaam Qurtubi all with SAHIH Chains and explained in the book “Hijaab” by Ibn Uthaymeen, Page # 9 and authenticated in the book “Hijaab wa Safur”by Shaikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullaah) on page #11 and by Shaikh Abdul Aziz bin Baaz (Rahimahullaah) on page # 55 and 60 )

Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) Who was known as the most knowledgeable Sahaabi in matters of Sharee’ah. He became Muslim when he was a young kid and ever since that he stayed with Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) and gained the understanding of Qur’ân from him. Umar Ibn Khattab (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) said about him “By Allaah, I don’t know of any person who is more qualified in the matters dealing with the Qur’ân than Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud” Explained, the word Jilbaab (as mentioned in the Qur’ân Surah Ahzaab ayah # 59 ) means a cloak which covering the entire body including the head, face and hands. (Quoted from Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullaah) in his book on fatwaas Page# 110 Vol # 2 and By Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen in the book Hijaab Page # 15)

Ayeshah (Radhiallaahu Ánha) Stated that in verse 30 and 31 of Surah An Noor “What has been allowed to be shown is the hands, bangles and rings but the face must be covered. (Quoted in the book Purdah P# 195 and in his Tafseer of Qur’ân under the tafseer of Surah An Noor)

Abu Ubaidah Salmani (Radhiallaahu Ánhu), an other well known Sahabi is quoted saying “Jilbaab should fully cover the women’s body, so that nothing appears but one eye with which she can see.” (Tafseer Al-Qurtubi) And In the time of Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) “The women used to don their cloaks (Jilbaabs) over their heads in such a manner that only the eyes were revealed in order to see the road.” (The Book “Hijaab” page # 9)

Ubaida bin Abu Sufyan bin al-Harith (‘Radhiallaahu Ánhu’ An’ Other well known and knowledgeable Companion of Rasulullaah) Imaam Muhammad bin Sirin (Rahimahullah) One of the most knowledgeable tabi’een) said “When I asked Ubaida bin Sufyan bin al-Harith (‘Radhiallaahu An’hu) how the jalbaab was to be worn, he demonstrated it to me by pulling a sheet of cloth over his head to cover his entire body, leaving the left eye uncovered. This was also the explanation of the word ‘Alaihinna in this verse” (Commentary by Ibn Jarir and Ahkam-ul-Quran, Vol.3, p.457 also in “hijaab wa Safur” quoted by Shaikh Abdul Aziz Bin Baaz under the chapter of his fatwaa on hijab on page #54) [Top]

From the Tabi ‘een (2nd Generation)

Hassan Al-Basri (Rahimahullah)

States in his tafseer of the Surah An-Nur, “What a woman is allowed to show in this Ayah implies to those outer garments (not the face or hands) which the woman puts on to cover her internal decoration (her beauty). (Quoted in the book “Purdah” P#194 )

Ibn Jarir (Rahimahullah) Quotes the opinion of Ibn Ábbaas (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) “Allaah has enjoined upon all Muslim Women that when they go out of their homes under necessity, they should cover their faces by drawing a part of their outer garments over their heads.” (Tafseer Ibn Jarir, VOL 22, pg.29)

The Tabi’ee, Qatadah (Rahimahullah) Stated that the Jilbab should be wrapped and fixed from above the forehead and made to cover the nose, (although the eyes are to show) and the chest and most of the face are to be covered.

The Tabi’ee Ali bin Abu Talha (Rahimahullah) Quotes from Ibn Abbaas (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) that he used to say it was allowed to show the hands and face when Surah Noor ayah #31 was revealed but after Surah Al-Ahzaab, Verse #59 with the word “Jalabib” was revealed then after this Ibn Abbaas (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) said that That the Muslim women are ordered to cover their head and faces with outer garments except for one eye.” And this was also the opinion of Ibn Mas’ud (Radhiallaahu Ánhu). (This is quoted by Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullaah) in his book of fatwaa and by Shaikh Abdul Aziz Bin Baaz (Rahimahullaah) in the book “Hijaab wa Safur” Page # 60)

Imam Muhammad bin Sirin (Rahimahullah) One of the most knowledgeable tabi’een) “When I asked Ubaida bin Sufyan bin al-Harith (‘Radhiallaahu Ánhu’ Other well known and knowledgeable Companion of Rasulullaah) the meaning of this verse about “Alaihinna” and how the jalbaab was to be worn, he demonstrated it to me by pulling a sheet of cloth over his head to cover his entire body, leaving the left eye uncovered. This was also the explanation of the word ‘Alaihinna in this verse”(Commentary by Ibn Jarir and Ahkam-ul-Quran, Vol # 3, p.457 also in “hijaab wa Sufor” quoted by Shaikh AbdulAziz Bin Bazz under the chapter of his fatwaa on hijab on page #54) [Top]

From the Mufasireen of Quraan

The Mufassir, Imaam Al-Qurtubi (Rahimahullah),
Cites in his Tafseer of the Ayah on Jilbaab (Al-Ahzab 33:59), that the Jilbaab is: “a cloth which covers the entire body… Ibn ‘Abbaas (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) and ‘Ubaidah As-Salmaani (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) said that it is to be fully wrapped around the women’s body, so that nothing appears but one eye with which she can see.” (Tafseer Al-Qurtubi Surah Al-Ahzab ayah # 59. This was also agreed upon by Imaam Wahidi, Imaam Neishapuri in the book of tafseer of Qur’ân “Gharaib-ul-Quran” and “Ahkam-ul-Quran”, Imaam Razi, in his tafseer of Surah Azhab in the book “Tafsir-i-Kabir” Imaam Baidavi in his tafseer of Qur’ân “Tafsir-i-Baidavi” and by Abu Hayyan in “Al-Bahr-ul-Muhit” and by Ibn Sa’d Muhammad bin Ka’b Kuradhi and they have all described the use of jalbaab more or less in the SAME way as the two described by Ibn Abbas (Radhiallaahu Ánhu).)

Also from Imaam Qurtubi (Rahimahullah)
in his Al-Jamia li Ahkaamul Qur’ân states: “All women are in effect covered by the terms of the verse which embraces the Sharée principle that the whole of a woman is ‘Áwrah’ (to be concealed) – her face, body and voice, as mentioned previously. It is not permissible to expose those parts except in the case of need, such as the giving of evidence…” (“Al-Jamia li Ahkaamul Qur’ân”)

At-Tabari and Ibn Al-Mundhir
described the method of wearing the Jilbaab according to Ibn Abbaas (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) and Qataadah (Radhiallaahu Ánhu). The sheet should be wrapped around from the top, covering the forehead, then bringing one side of the sheet to cover the face below the eyes so that most of the face and the upper body is covered. This will leave both eyes uncovered (which is allowed in necessity) (Rul-ul-Ma’ani, Vol 22, p.89)

Ibn Kathir (Rahimahullah) said…
“Women must not display any part of their beauty and charms to strangers except what cannot possibly be concealed.” (Quoted by Mufti Ibrahim Desi in his article on hijaab)

From the 4 Madhahib

Mufti Anwar Ali Adam Al Mazahiri (Mufti A’azam (Head Mufti) of Madrasa Madinatil Uloom Trinidad & Tobago.)
Imaam Shaafi, Maalik and Hanbal hold the view that niqaab (covering the face and the hands completely with only a small area for the eyes to see) as being compulsory (fard). Imaam Abu Hanifa says that niqaab is Wajib and the face and hands can be exposed provided that there is not fear of desire if one looks at the female face, otherwise if there is the slightest chance of desire developing in the looker (the meaning of desire is that the looker would see the female face and think that she is beautiful, sexual thought is not what is meant) then exposing the face and hands is Haraam. (This is from the fatwaa issued by Mufti Anwar Ali Adam Al Mazahiri on 13/9/99. He derived the opinions of the 4 Imaams from these sources Tafseer Ibn Katheer, Tafseer Ma’rifatul Qur’aan, Durre Muhtaar, Fatawa Shami, Al Mabsoot, Fathul Qadeer. And the opinion of Imaam Abu hanifah is a directly derived from his statements in the Famous book of hanafi Fiqh Fatwaa Shami)

Shaikh Abdul Aziz Bin Baaz (Rahimahullah) said “It is compulsory for a woman to cover her face in front of non mahram men” (This has been quoted in Shaikh Bin Baaz’s pamphlet on Hijab and in the book ‘Islamic Fatwas regarding Women’ and in the Arabic version of the book “hijaab Wa Safur” page #51)

Shaikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullah)
Relates that the correct opinion for the Hanbali and Malki madhaib is that is is wajib to cover everything except one or two eyes to see the way. (from the Arabic book “Hijaab wa Safur” under the fatwaa of Ibn Taymiyyah on hijaab, page # 10)

Shaikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
Quotes All of the woman is awrah based on the hadeeth of “Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said “All of a woman is ‘awrah.” (Narrated by Tirmidhi with a sahih isnaad). This is the correct view according to the madhhab of the Hanbalis, one of the two views of the Maalikis and one of the two views of the Shaafa’is. (Quoted in his book of fatwaa and on his web site)

Jamiatul Ulama Junbi Africa sated that the proper opinion for the Hanafi madhab is that “A woman must be properly and thoroughly covered in a loose outer cloak which totally conceals her entire body including her face!”
(This from the book Islamic Hijab by Jamiatul Ulama P.12)

Mufti-e-Azam Rasheed Ahmad Ludhyanvi (This opinion is taken to be the correct opinion of the hanafi madhab today)
Explained in his tafseer of Surah Al-Ahzaab, Verse #59. “Allaah Ta’ala is telling them that whenever out of necessity they have to go out, they should cover themselves with a large cloak and draw a corner of it over their faces so that they may not be recognised. (From his article “A Detailed, analytical review on the Shar’ee hijab”) [Top]

From the Known and Respected Authentic Ulama

Ibn Al-Hazam (Rahimahullah)
“In arabic language, the language of the Prophet (saw), the word jilbaab (as mentioned in the Qur’ân Surah Ahzaab ayah # 59) means the outer sheet which covers the entire body. A sheet smaller than that which would cover the entire body, cannot be categorized as jilbaab.(Al-Muhallah, Vol 3. Pg 217)

Ibn Al-Mandhur (Rahimahullah)
“Jalabib is plural for Jilbaab. Jalbaab is actually the outer sheet/coverlet which a woman wraps around, on top of her garments to cover herself from head to toe. This covers the body entirely.” (Lisan ul-Arab, VOL 1. Pg.273)

Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalanee (Rahimahullah)
A tradition reported on the authority of Aa’ishah (Radhiallaahu Ánha) says: “A woman in a state of Ihram (during Hajj and Umrah) should stretch her head cloth over to her face to hide it.” (In Fathul Bari, chapter on Hajj)

Shaikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullah) relates:
“Women used to room about without Cloaks (Jilbaabs) and men used to see their faces and hands, but when the verse stating ‘O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks over themselves.’ (Surah Al-Ahzaab,Verse #59) was reveled, then this was prohibited and women were ordered to wear the Jilbaab. Then Ibn Tayimiyyah goes on to say “The word Jilbaab means a sheet which Ibn Mas’ud (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) explained as a cloak covering the entire body including the head, face and hands. Therefore, it is not permissible for the women to reveal the face and hands in public. (Ibn Taymiyyah’s book on fatwaas Page# 110 Vol # 2 also in the book Hijaab Page # 15)

Shaikh Abdul Aziz Bin Baaz (Rahimahullah)
According to the understanding of the best generations (the “Salaf”) after the ayah of hijaab was revealed than Muslims women must cover everything including the face and hands. they can show one eye or two eyes to see the way. this was the opinion held by many of the Sahaabah like Ibn Abbaas, Ibn Masud, Aa’ishah (Radhiallaahu Ánhuma) and others and this opinion was upheld by the Tab’ieen who followed than as Ali bin Abi Talha and Muhammad bin Sirin (Rahimahullaah) and by the righteous ulama who followed them as Ibn Taymiyyah and Imaam Ahmed bin Hanbal (Rahimahullaah)” (Quoted from the book “hijaab wa Sufor”)

Shaikh Abubakar Jassas (Rahimahullah)
states “This verse of Surah Ahzab shows that the young women when going out of their homes are ordered to cover their faces from strangers (non-mahram men), and cover herself up in such a manner that may express modesty and chastity, so that people with evil intentions might not cherish hopes from her”. (Ahkum Al-Quran, VOL. III, p.48)

Qazi Al-Baidavi (Rahimahullah)
“to let down over them a part of their outer garments” means that they should draw a part of their outer garment in front of their face and cover themselves” (Tafsir-I-Baidavi, Vol 4, p.168)

Jamia Binoria Pakistan (This is a Question and Answer from a Mufti at one of the hanafi Universities of Pakistan)
Question: Under which conditions are women allowed to leave the home?
Ans: The principle command for women is that they should remain in their home and should not go out without any extreme need because mischief is feared in their going out. However if they have to go out in extreme necessity then they should go with a Mahram and duly covered in Burqa’ (a “Burqa” covers the whole body including the hands and face) or large overlay so that their body including their cloths should not be visible and after buying the required article they should come back at once. In this condition there is no Haraam.

It is also stated in the Famous books of Fiqh Durrul Mukhtar…
“Young women are prohibited from revealing their faces in the presence of men.”

Shaikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
“The most correct opinion, which is supported by evidence, is that it is obligatory to cover the face, therefore young women are forbidden to uncover their faces in front of non-mahram men in order to avoid any mischief”
An other fatwaa when he was asked about is it preferred for sisters to wear the niqab, he said….
“The fact is that it is obligatory for women to cover their faces” as to how to wear the niqaab the Shaikh said “A woman may uncover her left eye in order to see where she is going, and if necessary she may uncover both eyes. The opening should only be wide enough for the eyes.”
Yet in an other Fatwaa he explained what was the Awrah of a woman with…”Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said “All of a woman is ‘awrah.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi with a saheeh isnaad). [Top]

Shaikh ibn Uthaymeen

Question: What is the Islamic hijab?
Response: The Islamic hijab is for the women to cover everything that is forbidden for her to expose. That is, she covers everything that she must cover. The first of those bodily parts that she must cover is her face. It is the source of temptation and the source of people desiring her. Therefore, the woman must cover her face in front of those men that are not mahram. As for those of who claim that the Islamic hijab is to cover the head, shoulders, back, feet, shin and forearms while allowing her to uncover her face and hands, This is a very amazing claim. This is because it is well known that the source of temptation and looking is the face. How can one say that the Sharee’ah does not allow the exposure of the foot of the woman while it allows her to uncover her face? It is not possible that there could be in the Esteemed, Wise and Noble Shariah a contradiction.
(‘Islamic Fatwas regarding Women’ Page # 289)

Shaikh Ibn Jibreen
Question: I am married to a woman who wears hijab, praise to Allaah, However, as is the custom in my country, she does not wear hijab in front of her sister’s husband and her sister does not wear hijab in my presence. This is the custom. Furthermore, my wife does not wear hijab in the presence of my brother or her cousins. Does this go against the Sharee’ah and religion? What can I do while it has become the custom in my country not to wear hijab in the presence of those people that I mentioned. If I tell my wife to wear hijab in front of those people, she will accuse me of not trusting her and being suspicious about her and so forth.
Response: All of those groups of men that you mentioned in the question are not mahram for her. It is not allowed for her to uncover her face and beauty in front of them. Allaah has only allowed her to uncover in front of the mahram men mentioned in the verse in surah al-Noor, “[Tell the believing women] not to reveal their adornments except to their husbands, their fathers ……” (al-Noor 31).
First, you should convince your wife that it is forbidden to uncover her face in front of non-mahram men. Make her abide by that even if it goes against the customs of your people and even if she makes accusations against you. You should also make this point clear to your close relatives that you mentioned, that is, the brethren of the husband, the husband of the sister, the cousins and so forth. All of them are non-mahram and they all may marry her if she gets divorced. (“Islamic Fatwas regarding Women”)

“A person who considers carefully the wordings of the Qur’anic verses, their well-known and generally accepted meaning and the practice during the time of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) cannot dare deny the fact that the islamic Sharee’ah enjoins on the woman to hide her face from the other people and this has been the practice of the Muslim women ever since the time of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) himself” (In the book “Purda” P# 199 ) [Top]

Arabic words explained by Sahaba and Ulama….

Shaikh Ibn Al Hazm (Rahimahullah) writes: “In the Arabic language of the Prophet, Jalbab is the outer sheet which covers the entire body. A piece of cloth which is too small to cover the entire body could not be called Jalbab.” (Al Muhalla, vol. 3, p.217.)

The Tabi’ee, Qatadah (Rahimahullah), stated that the Jilbab should be wrapped and fixed from above the forehead and made to cover the nose, (although the eyes are to show) and the chest and most of the face are to be covered.

Jalabib, which is used in the verse is the plural of Jalbab. “Jalbab, is actually the outer sheet or coverlet which a woman wraps around on top of her garments to cover herself from head to toe. It hides her body completely.” Lisan ul Arab vol 1 p. 273. (The best explanation is that it is what we would today call a burqa or an abaya.)

Ibn Masood (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) explained Jilbab to be a cloak covering the entire body including the face and hands. (fatwaa Ibn Taymiyyah Page #110 Vol. #2) [Top]

What does ‘Hijab’ really mean?

The root word of hijab is hajaba and that means: (hajb) to veil, cover, screen, shelter, seclude (from), to hide, obscure (from sight), to make imperceptible, invisible, to conceal, to make or form a separation (a woman), to disguise, masked, to conceal, hide, to flee from sight, veil, to veil, conceal, to cover up, become hidden, to be obscured, to vanish, to become invisible, disappear from sight, to veil, to conceal, to withdraw, to elude perception.

Hajb: seclusion, screening off, keeping away, keeping off,

Hijab plural: hujub: cover, wrap, drape, a curtain, a woman’s veil, screen, partition, folding screen, barrier,

Ihtijab: Concealment, hiddenness, seclusion, veildness, veiling, purdah.

Hijab: Concealing, screening, protecting,

Mahjub: concealed hidden, veiled!

These definitions of the hijab were taken from the: Arabic-English Dictionary, The Hans Wehr dictionary of modern written arabic, edited by JM Cowan.

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3 Responses to “Truth Regarding the Niqaab”

  1. Ateeqah bint- Francisco Says:

    May Allah reward you for this benifical article.May it reach as many Muslims as possible. Allahummah Ameen

  2. abu abdullahi Says:

    Alhamdullilahi for this indepth exposee on the Hijab. I pray for us to have the fear of Allah and practice the deen in full.May Allah reward your efforts.The general belief is that the face and hands may be exposed: and niqab is not compulsory.It would be a great task changing this error.Considering that many muslim women do not even wear the ‘error hijab’

  3. Umm Uthaymeen Says:

    This is like what the world needs to see, because these muslims nowadays are confused with cultural traditions and feel that it isnt obligatory…

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