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His Wife Does Not Think That Niqaab Is Obligatory; Should He Force Her To Wear It?

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I read many fatwas regarding niqab, and that it is obligatory according to the better opinion of the scholars. My wife is convinced that it is preferable, taking other scholars' opinions. She says that she might wear it in the future if Allah wills. My wife is religiously committed Alhamdulillah. My question is: Do I have to force her to wear it now or shall I let her choose and just keep advising her?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Women have to cover their faces in front of non-mahram men according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions, because of evidence that has been explained in the answer to question no. 11774.

Many of the fuqaha' who do not think that the face is ‘awrah are of the view that it must be covered if there is the fear of fitnah, and when there is a great deal of corruption.

The husband is enjoined to protect his family and warn them against haraam things. Hence he should strive to convince his wife to cover her face, and if she refuses he should force her to do so and she is required to obey him, because he is telling her to do something that is permissible in her view, and it has to do with his right to protect his honour and she does not think it is haraam.

In the answer to question no. 97125, we explained how couples should deal with issues concerning which there is a difference of scholarly opinion. Among the things that we said there was: With regard to everything that is permissible for her, he has the right to prevent her from doing it or make her follow his opinion if he thinks it is haraam, and she must accept that if her doing it will cause harm to her husband and expose him to humiliation or disrespect. For example, covering the face is an issue concerning which the scholars differed, but there is no one who says that it is haraam to cover the face. If she thinks that it is acceptable to uncover the face, he has the right to prevent her from showing it before non-mahrams, and he has the right to make her follow his opinion, which is that it is obligatory to cover the face – which is the more correct view – and she does not have the right to go against him. She will be rewarded for doing that if she seeks reward for obeying her Lord by obeying her husband and does that which is more concealing.

Moreover we say: what is preventing the wife from covering her face and protecting herself from the gaze of those who would stare at her? It is well known that the face is the focus of beauty and the source of fitnah, and the first thing that attracts the gaze. If she thinks that it is mustahabb and not obligatory, there is nothing wrong with doing what is mustahabb and brings one closer to one's Lord and pleases the husband, and makes her more like the believing women such as the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the wives of the Sahaabah.

Every believing woman should be keen to cover in this manner, and should hasten to do it, and to praise Allaah for having caused her husband to tell her and encourage her to do it.

We ask Allaah to enable us all to do that which He loves and is pleased with.

And Allaah knows best.

Confused About Women Covering Their Faces (Using The Veil)

First of all I must make clear that I have read your articles related to this topic. Although I have heard other evidences to suggest that the FACE veil is optional, due to the following:
(1)When the ayah was revealed commanding the believing women to cover (24:31) only the wives of the prophet covered themselves with a facial veil. The other Muslim women did not take steps to veil their faces.
(2)When some of the sahabah intended to propose to a women they would go and look at her without her knowledge. And of course if she had worn a facial veil they would not have been able to see her?
This topic is causing me much confusion please clarify the importance of the niqaab, I only want to do the correct thing for the sake of Allah.


Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

We appreciate your keenness to find out the truth and follow it, and we ask Allaah to show us the truth as truth and enable us to follow it, and to show us falsehood as false and enable us to avoid it. The correct view regarding this matter is that it is obligatory for women to cover all of their bodies in front of men. See question no. 21134.

Secondly:

Your saying that "the rest of the Muslim women did not cover their faces" is not correct. Rather the command to observe full hijab applied to the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his daughters and the believing women. The evidence for that is the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful" [al-Ahzaab 33:59]

And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"And tell 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, headcover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)" [al-Noor 24:31]

The command in these two verses is general and applies to all believing women.

Al- Bukhaari narrated that ‘Aa'ishah said: "May Allaah have mercy on the first Muhaajir women. When Allaah revealed the words ‘and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)' they tore their aprons and covered their faces with them." See also question no. 6991.

Abu Dawood (4101) narrated that Umm Salamah said: "When the words ‘to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies' [al-Ahzaab 33:59] were revealed, the women of the Ansaar went out looking as if there were crows on their heads because of the covering." Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

The Muhaajir and Ansaari women obeyed this command and covered their faces.

Thirdly:

With regard to a man looking at the woman to whom he wishes to propose marriage, this is part of the Sunnah. Abu Dawood (1783) narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah said: "The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘When any one of you wants to propose marriage to a woman, if he can look at that which will motivate him to go ahead and marry her, then let him do so.' I proposed marriage to a girl and I used to hide myself until I saw that which motivated me to go ahead and marry her, then I married her." Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, no. 1832. In the report narrated by Ibn Maajah it says that he hid in her garden to see her.

This hadeeth indicates that the women of the Sahaabah used to cover their faces, because if it had been the custom for women to uncover their faces, there would have been no need to hide, because he would have been able to see her in any place if she had been uncovering her face.
But because it was the custom for women to cover their faces, he needed to hide. It is well known that if there are no non-mahram men around, a woman does not cover her face, such as when she is in her house or in her garden, as in this hadeeth.

And Allaah knows best.

 

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