Is It Permissible For A Woman To
Uncover Her Eyes Unnecessarily?
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
My question has to do with niqab. I read on your
website and many Islamic websites that the niqab is
fard (obligatory) and women must wear niqab, but they
can leave their eyes uncovered so that they can see
where they are going.
What concerns me is: is it obligatory for us to cover
our eyes if I am not walking and there is no need to
see where I am going?.
Praise be to Allaah.
What the woman must do is cover her face because of a
great deal of shar‘i evidence which indicates that it
is obligatory for the woman to cover her face in front
of non-mahram men. And she has two ways in which she
Either she may lower down on her face something that
will cover it completely and not let anything of it
show, and she can see through that cover
or she may wear the niqab (face veil) which is that
which covers the face but leaves the eyes uncovered.
In Saheeh al-Bukhaari (1838) it says: "The woman in
ihram should not wear niqab or gloves." The fact that
the woman in ihram is forbidden to wear niqab
indicates that it is permissible to wear it when not
Hence the fuqaha' and scholars said that it is
permissible for a woman to wear niqab, but that is on
condition that she does not go to extremes in
uncovering the eye socket or show too much of the
Imam al-Ramli ash-Shaafa‘i (may Allah have mercy on
It is haraam to look at a woman in niqab of whom
nothing can be seen except her eyes, especially if she
is beautiful. How much fitnah may be caused by looking
at a woman's eyes. End quote from Nihaayat al-Muhtaaj,
It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa'imah: With regard
to the niqaab: Abu ‘Ubayd said, describing the niqab
according to the Arabs: it is that from which the eye
appears. It was known by other names, including "burqa‘".
As for the ruling on it, it is permissible.
The source for that is the hadeeth narrated from Ibn
‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), according to
which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) said: "The woman in ihram should not wear
niqab or gloves." Narrated by al-Bukhaari. The fact
that he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)
forbade the woman in ihram to wear niqab indicates
that it is permissible when not in ihram. End quote
from Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa'imah (vol. 1, 17/171).
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baz, Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Razaaq
‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abdullah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh
‘Abdullah ibn Qa‘ood.
This has been stated previously in the following
answers: 1496, 8540, 21134 and 100719
Once the above becomes clear, we will realise that
there is nothing wrong with a woman wearing a niqaab
from which only her eyes appear through a narrow
opening which does not uncover anything more than what
is needed in order to see. The ruling that this is
permissible is not dependent upon there being any
need; rather it is generally applicable and it is
permissible for her to wear the niqab whether the
woman needs to see where she is going or not, and
whether she is sitting in a car or walking down the
street. The evidence quoted above which indicates that
it is permissible to wear the niqab was narrated in a
hadeeth of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah
be upon him), and the tafseer of Ibn ‘Abbaas is
general in application and is not restricted to cases
And Allah knows best.
If her parents force her to go to
a school where she has to take off her niqab, should
she take it off in the street too?
I am a 17 year old who want to wear niqab. It is
3 years on school and I am only in my first year.
Should I take of my niqab only at school? Notice that
it would be a big problem too me from my family if I
told them I want to quit at school. Is it better to
use it outside school and not at school, or should I
wait 2 years untill I finish school so that I can use
it all the time?.
Praise be to Allaah.
It is obligatory for a girl who has reached puberty to
cover her entire body in front of non-mahram men,
because of evidence that has been discussed previously
-- see questions no. 11774 and 21134.
There is no differentiation in this regard between the
street, the school or any other place. Wherever there
are non-mahram men, the woman is obliged to cover all
of her body, including the face.
You have to try hard to convince your parents to let
you study in a school that is not mixed, or a school
in which you will be able to cover your face, or to
study by distance learning, so that you can avoid
falling into sin.
If your family do not let you do that, and they insist
on your staying in this school, and you cannot move to
another school, then you have to wear the niqab
outside school, because that is what you can do. The
fact that you are forced to uncover your face in the
school does not make it permissible for you to do so
outside of school, because Allah says (interpretation
of the meaning): "So keep your duty to Allaah and fear
Him as much as you can" [al-Taghaabun 64:16].
We ask Allah, may He be exalted, to increase you in
knowledge and guidance, and to grant you a way out and
And Allah knows best.