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Is It Permissible For A Woman To Uncover Her Eyes Unnecessarily?

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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.

Firstly:

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 can cover:

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 in ihram.

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 cheeks.

Imam al-Ramli ash-Shaafa‘i (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

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, 6/188

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

Secondly:

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 of necessity.

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.

Firstly:

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.

Secondly:

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 relief.

And Allah knows best.

 

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