Home | Writers | Fatwas | Media | Donate | Explore | About Us | Contact | Our Sheikh
Confused About Women Covering Their Faces (Using The Veil): Hijab Even If To Be Harmed Because Of That

Islamic Rulings - Living Shariah Verdicts

Islamic Questions & Answers

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.


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.


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.


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.

Should she wear hijab even though her family will be harmed because of that?

What is the ruling on a woman who wears hijab in an Arab country which forbids hijab by force and by harming the woman's religious commitment and social interests? Should she remain steadfast even though some of her family members may be harmed indirectly? Please advise me.

Praise be to Allaah.

It is a serious crime and a reprehensible action to prevent a Muslim woman from wearing hijab as enjoined by Allaah and forcing her by law to uncover her head and face and go out unveiled among people.

The Muslim has to adhere to the rulings of sharee'ah and "there is no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience towards the Creator." The Muslim woman's hijab is one of the duties that she is obliged to fulfil. The harm that a woman imagines will befall her or her family may be baseless, or it may not be extreme, and it may be something that can be put up with. So she has to continue to adhere to correct Islamic dress.

If the harm is extreme and certain, or it is most likely that it will happen, then the woman can take off her hijab in order to protect her honour and religious commitment, but she has to remain as covered and as modest as she possibly can. In this case it is not permissible for her to go out of the house except when absolutely necessary, and there is no concession allowing her to go out to study or to buy things that someone else can bring to her. What we mean is that she should only go out for essential needs that cannot easily be dealt with at home, or for some shar'i action that she cannot forsake, and so on.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:

In some countries Muslim women may be forced to take off their hijab and leave their heads uncovered. Is it permissible for them to do that, knowing that whoever refuses to do that is faced with consequences such as losing their jobs or being expelled from school?

The Shaykh replied:

This calamity which is happening in some countries is one of the things by means of which a person may be tested. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):


[These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur'aan, and none but Allaah (Alone) knows their meanings.]

2. Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: "We believe," and will not be tested.

3. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allaah knows all that before putting them to test)"

[al-‘Ankaboot 29:1-3]

What I think is that Muslim women in these countries should refuse to obey people in charge (the rulers) in this evil action, because obeying those in authority in doing something that is wrong is not allowed. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority"

[al-Nisa' 4:59]

If you think about the meaning of this verse, you will note that Allaah says "Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority" – but the verb (obey) is not repeated in the third case with regard to those who are in authority. This indicates that obedience to those in authority is secondary to obedience to Allaah and obedience to His Messenger. If their command is contrary to obeying Allaah and His Messenger, then they should not be listened to or obeyed in that which goes against obedience to Allaah and His Messenger. "There is no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience to the Creator."

The persecution that a woman may face in this regard is something that has to be borne with patience, and she should seek the help of Allaah in being patient. We ask Allaah to guide those in authority to the truth. I do not think that this forcing her not to wear hijab can take place unless the woman leaves her home, but if she stays at home no one can force her, so she can stay in her house so that she will be safe from this thing. With regard to studies that will lead to her committing sin, this is not permissible, rather she should study whatever she needs for her religious and worldly interests. This is sufficient, and this can usually be done at home.

As'ilat al-Usrah al-Muslimah, p. 22, 23

And Allaah knows best


©  EsinIslam.Com

Add Comments

Home | Writers | Fatwas | Media | Donate | Explore | About Us | Contact | Our Sheikh

Comments & Debates :-: التعليقات والمحاورات

:-: Go Home :-: Go Top :-:

:-: Go Home :-: Go Top :-: