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Subject : Do I Incur Sin for Taking off my Niqab (Face veil)?

Fatwa Number : 272

Date : 28-05-2009

Classified : Clothes, adornments and pictures

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa


Question :

Upon request of my husband, I have been wearing Niqab for quite sometime. Do I incur sin if I took it off?



The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all of his family and companions.

In the past, it was customary that Muslim women would go out in full Islamic dress. Al-Ghazali (May Allah have mercy on him) said: "It is customary that men uncover their faces while women don`t." {Ehya` ulum al-Deen, V.6:159}. An-Nawawi reported that Al-Juwaini said: "Muslims are agreed that their women don`t go out with their faces uncovered." {Rawdat At-Talibeen, V.5:366}.

Ibn Hajar says: "In the past and the present, women were/are used to cover their faces in the presence of non-mahrams (Marriageable men)." {Fateh Al-Barie, V.9:235}. This is the preponderant opinion of the Iftaa` Dept. because it rests on strong evidence. For example: 

First: Allah says {What means}: "O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And God is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful." {Al-Ahzab, 59}. According to most interpreters, this verse is a command to covering their faces. Kindly check {Tafseer al-Qur`an Al-Atheem, V.6:481-482} by Ibn Hajar.

Second: Allah says {What means}: "that they should draw their veils over their bosoms.." {An-Nur, 31}. Narrated Safiya bint Shaiba: `Aisha 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 heads and faces with those cut pieces of cloth." { Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 4759}.

Third: Narrated `Abdullah bin `Umar: A person stood up and asked, "O Allah's: Apostle! What clothes may be worn in the state of Ihram?" The Prophet )PBU) replied, "Do not wear a shirt or trousers, or any headgear (e.g. a turban), or a hooded cloak; but if somebody has no shoes he can wear leather stockings provided they are cut short off the ankles, and also, do not wear anything perfumed with Wars or saffron, and the Muhrima (a woman in the state of Ihram) should not cover her face, or wear gloves." {Sahih al-Bukhari, no.1838}. In principle, this means that a woman who isn`t in the state of Ihram should cover her face.

Texts of Shafie books indicate that it is an obligation upon the woman to cover her face in the presence of non-mahrams. In Hashyiat Al-Sharwani Ala-Tohfat al-Mohtaj, V.2:112, al-Sharwani says:"Al-Zayyadi said in Shareh Al-Moharrir: The woman`s Awrah during Salah/prayer is all her body except the face and hands while her Awrah in the presence of non-mahrams is all her body including the face and hands, and this is according to the reliable opinion of the Shafie school…." Most texts of the four classical schools of Islamic jurisprudence indicate that it is obligatory for a woman to cover her face in the presence of non-mahram men at times of moral corruption and spread of trials.

In conclusion, we advise the dear sister (Asker) to keep her Niqab and not uncover her face especially since her husband is the one who asked her to cover it, and she is obliged to obey him as long as he isn`t asking anything forbidden. In addition, your husband being jealous over you is a sign of faith,  love, and loyalty. Also, it doesn`t befit a believing woman who is used to covering her face before people to uncover it particularly at a time of the estrangement of Islam where rewards are multiplied for those adhere to the provisions of Islamic Law. And Allah the Almighty knows best.

 




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