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Why should women cover their faces with a Niqaab?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

what is the ruling over niqab being wajib and why?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

As-salaamu `alaykum wa-ramatullahi wa-barakatuh.

It is compulsory for women to cover their faces in front of ghair mahram males. This is understood from the following 

Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur`an;

{ يَاأَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُلْ لِأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَنْ يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا} [الأحزاب: 59]

Translation: “Messenger! Tell your wives, your daughters and the wives of the believers that they should draw their “Jilbaab” over themselves. This is best for their recognition Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful”.(Sura Ahzaab, Verse 59)

In the above referred verse the commentators of the Qur`an explain;

يغطين رءوسهن ووجوههن إلا عينًا واحدة،

التفسير البسيط (18/ 292)

Translation: “They should cover their heads and faces except one eye”.

(At-tafseer al-baseet. Vol 18, Pg 292).

يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ} [الأحزاب: 59] «أَمَرَ اللَّهُ نِسَاءَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذَا خَرَجْنَ مِنْ بُيُوتِهِنَّ فِي حَاجَةٍ أَنْ يُغَطِّينَ وُجُوهَهُنَّ مِنْ فَوْقِ رُءُوسِهِنَّ بِالْجَلَابِيبِ،

تفسير الطبري = جامع البيان ط هجر (19/ 181)

Translation: “Allah has commanded the wives of the believers to cover their faces from the top of their heads with a cloak (Jilbaab) when they leave their homes due to some need”.

(Tafseer Tabari. Vol 19, Pg 181)

And Allah Ta`ala Knows Best.

Hussein Muhammad.

Student Darul Iftaa

Arusha, Tanzania

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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