Q: Is niqaab (covering the face) fardh (compulsory) for ladies, and why?
A. In cases of necessity a female may expose her hands and face. However, it is ultimately better that she covers her face, too, for the ‘Ulema have ruled that in times of corruption a woman should not even expose her face. The features of the face inevitably attract the looks and attentions of men.
Mufti Siraj Desai