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Is Niqab Mandatory for Women To Wear?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Alimah Zakiratul Hoque


Is Niqab mandatory for women to wear? A lot of people have differences of opinion on this, and I would like to know the truthful answer. Doesn’t Allah SWT say something about this in the Quran? And also, didn’t Nabi Kareem (SAW) say something about this as well?

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


In our time, it is obligatory for women to cover their faces (and prohibited for men to look at women’s faces) due to fitna/temptation except in necessary situations such as before a judge (Raddul Mukhtar, Vol 9, Pg 532).

Allah says in the Qur’an:

“[…] And when you ask his wives for something, ask them from behind a barrier. This is purer for your hearts and theirs. And it is not right for you to annoy the Messenger of Allah, nor ever marry his wives after him. This would certainly be a major offence in the sight of Allah.” (Qur’an, 33:53)


“O Prophet! Ask your wives, daughters, and believing women to draw their cloaks over their bodies. In this way, it is more likely that they will be recognized and not be harassed. And Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an, 33:59)

There is a difference of opinion regarding how this is done. However, there is a consensus that the whole body and more than half the face should be covered (Tafseer Qurtubi, Vol 17, Pg 230)

As for Hadeeth:

It is narrated from Dihyah ibn Khalifah al-Kalbi that the Messenger of Allah was brought some pieces of fine Egyptian linen and he gave me one and said: Divide it into two; cut one of the pieces into a shirt and give the other to your wife for veil. Then when he turned away, he said: And order your wife to wear a garment below it and not show her figure. (Sunan Abu Dawood, 4116)

أما في زماننا فمنع من الشابة لا لأنه عورة بل لخوف الفتنة

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تَدْخُلُوا۟ بُيُوتَ ٱلنَّبِىِّ إِلَّآ أَن يُؤْذَنَ لَكُمْ إِلَىٰ طَعَامٍ غَيْرَ نَـٰظِرِينَ إِنَىٰهُ وَلَـٰكِنْ إِذَا دُعِيتُمْ فَٱدْخُلُوا۟ فَإِذَا طَعِمْتُمْ فَٱنتَشِرُوا۟ وَلَا مُسْتَـْٔنِسِينَ لِحَدِيثٍ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكُمْ كَانَ يُؤْذِى ٱلنَّبِىَّ فَيَسْتَحْىِ مِنكُمْ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يَسْتَحْىِ مِنَ ٱلْحَقِّ وَإِذَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُنَّ مَتَـٰعًا فَسْـَٔلُوهُنَّ مِن وَرَآءِ حِجَابٍ ذَٰلِكُمْ أَطْهَرُ لِقُلُوبِكُمْ وَقُلُوبِهِنَّ وَمَا كَانَ لَكُمْ أَن تُؤْذُوا۟ رَسُولَ ٱللَّهِ وَلَآ أَن تَنكِحُوٓا۟ أَزْوَٰجَهُۥ مِن بَعْدِهِ أَبَدًا إِنَّ ذَٰلِكُمْ كَانَ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ عَظِيمًا

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَٰجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَآءِ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَـٰبِيبِهِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰٓ أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا

و اختلف الناس في صورة إرخائه فقال ابن عباس و عبيدة السلماني : ذلك أن تلويه المرأة حتى لا يظهر منها إلا عين واحدة تبصر بها . و قال ابن عباس أيضا و قتادة : ذلك أن تلويه فوق الجبين و تشده ثم تعطفه على الأنف و إن ظهرت عيناها ، لكنه يستر الصدر و معظم الوجه . و قال الحسن تغطي نصف وجهها

عَنْ دِحْيَةَ بْنِ خَلِيفَةَ الْكَلْبِيِّ أَنَّهُ قَالَ أُتِيَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ بِقَبَاطِيَّ فَأَعْطَانِي مِنْهَا قُبْطِيَّةً فَقَالَ اصْدَعْهَا صَدْعَيْنِ فَاقْطَعْ أَحَدَهُمَا قَمِيصًا وَأَعْطِ الآخَرَ امْرَأَتَكَ تَخْتَمِرُ بِهِ ‏.‏ فَلَمَّا أَدْبَرَ قَالَ وَأْمُرِ امْرَأَتَكَ أَنْ تَجْعَلَ تَحْتَهُ ثَوْبًا لاَ يَصِفُهَا ‏

Only Allah knows best.

Written by Alimah Zakiratul Hoque

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.