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Islamic Ruling on Taking off Niqab for a Need

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
Is it permissible for a veiled social worker to uncover her face to create a greater influence on the audience and by analogy to the permissibility of uncovering anterior and posterior pudenda before a male doctor for treatment?

Answer:

Praise be to Allah, The Lord of the World`s.

Islam commands women to observe chastity and decency, and this indicated by several texts of Sharia. For example, Allah The Almighty says, "And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms."{An-Nur, 31} and "O Prophet! Tell thy wives, thy daughters, and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful."{Al-Ahzaab, 59}. Clearly, the aim is preserving women.

As for covering the face, some scholars hold the view that it is an obligation while others say that it is desirable. Undoubtedly, this is the dress of the Prophet`s wives and the wives of the believers, and whoever imitates any people will be gathered with them on the Day of Resurrection. Thus, the woman who covers her face chooses to clear herself from liability before Allah and to be on the safe side as far as the teachings of Sharia are concerned.

In conclusion, if the veiled social worker is able to perform her social tasks perfectly, then she should keep her veil particularly in situations where non-Mahram men are present. Nevertheless, if she is sure, based on personal experience, that facial expressions help perform her job more efficiently, then she should deal with the audience on a case-by-case basis as regards keeping the face veil or taking it off. In addition, there is nothing wrong with following the scholars who hold the view that covering the face is desirable; provided that  Fitnah{temptation} is avoided, no eye-catching adornment is worn, and no staying in private with non-Mahram men is involved. And Allah The Almighty knows best.

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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