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Conditions of women’s niqaab

Question: 1496

Is the niqab a pre-islamic custom if not
what is the evidence (qur’an or hadith) to support the wearing of niqab, and is it
preferred for sisters to wear the niqab?
jazakumallaahu khairan.

Praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah and his family.

We have already spoken about the fact that it is obligatory for
women to cover their faces in Question #2198,
so please refer to that question.

With regard to the niqaab, this is a cover or veil
with a hole in it for the eyes. It is a way of dressing that was known to Muslim
women at the beginning of Islam, and it is mentioned in the hadeeth of the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in
which he mentions what women in ihraam (for Hajj or Umrah) are not allowed
to do. He said: The woman in ihraam should not cover her face with a veil
or wear gloves. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 1707).
Some of the scholars mentioned that a woman may uncover her left eye in order
to see where she is going, and if necessary she may uncover both eyes. The opening
should only be wide enough for the eyes, and the woman should beware of wearing
a niqaab with wide openings lest the beauty of her eyes becomes apparent and
the niqaab becomes a means of temptation instead of a veil covering her beauty
and adornment.


Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

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