Status of wearing niqaab in Islam


English: Silk burqa, 2oth century

English: Silk burqa, 2oth century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

Q: What is the status of wearing niqaab in Islam? If a man knows that he will save himself from falling into sin, does he still have to observe purdah from women?

 

 

 

 

A: Wearing the niqaab is compulsory in Islam. The purpose of the niqaab is in order to protect one’s self from the evil gazes of strange men. Allah Ta’aala says in the Qur’aan:

 

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا (سورة الأحزاب 59)

 

“O Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), command your wives, daughters and the believing women to don the niqaab(veil)”.

 

In another verse, Allah Ta’aala while commanding the wives of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to adopt purdah and don the veil says:

 

 ذَلِكُمْ أَطْهَرُ لِقُلُوبِكُمْ وَقُلُوبِهِنَّ (سورة الأحزاب 53)

 

“That (observing purdah) is better for the purity of your hearts and their hearts (i.e. the hearts of men)”.

 

Hadhrat Ummi Salmah (Radiallahu Anhaa) reported, “Once Maymoonah (Radiallahu Anhaa) and I were seated with Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), it was just then that Hadhrat Abdullah bin Ummi Maktoom (the blind Sahaabi) entered the presence of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) immediately commanded Maymoonah (Radiallahu Anhaa) and I to observe purdah from this Sahaabi. I said, “O Nabi of Allah Isn’t he blind and unable to see us (i.e. what is the need for us to make purdah from him)?” Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) retorted, “Are you two also blind?” (i.e. you are able to see him hence you need to observe purdah from him).

 

Hadhrat Ummi Salmah and Hadhrat Maymoonah (Radiallahu Anhuma) both are the wives of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and the mothers of the ummah. Despite them being the purest of women, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) instructs them to observe purdah in the golden era of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) even from a blind Sahaabi. How then can the women of this age and time, (i.e. times of fitnah) be exempt from this law?

 

Hadhrat Aisha (Radiallahu Anha) reports that during the farewell Hajj with Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), whenever men used to pass by us [the wives of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)] we used to conceal our faces with a cloth (in such a manner that the cloth would be suspended before our faces and not touch our faces) in order not be seen by the men. When the men used to pass then we used to lift the cloth.

 

Despite the men of the Sahaabah being so pure compared to the men of these times, yet the women of the Sahaabah were commanded to observe purdah from them. Which man can say that he is purer than a Sahaabi and hence he does not need to follow this injunction of deen.
We should understand that true success and happiness lies in total submission and obedience to Allah and His Rasul (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

 

And Allah Ta’ala knows best.

 

 

قُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ ﴿٣٠﴾ وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُولِي الْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَى عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاءِ وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِن زِينَتِهِنَّ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّـهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ﴿٣١﴾ (سورة النور)

 

وعن النواس بن سمعان قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ” لا طاعة لمخلوق في معصية الخالق ” . رواه في شرح السنة (مشكوٰة المصابيح ص321)

 

عن عائشة قالت كان الركبان يمرون بنا ونحن مع رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- محرمات فإذا حاذوا بنا سدلت إحدانا جلبابها من رأسها إلى وجهها فإذا جاوزونا كشفناه.(رواه أبو داود 1/254)

 

عن أم سلمة قالت كنت عند رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وعنده ميمونة فأقبل ابن أم مكتوم وذلك بعد أن أمرنا بالحجاب فقال النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم احتجبا منه. فقلنا يا رسول الله أليس أعمى لا يبصرنا ولا يعرفنا فقال النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم أفعمياوان أنتما ألستما تبصرانه (رواه أبو داود 2/568)

 

(بذل المجهود باب في المحرمة تغطي وجهها 3/121)

 

Answered by:

 

Mufti Zakaria Makada

 

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