Originally Posted by Al-Zaara
Muslims and Muslimahs across the world have been in "hot debate" for centuries, over the issue of whether or not covering the face is obligatory upon a Muslimah. Those who argue that it is not required, point to the use of the word khimar
in the Qur'an, and explain that today's modern khimar
does not cover the face, and argue that khimar
has never referred to the covering of the face, but only to that of the hair, neck, and bosoms. While one cannot deny the support of Hadith that indicate that the Prophet's wives wore khimar
, one must realize that they also covered their faces at all times in the presence of non-mahram men.
The group of scholars agree that it is a highly recommended act to cover the face. The scholars also agree that a woman must cover her adornment, yet some scholars argue that this does not include the face.
The following Fatawa is from Sheikh Ibn Uthaimin:
"The Islamic hijab is for the women to cover everything that is forbidden for her to expose. That is, she covers everything that she must cover.
"The first of those bodily parts that she must cover is her face. It is the source of temptation and the source of people desiring her. Therefore, the woman must cover her face in front of those men that are not Mahram (i.e. father, huband, etc.).
"As for those who claim that Islamic hijab is to cover the head, shoulders, back, feet, shin and forearms while allowing her to uncover her face and hands, this is a very amazing claim. This is because it is well-known that the source of temptation and looking is the face. How can one say that the Shariah does no allow the exposure of the foot of the woman while it allows her to uncover her face?
"It is not possible that there could be in the Esteemed, Wise and Noble Shariah a contradiction. Yet everyone knows that the temptation from uncovering the face is much greater than the temptation that results from the uncovering of the feet. Everyone also knows that the most sought after aspect of the woman for men is the face. If you told a prospective groom that a woman’s face is ugly but her feet are beautiful, he would not propose to such a woman.
"However, if you told him that her face was beautiful but her hands, palms, or shins were less than beautiful, he would still propose to her. From this one can conclude that the face is the first thing that must be covered.
"There are also evidences from the Book of Allah (SWT) and the Sunnah of our Prophet (SAW). There are also statements from the Companions, the leading Imams and the great scholars of Islam that indicate that it is obligatory for the woman to cover all of her body in the presence of non-Mahram men. This obviously indicates that it is obligatory upon the woman to cover her face in front of such men."
There is also plenty of evidence that it is not obligatory.
The Ulamah who are of the opinion that it is permissible to look at the face and hands of a strange woman (who is not mahrrum) (niqab is not obligatory) say so mainly for the following reasons.
The hadeeth of Ayeshah (Radhiallaahu Ánha) when Asmaa (Radhiallaahu Ánha) the daughter of Abu Bakr came to the Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) while wearing thin clothing. He approached her and said: 'O Asmaa! When a girl reaches the menstrual age, it is not proper that anything should remain exposed except this and this. He pointed to the face and hands. But this hadeeth is WEAK because of 2 main weaknesses.
There is no link between Ayeshah (Radhiallaahu Ánha) and Khalid bin Dareek, who narrated the hadith from her. And in every chain of narrators Khalid bin Dareek is mentioned.
In the chain of narrators Sa'eed bin Basheer appears, who is known by most of the Muhaditheen as being a weak narrator.
This has been mentioned by Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Rahimahullah), An-Nasai (Rahimahullah), Ibn Madeeni (Rahimahullah) and Ibn Ma'een (Rahimahullah). This is also why Imaam Bukhari (Rahimahullah) and Muslim (Rahimahullah) did not except this hadeeth to be in their books. (From Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen in the book "Hijaab" pages # 17 and 18.)
We also have to see that the Muhadith Abu Dawood when he quoted this hadeeth put with it that it is Mursal (with a broken chain that does not lead up to the Sahabah).
(From The Book "Hijaab wa Safur" under the fatwaa of Shaikh Abdul Aziz Bin Bazz on Page #61. Also stated as being weak by Shaikh Nasiruddeen Al-Albaani in his Daeef Sunan Abu Dawud in Kitab-ul-Libas under hadeeth number 4092 (which is the original hadeeth number.)
An other thing that shows the weakness of this hadith is that after the ayah for hijab (Surah Al-Ahzaab – Verse #59) was revealed then the women of Sahaba wore a complete veil and covered the faces and hands. This includes Asmaa (Radhiallaahu Ánha) the daughter of Abu Bakr, who is supposed to have narrated this hadeeth. Asmaa (Radhiallaahu Ánha) covered herself completely including the face, this has been narrated in authentic hadeeth in Imaam Malik's "MUWATTA Book 20 Hadeeth # 20.5.16."
So it brings us to what sister Malaikah so hard tried to explain, it is the scholar''s own opinion that he has chosen to take (after lots of studying of course!)
Firstly scholars are inheritors of the prophet since prophet's leave behind nothing but knowledge. So their "own" opinions are not personal opinions but rather onces based on their study and understanding of the Quran and sunnah.
Even then, We don't even need scholarly opinion on this matter since its so simple. Just look at the hadith that are sound, unless someone lacks common sense or deny these ahadith, it is very apparent where Islam stands on this matter.
Narrated 'Aisha (RA) who said, "The riders would pass us while we were with the Messenger of Allah
). When they got close to us, we would draw our outer cloak from our heads over our faces. When they passed by, we would uncover our faces."
Hadith - Bukhari 6:282
used to say: "When (the Verse): 'They should draw their veils over their necks and bosoms,' was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their faces with the cut pieces."
Hadith - Abu Dawud, Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu'minin
When the verse "That they should cast their outer garments over their persons" was revealed, the women of Ansar came out as if they had crows over their heads by wearing outer garments.
The lower half of the hijab is a garment that does not show the woman's figure. Jeans and certain obvious garments do not meet this requirement.
Hadith - Abu Dawud, Narrated Dihyah ibn Khalifah al-Kalbi
The Apostle 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.