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Honorable Status of Women in Islam

  Peace-Forum: Equality :  Men and women are absolutely equal with regard to their human status. The Qur’an, and the Prophet (pe...

Symbol of honour

Purdah in Practice Development

In the medieval Indian society, purdah was common with the Muslim ladies. Strict purdah originated with Amir Timer; when he conquered India and entered in this country with his army and womenfolk. He made the proclamation, “As they were now in the land of idolatry and amongst a strange people, the women of their families should be strictly concealed from the view of stranger[s]”. Purdah, thus, became common among the Muslim ladies, although it was not as rigid with the Hindu women. A girl started observing seclusion near her puberty and generally, continued to adhere to it till her death.

The Muslim men were very zealous in guarding their women from public gaze and considered it a dishonour if they were exposed unveiled. Monserrate, mentioning about harem ladies of Akbar’s time, wrote that they “are kept rigorously secluded from the sight of men”. Similarly, Manucci, writing during the time of Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb, recorded, “[T]he Mahomedans are very touchy in the matter of allowing their women to be seen, or even touched by hand ... .” At [an]other place, he writes that amongst them, “it was a great dishonour for a family when a wife is compelled to uncover herself”. He also refers to an incident concerning this wherein a soldier was travelling in a cart along with his wife and daughter, when the tax collectors tried to check his cart by force. The soldier became so furious that he chopped off the head of that tax collector and also wounded many of his attendants. Thereafter, feeling dishonoured, as his wife and daughter had been seen by the tax collectors, he killed both the ladies too. Similarly, Amir Khan, a noble, felt dishonoured when his wife could not observe purdah in an effort to save her life by jumping from the back of an elephant she was riding, who had run amuck, and decided to divorce her. Shah Jahan rebuked him and forbade him from doing so. They were so protective of their women that they would not allow their wives to talk even to their relatives except in their presence. Consequently, all Muslim ladies, except those belonging to peasant or inferior servants, followed purdah strictly.

A treatise on the lives of Muslim women of the subcontinent from the 13th to 18th century

Two factors were mainly responsible for this. Firstly, since the royalty and nobility religiously practised it [purdah] to maintain their exclusiveness, it came to be regarded as a symbol of respectability. It percolated down but only to the extent the lower classes were able to afford it. Secondly, the threat of invaders and also the sensual laxity and outrages perpetrated by the Muslim royalty and nobility of the sultanate and the Mughal periods had instilled a sense of insecurity among the Muslim subjects and also among the Hindus. Consequently, they relegated their women meekly behind the purdah so as to save them from the lustful eyes of these masters. The more was the slackening of morals, the stricter became the rules of women[’s] seclusion. A majority of the Muslim population of India were Hindu converts. These neoMuslims were more zealous in following the tenets of the faith embraced than those to whom it came as a matter of course. Such persons enforced the purdah norms most assiduously upon their womenfolk.

There was a direct nexus between the rules of Muslim marriage and purdah. The Quran has prescribed the list of prohibited relations with whom one cannot enter into a matrimonial alliance. Such persons are called mahrams. Purdah from such persons was only a matter of routine and not strictly enforced. All others, that is, those with whom matrimonial alliance can be established are called namahrams. Purdah was strictly propounded from such persons. The contemporary society tried to compensate itself for the weakening moral values of the menfolk by overemphasising the chastity and morality of a girl. Purdah was taken as the safest instrument to avoid contact with the namahrams. Under the conditions, the menfolk not only refrained from giving social freedom to their women but also abstained from marrying the ladies who enjoyed such liberties.

Observance of Purdah

From the beginning, the royal and aristocratic classes, with the exception of the Turkish women and a few others, were more rigid in adhering to the rules of purdah. Not only did the walls of the harem become higher and stronger with the passage of time, the restrictions imposed also increased successively. So strict was their seclusion that even when they fell ill, the attending doctors were not allowed to touch and feel their pulse. Therefore, for their examination, a handkerchief was first wrapped all over the body of the patient, this cloth was then dipped into a jar of water and it was through its smell that they were required to diagnose the disease and prescribe the medicine. Later on, some selected physicians like Bernier and Manucci were allowed to feel the pulse of the harem ladies. But such special privilege was given to them only after an established familiarity and a long testing. They were also subjected to surprise checks. Manucci narrated that once when he stretched his hand inside the curtain to feel the pulse of a ladypatient, it turned out to be the hand of Shah Alam himself. Nonetheless, these physicians were not permitted to see the ladies. Whenever their services were required inside the harem, their heads were covered by the thick shawl hanging down to their waist or feet and were led in and brought out like blind men by the eunuchs. The ladies also were such touchmenots that if they were to show some ailing part of their body to the doctor, they would see to it that he could see only that part. Even the old mother of Shah Alam, who needed to be operated upon for gout twice a year, would put her arm out from the curtain, only uncovering two fingers wide of the affected part and the rest of it would be carefully covered with cloth.

The whole outer world was inaccessible for these ladies. If ever they moved out, it was in covered palkis and dolas surrounded on all sides by alert guards. So much so that if they were to travel on elephants, they would ride them inside a tent pitched near the palace gate. Even the mahouts of the elephants covered their heads so that they could not see the royal ladies while they rode the animals. On the elephantbacks, they sat inside covered haudas. Their slave girls were also made to move in covered conveyances. The slave girls of Tatar Khan, a noble of Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq, were reportedly carried in locked conveyances lest the eyes of namahrams would [sic] fall on them.

Purdah, infact, had come to be regarded as a symbol of honour. The worst punishment they could think of for their enemies was to parade their womenfolk unveiled and [the] best honour they could extend to a person was by asking their harem ladies to unveil themselves before him. Describing about a custom prevalent on the Malabar coast, Ovington wrote that the husbands, “even the prime nobility” offered their wives to the guests as a mark of welcome to them and refusing the offer was considered as an “affront”. That is why the women there gained the name of “Malabar Quills”.

The stress on observance of purdah differed during different periods. Muhammad bin Tughlaq, for example, was so scrupulous in this regard that when he entered his harem, he was careful that his eyes did not fall on a “namahram.”

It is, however, interesting to note that contrary to Indian conditions, there was no complete seclusion of Turkish ladies from the outside world. Annette Beveridge wrote, “It appears probable that there was no complete seclusion of Turki women from the outside world as came to be the rule in Hindustan. The ladies may have veiled themselves but they received visitors more freely ... .” She noted how the senior nobles and officers of Babur regaled harem ladies in Kabul with interesting stories about India. According to Gulbadan, the ladies of royal harem of Humayun mixed freely with their friends and visitors, went out dressed like males at times, enjoyed picnics and music with their mates, played polo and so on. She has described numerous such occasions. Manrique recorded that he dined with Wazir Asaf Khan and met the Emperor and many members of the imperial family and in the feast, many unveiled ladies of rank took their seats at the table. In Meena Bazar, all ladies appeared without purdah following the principle, as narrated by the author of QanuniIslam, that “women need not be veiled before the king or a bridegroom, both known as Shah”.

There are, at least, two clear examples, those of Razia and Nur Jahan, when a lady came out of the covering of the burqa and discharged the administrative responsibilities like their male counterparts. Nur Jahan even came to the balcony for Jharokha-Darshan (a daily practice of public audience by the king at the balcony). Rajput queens in the Mughal harems did not observe purdah on many occasions. Similarly, the Kashmiri women guards of the palace were, generally, found without purdah. The lively paintings of Maham Anaga in AkbarNama, with her impressive facial contours and white and yellow robes, clearly indicates that it could not be the work of imagination but of someone who had observed her closely. In the later Mughal period, Mughlani Begam looked after administration of Punjab without observing any purdah.

The above excerpt is taken from the chapter ‘The Harem and Purdah’.

Excerpted with permission from
The Status of Muslim Women in Medieval India
By Sudha Sharma
Sage Publications India Pvt Ltd
ISBN 978-9351505662


Sharia doesn’t ask women to cover face - Niqab (1 of 3)

’شریعت میں خواتین کے چہرے کا پردہ واجب نہیں‘- اسلامی نظریاتی کونسل پاکستان 
The question of hijab for Muslim women has been a controversy for centuries and will probably continue for many more. Is it fard (obligatory), mustahab (recommended/preferable), or 'urf (cultural). 

Some learned people do not consider the subject open to discussion and consider that covering the face is required. 

While a majority are of the opinion that it is not required (some conditional). 

A middle line position is taken by some who claim that the instructions are vague and open to individual discretion depending on the situation. The wives of the Prophetﷺ were required to cover their faces so that men would not think of them in sexual terms since they were the "Mothers of the Believers," but this requirement was not extended to other women.

It may be an new information for many that, Hijab and Niqab is not Muslim invention it has been practiced in ancient religions and cultures. However, Islam did endorse it as a symbol of modesty and respect not of subjugation. The veil personified the dignity and superiority of noble women. The veil signified a woman's self-respect and social status. The fact that the veil was the sign of nobility was the reason that the prostitutes were not permitted to cover their hair in the old Jewish society.Keep  reading >>>>


In Islam, first the men are commanded to lower their gaze, this verse often not mentioned by the people with biased mindset:

قُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَزْكَىٰ لَهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ ﴿٣٠﴾
Tell believing men to lower their gaze and remain chaste. That is purer for them. God is aware of what they do. (24:30)

 اے نبیؐ، مومن مردوں سے کہو کہ اپنی نظریں بچا کر رکھیں اور اپنی شرمگاہوں کی حفاظت کریں، یہ اُن کے لیے زیادہ پاکیزہ طریقہ ہے، جو کچھ وہ کرتے ہیں اللہ اُس سے باخبر رہتا ہے (24:30) 
وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا ۖ وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَىٰ 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 عَلَىٰ عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاءِ ۖ وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِن زِينَتِهِنَّ ۚ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّـهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ﴿٣١ النور

"Say to believing women that they should lower their gaze and remain chaste and not to reveal their adornments -- save what is normally apparent thereof, and they should fold their shawls over their bosoms. They can only reveal their adornments to their husbands or their fathers or their husbands' fathers, or their sons or their husbands' sons or their brothers or their brothers' sons or their sisters' sons or maidservants or those whom their right hands possess or their male attendants who have no sexual desire or children who still have no carnal knowledge of women. Nor should they swing their legs to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. Believers, turn to God, every one of you, so that you may prosper". (Quran;24:31)

اور اے نبیؐ، مومن عورتوں سے کہہ دو کہ اپنی نظریں بچا کر رکھیں، اور اپنی شرمگاہوں کی حفاظت کریں، اور اپنا بناؤ سنگھار نہ دکھائیں بجز اُس کے جو خود ظاہر ہو جائے، اور اپنے سینوں پر اپنی اوڑھنیوں کے آنچل ڈالے رہیں وہ اپنا بناؤ سنگھار نہ ظاہر کریں مگر اِن لوگوں کے سامنے: شوہر، باپ، شوہروں کے باپ، اپنے بیٹے، شوہروں کے بیٹے، بھائی، بھائیوں کے بیٹے، بہنوں کے بیٹے، اپنے میل جول کی عورتیں، ا پنے مملوک، وہ زیردست مرد جو کسی اور قسم کی غرض نہ رکھتے ہوں، اور وہ بچے جو عورتوں کی پوشیدہ باتوں سے ابھی واقف نہ ہوئے ہوں وہ ا پنے پاؤں زمین پر مارتی ہوئی نہ چلا کریں کہ اپنی جو زینت انہوں نے چھپا رکھی ہو اس کا لوگوں کو علم ہو جائے اے مومنو، تم سب مل کر اللہ سے توبہ کرو، توقع ہے کہ فلاح پاؤ گے (سورة النور 24:31)

This verse shows clearly that Allah has obliged women to wear hijab. 

But what is exactly meant by hijab?

Hijab is the proper Islamic dress code, which is primarily intended to safeguard the modesty, dignity and honor of men and women. By wearing Hijab, women protect themselves from any lustful gaze or act that may expose them to temptation or harassment of any kind. On the other hand, it protects men from indulgence in vices and unlawful acts.

Hijab does not only refer to head cover, but to the whole dressing of a woman. This means that there are certain requirements for a woman's dress to be Islamic: It must cover the whole body.
  • It must not be tight or transparent.
  • It must not delineate the parts of the body, especially those parts that are sexually attractive.
  • It must not be a dress that is usually worn by men. Hence, a Muslim woman is permitted to wear whatever she likes as long as her dress has all the legal requirements of a woman's Islamic dress code, and it covers the `awrah (sensitive parts of the body that a woman must cover in front of non-mahrams). This is agreed upon by all scholars and jurists.
However, scholars differ concerning the limits of a woman's `awrah, depending on different interpretations of the verse that is mentioned above, and this entails a disagreement among scholars concerning the ruling of niqab (covering the face and hands); whether it is obligatory or not. The majority of Muslim scholars, including the four schools of fiqh, maintain that niqab is not obligatory (some conditional). They base their view on many evidence that are discussed below in details. Only some of the Hanbali scholars see that niqab is obligatory.

Different opinion:

“Allah Almighty says what means:

"And say to the believing women to lower their gazes and guard their chastity, and let them not display of their charm - except what is apparent.(An-Nur 24:31)

Commenting on the phrase: "what is apparent" Ibn `Abbas, the famous Companion and the Qur’an exegete, said: “It means face and hands.” In other words, according to Ibn `Abbas, a woman must cover all her body except her face and hands while in the presence of men who are not related to her directly. The list of those in whose presence she needs not cover is clearly outlined in Surat An-Nur 24: 31.

The majority of imams - including those of the four schools, as well as others - share the above interpretation of Ibn `Abbas, and thus hold the opinion that a woman is not obliged to cover her face and hands (some conditional).

However, a group of scholars, the majority of whom belong to the Hanbalite Juristic School, teach that a woman must cover her face and hands as well. In support of their position they invoke a tradition attributed to the Prophetﷺ, stating: “Woman is all `awrah”, and hence as such, needs to completely be covered up. They also reason by saying that the most attractive parts of a woman’s body capable of enticing men are her face and hands.

The aforementioned position of the majority on this issue seems to be more consistent with the general understanding and evidences of the Qur’an and Sunnah than of those who advocate covering the face and hands as well. There are several proofs which point to this conclusion:

  1. There is not single verse or Hadith which directly ask the women to cover their face. The opinion of scholars is based upon their interpretations and inferences drawn from different incidences and practices where women covered their faces. While there are incidences where women did not cover their faces. However one Hadith Sunan Abi Dawud #4104 clearly mentions Prophet ﷺ indicating to keep face and hands uncovered. [Sahih (Al-Albani)]
  2. The verse quoted above from the Qu.’an seems to presume that the women it addresses are not wholly covered, i.e. face and hands. Otherwise, there is no sense in ordering both genders to lower their gazes.
  3. It is a general consensus among scholars that a woman is not required to cover her face and hands while performing salah (ritual prayers). If these were deemed to be `awrah, it would certainly have been necessary to cover them. 
  4. A woman is required to bare her face while she is in a state of ihram (consecration during Hajj and `Umrah). This again confirms what we said earlier. 
  5. Moreover, the evidences in the sources – the Qur’an and the Sunnah - are overwhelming in showing that the hijab, as prescribed by Islam, was not meant to segregate women or shut them out of the social involvement and participation in the affairs of the Muslim community. This is since the participation of Muslim women - at all levels of Islamic life - is fully documented beyond a shadow of doubt in the sources of Shari`ah. Such active participation as described in the sources is conceivable only if we assume that women were not wholly covered from head to toe.
In light of the above, we may conclude: There is no controversy regarding covering the whole body except for the face and hands. The controversy occurs in respect of covering the face and hands. The majority of scholars say it is not obligatory, while few others maintain it is obligatory. This, in turn, requires that a woman must abide by the agreed ruling which stipulates that a woman must cover her whole body except the face and hands.

As for the controversial part of the issue, we should think of it as a sign of Allah's mercy that He left some things open, so that there will be no hardship for people, and that they can make use of such things according to their own benefit. For example, if a woman is so beautiful to the extent that she attracts men's attention and her beauty tempts them, she would cover her face, as an aspect of preventing harm, even if it is agreed that niqab is not obligatory. On the other hand, some women may have some breathing or skin problems that they do not tolerate wearing face cover. Here, we realize that the difference of opinion in relation to niqab is really an aspect of Allah's mercy.

The differences among scholars are only in minor and secondary things, and never in the fundamentals of faith. This is in fact an aspect of God’s mercy, as the Prophetﷺ said:

“Allah has prescribed certain obligations for you, so do not neglect them; He has defined certain limits, so do not transgress them; He has prohibited certain things, so do not do them; and He has kept silent concerning other things, out of mercy for you and not because of forgetfulness, so do not ask questions concerning them.” (Reported by ad-Darqutni.) 
{Source: http://www.islamawareness.net/Hijab/Niqab/rulings.html]

Pakistan's top religious body has said women are not required to cover their faces, hands or feet under Islamic Sharia law, a rare judgement from the conservative council of clerics seen as "encouraging" by rights activists Tuesday.
Women not required to cover faces under Sharia, says CII
The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), which was formed in 1962 to advise parliament on the compatibility of laws with Sharia, made the ruling during its meeting.
However the chairman of the council Maulana Muhammad Khan Sheerani also "advised women to follow ethics and have a careful attitude in society", a spokesman told AFP.
He said the cleric had recommended women "cover up their body parts to avoid threats or mischief".
Farzana Bari, a prominent women´s rights activist, termed the ruling "very interesting".
"It is a good sign, the clergy seems to have realised that their legitimacy is being challenged and this ruling is aimed at improving their image," Bari told AFP.
"The orthodox clerics have been put on the back foot, look at the Supreme Court decision about blasphemy laws, it´s encouraged some clerics to come forward and speak about amending the laws," she said.

’شریعت میں خواتین کے چہرے کا پردہ واجب نہیں‘

اسلامی نظریاتی کونسل نے قرار دیا ہے کہ شریعت میں خواتین کے لیے چہرے، ہاتھ اور پاؤں کا پردہ واجب نہیں تاہم اگر کسی طرح کے فتنے کا خطرہ ہو تو تب عورت پر پردہ واجب ہے۔

اسلامی نظریاتی کونسل کا اجلاس مولانا محمد خان شیرانی کی زیر صدارت ہوا جس میں ان کا کہنا تھا کہ مسلمان خواتین کے لیے چہرے، ہاتھوں اور پاؤں کا پردہ واجب نہیں۔

دو روزہ اجلاس کے پہلے روز جب مولانا محمد خان شیرانی نے خواتین کے چہرے کے پردے کو غیر واجب قرار دیا، کونسل کے آزاد خیال ممبر مولانا طاہر اشرفی اور علامہ امین شہیدی اتفاق سے شریک نہیں تھے۔

کونسل کے پہلے روز کے اجلاس میں دیگر ممبران کے علاوہ جماعت اسلامی کی ڈاکٹر سمعیہ راحیل قاضی بھی شریک تھیں جنہوں نے خود نقاب میں ہونے کے باوجود پردے کے حوالے سے رولنگ کی مکمل حمایت کی۔

جمعیت علمائے اسلام (ف) سے تعلق رکھنے والے مولانا محمد خان شیرانی نے بھی خواتین کے چہرے، ہاتھوں اور پاؤں کے پردے کی حمایت کی۔

اجلاس کے بعد میڈیا سے بات کرتے ہوئے مولانا محمد خان شیرانی کا کہنا تھا کہ اسلامی شریعت خواتین کو چہرے، ہاتھوں اور پاؤں کے پردے کا پابند نہیں کرتی تاہم اگر فتنے کا خطرہ ہو تو عورت پر چہرے، ہاتھ اور پاؤں کا پردہ واجب ہے۔

تاہم خواتین کو کس طرح کا فتنہ لاحق ہوسکتا ہے، مولانا شیرانی نے اس کی وضاحت نہیں کی۔

اسلامی نظریاتی کونسل کے اجلاسوں میں خواتین اور بچیوں کو درپیش مسائل کا معاملہ پہلے بھی کئی بار اٹھایا گیا ہے تاہم یہ پہلا موقع ہے جب کونسل میں خواتین کے شرعی پردے کا معاملہ اٹھایا گیا۔

اسلامی نظریاتی کونسل کے ایک ممبر نے انکشاف کیا کہ کونسل میں خواتین کے پردے کا معاملہ وزارت داخلہ کی درخواست پر اٹھایا گیا کیونکہ کئی برادریاں اور علمائے کرام شناختی کارڈ کے لیے خواتین کے تصاویر کھینچوانے کی تاحال مخالفت کرتے ہیں۔

ممبر کا کہنا تھا کہ کچھ خاندان کے لوگ تصویر کی وجہ سے اب تک اپنی خواتین کا شناختی کارڈ نہیں بنوا رہے۔

نادرا حکام کے مطابق ملک میں امن و امان کی صورتحال کے پیش نظر کسی کی بھی شناخت کے لیے شناختی کارڈ پر اس کی تصویر ہونا ضروری ہے۔

اسلامی نظریاتی کونسل کے اجلاس میں مخلوط نظام تعلیم کا معاملہ بھی زیر بحث آیا تاہم کونسل نے اس حوالے سے اپنے پرانے موقف کو دہراتے ہوئے مخلوط نظام تعلیم کو معاشرے کے لیے نقصان دہ قرار دیا۔

کونسل نے کہا کہ لڑکوں اور لڑکیوں کے لیے الگ الگ تعلیمی ادارے بنائے جانے چاہئیں۔

کونسل کے اجلاس میں خواجہ سراؤں کے حقوق کا معاملہ بھی زیر بحث آیا اور ممبران کی جانب سے ایسے بچوں کو لاتعلق کرنے اور وراثت میں انہیں ان کا حق نہ دینے والے خاندانوں کو تنقید کا نشانہ بنایا گیا۔


Women covering face (niqab) is Obligatory or optional?
A obligatory (fard) or haram (forbidden) should not be of controversial issues in the principles of thought or the rules of shari'a. A great many scholars have elaborated on the issue of Hijab & Niqab (face covering by women, including whom who emphasized this the most are Malik, Abu Hanifah, Ahmed and Ash-Shafi'i. This is why Al-Imam Ahmed, sued to answer Makruh  (undesirable)instead of saying haram (forbidden).
It can be noticed that there are two major thoughts concerning niqab (women face covering). For example, Maududi's book "Al-Hijab,"  is supportive to the niqab. That book is versus to Al-Albani's "Hijjab ul-Marratil Muslimah," which advocates the opinion of no niqab, referring to authentic narrations of Al-Bukhari when a youthful, attractive female asked the Prophet ﷺ a question on Hajj, she was uncovering her face. Al-Fadhil ibn Abbas, his ﷺ cousin started looking at her but the Prophet ﷺ was turning his head from that gaze. Had uncovering the face been haram (forbidden) the Prophet ﷺ would have told her that she should wear a niqab, but he didn't do that. Any statement to that exposure of opinions and studies, there is no room for a clear-cut answer to say niqab is fard (obligatory) or uncovering the face is haram (forbidden). one may not object to any woman if she prefers niqab nor object any man if he wants to cover his face. This is personal business and everyone should feel that they have the option in the arena of what is halal (permissible). [Allah knows the best]

Please remember:
'God desires ease for you, and desires not hardship' (Quran;2:185)
'God desires to lighten things for you, for the human being has been created weak' (Quran;4:28).
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: 'Do not overburden yourselves, lest you perish. People [before you] overburdened themselves and perished. Their remains are found in hermitages and monasteries' (Musnad of Abu Ya'la). Moreover, whenever the Prophetﷺ  had to choose between two options, he always chose the easier, unless it was explicitly forbidden (Bukhari). When the Prophetﷺ  sent his Companions Mu'adh and Abu Musa to teach Islam to the people of Yemen, he gave them the following advice: 'Facilitate [religious matters to people] and do not make [things] difficult. Obey each other and do not differ [amongst yourselves].' (Bukhari & Muslim). On other occasions he also said: 'This Deen or way of life is easy'; 'Make it easy, don't make it difficult; 'Let people rejoice in being Muslims and not run away from it' and 'Cheerfulness towards other people, even a smile is a sadaqah or charity to be rewarded by Allah'.

Al-Azhar bans "niqab" in classrooms, dormitories:

Egypt's top Islamic school, al-Azhar, issued on Thursday a ban on wearing the "niqab" or face veil in classrooms and dormitories of all its affiliate schools and educational institutes.

While a vast majority of Egyptian women wear the headscarf, only a few wear the niqab.

The Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar Mohamed Sayyd Tantawi has created a heated controversy in Egypt earlier this week when he told a middle school student in a class he was visiting to take off her niqab while in school.
Commenting on the incident, Tantawi told Al Arabiya that he had explained to the girl that the niqab was only a tradition and said she was required to wear only the school uniform at al-Azhar, the world's leading school of Sunni Islam.

The majority of Islamic scholars say the face veil is not obligatory in Islam and is merely a custom that dates back to tribal, nomadic societies living in the Arabian desert before Islam began.
Egyptian lawmakers want to ban Muslim women from covering their faces:
Shaykh al'Abani´s position about Niqab of muslim woman from his famous book: Jilbab Ul-Mar’at Il-Muslimah

It was narrated from Aishah that Asma bint Abi Bakr entered upon the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) wearing a thin garment. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) turned away from her and said: “Oh Asma, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it is not proper for anything to be seen of her except this and this,” and he pointed to his face and hands.”

[Sunan Abu Dawud (Darussalam Publishers, 2007), volume 4, p. 422, The Book of Clothing, chapter 31: “What a woman may show of her beauty,” Hadith number 4104. Classed as Da’if by Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair Ali Za’i. Imam Abu Dawud said: “This Hadith is Mursal. Khalid ibn Duraik did not meet Aishah. (And Sa’eed bin Bashir is not strong (in narrating)).”]

Note: Maraseel are accepted by many great scholars as valid proofs, an example of Mursal hadith to be Hassan/Sahih is the hadith of prayer of woman being different from that of man (It is also corroborated from other ahadith).

The Hadith is Mursal by itself but authentic due to supporting narrations and is used as evidence for this matter . . . It was authenticated by Sheikh Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abu Dawud, vol. 2, p. 774, number 3458.

Sheikh Al-Albani explains reasons behind this Hadith’s authenticity in great detail:

“. . . (The narration’s chain is) Bashir from Qatadah from Khalid ibn Duraik from Aishah. Ibn Adiy added that he (Khalid) once attributed it to Umm Salamah instead of Aishah. Abu Dawud said after citing it, ‘This Hadith is Mursal. Khalid ibn Duraik did not meet Aishah.’ Also, Sa’eed ibn Bashir is weak according to Hafidh ibn Hajar in At-Taqrib. However, this Hadith has been reported via other ways that strengthen it:

(1.) A Mursal report recorded by Abu Dawud (no. 437) from Qatadah with an authentic chain that includes neither ibn Duraik nor ibn Bashir: ‘Indeed, once a young girl reaches menses, it is not right for her to expose except her face and hands to the wrists.'

(2.) At-Tabarani (in Al-Kabir 24/143/378 and Al-Awsat 2/230/8959) and Al-Bayhaqi recorded via ibn Lahi’ah from Iyadh from Abdullah from Ibrahim bin Rufa’ah Al-Ansari from his father from (he believed) Asma bint Umays that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) entered Aishah’s house while she had with her sister Asma bint Abi Bakr, who was wearing wide-sleeved clothes (see the report in question for the remainder of this Hadith’s text) . . . There is no doubt that a report by ibn Lahi’ah does not go below the level of Hasan when it has supportive narrations, as is the case here . . .”

(Jilbab Ul-Mar’at Il-Muslimah pp. 58-59)

Therefore, we can see that the correct view is that the Niqab is recommended, and not obligatory.

Sheikh Al-Albani's knowledge of the Shawahid (supporting narrations in Hadith) was something which was uncontested to by other scholars of his day. Sheikhs Ibn Baz and Uthaymeen even testified to this. While some Hadith scholars would only grade the single Hadith, Sheikh Al-Albani would take into account all supporting narrations of the Hadith. So some Ahadith are authentic due to other texts with the same meaning, so please take note of this. This made his methodology more correct versus other scholars of his day.

However, wearing the Niqab is better. Sheikh Al-Albani said:

“Whoever adheres to the obligation, it is good enough; and whoever does the recommendation, it is better.” (Jilbab Ul-Mar’at Il-Muslimah, p. 28, which is a Preface to the 2nd Edition)
Source:: http://maktabasalafiya.blogspot.com/2011/06/shaykh-alabanis-position-of-niqab-of.html#sthash.DSI6XENc.dpuf

 خواتین کے چہرے کا پردہ واجب نہیں‘سنن أَبُو دَاوُدَ 4104 

حَدَّثَنَا يَعْقُوبُ بْنُ كَعْبٍ الأَنْطَاكِيُّ، وَمُؤَمَّلُ بْنُ الْفَضْلِ الْحَرَّانِيُّ، قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا الْوَلِيدُ، عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ بَشِيرٍ، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، عَنْ خَالِدٍ، - قَالَ يَعْقُوبُ ابْنُ دُرَيْكٍ - عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، رضى الله عنها أَنَّ أَسْمَاءَ بِنْتَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ، دَخَلَتْ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَعَلَيْهَا ثِيَابٌ رِقَاقٌ فَأَعْرَضَ عَنْهَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَقَالَ ‏ "‏ يَا أَسْمَاءُ إِنَّ الْمَرْأَةَ إِذَا بَلَغَتِ الْمَحِيضَ لَمْ تَصْلُحْ أَنْ يُرَى مِنْهَا إِلاَّ هَذَا وَهَذَا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ وَأَشَارَ إِلَى وَجْهِهِ وَكَفَّيْهِ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو دَاوُدَ هَذَا مُرْسَلٌ خَالِدُ بْنُ دُرَيْكٍ لَمْ يُدْرِكْ عَائِشَةَ رضى الله عنها ‏.‏

ام المومنین عَائِشَةَ رضی اللہعنها فرماتی ہیں کہ اسماء بنت ابی بکر رضی اللہ عنہا رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم کے پاس آییں . وہ باریک  کپڑے پہنے ہوے تھیں . آپ ﷺ نے ان سے منہ پھر لیا اور فرمایا :"اسماء جب عورت بالغ ہو جائے تو درست نہیں کہ اس کی کوئی چیز نظرآے سواے اس کہ اور اس کہ"، آپ ﷺ نے اپنے چہرہ اور ہتھیلیوں کی جانب  اشارہ کیا۔ ابو داوود کہتے ہیں : یہ روایت مرسل ہے خالد بن وریک نے ام المومنین َعَائِشَةَ رضى الله عنها کو نہیں پایا.
شیخ البانی نے اسی موضوع پر مزید  حدیثوں کے ساتھ ملا کر اس کو صحیح ثابت کیا جس کو آج تک علماء چلینج نہیں کر سکے بلکہ شیخ بن باز بھی درست مانتے ہیں. بحر حال شیخ البانی کہتے ہیں کہ نقاب بہتر ہے.
Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:
Asma, daughter of Abu Bakr, entered upon the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) wearing thin clothes. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) turned his attention from her. He said: O Asma', when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this, and he pointed to his face and hands.
Abu Dawud said: This is a mursal tradition (i.e. the narrator who transmitted it from 'Aishah is missing) Khalid b. Duraik did not see 'Aishah.
Grade: Sahih (Al-Albani),  Reference  : Sunan Abi Dawud 4104

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ يُوسُفَ، أَخْبَرَنَا مَالِكٌ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ سُلَيْمَانَ بْنِ يَسَارٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَبَّاسٍ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَ كَانَ الْفَضْلُ رَدِيفَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَجَاءَتِ امْرَأَةٌ مِنْ خَثْعَمَ، فَجَعَلَ الْفَضْلُ يَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهَا وَتَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهِ، وَجَعَلَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَصْرِفُ وَجْهَ الْفَضْلِ إِلَى الشِّقِّ الآخَرِ فَقَالَتْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ فَرِيضَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَى عِبَادِهِ فِي الْحَجِّ أَدْرَكَتْ أَبِي شَيْخًا كَبِيرًا، لاَ يَثْبُتُ عَلَى الرَّاحِلَةِ، أَفَأَحُجُّ عَنْهُ قَالَ ‏ "‏ نَعَمْ ‏"‏‏.‏ وَذَلِكَ فِي حَجَّةِ الْوَدَاعِ‏.‏

Narrated 'Abdullah bin Abbas: Al-Fadl (his brother) was riding behind Allah's Apostle and a woman from the tribe of Khath'am came and Al-Fadl started looking at her and she started looking at him. The Prophet turned Al-Fadl's face to the other side. The woman said, "O Allah's Apostle! The obligation of Hajj enjoined by Allah on His devotees has become due on my father and he is old and weak, and he cannot sit firm on the Mount; may I perform Hajj on his behalf?" The Prophet replied, "Yes, you may." That happened during the Hajj-al-Wida (of the Prophet). (Narrated by Bukhari # 589, Muslim, and others).

This Hadith is very authentic since it was narrated by Bukhari and Muslim. If she was covering her face then Ibn Abbas would know that she is beautiful!  Also prophet ((may Peace Be Upon Him)) did not order the girl to cover her face. This hadith was not abrogated since it happened during Hajj-al-Wida (10 AH) while the Aya of Hijab was revealed in the 5th year after the Hijra. http://www.islamawareness.net/Hijab/Niqab/not_required_2.html


Hijab, Niqab-Links / References for further study:
  1. Albani book - http://www.islamicweb.com/beliefs/women/albani_niqab.htm
  2. Face Veil Obligatory or Mustahab? For Indepth study - http://goo.gl/oNvUfq
  3. http://womenfolks.blogspot.com/2016/04/women-face-open-sunan-dawud-4104.htm
  4. http://www.tafrehmella.com/threads/hijaab-for-women-by-dr-zakir-naik.121037/
  5. http://www.khilafahbooks.com/the-face-veil-by-dr-abu-ameenah-bilal-philips/
  6. http://www.cssforum.com.pk/off-topic-section/islam/6529-why-hijab-necessary-dr-zakir-naik.html
  7. http://www.islamawareness.net/Hijab/Niqab/rulings.html
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niq%C4%81b#Pre-Islamic_use_of_the_face_veil
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niq%C4%81b
  10. Niqab:http://www.ahlus-sunna.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=81&Itemid=146
  11. http://www.muhajabah.com/whyniqab.htm
  12. http://www.islamawareness.net/Hijab/Niqab/not_required_2.html
  13. http://www.answering-christianity.com/niqab_no.htm
  14. http://www.muhajabah.com/moreniqab.htm
  15. http://islamhelpline.net/answer/5472
  16. Arguments against Niqab
  17. http://sunnah.com/bukhari/25
  18. Sharia doesn’t ask women to cover face - Niqab (1 of 3) http://goo.gl/gvUXvJ
Read More:
  1. Honorable Status of Women in Islam
  2. Women Modesty & Piety in Islam
  3. Marriage: Right of Choice, Divorce & Dower
  4. Women's Inheritance
  5. Polygene, Polygamy
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  14. Hijab - Women may not cover Face
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Arguments For and Against Niqab (2 of 3)

Image result for no niqab

There is no clear-cut Quranic verse or authentic hadith to the effect of making the face veil obligatory. The conclusions drawn by scholars are based upon their interpretations (human work) of practice by wives of Prophetﷺ (mothers of believers) and other women who followed them. The honourable wives of Prophetﷺ are not like ordinary women (Quran;33:32), their status is much higher. Some instructions are peculiar to them, i.e they were not allowed to remarry after death of Prophetﷺ. Other women may like to emulate them after death of their husbands but its does not become obligation for others. If the wives of Prophetﷺ covered their face, it would only become obligatory for all other women if it was commanded in Quran or by the Prophetﷺ otherwise it remains optional practice.

Read: Niqab Is NOT Required, Extract from "he Book "Jilbaab Al-Mar’ah Al-Muslimah" By Shaykh Naasiruddeen Al-Albaanee

The Hadith which clearly mentions the woman may not cover the face and hands:

Chapter: What A Woman May Show of Her Beauty
باب فِيمَا تُبْدِي الْمَرْأَةُ مِنْ زِينَتِهَا
باب: عورت اپنی زینت اور سنگار کس قدر ظاہم  کر سکتی ہے؟

حَدَّثَنَا يَعْقُوبُ بْنُ كَعْبٍ الأَنْطَاكِيُّ، وَمُؤَمَّلُ بْنُ الْفَضْلِ الْحَرَّانِيُّ، قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا الْوَلِيدُ، عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ بَشِيرٍ، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، عَنْ خَالِدٍ، - قَالَ يَعْقُوبُ ابْنُ دُرَيْكٍ - عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، رضى الله عنها أَنَّ أَسْمَاءَ بِنْتَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ، دَخَلَتْ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَعَلَيْهَا ثِيَابٌ رِقَاقٌ فَأَعْرَضَ عَنْهَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَقَالَ ‏ "‏ يَا أَسْمَاءُ إِنَّ الْمَرْأَةَ إِذَا بَلَغَتِ الْمَحِيضَ لَمْ تَصْلُحْ أَنْ يُرَى مِنْهَا إِلاَّ هَذَا وَهَذَا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ وَأَشَارَ إِلَى وَجْهِهِ وَكَفَّيْهِ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو دَاوُدَ هَذَا مُرْسَلٌ خَالِدُ بْنُ دُرَيْكٍ لَمْ يُدْرِكْ عَائِشَةَ رضى الله عنها ‏.‏

ام المومنین عَائِشَةَ رضی اللہعنها فرماتی ہیں کہ اسماء بنت ابی بکر رضی اللہ عنہا رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم کے پاس آییں . وہ باریک  کپڑے پہنے ہوے تھیں . آپ ﷺ نے ان سے منہ پھر لیا اور فرمایا :"اسماء جب عورت بالغ ہو جائے تو درست نہیں کہ اس کی کوئی چیز نظرآے سواے اس کہ اور اس کہ"، آپ ﷺ نے اپنے چہرہ اور ہتھیلیوں کی جانب  اشارہ کیا۔ ابو داوود کہتے ہیں : یہ روایت مرسل ہے خالد بن وریک نے ام المومنین َعَائِشَةَ رضى الله عنها کو نہیں پایا.
شیخ البانی نے اسی موضوع پر مزید  حدیثوں کے ساتھ ملا کر اس کو صحیح ثابت کیا جس کو آج تک علماء چلینج نہیں کر سکے بلکہ شیخ بن باز بھی درست مانتے ہیں. بحر حال شیخ البانی کہتے ہیں کہ نقاب بہتر ہے.<<<< .پڑھیں.. نقاب ، حجاب: قرآن , حدیث اور اجماع >>>

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:
Asma, daughter of Abu Bakr, entered upon the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) wearing thin clothes. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) turned his attention from her. He said: O Asma', when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this, and he pointed to his face and hands.
Abu Dawud said: This is a mursal tradition (i.e. the narrator who transmitted it from 'Aishah is missing) Khalid b. Duraik did not see 'Aishah.
Grade: Sahih (Al-Albani),  Reference  : Sunan Abi Dawud 4104

Quran 24:31

"And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof... (Al-Qur'an 24:31)
When Ibne Abbaas (RA), the leading commentator of the Qur'an was asked about the verse mentioned above as to what it meant, he replied, "it refers to the face and hands".
(Collected by Ibn Abee Shaybah in al-Musannaf, Vol. 3, p. 540 & 541, hadith no. 16997 & 17012 and al-Bayhaqi in Sunan al- Kubraa. Al-Albaanee ruled in Jilbaab al-Mar'ah al-Muslimah, pp 59-60, that the isnaad of this statement is saheeh.)

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰ أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا ﴿33:59﴾ 

Those scholars, who insist that covering the face is obligatory for Muslim women, interpret 'al-idnaa' in the verse of the jilbaab (Al-Qur'an: 33:59) to mean, "covering the face". This interpretation is erroneous because the basic meaning of the word in Arabic is "to come close", as the well-known scholar, ar-Raaghib al-Asbahaanee mentions in his authoritative dictionary 'al-Mufradaat'. Some people claim that jilbaab is "a garment which covers the face". This too is a misinterpretation as it is contrary to the interpretation of the leading scholars of past and present as well, who define jilbaab as a garment which women drape over their head scarves (khimaar).
Some people claim that the khimaar (headscarf) in Al-Qur'an 24:31 covers the head and the face, whereas linguistically the word only means a head covering. The Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said "Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a khimaar". (Sunan Abu Dawood, vol. 1, hadith No. 641)

However, no scholar insists on covering the face in Salaah for women based on the hadith quoted above, which further substantiates that khimaar does not mean covering the face. Shaykh Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee, one of the foremost scholars of recent times has clarified in detail, the errors made by these scholars who insist on the obligatory nature of the face veil in his books ar-Radd al-Mufhim & Jilbaab al-Mar'ah al-Muslimah (3rd edition, 1996, al-Maktabah al-Islaamiyyah). Likewise, other scholars like Ibn Muflih al-Hambalee, an-Nawawee, al-Qaadee 'Iyaad are too of the opinion that covering the face is not obligatory.

One can find several ahadith which prove that covering the face is not compulsory in Islam but there is not a single authentic hadith that makes covering the face obligatory. 

For instance, once while the Prophetﷺ was admonishing and preaching to a group of women after having admonished the men on the Id day, "...a woman having a dark spot on her cheek stood up..." seeking clarification on the subject the prophet was discussing. (Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, Hadith No. 1926)

Narrated Ata bin Abi Rabah (R.A.)
Ibn 'Abbas said to me, "Shall I show you a woman of the people of Paradise?" I said, "Yes." He said, "This black lady came to the Prophet and said..." (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7, Hadith No. 555 - Dar Al Arabia- Beirut- Lebanon & Sahih Muslim Hadith No. 6571-Darusslam- Arabic)

During the day of Nahr (10th Dhul-Hijja), when Al-Fadl bin 'Abbas was riding behind the prophet on his she -camel, "...a beautiful woman from the tribe of Khath'am came, asking the verdict of Allah's Apostle. Al-Fadl started looking at her as her beauty attracted him. The Prophet looked behind while Al-Fadl was looking at her; so the Prophet held out his hand backwards and caught the chin of Al-Fadl and turned his face (to the other side) in order that he should not gaze at her..." (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 8, Hadith No. 6228)
Three Articles on Hijab & Niqab:
  1. Sharia doesn’t ask women to cover face - Niqab (1 of 3)  
  2. Arguments For and Against Niqab (2 of 3)     
  3. Women Modesty & Piety in Islam - Niqab (3  of 3)
  4. <<<< .پڑھیں.. نقاب ، حجاب: قرآن , حدیث اور اجماع
ٓArguments in favour of Niqab:
The claimed rationale of the niqab comes from Hadith. It was known that the wives of the Prophet Muhammad covered themselves around non-mahram men. However the Quran explicitly states that the wives of the Prophet are held to a different high standard.
يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ ۚ إِنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ فَلَا تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ الَّذِي فِي قَلْبِهِ مَرَضٌ وَقُلْنَ قَوْلًا مَّعْرُوفًا ﴿33:32﴾ 
"O, Wives of the Prophet, you are not like other women. If you have fear of God, do not be tender in your speech lest people whose hearts are sick may lust after you."(Quran;33:32)
It is claimed that under Islam the niqab is a requirement for the wives of Prophet Muhammadﷺ The following verse from the Qur'an is cited as support for this: 
"O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters, and the believing women, to draw their cloaks (veils) over their bodies. That will be better that they should be known (as respectable woman) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."(Quran;33:59). 

This verse was in response to harassment on the part of the "hypocrites", although it does not clearly refer to covering the face itself. It is also argued by some Muslims that the reasons for the niqab are to keep Muslim women from worrying about their appearances and to conceal their looks. 
There are many Hadiths refered to prove that women used Niqab to cover face, but no direct commandment, which could make it obligatory. Hence it remains an optional, recommended practice. The Arabic word jilbāb is used in the following traditions:
  • Narrated Aisha: The woman is to bring down her Jilbāb from over her head and [then place it] upon her face. Bukhari:6:60:282, Sunnan Abu Dawud 32:4091
  • Narrated Aisha: The riders used to pass by us when we were with the Messenger of Allaah in ihrām When they came near, each of us would lower her Jilbāb from her head over her face, and when they passed by we would uncover our faces. 
  • Narrated Aisha: Safwaan ibn al-Mu'attal al-Sulami al Dhakwaani was lagging behind the army. She said, "He came to where I had stopped and saw the black shape of a person sleeping. He recognized me when he saw me, because he had seen me before Hijāb was enjoined. I woke up when I heard him saying 'Inna Lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji'oon (verily to Allaah we belong and unto Him is our return),' and I covered my face with my Jilbāb Sahih Muslim.
  • Narrated 'Aasim al-Ahwal: We used to enter upon Hafsah bint Sirīn who had put her Jilbāb thus and covered her face with it, and we would say to her: May Allah have mercy on you. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "And as for women past childbearing who do not expect wedlock, it is no sin on them if they discard their (outer) clothing in such a way as not to show their adornment" [al-Noor 24:60]. And she would say to us: What comes after that (of the āyah)? We would say: "But to refrain (i.e. not to discard their outer clothing) is better for them." And so she said: [Referring to, 'But to refrain is better for them'], "It is to keep the Jilbāb." Sahih al-Bukhari.
  • Narrated Ibn 'Abbās: Allah commanded the believing women, when going out of their homes for some need, to cover their faces from above their heads with their Jilbābs, leaving one eye(or both) to see the path.
  • From Asmā' bint Abi Bakr, that she said, "We are used to cover our faces from the men, and cut our hair before that in Ihrām (for Hajj)."
  • From Asmā' bint Abi Bakr, We would cover our faces while we were Muhrim, and while doing that we would be with Asmā' bint Abi Bakr As-Siddeeq.
  • From Ibn Abi Khaythamah, We entered upon Umm Al-Mu'minīn on Yawm At-Tarwayah and we said to her, 'O Mother of the Believers! Here is a woman who refuses to cover her face and she is a Muhrimah (in ihrām). So 'Aa'ishah lifted her Khimār from her chest, and covered the woman's face with it.
  • Narrated Aisha: "When (the Verse): "They should draw their veils over their Juyubihinna," was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their faces with the cut pieces. Sahih al-Bukhari.
  • Narrated 'Aisha: The Apostle of Allah used to offer the Fajr prayer and some believing women covered with their veiling sheets used to attend the Fajr prayer with him and then they would return to their homes unrecognized Sahih al-Bukhari.
  • Narrated Um 'Atiya: We were ordered to bring out our menstruating women and veiled women in the religious gatherings and invocation of Muslims on the two 'Eid festivals. These menstruating women were to keep away from their Musalla. A woman asked, "O Allah's Apostle ' What about one who does not have a niqab?" He said, "Let her share the veil of her companion." Sahih al-Bukhari.
  • From Anas that the Muhammad said: "And if one of the women of Paradise looked at the earth, she would fill the whole space between them the earth and the heaven with light, and would fill whatever is in between them, with perfume, and the veil of her face is better than the whole world and whatever is in it."Sahih al-Bukhari.
  • Narrated Thabit ibn Qays : "A woman called Umm Khallad came to the Prophet while she was veiled. She was searching for her son who had been killed in the battle. Some of the Companions of the Prophet said to her: You have come here asking for your son while veiling your face? She said: If I am afflicted with the loss of my son, I shall not suffer the loss of my modesty. The Apostle of Allah said: You will get the reward of two martyrs for your son. She asked: Why is that so, O Prophet of Allah? He replied: Because the people of the Book have killed him."Sahih al-Bukhari
  • All of a woman is awrah. Whenever she leaves her home Satan reaches by her.
The opinions of the main traditional schools of jurisprudence are as follows:
  • Maliki: In the Maliki madhhab, the face and the hands of a woman are not awrah; therefore covering the face is not obligatory. However, Maliki scholars have stated that it is highly recommended (mustahab) for women to cover their faces.
  • Hanafi: The Hanafi school does not consider a woman's face to be awrah; however it is still obligatory (wajib) for a woman to cover her face. While the Hanafi school has not completely forbidden a male’s gaze towards a female’s face when there exists absolutely no fear of attraction, the woman has no way of knowing whether the gazes directed towards her are free of desire or not, especially when she is out in public. The Hanafi school has thus obliged women to cover their faces in front of strangers.
  • Shafi'i: The Shafi'i school has had two well-known positions on this issue. The first view is that covering the face is obligatory at all times when in presence of non-mahram men. The second view is that covering the face is preferred in general, but obligatory only in a time of fitnah (where men do not lower their gaze; or when a woman is very attractive).
  • Hanbali: According to the Hanbali school, there are two differing views on whether a woman's whole body is awrah or not. Mālik, Awzāʿī, and Shafiʿī suggest that the awrah of a woman is her entire body excluding her face and her hands. Hence, covering the face would not be obligatory (fard) in this madhhab. According to scholars like Tirmidhī and Ḥārith b. Hishām, however, all of a woman's body is awrah, including her face, hands, and even fingernails. There is a dispensation though that allows a woman to expose her face and hands, e.g. when asking for her hand in marriage, because it is the centre of beauty. 
  • The modern Salafi movement (with the only exception of Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani) state that it is obligatory for a woman to cover her entire body when in public or in presence of non-mahram men. Some interpretations say that a veil is not compulsory in front of blind, asexual or gay men. Salafi women in several countries, including Saudi Arabia, veil their faces because they believe the face of a woman is considered awrah. Wearing the niqab, however, is not exclusive to the Salafi movement, and other Sunni Muslims may regard niqab either as mubah (permitted), mustahab (recommended, an additional act of worship) or fard (obligatory). 

Here are some extracts form book "Jilbaab Al-Mar’ah Al-Muslimah" against Niqab:

Read: Niqab Is NOT Required, Extract from "he Book "Jilbaab Al-Mar’ah Al-Muslimah" By Shaykh Naasiruddeen Al-Albaanee 

The frequent use of inauthentic hadith  and unreliable narrations.

For example, the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas about exposing only one eye is commonly used by those who insist that women are obliged to cover their faces in spite of their knowledge of its inauthenticity. In fact, one among them also declared it inauthentic. Perhaps the most important of these unreliable hadeeth commonly used as evidence is the one in which the Prophet is reported to have said, “Are you both blind?” They blindly followed at-Tuwaijree and the others in claiming that this inauthentic narration was strengthened by other supportive narrations and that it was evidence for the prohibition of women from looking at men, even if they are blind.

The classification of some authentic hadeeths and confirmed narrations from the Companions as inauthentic.

The extremists have declared well-established reliable narrations as unreliable and feigned ignorance of strengthening narrations. They have further declared some narrations extremely inauthentic, like the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah concerning the woman who reaches puberty, “Nothing should be seen of her besides her face and hands.” They have persistently declared it inauthentic – the ignorant among them blindly following others devoid of knowledge.
Other strengthening factors may be added to the above.
(a) The hadeeth has been narrated by Qataadah from ‘Aa’ishah.
(b) It has been narrated in another chain from Asmaa.
(c) All three narrators of the hadeeth ruled according to it.

Placing unreasonable conditions

Among the amazing practices of some latter day blind following hanafite scholars and others is that on one hand they agree with us regarding the permissibility of women exposing their faces, because that was the position of their Imaams, but on the other hand they agree with the extremists in opposition to their Imaams. They make ijtihaad (while claiming taqleed) by adding the condition that the society be safe from fitnah to the position of the Imaams. This refers to the fitnah caused by women to men. Then one of the ignorant contemporary blind followers went to the extreme of actually attributing this “condition” to the Imaams themselves. Among some of those having no knowledge, this resulted in their concluding that there is essentially no difference between the position of the Imaams and the extremists.


Thus, it can be concluded that covering the face is not obligatory for women. However, covering the face was obligatory for the Ummul Mu'mineen, the wives of the Prophet (pbuh) as was Tahajjud obligatory for the Prophet (pbuh). Although Muslims are exempted from its obligation, it is still a highly recommended Sunnah for the Muslims. The scholars unanimously agree that it is preferable for Muslim women to cover their faces. Thus it is not compulsory for Muslim Women to cover their faces but those women who cover their faces may continue to do so if they wish. [Allah knows the best].

Read full  details here:
  1. Face Veil Obligatory or Mustahab? : http://goo.gl/oNvUfq
  2. Niqab Is NOT Required, Extract from "he Book "Jilbaab Al-Mar’ah Al-Muslimah" By Shaykh Naasiruddeen Al-Albaanee  
  3. Sharia doesn’t ask women to cover face - Niqab (1 of 3)   
  4. Arguments For and Against Niqab (2 of 3)     
  5. Women Modesty & Piety in Islam - Niqab (3  of 3) 
  6. http://womenfolks.blogspot.com/2015/10/women-not-required-to-cover-faces-under.html  
  7. پ<<<< .پڑھیں.. نقاب ، حجاب: قرآن , حدیث اور اجماع