Refuting A Claim Against The Obligation Of The Niqaab, By Ibn ‘Uthaymeen

Some scholars claim that the niqaab (face veil) is not an obligation, using as evidence the following narration:

‘Aa’ishah said:

“Asmaa Bint Abee Bakr entered in the presence of Allaah’s Messenger whilst wearing a thin, transparent garment. So the Messenger of Allaah turned away from her saying: “O Asmaa Indeed when a woman reaches the age of puberty, it is not allowed that any of her be seen except for this and this.” And he pointed to his face and hands.” [Aboo Daawood]

Ibn ‘Uthaymeen refutes this claim and says about this hadeeth:

“As for the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah, then it is da’eef (weak) based on two aspects:

1) The break in the chain between ‘Aa’ishah and Khaalid Bin Duraik, which was reported by Aboo Daawood, who noted the deficiency himself when he stated that Khaalid Bin Duraik never heard from ‘Aa’ishah. Aboo Haatim Ar-Raazee, may Allaah have mercy upon him, also mentioned this weakness.

2) One of the narrators in its chain is Sa’eed Bin Basheer An-Nasree, a settler in damascus, who was renounced by Ibn Mahdee and declared weak by Imaam Ahmad, Ibn Ma’een, Ibn Madeenee, and An-Nisaa’ee. Due to this, the hadeeth is da’eef and cannot be used as an argument against the authentic hadeeths mentioned previously, which prove the obligation of veiling (of the face and hands).

3) Furthermore, Asmaa Bint Abee Bakr was 27 years old when the Prophet made Hijrah. So being that she was mature and advanced in age, it would be unthinkable to suspect that she would enter the presence of the Prophet (saw) with a thin and tight dress, such that it revealed from her, more than just her hands and face. And Allaah knows best.

4) And even if we were to assume that this hadeeth was authentic, it probably took place before te advent of Hijaab. This is since the texts concerning teh hijaab can be traced back to the original state, so they take precedence.”

[Taken from “The Four Essays On The Obligation Of Veiling”,  Pp. 49-50]


9 Responses to “Refuting A Claim Against The Obligation Of The Niqaab, By Ibn ‘Uthaymeen”

  1. Assalamo aleykom!

    It is haram to cover the face when doing hajj, walking around the kaba, and when praying (salah).
    Something that is haram can never become halal. And something that is halal can never be haram.

    So how can it be haram for women to show their faces?

    • Assalaamu ‘alaykum,

      Akhee I strongly disagree with you…

      ‘Aa’ishah said:

      “Male riders would pass by us while we (wives) were in the state of ihraam with the messenger of Allaah. When they would approach us, (each) one of us would let her jilbaab fall down from (the top of) her head over her face. And when they had passed on, we would uncover our faces.”

      [Ahmad, Aboo Daawood and Ibn Maajah]

    • Also bro, something halaal CAN become haraam and something haraam CAN become halaal.

      And the proof for this is that when someones comes into the state of ihraam, many halaal things prior to that now become forbidden (haraam). Some of these halaal things are obligatory, some recommended, and some mubah (allowed).

      Yet when you come into the state of ihraam these things become forbidden.

      For example, when in ihraam the following things are also forbidden:

      a) Cutting pubic hair (and any other hair) – even tho this is obligatory.

      b) A man covering his head – even tho this is recommended.

      c) Sexual relations – even tho this is recommended/obligatory. Nay if a man calls his wife for sexual relations it is obligatory for her to respond, and she doesn’t respond to him, she is cursed, yet in the state of ihraam sexual relations is completely forbidden (haraam).

      d) Using perfume – even tho it is something recommended (for men) on jumu’ahs.

      And there are many other examples.

    • Also akhee, the narration of ‘Aa’ishah I quoted above, is another proof the scholars use to prove the obligation of niqaab.

      As only an obligation could have made ‘Aa’ishah cover her face. If covering the face was a recommended act, then she would not have covered it when male riders went past her, but bcz she covered her face in the presence of male riders (even while in the state of ihraam) this shows that the niqaab was indeed an obligation, as a recommended deed can never override an obligatory deed.

  2. Assalamu Alaikum
    I read the comments posted above, According to my learning i came to a conclusion that covering a face is wajib.i am no t refuting the scholars who told it is mustahab(highly recommended).
    Do any one know the explanation of hadees when a women came near prohet(s.a.w) and he never commanded her for covering her face.I am qouting the hadees below .please reply with correct explanation
    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)

    In the above-mentioned hadith we find Al-Fadl looking at the lady because her beauty attracted him. Here too, it is understood that the face of the lady was exposed as the hadith says that the woman was beautiful. Obviously, it is the face that plays the most significant role in making a person being perceived as ugly or beautiful. In spite of this, the prophet didn’t instruct the lady to cover her face but instead turned the face of Al-Fadl in order to prevent him from staring at her, further substantiating the verse of the Qur’an from Surah An-Noor, 24:30, which says:
    “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.”

    • Those scholars who say the niaab is compulsory say that this incident which you quoted happened during hajj or umrah (can’t quite remember now – will check up for u if u wish) and in the state of ihraam a woman is not allowed to cover her face, hence why the Prophet (saw) moved the man’s face away rather than asking her to cover her face.

      • Please check it for me and provide me with important f my friend argued with me telling since prophet didn’t commanded the lady to veil her face we can’t say that veiling is fard

    • How do you know this woman was Muslim ? Also, this was before the obligation of covering the face.

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