Monday, 17 July 2017

Woman covering her entire body (face, hands, feet)

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Must a woman hide her entire body, even her face, hands and feet?


Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

Muslim scholars have different opinions over this matter i.e. whether a woman should cover her face and palms before alien (marriageable) men or not.

According to the Hanbali and the correct opinion of Shafi'i school, she should cover her face and palms before alien men, since they are Awrah (Any object that should be covered).

But in the Hanafi and Maliki schools they are not Awrah.

On the other hand, Hanafi and Maliki scholars have been confirming their statements from a long time that a Muslim woman should cover her face and palms as long as there is a risk of temptation. The temptation means if a woman is beautiful or if immorality is common or unchaste people are wide spread.

Therefore, covering the face and palms is the preponderant viewpoint according to the correct opinion of the four schools of thought. So, uncovering the face would be considered a kind of unveiling.

There is much evidence in the Qur'an and Sunnah that proves that covering the whole body is compulsory. Some of them are as follows:

1 -Allah Says (Interpretation of meaning): (O Prophet tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies. That will be better that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed).[33:59].

Most commentators of the Holy Qur'an established that this Ayah (verse) shows that covering the face is compulsory because the "Jilbab" means a loose garment which is used to cover the head, and covers the face when it is lowered.

It is also said that Jilbab means the garment, which covers the whole body. This was also confirmed by Imam Qurtubi.

As regards the Ayah in Surah al-Noor : ( And not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent).[ 24:31].

It means the external garment and this is the most correct opinion. This is narrated also from Ibn Masood. Or it means what becomes uncovered without any intention. For example, what is caused by wind or the like.

2 -The Ayah (verse) of Hijab: (And when you ask (his wives) for any thing you want, ask them from behind a screen that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts).[33:53].

The purity, which is mentioned in this Ayah is not peculiar to the mothers of believers. But every Muslim woman is in need of it. In fact, Muslims women are more in need for this order than the wives of the Prophet.

3 -Allah Says in Surah al-Noor (Interpretation of meaning): (And tell the (believing women) to draw their veils over their bosoms).[24:31].

Imam Bukhari narrated from Aysha ( may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her). When (the verse) (… And to draw their veil all over their Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms etc) .. was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist-sheets from their margins and covered their heads and faces with those cut pieces of cloth ".

Imam Hafiz Ibn Hajr said: " They covered their faces".

Imam Tirmizi narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet Muhammad (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: " A woman is an Awrah, when she gets out Satan makes people to look up at her".

This is evidence that the whole body of the woman is Awrah.

Ibn Umar narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: "A pilgrim woman must neither cover her face nor wear gloves in the state of Ihram".

Imam Abu Bakr Ibn al-Arabi said: It is compulsory on the woman to cover her face except in Hajj. Therefore she should let down her scarf on her face without letting it stick directly to her face and should turn away from men ( From Arizah al-Ahwazi's book).

Aysha (  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her) said: "Men on camels used to pass by us while we were with the Prophet Muhammad (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and in the state of Ihram. We would cover our faces with our gowns when they passed by us, and then uncover them again"

Allah knows best.

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