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Fatwa-The Status of the Niqaab


Recently, one of the senior scholars of Egypt was invited to address a group of young female high-school students. His gaze fell on a girl who was wearing a face-veil (niqab). This annoyed the Shaykh and he proceeded to ask the supercilious girl to remove her veil. The girl refused to comply, claiming that it was her habit to cover her face in front of strangers. The Shaykh immediately retorted “The niqab is nothing but culture – it has absolutely no place whatsoever with the religion of Islam.”

The Shaykh repeated his command and added, in a crude Egyptian dialect, “…and I know the religion better than you your parents.”

A teacher also tried to intervene and said to the Shaykh that it was only because of his presence that the young lady was veiling her face. But the Shaykh insisted that the veil be removed. Finally, the young girl had to give in the senior most authority and helplessly unveiled herself. The Shaykh was still not satisfied and humiliated the innocent girl further buy saying in a crude expression Egyptian vernacular “Ama law kunti hilwa shuwaya la-amilti eh?”(If you had even a little beauty I wonder what you would have done?)

 He then went on and threatened to banish the niqaab in all public schools affiliated with Al-Azhar. We were also horrified to hear that a month prior to this incident, girls who had their faces covered were not allowed to enter Al-Azhar. 

We, the Ulama of South Africa, take exception to all that has transpired. Not only is there mention of the covering of the face in the Quran, Hadith and works of scholars from all four Madhabs, this has also been the continued practise of Muslims for the past fourteen centuries. Hereunder, we present some evidences which clearly exemplify that the covering of the face is not ‘a mere tradition’. Rather, it has strong basis and is also ruled as obligatory.

We implore the scholars and government of Egypt to ponder over these evidences and reconsider whether they really want to ban the Niqab. We pray that Allah the Almighty guide’s one and all and show us the truth as truth. Ameen.



1) Allah Ta’ala mentions, 

{ ياأَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَآءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلاَبِيبِهِنَّ ذالِكَ أَدْنَى أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلاَ يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً } [الأحزاب:59] 

“O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters, and the women of the believers, that they should pull down upon them of their outer cloaks (from their heads over their faces). That is more likely that they may thus be recognized and not molested. And ALLAH is Most Forgiving, Merciful.


Numerous commentators (who certainly understood the Deen better than the Shaykh and his parents) have interpreted this verse to denote that ALL women are commanded to cover their faces. Below we have mentioned the names of scholars from each century who have either clearly mentioned, or cited scholars from the past and agreed with them, that this verse refers to covering the face: 

1) The greatest commentator, Ibn Abbaas (died 68 AH)

2) The great Sahabi, ‘Abidah as-Simani (died 72 AH)

3) Imam al-Kufiyeen Yahya bin Ziyad Ad-Daylami (famously known as Al-Farraa-died 207)

4) Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Jarir at-Tabari (died 310 AH)

5) Al-Imam al-Hafidh Abu Muhammad Abd ar-Rahman bin Abi Hatim (died 327AH)

6) Imam Abu Ja’far Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Muradi an-Nuhas (A senior scholar from Egypt-died 338 AH)

7) Imam Abu Bakr Ahmad bin ‘Ali Ar-Razi al-Jassass (died 370)

8) Abu Ishaq Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim At-Tha’labi (died 427)

9) Abu Hasan ‘Ali bin Ahmad al-Wahidi (died 468)

10) ‘Imad ad-Deen bin Muhammad at-Tabari (died 504 AH)

11) Muhi as-Sunnah Abu Muhammadal-Husain bin Mas’ud al-Baghawi (died 516)

12) Abu al-Qasim Mahmud bin ‘Umar Az-Zamarkashi Al-Khuwarazmi (died 538)

13) Allamah Abu Bakr Ibn al-‘Arabi (died 543)

14) Fakhr ad-Deen Muhammad bin ‘Umar bin al-Husain ar-Razi (died 604 AH)

15) Shams ad-Deen Abu ‘Abdillah Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Qurtubi (died 671 AH)

16) Nasir ad-Deen Abu Sa’id Abdullah Ibn Umar bin Muhammad al-Baydhawi (died 691 or 791)

17) Abu al-Barakaat ‘Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Mahmud an-Nasafi (died 710)

18) Allamah ‘Ala ad-Deen ‘Ali bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim al-Baghdadi (Commonly known as al-Khazin, died 725 AH)

19) Allamah Abu al-Fida Ismail bin ‘Umar bin Katheer al-Qurashi (died 774)

20) Abu Hayyaan Muhammad bin Yusuf al-Andalusi (died 784)

21) Abu Hafs ‘Umar bin ‘Ali Ibn ‘Adil Ad-Dimashqi al-Hambali (died after 880)

22) Burhan ad-Deen Abi al-Hasan Ibrahim bin ‘Umar al-Baqaa’i (died 885)

23) Allamah ‘Abd ar- Rahman bin al-Kamal Jalal ad-Deen As-Suyuti (A great scholar from Egypt- died 911)

24) Shams ad-Deen Muhammad bin Ahmad Ash-Sharyini (One of the senior scholars of Cairo-died 977AH)

25) Allamah Abu Sa’ud Muhammad bin Muhammad al-‘Imadi (died 982)

26) Shihab ad-Deen Ahmad bin Muhammad bin ‘Umar al-Khafaji (died 1069)

27) Ismail Haqi bin Mustafa al-Islambuli al-Khalwati died (1127)

28) Allamah Sulaiman bin ‘Umar al-‘Ujaili (Known as al-Jamal-died 1206)

29) Shaykh Ibn al- ‘Ajibah Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Mahdi al-Idreesi (died 1224)

30) Ahmad bin Muhammad as-Sawi (A great scholar from Egypt-died 1241)

31) Abu Al-Fadhl Shihaab ad-Deen Mahmud al-Alusi (died 1270)

32) Muhammad Jamaal ad-Deen al-Qasmi (died 1332)

33) Allamah Zahid al-Kawthari (A senior scholar who used to live in Egypt died 1371)

34) Shaykh Mustafa al-‘Adawi (A senior contemporary scholar of Egypt)

35) Surprising, Shaykh Sayyad Tantawi has also accepted this view and spoke in support of the veil in his commentary entitled ‘At-Tafsir al-wasit’. He writes under the commentary of this verse,

التفسير الوسيط للقرآن الكريم – (ج 11 / ص 245 دار المعارف) 

والجلابيب جمع جلباب ، وهو ثوب يستر جميع البدن ، تلبسه المرأة فوق ثيابها . والمعنى : يا أيها النبي قل لأزواجك اللائي في عصمتك ، وقل لبناتك اللائي هن من نَسْلك ، وقل لنساء المؤمنين كافة ، قل لهن : إذا ما خرجن لقضاء حاجتهن ، فعليهن أن يَسدلن الجلاليب عليهن ، حتى يسترن أجسامهن سترًا تامًّا من رؤوسهن إلى أقدامهن ؛ زيادة في التستر والاحتشام ، وبعدًا عن مكان التهمة والريبة . قالت أم سلمة رضي الله عنها : لما نزلت هذه الآية خرج نساء الأنصار كأن على رؤوسهن الغربان من السكينة وعليهن أكسية سُود يلبسنها


2) In another verse, Allah Ta’ala mentions,


قُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ  وَقُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آَبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آَبَاءِ 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 مِنْ زِينَتِهِنَّ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ (النور

“Tell the believing men that they must lower their gazes and guard their private parts; it is more decent for them. Surely Allah is All-Aware of what they do.

And tell the believing women that they must lower their gazes and guard their private parts, and must not expose their adornment, except that which appears thereof, and must wrap their bosoms with their shawls, and must not expose their adornment, except to their husbands or their fathers or the fathers of their husbands, or to their sons or the sons of their husbands, or to their brothers or the sons of their brothers or the sons of their sisters, or to their women, or to those owned by their right hands, or male attendants having no vigour, or to the children who are not yet conscious of the shames of women. And let them not stamp their feet in a way that the adornment they conceal is known. And repent to Allah O believers, all of you, so that you may achieve success.” [24:30/31] 

Allah Ta’ala commands that females should conceal their entire body “except that which appears thereof.” Scholars differ to what is meant by the phrase “except that which appears thereof”. Sayyiduna Ibn Mas’ood (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) mentions that it refers to the clothing of women. This is also the view of Ibrahim Nakh’i and Hasan (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on them both.[36] Other scholars opine that it refers to her hands and face.This is the opinion of Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) and others.

The first explanation is emphatic that a woman should don the veil as she is not permitted to expose her face. 

According to the second interpretation a woman is permitted to leave her hands and face open. However, this does not contradict the encouragement to don the niqab as exposing these features is due to the fact the there is a need and the laws of niqab is to safeguard societies from fitna.

Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) himself explains that a woman should leave her face open only when at home. When she leaves her home she would have to adorn the hijab.


حدثني عليّ، قال: ثنا عبد الله، قال: ثني معاوية، عن عليّ، عن ابن عباس، قوله:( وَلا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا ) قال: والزينة الظاهرة: الوجه، وكحل العين، وخضاب الكفّ، والخاتم، فهذه تظهر في بيتها لمن دخل من الناس عليها


Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas رضي الله تعالى عنه narrates that the ‘apparent beauty’ refers to the face, kohl, henna and the ring. A woman could expose this in her home in front of those who enter her home.

Furthermore, the word used in the verse is ظهر (that which becomes exposed) and not اظهرن (that which they expose). In this verse all other verbs are attributed to the females except this verse. This indicates to the face that a woman should conceal her entire body however, if while carrying out her chores and necessities her hands or face accidently becomes exposed then this is be permitted.


3) The ruling of covering the face is corroborated by a third verse wherein Allah Ta’ala says,


وَالْقَوَاعِدُ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ اللاتِي لا يَرْجُونَ نِكَاحًا فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْهِنَّ جُنَاحٌ أَنْ يَضَعْنَ ثِيَابَهُنَّ غَيْرَ مُتَبَرِّجَاتٍ بِزِينَةٍ وَأَنْ يَسْتَعْفِفْنَ خَيْرٌ لَهُنَّ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ


“And those old women who have no hope for marriage, there is no sin on them, if they take off their (extra) clothes while they do not display their adornment. Still, that they refrain (even from this) is better for them. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” [24:60] 

In the above verse Allah Ta’ala allows elderly woman to take off their extra clothes. Mufassiroon explain that “extra clothes” refer to the jilbab. This verse confer that young women are not allowed to leave out the jilbab. 


4) In another verse it is mentioned,


وليضربن بخمرهن على جيوبهن


“And let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms.”

This verse also proves that a woman should cover her face, either because it is the laazim (natural outcome) of covering ones head and chest or through qiyaas (analogy) that if she is commanded to cover her head and chest then she would be even more required to cover her face which is the greatest point of beauty.





Covering the face was a common practice amongst the noble consorts of Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم. Lest one thinks this was a ruling only for them, we have also included below narrations which clearly illustrates that other Sahabiyaat would also don the veil.


عن ابن شهاب قال حدثني عروة بن الزبير وسعيد بن المسيب وعلقمة بن وقاص وعبيد الله بن عبد الله بن عتبة بن مسعود عن عائشة رضي الله عنها زوج النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم حين قال لها أهل الإفك ما قالوا وكلهم حدثني طائفة من حديثها وبعضهم كان أوعى لحديثها من بعض وأثبت له اقتصاصا وقد وعيت من كل رجل منهم الحديث الذي حدثني عن عائشة وبعض حدثيهم يصدق بعضا وإن كان بعضهم أوعى له من بعض . قالوا : قالت عائشة كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إذا أراد سفرا أقرع بين أزواجه…إلى قولها…فأصبح عند منزلي فرأى سواد إنسان نائم فعرفني حين رآني وكان رآني قبل الحجاب فاستيقظت باسترجاعه حين عرفني فخمرت وجهي بجلبابي والله ما تكلمنا بكلمة ولا سمعت منه كلمة غير استرجاعه الخ

1) Ibn Shihaab narrates from Ayesha (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with her) that when Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم would intend going out on a journey he would draw lots between his spouses…until the portion…he came to the spot where I was sleeping and noticed the shape of a human. He immediately recognised me since he saw me before the laws of hijab were revealed. I woke when he claimed Inna lillahi. I covered my face with my jilbab. By Allah, we did not speak a single word not did I hear a letter from him besides Inna lillahi. (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)


عن عائشة قالت : كان الركبان يمرون بنا ونحن مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم محرمات فإذا حاذوا بنا أسدلت إحدانا جلبابها من رأسها على وجهها فإذا جاوزنا كشفناه


2) Ayesha (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with her) say, “The male riders would pass us while we were with Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم in the state of Ihram. When they would pass us, we would lower our loose scarves over our faces. When they passed, we would once again reveal our faces.” 


وروى ابن أبي خيثمة من طريق إسماعيل بن أبي خالد عن أمه قالت : كنا ندخل على أم المؤمنين يوم التروية ، فقلت لها : يا أم المؤمنين ،هنا امرأة تأبى أن تغطى وجهها وهي محرمة ، فرفعت عائشة خمارها من صدرها فغطت به وجهها.[44


3) Ismail bin Abi Khalid narrates from his mother that she said, “We would enter upon the mother of the believers on the day of tarwiyyah. I asked her, O mother of the believers, there is a woman here who refuses to cover her face whilst in Ihraam. Ayesha (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with her) raised her cloth from her chest and veiled her face.”


عن عبد الملك بن مروان بن الحارث بن أبي ذباب قال أخبرني أبو عبد الله سالم يعني سبلان قال وكانت عائشة تستعجب بأمانته وتستأجره: قال سالم كنت آتيها مكاتبا فتجلس بين يدي وتتحدث معي حتى جئتها ذات يوم فقلت أدعي لي بالبركة يا أم المؤمنين قالت وما ذاك قلت أعتقني الله قالت بارك الله لك وأرخت الحجاب دوني فلم أرها بعد ذلك اليوم[45


4) ‘Abd al-Malik bin Marwan narrates from Abu ‘Abdullah Salim-a person who Ayesha (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with her) would admire for his trust and would even hire him- he says, “I would come to Ayesha whilst still a partial slave (mukatab). She would sit in front of me and converse with me. Until I came to her one day and said, ‘Pray for me for blessings oh mother of the believers.’ She asked ‘What happened?’ I replied, ‘Allah has emancipated me from my slavery.’ She immediately pulled down her veil and I did not see her after that.”  


عن صفية بنت شيبة ، عن عائشة رضي الله عنهما : أنها « كانت تطوف وهي متنقبة »[46

5) Safiyyah bint Abi Shaybah narrates that Ayesha (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with her) would perform circumambulation with her face covered.


عن عبد الخبير بن ثابت بن قيس بن شماس عن أبيه عن جده قال جاءت امرأة إلى النبى -صلى الله عليه وسلم- يقال لها أم خلاد وهى منتقبة تسأل عن ابنها وهو مقتول فقال لها بعض أصحاب النبى -صلى الله عليه وسلم- جئت تسألين عن ابنك وأنت منتقبة فقالت إن أرزإ ابنى فلن أرزأ حيائى الخ

6) ‘Abd al-Khaybar bin Thabit bin Qais bin Shammaas narrates from his father who narrates from his grandfather that he said, “A woman called Umm Khallaad came to the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم with her face veiled to enquire of her son who was martyred. Some companions of the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم remarked that you came to ask of your son yet you are veiled? She replied, ‘If I lost my son I do not need to lose my modesty.”


عن فاطمة بنت المنذر أنها قالت :كنا نخمر وجوهنا ونحن محرمات ونحن مع أسماء بنت أبي بكر الصديق[47


7) Fatimah bint al-Mundhir states, “We would cover our faces whilst in the state of Ihraam while we were in the company of Asma, the daughter of Abu Bakr (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with them).”


عن أم سلمة قالت قال لنا رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- « إن كان لإحداكن مكاتب فكان عنده ما يؤدى فلتحتجب منه ».[48

8) Umm Salma (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with her) narrates that the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “If any of you possess a mukatab (partial slave purchasing his freedom) and he has the amount to pay, then you should make hijab from him.”






The following scholars in the Hanafi Madhab have mentioned that it is necessary for a woman to cover her face:


1) Abu Mansur al-Maturidi (d. 333 AH),

2) Hakim al-Shahid (d. 334 AH),

3) Jassas al-Razi (d. 370 AH),

4) Al-Natifi (d. 446 AH),

5) Qadi Khan (d. 592 AH),

6) Al-Marghinani — author of Al-Hidayah (d. 593 AH),

7) Al-Kirmani (d. 600 AH approx.),

8) Mahmud Al-Bukhari — author of al-Muhit (d. 616 AH),

9) Al-Sunnami (d. after 700 AH),

10) Al-Sighnaqi (d. 714 AH),

11) Al-Qurashi (d. 854 AH),

12) Ibn al-Humam (d. 861 AH),

13) Al-Quhustani (d. 950 AH),

14) Ibn Nujaym (d. 970 AH),

15) Sinan al-Khalwati (d. 989 AH),

16) Umar ibn Nujaym (d. 1005 AH),

17) Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari (d. 1014 AH),

18) Al-Shurunbulali (d. 1069 AH),

19) Shaykh Zada al-Afandi (d. 1078 AH),

20) ‘Abd al-Halim (d. 1088 AH),

21) Al-Haskafi (d. 1088 AH),

22) Al-Tahtawi (d. 1231 AH),

23) Ibn ‘Abidin (d. 1252 AH),

24) ‘Abid al-Sindhi (d. 1257 AH),

25) ‘Abd al-Hay al-Laknawi (d. 1304 AH),

26) Al-Sawati (d. 1346 AH),

27) Al-Nahlawi (d. 1350 AH).




The following scholars in the Maliki Madhab have mentioned that it is necessary for a woman to cover her face.

1) Abu Bakr Ibn al-‘Arabi (died 543),

2) Shams ad-Deen Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Khazraji al-Qurtubi (died 671)

3) Shams ad-Deen Hattaab ar-Ru’aini Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad bin Muhammad at-Tarabalusi al-Maghrabi (died 954)

4) ‘Abd al-Baqi bin Yusuf Az-Zarqani (died 1099)

5) Shaykh Muhammad bin Abd al-Baqi Yusuf Az-Zarqani (died 1122)

6) Ahmad bin Ghunaim an-Nafrawi (A scholar from Al-Azhar-died 1126)

7) Ali bin Ahmad Al-‘Adawi (A famous scholar of Egypt-died 1189)

8) Ash-Shaykh Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Ahmad al-‘Adawi Ad-Dirdeer (A great scholar who studied in Al-Azhar-died 1201)

9) Ahmad bin Muhammad as-Sawi (A leading scholar from Egypt-died 1241)





The following scholars in the Shafi Madhab have mentioned that it is necessary for a woman to cover her face:

1) Al-Imām Yahya bin Sharf al-Nawawī (died 676 AH)

2) Shams ad-Deen Muhammad bin Abi Bakr Ibn an-Naqeeb aal-Misri (died 745)

3) Al-Imām Ahmad ibn ‘Alī ibn Ḥajar al-Haytamī al-Makkī (A great scholar-written Tuhfa al-Muhtaj which is one of the most authoritive books in the Shafi Madhab- died AH 974)

4) Al-Imām Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Khāṭib al-Shirbīnī (977 AH)

5) Ahmad bin al-Qasim al-‘Abadi (An Azhari-died 992)

6) Shams ad-Deen Muhammad bin ‘Abd al-‘Abbaas Ahmad bin Hamza Ar-Ramali (One of the most senior Muftis of Egypt, famously known as Ash-Shaf’i as-sageer- died 1004)

7) Shaykh Sulaiman al-Jamal (An Azhari-1204)

8) ‘Abdul Hamid al-Makki ash-Sharwani (died 1301)

9) Abu Bakr Uthman Ibn As-Sayyad Muhammad Ad-Dimyati (died 1302)

10) Al-Imām Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Khāṭib al-Shirbīnī (One of the greatest jurists of the Shafi Madhab-died 977 AH)




The following scholars in the Hambali Madhab have mentioned that it is necessary for a woman to cover her face:

1) Imam Ahmad (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) himself (died 241 AH)

2) ‘Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Qudamah al-Maqdisi (One of the greatest Hambali scholars-died 620)

3) Shams ad-Deen Abi al-Faraj ‘Abd ar-Rahman bin Muhammad al-Maqdisi (died 682 AH)

4) Shams ad-Deen Muhammad bin Muflih al-Maqdisi (died 763 AH)

5) Shams ad Deen Musa bin Ahmad al-Hajawi (died 960 AH)

6) Mansur bin Yunus bin Idrees al-Bahuti (Shaykh of the Hambalis in Egypt-died 1051 AH)

7) Mustafa as-Suyuti ar-Ruhaibai (died 1243 AH)

8) ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-‘Anqari (died 1373 AH)



Unveiling has a number of disadvantages. Some of them are as follows:

1. It is a violation of the Quran and Hadith;

2. It shows woman’s weakness in belief;

3. It is a cause of temptation for men and women;

4. It strips off her modesty that is an integral part of Faith; 

5. It subjects her to adultery and sexual harassment ;

6. It hurts her dignity and feelings and it stains her chastity;

7. It prompts woman to take part in commercial advertisements and films as a showpiece and a source of enjoyment for the viewers.




From the aforementioned it is clear, that not only is the veiling of the face established in Islam, it is also based on concrete evidences. This has been the continuous practise of the past fourteen centuries. As the great scholar of Al-Azhar, Hafidh Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani has said,


ولم تزل عادة النساء قديما وحديثا يسترن وجوههن عن الاجانب[102

“It has continuously been the practice of women since time immemorial to cover their faces from strangers.”(Fath al-Bari 9/324)

Hence as a religious right, we implore the Shaykh to reconsider his plans of banning the Hijab in Al-Azhar affiliated institutes. Every woman should be given her human right of the freedom to practise upon her religion. We also request the Shaykh to retract his consent he gave to the French government of banning the Hijab.  

Given the position of the Shaykh, he ought to be advocating and encouraging modesty. He is supposed to appreciate a girl wearing the veil in this modern day and age. Al-Azhar was once looked upon as an icon for Muslims. We cannot allow it now to stoop so low and become such an ardent promoter of compromise to serve the ideologies of some in the west.


We pray that Allah, the All-mighty grants us the true understanding of his religion and may He save us from being helpers of the devil.

And Allah knows best

Wassalaamu `alaykum 

Jointly prepared:

Ml. Ismail Moosa and Ml. Ishaq E Moosa

Students Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai (with the following comments):


The issue cannot be about whether there is a Shar’i basis of niqab or not. The above references and authorities clearly prove beyond doubt the Shar’i basis of niqab. No scholar can dispute this. 

Contextually, the issue is that if a woman wishes to voluntarily wear the niqab, especially in a Muslim country, can she be restricted to do so? The simple answer is no, she cannot be restricted. That is curtailing her right of freely practising her Deen and what she correctly understands of her Deen. This right of a Muslim woman is even respected in non-Muslim countries. It is indeed a shame if a Muslim country deprives a Muslim woman from this right. Such a restriction leads one to question the motive behind depriving one of such a right. 

Is it motivated by political persuasion etc? It is at this juncture the istiqaamat of an ‘Alim –e-haq is challenged. Do they really speak for Allah?  


(Mufti) Ebrahim Desai

Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah

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