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Do I Have to Wear a Niqab in a Muslim Country?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I wish to seek a dispensation on the issue of niqab being obligatory. I think I should mention I live in Iraq as I know the ruling on niqab is different to those in the west. Regarding what falls under nudity I stick to the hanafi school which states everything is nudity apart from feet, hands & face and so I don’t cover those around a non mahram. However regarding niqab I hold the opinion it is recommended, not obligatory to cover the face and area under the chin so I don’t cover these around a non mahram either. Is this the correct use of a legal dispensation?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

The Hanafis do not deem a woman’s face to be from her nakedness (‘awra), so it is not obligatory to cover the face in the same sense that it is obligatory to cover the head. But they did generally deem it to be a duty given the societal harm of doing otherwise. It is still undoubtedly possible to realise and follow this in many Muslim societies.

In places where this isn’t the norm, there is a distinct lack of religious behaviour or priorities, or it will cause some kind of greater detriment, godfearing scholars have deemed it acceptable to leave it aside.This is acceptable given that the original duty of covering the face is due to a secondary consideration, distinct from the demarcation of what is nakedness and what isn’t.

What this means is that you should focus your religious resolve to do more towards other aspects of life which need to be refined. Work on increasing your righteous works, both in quality and quantity, your gracious character, your religious outlook and comportment and the many other things the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) guided us toward.

Religion isn’t simply outward manifestations.

Please also see: Is It Necessary for Women to Wear the Niqab in the Hanafi School? and: The Lawful Nature of Niqab (Face Veiling)

And Allah Most High knows best.

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

My In-Laws Place Me Under a Lot of Pressure. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I live with my in-laws and they place me under a lot pressure, as if I will take their son away from them. I have no privacy. I cannot talk to my husband when I am not home. They force me to wear niqab, even though I already wear abaya. What should I do about it?

Before marriage, my in-laws said I could stay with my mother when my husband is overseas. Now that I am married, they forbid it.

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us. Please forgive me for the delay.

Privacy

It was narrated that Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: ‘The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive for that which will benefit you, seek the help of Allah, and do not feel helpless. If anything befalls you, do not say, “if only I had done such and such” rather say “Qaddara Allahu wa ma sha’a fa’ala (Allah has decreed and whatever he wills, He does).” For (saying) ‘If’ opens (the door) to the deeds of Satan.'” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

You are in a very difficult situation. I pray that Allah grants you relief from your tribulation.

Please learn about your rights to privacy by reading this article: A Wife’s Right to Housing Seperate From Her In-Laws.

At the very minimum, you have the right to your own bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living space.

Even if your in-laws do not like it, please lock your bedroom door. They do not respect your privacy, so you must uphold it on your own. You must empower yourself, instead of continuing to give your power away to them.

Allah created you strong. Tap into that strength. Through His help, you can overcome this.

Niqab

Your in-laws, nor anyone else, cannot force you to wear niqab.

Marriage

Dear sister, please strive to protect your emotional health and the sanctity of your marriage.

Please speak to your husband about how difficult you are finding your living situation. You are both on the same team, and you need his support. There is a very big power imbalance because your husband works abroad. It is natural for you to struggle to assert yourself with your overbearing in-laws.

Ideally, it is easier for your husband to advocate on your behalf, until you get better at advocating for yourself. Also, it is far healthier for you to travel with your husband, when he goes abroad to work, instead of being left behind with your in-laws. Is that possible?

Living Situation

If moving with your husband is not a possibility, then please consult this invaluable website: Contented In-Laws. Study the strategies to make it easier for you to live more comfortably in your home.

It is a terrible feeling, to feel imprisoned in your own home. I pray that it gets better for you. You cannot change your in-laws, but you can change how you choose to interact with them. Choose calm and respectful assertiveness.

Mother

You are not your in-law’s property, despite what they might believe, or despite what misogynistic cultural expectations may tell you. You have every right to stay with your mother when your husband is overseas. Does your husband know that his parents forbid you from staying with your mother?Please work with him to make this happen.

Mediation

If you feel that that your in-laws can be persuaded by another elder, is there a trustworthy and compassionate scholar or community elder who can advocate for you? However, if you feel that outside intervention will only make things worse, then stick to working with your husband.

Spiritual Nourishment

Please perform the Prayer of Need as often as you need to. Nourish your heart with regular recitation of the Qur’an and dhikr. Please sign up to one of our courses, and/or listen to our podcasts and lesson sets.

I pray that Allah grants you a way out of your tribulation and strengthens your marriage.

Please see:

Do I Have the Right to Demand From My Husband to Not Live With My In-Laws?
I Live With an Abusive and Depressed Mother-In-Law – Should I Leave My Husband?
My Wife Struggles to Have Privacy in Our Family Home. What Do We Do?
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

Wassalam,

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

Am I Permitted to Supplicate for a Wife Who Wears Niqab?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: At college, I saw some Muslim girls with niqabs and I was immediately amazed at their religiosity and enthusiasm. I now long to marry a niqabi, but I am confused as to whether I should make a specific dua like “Ya Allah, please grant me a righteous and beautiful future wife who wears niqab”. Would it be better for me to just generally ask for “a righteous and beautiful future wife”?

Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for seeking counsel.

Niqab

Alhamdulillah, it is praiseworthy for you to love outward expressions of modesty. I encourage you to learn more about inward expressions of modesty by listening to this excellent podcast: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani Beyond Hijab: Modesty Amongst Women in Islam.

There is a difference of opinion in the ruling behind wearing niqab in the West, especially with the rising tide of Islamphobia. Please reflect on this article: Is It Necessary for Women to Wear the Niqab in the Hanafi School?

I am concerned that if you grow too attached to the idea of a niqabi wife, you risk closing yourself off from a fulfilling marriage to a Muslim woman who wears hijab, and has excellent deen and character.

Intention

Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab: I heard Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) saying, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.” [Bukhari]

What is your intention behind wanting to marry a woman who wears niqab? Please sit down and be honest with yourself. Do you think that a woman who wears niqab automatically is more pious, or will make a better wife for you? Allah alone knows the contents of our hearts, and He knows better than we do.

Supplication

You are permitted to ask for whatever you wish in dua, but remember to consign the outcome to Allah. Please reflect on this article: Struggling to Have Children: Ten Key Etiquettes of Du’a.

Please perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night.

Groundwork

Please don’t turn up one day with a niqabi sister and shock your parents. Save yourself future heartache by working with your family’s expectations about a daughter-in-law. From what you have described, it sounds like an uphill battle if you are fixated on marrying a woman who wears niqab, especially if she is not from the same ethnicity as you.

If you are determined to do so, then I encourage you to start discussing that with your parents now. Broach the topic with them by asking them what they expect from you in terms of selecting a wife. Take the time to listen to them with a spirit of genuine concern, not a spirit of dismissing their worries. If they are alarmed about the idea of you wanting your wife to wear niqab, then listen to their concerns, validate them, and offer your perspective. Parents have the wisdom that comes with worshipping Allah longer than their offspring. There is great reward in being kind to parents, especially when it comes to matters you disagree on. Allah will reward you tremendously for giving up what you want for the sake of pleasing them, as long as it is permissible.

Marriage

Please enroll in this course to give you a clearer understanding of what constitutes an successful Islamic marriage
Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life. I pray that this course will give you a better idea of what to look for in your future wife.

If niqab is that important to you, then you must bring it up in the proposal process.

If you do marry someone who wears hijab, then please thank Allah for that tremendous blessing. There is nothing more beloved to Allah than the fulfilment of obligatory acts.

Reality

I speak to you from the perspective of a Muslim woman who grew up in the West. I don’t recommend that you insist that your wife wear niqab. Will you feel comfortable wearing traditional clothing while covering your head with a turban? Muslim men who wear ‘regular’ clothes can pass as non-Muslim when they go to work, college, or even grocery shopping. Muslim women in hijab, let alone niqab, cannot.

It takes tremendous courage to wear hijab in the West, and it takes even more courage to wear niqab. A successful marriage takes work, and the toil of daily life can be exhausting enough, especially with small children. Expecting your future wife to brave all that alongside the niqab seems counter to the spirit of mercy and sincere concern.

However, if niqab is something she does wish to observe, on her own, as an expression of her love for Allah and His Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace), then alhamdulilah, may her reward be manifold. Ask yourself what you need to do to be worthy of such a woman.

On that note, if you move to Muslim lands where niqab is more common, then go ahead and encourage that in your wife. Even then, please do not think any less of her if she does not want to.

Please balance your newfound religiosity with a healthy dose of wisdom, especially in relation to maintaining good ties with your parents. I pray that Allah grants you a deep understanding of His Deen, and blesses you with a loving, pious wife who brings you closer to Allah.

Please see:
The Lawful Nature of Niqab (Face Veiling)
My Parents Prevent Me From Practicing: What Should I Do?
What to Do When My Parents Reject My Choice of Spouse Because of Cultural Reasons?
Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi‘i fiqh, Arabic, Sirah, Aqidah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajwid. She continues to study with her Teachers through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.

Is Niqab Obligatory in Our Religion?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum,

Is niqab obligatory in our religion? And what are the proofs for it in our religion? What if I put it on while my parents were against it and are very unhappy with it?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

What is more important at this stage is ensuring that you are performing your obligations and abstaining from the unlawful. Thereafter, you should be working on fulfilling the rights of those who have rights upon you.

Strive to attend circles of knowledge (`ilm) and remembrance (dhikr), and work on raising righteous Muslim children. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) came to perfect high, noble character.

Ask Allah to grant you facilitation and success.

And see also: The Lawful Nature of Niqab (Face Veiling) and: Is It Necessary for Women to Wear the Niqab in the Hanafi School?

And Allah alone gives success.

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Wearing the Niqab and Rulings Specific to the Family of the Prophet (Maliki)

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour
Question: Salam aleykoum,
If a woman finds out that she is from the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) offspring , does the niqab also become a duty for her, or does this only apply to the prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) wives and daughters?
Because I found out that I could be from Imam Al Hassan’s descendants. But I can’t imagine wearing a niqab.
Answer: A woman who is from the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) does not have a specific duty of niqab. Wearing niqab would follow the same difference of opinion that applies to Muslim women in general. There is a valid difference of opinion on whether or not a woman must wear niqab. [See the commentaries of the Mukhtsar on the Section of Covering in Prayer]
The only ruling legal ruling (fiqh) specific to the Family of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is that they cannot accept zakat. But even this is lifted when they are in need and do not find an income from the Muslim Treasury (Baytul Maal). [Hashiya Dusuqi in the Section of Zakat Recipients]
In general though, the Family of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) should try to follow the rules of Islam as closely as they can. They should also be given special regard by the general population of Muslims.

Is It Necessary for Women to Wear the Niqab in the Hanafi School?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it compulsory for women to wear Niqab according to Hanafi fiqh? Can you please briefly explain this with some evidence?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

I asked Mufti Mahmoud Ashraf Usmani, an ocean of knowledge and humility, this question. He answered that in our times, with things as they are, what must be insisted on is that women cover properly, such that they reveal nothing besides their face and hands. This has to be done with loose, heavy clothing that is modest, does not attract attention, and does not imitate the fashions of the unbelievers. This is what we must emphasize.

Beyond this, we know that the niqab was the way of the wives of our Beloved Prophet (Allah bless him, his family, companions and those who love them, and give them peace), and the female companions too.

In the Hanafi school, the face, hands, and feet are not awrah. However, the recorded position since the earliest times is that it is necessary (wajib) to cover the face for other than old women, because of the fitna. It is still possible to implement this ruling in the Muslim world. We see, for example, Shaykh Wahbi Sulayman Ghawji, a major Albanian Hanafi alim of great knowledge, wisdom, and taqwa, who lived a long time in Syria and is an author of countless useful works, authoring numerous works reinforcing the necessity (wujub) of niqab according to the vast majority of the jurists of Islam, and criticizing modernists and some others for saying it is not recommended.

HOWEVER , this is very hard to implement in the West. As such, Mufti Mahmoud’s answer, echoed by many other god-fearing scholars who know about the West, can be safely acted upon. Anyone who can, in his or her circumstances, wear niqab, without fear of harm or trouble, is undoubtedly doing that which is best.

How is a father/brother/husband responsible for making their wife/sister/mother wear niqab (or hijab if not compulsory)? Are we allowed to force them to wear it, if so do they get any reward for wearing it after that, or is it a personal choice, where they are sinful if they do not wear it?

The problem with many men now is that they resemble mice and behave like bears. A Muslim is responsible for his family. Allah has ordered us to save ourselves and our families from the fire whose fuel is people and stones. As such, fathers, or other adult household members, with the mother, have the responsibility of raising children who truly believe and understand their religion. This is something that requires much attention, and is a great responsibility, particularly in the West. Children have to be raised loving Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), and the way of the Muslims. Such children would not normally question applying the rulings of Islam.

Now, when none of this has been done, the ruling of course remains: it is obligatory for the wife/sister/mother to cover. Her not doing so is an evil (munkar). The other household members are obliged to try to get her to cover, while this is most incumbent on her husband or father. However, it is not as simple as throwing a piece of cloth on the lady’s unprepared head. Sometimes, much groundwork and background work may be needed. A teen who does not know a thing about her religion, why she is a Muslim and let alone why she “has to cover” will not usually react well to a “cease, desist, and cover” order. It may shake their deen out of them.

Wisdom is needed. But wisdom cannot be confused with accepting wrong. We should still hate this disobedience of the command of Allah in our hearts, but figure out the best, most effective way to change things. A good place is ourselves. The reason that Muslim “awakenings” don’t often have much impact on those around is that whose who awaken to religious practice quickly become heedless of themselves and turn to bash everyone else into imaginary Islamic molds.

Had they only worked on themselves, their light would have shown other the way without much need for words.

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

The Lawful Nature of Niqab (Face Veiling)

by Imam Zaid Shakir
Source: http://www.newislamicdirections.com/nid/articles/the_lawful_nature_of_niqab_face_veils/

Increasingly in the western world, nothing symbolizes the “otherness” of Islam like the veiled Muslim woman. If she chooses to remain quietly home undertaking domestic duties with patient dignity she is rendered invisible and mysterious, veiled by the walls of her home. If she emerges into the public square the perceptions and stereotypes surrounding her veil her in ways the cloth covering her face never could. In many instances, those perceptions serve to negate her humanity, rendering her invisible despite her conspicuousness. To some, she is seen as the antithesis of the freedom, liberty and equality that is said to define the modern world.

The “otherness” she represents cannot be separated from the perceptions that negate her. Thus negated she can have no agency. Her veiling her face cannot be the result of her choice, nor can it be a result of her religious consciousness –a vital aspect of her devotional life. She only veils herself, according to many critics, because she is oppressed by a man; a cruel and insensitive father, an insecure or jealous husband, or a manipulative teacher.

In this view, her oppression is caused by men. Hence, men must intervene in her life as her liberator. The philosopher must intervene on her behalf to explain to her how she is participating in her very oppression; the journalist must intervene to announce her plight to the world; and ultimately, the legislator must intervene to outlaw the practice that he views as the symbol of her oppression and the oppressiveness of her religion.

That this is the plight of many Muslim women in the western world is sadly understandable in light of the paternalistic hypocrisy that has defined many facets of the encounter between Europeans and various non-European “others.”The monoculture emerging from Europe, and by extension America, allows no social, cultural or political expressions that do not conform to its imposed universals. It would be naïve to expect that it would have room for a religious expression like the face veil (Niqab), which is so antithetical to its self-declared norms.

However, when Muslim men feel it their duty to “liberate” their sisters from Niqab, in the name of Islam, something has gone terribly wrong. What gives a “Shaykh” the right to assail, insult, demean and traumatize a schoolgirl in public, demanding that she removes her “un-Islamic” Niqab, as happened last October in Egypt? Such an order is shameless.

The scholar involved in that pathetic episode claimed that Niqab has no basis in Muslim teachings. Apparently, the Syrian government was motivated by the same sentiments when it recently ordered a ban on Niqab for female university students and teachers at all levels. By so doing, many intelligent, dynamic and charismatic women are being denied livelihoods or chances to further their educations –a development that is probably cheered by some as an act of liberation.

Contrary to the spirit implicit in declarations such as that of the Egyptian Shaykh and the action of the Syrian government, Niqab is a firmly established Muslim practice that is supported by the Qur’an, the Sunnah or tradition of the Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, and scholarly opinion dating from the earliest period of Muslim legal history. The balance of this essay will present evidence to support this claim.

Before beginning, I stress that I am not arguing that Niqab is the most appropriate form of dress for Muslim women in the West. Nor am I criticizing Muslim women who do not wear Niqab. That is not my right, nor is it the purpose of this essay. The way that any Muslim woman chooses to dress is strictly her choice and hers alone. I am arguing that those Muslim women who choose to wear Niqab are engaging in a valid Muslim practice and that no one, whoever he or she may be, has the right to deny them that choice.

As for the Qur’an’s affirmation of Niqab, we read in Sura al-Ahzab, O Prophet! Say to your wives, your daughters and the believing women that they should draw their outer garments over their full persons. That is more fitting in order that they are recognized and therefore not harassed. And God is forgiving, merciful. (Q. 33:59) This phrase in the verse, …that they should draw their outer garments over their full persons, is explained as meaning the believing women should cover their faces.

That understanding has been related by the overwhelming majority of Sunni commentators. For example, Imam Tabari relates in his expansive commentary on the Qur’an:

God, may His remembrance be exalted, is saying to His Prophet, peace and blessings upon him, ‘O Prophet! Say to your wives, your daughters and the believing women they should not resemble the female servants in their dress when they emerge from their houses for various needs. [Those servants] expose their hair and their faces. Rather, [the believing women] should draw their outer garments over their full person. [1]

He proceeds to relate numerous narrations demonstrating the various ways the outer garment may be drawn over the face. For example, he narrates that Ibn Sirrin asked ‘Ubaydah about the verse in question (Q. 33:59). The latter grabbed his garment and covered his head and face [2]. In addition to Imam Tabari, many other Qur’anic exegetes mention this verse as meaning a woman should cover her face in public. [3]

The Tradition (Sunna) of Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, includes actions done in his presence that he did not disapprove of. If we consider the many narrations concerning the believing women covering their faces after the revelation of the verse we have been discussing (Q. 33:59) it is obvious that this was a widespread if not universal practice among the believing women during the prophetic epoch. The Prophet, peace and blessings upon him, was never known to discourage that practice outside of prayer and pilgrimage [4].

The fact that he prohibited the believing women from covering their faces during the prayer and the pilgrimage strengthens the argument that face covering was widespread at the time.  Were that not the case, there would have been no need to prohibit the practice while engaging in those acts of worship.

The exegetical understanding that believing women should cover their faces in public is reflected in the rulings of most jurists adhering to the Shafi’i and Hanbali juridical schools. They incline towards the understanding conveyed in the verse we have just discussed (Q. 33:59). The Maliki and Hanafi jurists incline towards the understanding conveyed by another verse in the Qur’an, which states, “…they (the believing women) should not display their beauty except what normally is manifested (Q. 24:31).”Most commentators on this verse explain the expression “what is normally manifested” as meaning the face and the hands. [5]

Hence, the Maliki and Hanafi jurists opine that the face and hands can usually be manifested in public, unless there is fear that a woman’s exceptional beauty will lead to her being harassed, in which case she should cover her face when outside of the home. The Ja’faris and Zaydis among the Shiites, and all of the Sunni schools, with the exception of a small group of Hanbalis, agree that the face of a believing woman is not part of her body that is sinful to display publicly (‘Awra).

They argue that were that the case, she would not be enjoined to display her face during prayer, the pilgrimage or during those human interactions that demand her identification.[6] However, as mentioned above, the Shafi’i and Hanbali schools hold that it is from the rules of normal public decorum, affirmed by Qur’anic degree, that a woman covers her face in public.

On the basis of the various proofs from the Qur’an, the Prophetic tradition and the rulings of Muslim scholars during the broad expanse of Muslim history, it has generally been the common practice of believing women in most urban settings to cover their faces in public. This has been especially true among the religiously educated elite. Women in rural settings, especially those engaged in more strenuous degrees of manual labor, such as working in fields, have generally displayed their faces in public.

Hence, historically, Muslims have had a broad array of opinions on this and many other issues. Those opinions reflect the richness and flexibility of our religion. It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for one to argue that Niqab has no basis in Muslim teachings, just as it would be extremely difficult to argue that Niqab is universally held to be an obligatory practice.

The diversity of legitimate opinions to be found in most areas of Muslim teachings is a source of mercy for the community. Each and every believer has the right to find his or her comfort zone. If some of our sisters are comfortable with Niqab, there is no legal, philosophical [7] or religious basis to deny them their choice. Efforts currently being undertaken to do so in some countries, both in the east and the west are a blatant discriminatory affront to individual freedom, dignity and the basic human rights of Muslim women. Such efforts should be opposed by all people who claim to be working for justice, equality and women’s rights. [8]

Notes:

[1] Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Jarir al-Tabari, Jam’i al-Bayan fi Ta’wil al-Qur’an (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, 1997/1418), 10:331
[2] Ibid., 10:332
[3] See for example Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad al-Qurtubi, al-Jam’i li Ahkam al-Qur’an (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1987/1407), 14:243; Abu Bakr Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah ibn al-‘Arabi, Ahkam al-Qur’an (Beirut: Dar-al-Fikr, n.d.), 3: 625; Abu Fida’ Isma’il bin ‘Umar ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Adhim (Beirut: al-Maktaba al-‘Asriyya, 1996/1416), 3:483; Abu Su’ud Muhammad bin Muhammad al-Hanafi, Irshad al-‘Aqil al-Salim ila Mazaya al-Kitab al-Karim (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, 199/1419), 5:238-239; Abu Fadl Jalal al-Din ‘Abdul al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr al-Suyuti, al-Durr al-Manthur fi al-Tafsir bi al-Ma’thur (Beirut: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, 2001/1421), 6:583-584; Abu Muhammad al-Husayn bin Mas’ud al-Baghawi, Ma’alim al-Tanzil (Beirut: Dar al-Ma’rifa, 1987/1407), 3:544; Jalal al-Din Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Mahalli and Jalal al-Din ‘Abdul al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr al-Suyuti, Tafsir Jalalayn (Beirut: Dar al-Ma’rifa, n.d.), 559-560 .
[4] Abu Dawud, nos. 1825-1827. Among these narrations is the following: Ibn ‘Umar relates that the Prophet, peace and blessings upon him, said, “A woman sanctified for the Pilgrimage should not cover her face nor wear gloves.”
[5] See for example al-Tabari, 9:304-306; al-Qurtubi, 12:228-229; ibn al-‘Arabi, 3:381-382; ibn Kathir, 3:266; Abu Su’ud al-Hanafi, 4:453; al-Suyuti, 6:168; al-Baghawi, 3:338-339; and al-Mahalli, 462.
[6] For a summary of these rulings, see ‘Abdul Karim Zaydan, al-Mufassal fi Ahkam al-Mar’a (Beirut: Mu’assasa al-Risala, 1994/1415), 1:190-191.
[7] Martha Nussbaum has written an insightful article that exposes the discriminatory nature of the arguments of those who argue for banning Niqab in the West. See Martha Nussbaum, “Veiled Threats,” http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/11/veiled-threats/; Referenced July 26, 2010.
[8] This controversial issue has many other facets that time does not allow a full discussion of. Hopefully, we will be able to return to it in greater scope and detail in the near future, God-willing.