Niqaab/Face Veil During Hajj and Umrah
  • Question:

    I have a question regarding the niqaab face veil in Hajj.

    Alhumdulillah, I am wearing the niqaab and also observing the hijaab. Is it necessary to wear the niqaab in Hajj or is there any exception? Also if I choose to observe the niqaab during Hajj, if the cloth of the niqab touches my face several times, will I be required to compensate one damm (penalty) or more?

    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question.

    During Hajj & Umrah, while in the state of ihraam, women are not permitted to cover their faces, just as men are not permitted to cover their heads. This is the consensus of the scholars of Islam due to the statements of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh):

    “The woman in ihraam is not to veil her face nor wear gloves” (Saheeh Bukhari, Musnad Ahmad, Nasai, Tirmidhi)

    “The Ihraam of women is in (not covering) her face” (Al Dar Al Qutnee)

    Flexibility on the Matter Based on the Opinions of the Four Schools

    The Hanafi and Shafie schools permit women to cover their faces during ihraam, regardless of whatever the reason may be, provided the veil cloth does not touch the face. This can easily be done by wearing a cap and allowing a piece of cloth to hang over it (see image). (Al Badai Al Sanai, Al Fiqh Al Islami Wa Adillatuhu)

    The Hanbali school is of the opinion that she may cover her face occasionally, while in ihraam, if she is passing by men at a close proximity. There are reports of this practice being carried out by Aysha (r) along with other women in the presence of the Prophet (pbuh). (See the Sunan of Abu Dawood & Al Mughni)

    The Maliki school allows women to cover their faces when they fear fitna (corruption or vice), provided the cloth covering the face is not tied. (See Al Sharh Al Saghir)

    Penalty for Covering the Face
    When a woman covers her face in such a way that the veil touches the face, during ihraam, a penalty is due upon her. If she covered her face for an entire day, then she is to arrange for a damm (animal to be slaughtered and its meat distributed to the poor). However if she covered her face for less than a day, then she is to give charity 1.75 kilograms of wheat or its value in money. (See Mukhtasar Al Quduri, Nur Al Idah & Al Hidaayah)

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah institute
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