Is Niqab (women covering their faces) mandatory in Islam?
The following was taken from http://www.answering-christianity.com/blog/index.php/topic,3184.msg15841.html#msg15841:
Many people claim that the nikap is supported in Quran and is even fard like prayer, but isn't nikap a problem? Anyone can use it to hide their face identity, right? Plus, criminal might even use it to walk freely in the streets.
As'salamu Alaikum dear brother,
Niqab is misunderstood today. Women's faces do not have to be covered all the time. Even during the Prophet's days, there was no niqab. Women used to uncover their faces in public, and only raise their veils and look away or down when men get close enough. And men are also to look down or away:
24:30 قل للمؤمنين يغضوا من ابصارهم ويحفظوا فروجهم ذلك ازكى لهم ان الله خبير بما يصنعون
[024:030] Say to the believers that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And God is well acquainted with all that they do.
There is a Hadith from Aisha that says this exactly, that they used to cover their faces when men approached close enough:
Narrated Aisha: "The riders would pass us while we were with the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam). When they got close to us, we would draw our outer cloak from our heads over our faces. When they passed by, we would uncover our faces." (Abu Dawood Book 10, Hadith # 1829. Recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah, Narrated 'Aisha. [In his work Jilbab al-Marah al-Muslimah, al-Albani states (p. 108) that it is hasan due to corroborating evidence.)
Hajj and Salat:
Also in Hajj (Pilgrimage) and Salat (Prayer), women are Commanded to not cover their faces. And Hajj and Salat are done in public, especially the Hajj, where there are thousands of men around. Both men and women simply look away from each other.
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How do you respond to their claims, brother Osama? Like when the Quran said,قل لبناتك و نساء المؤمنين دنين عليهن من جلابيههن ذلك ادنى انيعرفن.. You can Google the ayat and hadiths they use to prove that women are required to cover their faces.
When men approach, brother. They are to put a veil on their faces until they pass away. Otherwise, Hijab only (covering the hair only). The woman is not obligated to walk fully covered all the time like they do today.
Again, in both Hajj and Salat, women are Commanded to not cover their faces, especially the Hajj, where there are thousands of men around. Both men and women simply look away from each other.
Women in Islam & Christianity. See a complete listing of topics and issues for women in Islam and Christianity.
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