Cap Niqab in Hajj
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
The awrah (nakedness) of a woman in front of a non-mahram (those with whom marriage is lawful) consists of the whole body except the face, hands and feet. (Raddul Muhtar p.531 v.9) Wherever there is an apprehension of fitnah or temptation then it will be compulsory for a woman to cover her face.
Allahmah Ibn Abeedeen Shami (RA) has said: “A young woman will be prevented from exposing her face not because it is part of the awrah, rather (for the fear of temptation.” (Raddul Muhtar p.532 v.9)
Moreover, there are many ahadith which informs us that the wearing of the niqab was a practice of the Muslim women during the blessed era of the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam.
Safiyah Bint Shaibah Radiallahu Anha narrates that Saaidah Aaisha Radiallahu Anha used to say “When (the verse): ‘They should draw their veils over their necks and bosoms’ was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their faces with the cut pieces.” (Sahih Bukhari)
Saaidah Aaisha Radiallahu Anha narrates that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam used to offer the Fajr prayer and some believing women covered with their veiling sheets used to attend the Fajr prayer with him and then they would return to their homes unrecognised. (Sahih Bukhari)
Yahya related to me from Malik from Hisham Ibn Urwa that Fatima Bint Mundhir (Radiallahu Anha) said “We used to veil our faces when we were in Ihram in the company of Asma Bint Abi Bakr Radiallahu Anha. (Muwatta Malik)
Saaidah Aaisha Radiallahu Anha said; “The riders would pass us while we were with the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam. 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. (Sunan Abi Dawud)
One of the restrictions of the ihram is that men are not allowed to cover their heads and no piece of cloth should either cover or touch their faces. Although women can wear normal clothes, they must NOT wear gloves or a niqab. Instead, they will cover their faces in the presence of men who are not their mahram in a way that the piece of cloth used does not touch the face, such as wearing a cap, etc…
Saaiduna Ibn UmarRadiallahu Anhu narrates that Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam forbade women pilgrims from wearing gloves, veils, and clothes dyed with saffron or warse. (A sweet smelling plant that was used to dye clothes yellow) Besides these, they may wear anything else, any colour, silk clothes, ornaments, trousers, or a shirt or shoes." (Sunan Abi Dawud, Sunan Baihaqi and Mustadrak Al-Hakim)
However, if it becomes very difficult, in that it becomes virtually impossible to wear the niqab (even with a cap, etc), and one fears harm onto herself, then in such a case one will be excused in leaving the face exposed, but try to keep the face away from non-Mahram men whenever possible by using a chadar or any other piece of garment.
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham