Fatwa ID: 04124
Answered by: Maulana Nabil Khan
I live in the UK and have been wearing Niqab for the past 10 years. I am 47 years old and have now started menopause. Only now I sometimes (not all the time) find it difficult to wear as I get very hot when I am driving or walking and pull it down as I feel too hot, maybe I am having hot flashes. My question is do I still need to wear my niqab at this stage in my life? Will I get a sin if I don't?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Modesty is a beautiful thing and it is a well-known founded principle in Islam to exert modesty to the highest level in the life of both male and female Muslims. These rules are even more emphatic in the case of women, for that reason the obligation of wearing Hijab or Niqab is considered so dear to Allah and so beneficial to mankind.
Although there is a well-known disagreement between the scholars of Islam regarding the obligation of wearing Niqab or not. The vast majority do not hold to the position that it is sinful to not adhere to Niqab, rather it is a very desirable act and a woman should attempt to fulfill this act to the best of her ability. On the other hand, Hijab is known as obligatory through consensus and must be worn.
Allah Says in the Quran “And they (females) Must not reveal their beauty except that which is permitted to expose of it.”
For a woman, the defined Awrah is all of her body, including her hair, except for the face, hands to the wrist, and feet. Everything apart from these 3 parts of the body is a part of the ‘Awrah’ and must be covered modestly.
With that being said, the Hanafi scholars, like Ibn Abideen As-Shami and others have held the view that young women must adhere to Niqab more than elderly women due to their youthfulness and more fear of fitnah (corruption).
Thus youthful women have been strongly encouraged to cover their faces out of fear of fitnah, especially in open gathering or public places. Whereas older women may suffice without covering the face. It has been mentioned in Hadith that when a woman reaches the age of menopause she is allowed to have her hands and face exposed. The Prophet (S.A.W) said to Asma (R.A) narrated by Abu Dawood (4104) from al-Waleed from Sa’eed ibn Basheer from Qataadah from Khaalid ibn Durayk from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), that Asma’ bint Abi Bakr entered upon the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wearing a thin dress. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) turned away from her and said, “O Asma’, when a woman reaches the age of puberty, nothing should be seen of her except this and this” – and he pointed to his face and hands. (Hadith Mursal).
In conclusion, it is permissible for a woman of older age, who does not fear fitnah to suffice with the head covering through Hijab as opposed to covering the face with Niqab. However, this rule should be taken very seriously, since there is no doubt that women at the age of 47 years old may still be considered quite attractive and be accessible to fitnah. For this reason, it would be highly recommended to uphold the Niqab out of precaution.
Durr Al-Muhtar Ala’ Radd Al-Mukhtar: Volume 2, Kitab Al-Salah, Page 78.
Al-Fatawa Al-Hindiyyah: Volume 1 page 65: Darul Kutub Al-IlmiyyahBayrut.
Fiqh Al-Islami WaAddillatuhu: Volume 1 page 584. Kitab Al-Salah
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Nabil Khan
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah