The Ihraam of the Face & Hijaab

While in Ihraam, it is not permissible for a woman to allow any cloth to touch her face. Ibne Umar رضي الله عنه narrates that Nabi ﷺ said:

“المحرمة لا تنتقب”

“A woman who is in Ihraam should not put a veil on her face.”

(Abu Dawud Shareef under the chapter “What a Muhrim should wear”)

However, it is still necessary for a woman to conceal herself from strange men.Which is why, in Ihraam, she must wear a cap etc with a veil hanging over in such a way that no cloth touches the face and she remain unexposed.

It is narrated in Musnad Ahmed and Abu Dawud Shareef on the authority of Hadhrat ‘Aisha رضي الله عنها :

قَالَتْ كَانَ الرُّكْبَانُ يَمُرُّونَ بِنَا وَنَحْنُ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مُحْرِمَاتٌ فَإِذَا حَاذَوْا بِنَا سَدَلَتْ إِحْدَانَا جِلْبَابَهَا مِنْ رَأْسِهَا إِلَى وَجْهِهَا فَإِذَا جَاوَزُونَا كَشَفْنَاهُ ‏

“Riders would pass us when we accompanied the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) while we were in the sacred state (wearing ihram). When they came by us, we would let down her outer garment from her head over her face, and when they had passed on, we would uncover our faces.” (Abu Dawud, Chapter on the female in Ihram covering her face, Hadith 1833)

From this narration, it is evident that although a woman will not don a veil she will not appear in an uncovered state in front of strangers, instead she will hang a cloth from above so that in addition to being hidden from strangers no cloth touches her face.]

The narration of Abdullah Ibne Abbaas رضي الله عنه in Musnade Shaafi’i explains the method of covering the face in the condition of Ihraam:

Hadhrat Ataa رحمه الله narrates from Ibne Abbaas رضي الله عنه who says, “a woman will allow the extra cloth of her veil to hang forwards, and not put it on the face itself.” Hadhrat Ataa رحمه الله says, “I enquired how she would not do so. He replied by demonstrating how a woman wears the veil cloth, then he indicated to the cloth that was close to his face and said, ‘ with this cloth she will not cover her face in such a manner that the cloth touches her face, rather the cloth should hang loose in front of her face.

In Fathul Baari, Allamah Ibne Asqalaani رحمه الله mentions the explanation of Allaamah Ibnul Mundhir رحمه الله:

ِAllamah ibnul Mundhir رحمه الله says: “It is the consensus of the Ulama that a woman in Ihraam may wear all types of sewn clothing and socks and she will cover her hair and head. However, she will hang a cloth over her face in such a manner that she is concealed from the gazes of people.; she will not completely cover face.”

Bahrur Raaiq, Allaamah Ibne Nujaim Misri رحمه الله has reconciled between the views (of when it is mustahab and when it is waajib):

“If there are no non-mahrams present, it is mustahab to hang a cloth over the face (so that the directive of Hijaab remains intact of a strange man appearing suddenly). When non-Mahrams are present and if it is possible to hang a cloth over her face, it will be waajib to do so. If, for some reason, it is not possible to hang a cloth over the face, then it will be necessary for men to lower their gazes.”

In any case, if women leave their faces uncovered, the fear of sin befalling is not hidden from any one in today’s times. Especially in the sacred Masjids, every visitor to the Noble lands is well aware of the condition prevailing due to excessive mingling and carelessness. For this reason permission cannot be granted to leave it open unnecessarily.

In Muallimul Hujjaj it appears: “Even while in Ihraam it is necessary for women to cover their face with a veil from non-mahram males, this should be done in such a way that the cloth does not touch the face. There is no need to get worried should the cloth touch the face frequently due to the wind – once out of Ihraam give some Sadaqah (charity). To protect the hair, it is fine to cover the head with a cloth, shawl, or scarf but impermissible to pass the hands over the scarf for Masah in Wudhu, Masah of hair itself is necessary, otherwise the Salaah together with the Wudhu is invalid.

It appears in Muallumul Hujjaaj that it is prohibited for a woman to cover only the face and for a man to cover the face and head. A penalty will be binding if a man in Ihraam covered the entire head or face or a quarter of the head/face with an item that is normally used to cover (e.g. turban, topi, sewn or un-sewn cloth). Whether this was done intentionally or forgetfully, happily or forefully, being excused or not, in all conditions a penalty will be Waajib. One damm (goat/sheep) is Waajib if it was covered the entire day or night, and Sadaqah (charity) is Waajib if it was less then a day or night. The specified amount of charity is half a Saa (approximately 900 grams) of wheat.

(Fatawa Rahimiyyah Vol 5 Page 219, Muallimul Hujjaj Page 253)

Source: The Hajj of a woman without a Mahram, Translation by Mufti Afzal Hoosen Elias رحمه الله

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