Is wearing the niqab an act of worship or a matter of customs? By Musa Furber

Cigaal

يا نبي سلام عليك
Several people have asked me about the accuracy of this particular statement from “Is wearing the niqab an act of worship of a matter of customs?”:

"According to the majority of scholars and the position we adopt, wearing the niqab is a custom and not part of religion or adornment. This is based on the fact that a woman’s face is not part of her ‘awrah (those parts of the body that must not be exposed before non-mahrams). This is the established opinion of the Hanafi, Maliki and Shafi’i schools of jurisprudence, the sound opinion of Imam Ahmed and the opinion maintained by his students, the opinion of al-Awza’i and Abu Thawr."

A woman’s awrah in front of strange men, non-Muslim women, Muslim women, unmarriagable male kin, children, her husband, when alone in private, during prayer, and when making Hajj each can have different rulings.

The ‘awrah is defined as the part of the body that is unlawful to expose. That area can change according to several situations. Some authors use ‘awrah for what must be covered during prayer, and then talk about what is permissible to be seen or looked at in various circumstances but without using the word ‘awrah.

According to the official position of the Shafi‘i school, a woman must cover her entire body except for her hands and face while praying. In front of strange men, her entire body must be covered. In front of her husband and in private, her entire body can be exposed.

Here’s a quote from Fath al-Qarib:

فتح القريب المجيب في شرح ألفاظ التقريب = القول المختار في شرح غاية الاختصار (ص: 73)

وعورة الحُرَّة في الصلاة ما سوى وجهها وكفيها ظهرا وبطنا إلى الكوعين؛ أما عورة الحُرَّة خارجَ الصلاة فجميع بدنها، وعورتها في الخلوة كالذكر.

“The awrah of a free woman during prayer is what is other than her face and hands (top and bottom) up to the wrists. As for the awrah of a free woman outside of prayer, it is all of her body. Her ‘awrahwhen alone or in private spaces is the same as a male’s.” (Fath al-Qarib, 73)

That this is the official position of the Shafi‘i school does not deny the fact that some other schools consider it permissible for a woman to expose her hands and face in front of strange men or when in public, and that some Shafi‘is held and hold a similar view.

But to say that the Shafi‘i school does not consider a woman’s face to be part of her ‘awrah except within prayer simply not true.

This post is not about evidence or preponderance, personal practice, or regional fatwas. Rather, it is about the accuracy of claims and the official position of the Shafi‘i school. And what is presented in the passage quoted above is false.

https://musafurber.com/2016/07/16/comment/
 
Last edited:

Lum

رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا
Several people have asked me about the accuracy of this particular statement from “Is wearing the niqab an act of worship of a matter of customs?”:

"According to the majority of scholars and the position we adopt, wearing the niqab is a custom and not part of religion or adornment. This is based on the fact that a woman’s face is not part of her ‘awrah (those parts of the body that must not be exposed before non-mahrams). This is the established opinion of the Hanafi, Maliki and Shafi’i schools of jurisprudence, the sound opinion of Imam Ahmed and the opinion maintained by his students, the opinion of al-Awza’i and Abu Thawr."

A woman’s awrah in front of strange men, non-Muslim women, Muslim women, unmarriagable male kin, children, her husband, when alone in private, during prayer, and when making Hajj each can have different rulings.

The ‘awrah is defined as the part of the body that is unlawful to expose. That area can change according to several situations. Some authors use ‘awrah for what must be covered during prayer, and then talk about what is permissible to be seen or looked at in various circumstances but without using the word ‘awrah.

According to the official position of the Shafi‘i school, a woman must cover her entire body except for her hands and face while praying. In front of strange men, her entire body must be covered. In front of her husband and in private, her entire body can be exposed.

Here’s a quote from Fath al-Qarib:

فتح القريب المجيب في شرح ألفاظ التقريب = القول المختار في شرح غاية الاختصار (ص: 73)

وعورة الحُرَّة في الصلاة ما سوى وجهها وكفيها ظهرا وبطنا إلى الكوعين؛ أما عورة الحُرَّة خارجَ الصلاة فجميع بدنها، وعورتها في الخلوة كالذكر.

“The awrah of a free woman during prayer is what is other than her face and hands (top and bottom) up to the wrists. As for the awrah of a free woman outside of prayer, it is all of her body. Her ‘awrahwhen alone or in private spaces is the same as a male’s.” (Fath al-Qarib, 73)

That this is the official position of the Shafi‘i school does not deny the fact that some other schools consider it permissible for a woman to expose her hands and face in front of strange men or when in public, and that some Shafi‘is held and hold a similar view.

But to say that the Shafi‘i school does not consider a woman’s face to be part of her ‘awrah except within prayer simply not true.

This post is not about evidence or preponderance, personal practice, or regional fatwas. Rather, it is about the accuracy of claims and the official position of the Shafi‘i school. And what is presented in the passage quoted above is false.

https://musafurber.com/2016/07/16/comment/
It`s worship. Not custom.
 

Trending

Latest posts

Top