The Evidence that Points to the Obligation of Covering the Face for the Woman – Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan

Question: May Allah keep you firm. We hope from you clarification of the evidence that points to the obligation of covering the face for the woman.

Answer: The evidence is from Quran and Sunnah (Allah says)

“And when you ask for something, ask them from behind a hijaab.”(33:53)

And the hijaab is that which conceals the women from a cloth, a wall or a door.

Allah says;

“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be harmed…” (33:59)

So in the hijaab is prevention from the harm of evil doers (from) what they desire from her. If she covers then the evil doers and hypocrites will have no desire for her. But if she removes (it) then the evil doers and hypocrites will desire what she has.

Ibn Abbas was asked about the meaning of the verse, “to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments” (33:59) He then took the area of his garment and placed it over his face; clarifying that this is the meaning of it (covering the face).

'Aaisha (may Allaah be pleased with her) said “when we were with the Messenger of Allaah in the state of ihram (during hajj); when men would pass by us we would put our khimar down over our heads and faces and when the men would proceed by us we would remove it. All this was in the presence of the Prophet ‎() and he approved of that.

The hijaab my brothers Allah mentioned regarding it two benefits;

The first benefit: that it is purification for the heart (as Allah says) “That is more pure for your hearts and for theirs” (33:53) And what single male or female Muslim does not want a pure heart?!

The second benefit: it prevents the harm of the hypocrites and evil doers and (their) enjoyment of her. So when she (properly) wears hijaab they are not able to see her face; therefore finding pleasure in her. (Allah says) “That is more suitable that they will be known” (33:59) Meaning they will be known for chastity “and not be harmed” (33:59) (Meaning) their desires for her will be cut (off), but if they see her revealing and uncovered; they will desire her and harm her.

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