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Assalaam Alaikum

All praise is due to Allah, the Cherisher and Nourisher (Rabb) of the entire Universe; the felicity of the Hereafter is for those who fear Him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Him. He is without partner, the object of worship of all the fore- runners and those gone-by. He maintains and administers the heavens and the earth. I further bear testimony to the fact that Muhammad (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) is His Messenger, His beloved and the custodian of His Revelation.  Amm ma badd.......

The Question:

Where is it from the most holy Quran and Sahih hadith that prove the Niqaab to be wajib?

The Answer:

There are many ayat from the Quran and Sahih Hadith that prove this.  We will be reading the translation and tafseer of the most authentic Mufassireen (Ullima who made tafseer) like Ibn Kathir, Al-Qurtubi and At-Tabari, who are known for there great understanding of the Quran and recognized by the whole Muslim world.  And all the hadith we will be citing  are Authentic Sahih hadith.  Allah(SWT) says in the Quran "O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way)" (Surah Al-Ahzaab Verse #59 ) and the Ayah is explained by Aisha (Radhiallaahu Ánha) herself in this hadith from Al Bukhari "Narrated Safiya bint Shaiba: 'Aisha (Radhiallaahu Ánha) 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 Al-Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60,Hadith # 282].

Allah (SWT) says in the most holy Quran "And Say to the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, head cover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)" ( Surah An-Nur, Verses #30 and #31) ' even for this ayah Aisha (Radhiallaahu Ánha) narrated: "May Allah bestow His Mercy on the first Muhajirat. When Allah revealed, '...and draw their Khumur over their Juyubihinna...', they (i.e. the women) tore their material and covered themselves with it." [Saheeh Al-Bukhari].

Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalanee, who is known as Ameer Al-Mu'mineen in the field of Hadith, said that the phrase, "Covered themselves", in the above Hadith means that they "Covered their faces". [FathAl-Bari]. Now you have to think who would understand these ayat better than Aisha (Radhiallaahu Ánha) the MOST knowledgeable women in the matters of deen and the wife of Rasulullah(saw).

Ibn Abbas (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) is one of the most learned men from the Sahaba (Radhiallaahu Ánhumaa).  Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) even made duwaa for him saying "O Allah, make him acquire a deep understanding of the religion of Islam and instruct him in the meaning and interpretation of things."  He has been cited in Ma'riful Qur'an with reference to Surah Ahzaab on the authority of Ibn Jarir (RA) with a sahih chain of narrators, that "The Muslim women are ordered to cover
their head and faces with outer garments except for one eye."  Now this is the interruption of the
Quran from a sahabi for who Rasulullah(Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) made duwaa to be able to understand the
interpretation of Quran.

Imaam Qurtubi cites in his Tafseer of the Ayah on Jilbaab (Al-Ahzab 33:59), that the Jilbaab is: "a cloth which covers the entire body... Ibn 'Abbaas (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) and 'Ubaidah As-Salmaani (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) said that it is to be fully wrapped around the women's body, so that nothing appears but one eye with which she can see." [Tafseer Al-Qurtubi].

Some people make the false claim that this was only for the wives of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) but this has been proven wrong from the following hadith Yahya related to me from Malik from Hisham ibn Urwa that Fatima bint al-Mundhir said, "We used to veil our faces when we were in ihram in the company of Asma bint Abi Bakr as-Siddiq." [Imaam Malik's MUWATTA Book 20 Hadith # 20.5.16]  This again proves that not only the wives of Rasulullah(Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) wore the Niqaab and that even though in Ihram women are not supposed to wear Niqab but if men are there they still have to cover the face as it is supported by this next hadith from Aisha...  Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:  (Radhiallaahu Ánha) who said, "The riders would pass us while we were with the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam).  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. ] Recorded by Abu Dawud Book 10, Hadith # 1829:  Ahmad, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah have all narrated it , Narrated 'Aisha. [In his work Jilbab al-Marah al-Muslimah, al-Albani states (p. 108) that it is hasan due to corroborating evidence.  Also, in a narration from Asma {who was not the wife of Rasulullah(Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam)}, Asma also covered her face at all times in front of men.]

And from the great scholars of the past and many of the contemporary scholars of today also hold this opinion.  Ibn Kathir (RA) wrote "Women must not display any part of their beauty and charms to strangers except what cannot possibly be concealed."  And Imaam Ghazaali (RA) mentions in his famous book of Fiqh Ihyaal Uloom "Woman emerged (during the time of Rasulullah 'Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam') with NIQAABS on their Faces."

Shaikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid mentioned in his fatwaa "The most correct opinion, which is supported by evidence, is that it is obligatory to cover the face, therefore young women are forbidden to uncover their faces in front of non-mahram men in order to avoid any mischief, and they should certainly do so when there is fear of fitnah (temptation)."

Jamiatul Ulama Junbi Africa sate in the book Islamic Hijab by Jamiatul Ulama P.12: that the proper opinion for the Hanafi madhab is that "A woman must be properly and thoroughly covered in a loose outer cloak which totally conceals her entire body including her face!"

Great scholars of our time also agree on this, like Shaikh AbdulAziz Bin Bazz who writes in his book Islamic Fatwas regarding Women "It is compulsory for a woman to cover her face in front of non mahram men" and Shaikh ibn Uthaimin writes in the same book on page # 289 "The Islamic hijab is for the women to cover everything that is forbidden for her to expose. That is, she covers everything that she must cover. The first of those bodily parts that she must cover is her face."  Other great scholars that agree with the niqaab being wajib are Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalanee (RA), Shaikh Jamaal Zarabozo, Shaikh ibn Jibreen, Hakimul Ummah Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (RA), Mufti Ebrahim Desai and many more.

There are many more hadith and many great scholars of Islam have agreed upon this but if we were to quote all of them it would take me writing a book.

And Allah(SWT) knows best.

Uthman Ibn Farooq

For more Information on this subject please refer to this page ----> IbnFarooq's Page