Women covering their faces when in ihrām

Women covering their faces when in ihrām
Questions & Answers

Women covering their faces when in ihrām

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  • masjidmuhammad
  • Jul 11, 2021

Question:

The Hanafi view is that a woman in ihram must keep her face
uncovered but have a cloth hanging over her face. It is observed that
women are generally inconvenienced by this and find it difficult.
Consequently, we find those women who normally observe purdah,
uncovering their faces completely during those days. This could lead
to tribulation and temptation. Other women insist on covering their
faces. This makes it difficult for them to see the way and to perform
tawaf. Two causes need to be thought about: (1) Inconvenience. (2)
Wearing a normal purdah because of the fear of tribulation and
temptation. Is there any other way of removing the cause of
inconvenience?

Answer:

In the above case women are not permitted to wear the normal purdah
(face covering). If a woman wears a purdah for a full day, dumm will
become wajib. This is why the actual ihram for women is for the face
to be uncovered; no cloth must touch the face. However, because of

the fear of temptation, she is permitted to hang a cloth in front of her
face in such a manner that it does not touch the face. This practice is
established from Hadrat ‛Ā’ishah radiyallahu ‛anha, and this is what she
used to instruct others to do. If it is an inconvenience, a woman should
bear it happily for a few days. After all it is a hajj journey which is a
journey of hardships, and the principle is that rewards are given
according to the hardships. She should therefore not consider this to
be an inconvenience. Another thing a woman could do is wear a
purdah when in public and remove it when she is in her place of
residence. In this way, because she did not wear the purdah for the
entire day, she will not have to pay dumm. However, because the face
was covered for less than a day, it will be wajib on her to give charity
equal to sadaqatul fitr.

The practice of hanging a cloth over the face is established from
Ahadith:

The above-quoted Ahadith contain the word sadl which means to hang,
and this will be when the cloth does not touch the face. If not, it will be
referred to as falling onto the face.

Observe the following texts of the jurists:

Hanafi jurists:

Maliki jurists:

Shafi‛i jurists

Sharh al-Muhadh-dhab:

Hambali jurists

Allah ta‛ala knows best.

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