There have been great debates on covering face in Islam. As per my knowledge, two great Sahaba, Abdullah Ibne Maso'od and Abdullah Ibne Abbas, have difference of opinion on the subject. Some people have raised objections that the scholars supporting face-covering is a mistake/deliberate attempt and then debates start about
- What does this word mean in dictionary, Arabic culture and Sharia
- Which scholar is right/great and which is wrong
- Scholars are playing with words, devil, advocate of Satan
- This is applicable to Ummahat ul Mominin only but not general women
- The hadith/narrator is not authentic
- Different behaviors/sayings of Mohammad Rasool Allah (SAWW) at different times
My Personal opinion is that we can not agree on one ruling because two Sahaba had differences even though they knew Arabic culture, language, Prophet's life, women veiling at that time, etc. Therefor, to avoid such debates and confusions, i have developed my own understanding, excluding all scholars, meanings and even Hadith (though one of the pillar of Islam but just because of their authenticity issues).
People say that 24:31 is ruling for veil inside house (A place where only those people live whom you trust on, they protect rather than harm you) based on its context.
People say that 33:59 is about veil outside the house (where untrusted people can harm you) based on its context.
Since i am considering in-house veil so let us consider 24:31, keeping meanings and explanations of
Illa Ma Zahar Minha,
Zeenatahunn aside as it will cause the debate again. This is clear that Allah has forbidden every believing women to SHOW their
Zeenatahunn to people other than their husband, father, brother, son, etc. Lets consider
List of relations stated in the ayah = CLOSE_PEOPLE
Zeenatahunn with respect to every culture and language as Quran is for every single person. Again, in my personal opinion, i consider everything as
Zeenatahunn which a woman wear/do/acquire/naturally-given/whatever to make herself look good/appealing/decent to men and/or women. Having said that, at the extreme level,
Zeenatahunn would include whole body plus all ornaments including clothes, jewelry and cosmetics.
Zeenatahunn means whole body or just private parts then why would Allah ask not to show it to others!!!. Won't it means women are allowed to or were showing whole body to
CLOSE_PEOPLE? Reference of the culture of Arabs at that time is required here. I can't even imagine that a daughter/mother/sister is allowed to or willing to show whole body to her father/son/brother, not even religions other than Islam, i consider a woman will at least hide private parts from these people. So rejecting this meaning at all in my opinion.
Zeenatahunn could be some parts of body (including Face, Head, Ears, Hairs, Hands, Feet and Neck) other than private parts plus ornaments. Moreover as per my observation, all over the world, even the most conservative/strict/stubborn/stupid/illiterate/whatever woman would at least show her
CLOSE_PEOPLE and for other women, to the extreme, the list may extend to all people and more body areas including the
Face at least. Having said that,
Face is included in
Zeenatahunn at least. And, since Face, Hands, Head, Hair and Feet are mainly the point of contention so considering only
Face as a sample here.
Now we can say
Face is part of
Zeenatahunn for every single women on earth which they can show to their Fathers/Husbands/Sons/Brothers.
And this is the
Zeenatahunn(Face) which Allah has allowed to show to
CLOSE_PEOPLE and forbidden to show to others in the ayah.
Now a woman can include whatever area of her body and ornaments in
Zeenatahunn, with respect to her culture (please note that I have excluded linguistic meanings and translations of
Zeenatahunn at all just to avoid any confusion or debate), which she can or willing to show to her
CLOSE_PEOPLE and, ultimately, can not show to people other than
CLOSE_PEOPLE even if they are in-house.
Is this opinion/understanding correct? If not then please provide proofs. I am sure there will be contradicting opinions as well. Please no tafsir or comments but just authentic ahadith which are acceptable to all and Quranic verses.
Edit 1 Here is the debate again which i tried to avoid.
There are 3 events quoted by @Sayyid in his comments. I do not know their timestamp whether before or after the hijaab ruling, whether to accept these as basis because at that time there were slaves and men were having children with slave women, the Prohpet struggled to establish Caliphate and there was Jihaad. Now Scholars have different opinions about all these. And, we end up with, debates again.
EITHER we agree that there are different opinions so one can accept/follow whatever suites him/her sincerely and change the practice if finds the other one more sensible/appealing OR we PROVE it which is almost impossible because there is no 1+1=2 i.e. "COVER YOUR FACE..." and "DO NOT COVER YOUR FACE...", literally.
One more thing, which i am unable to understand is that if
Zeenah is artificial beauty and not natural beauty (husn). Zeenah is clothing, perfume, jewelry etc.@Sayyid then why does clothing, perfume, jewelry etc are not as appealing to me as a woman's Face. I find women appealing not because of their beautiful cloths covering their body but their beautiful Faces. I don't think an ugly-face woman wearing the finest cloths covering her whole body except the face and wearing expensive jewelry and perfume would attract me at all, i would rather inclined towards a woman covering her body with a simple Khimar/Jilbab but her beautiful and attractive face without any makeup is open. Am i against the nature or what? Why Allah has ordered women to cover their cloths, which are not appealing to me, and keep their Faces, which are appealing to me, uncovered? Did Al-Fadl looking at the Face or the Cloths of that woman?