To the reader of the question, I have been thinking of wearing a niqab but the disallowance of the niqab by the Prophet Muhammad (S.W.) during Ihram at Hajj, is creating inconsistency with the choice of my wearing the face veil. Can you please provide me a solid answer in regard to the question given? Thank you!
It is not allowed to wear a niqab (face veil) in the state of Ihram because the Prophet ﷺ forbade it.
ولا تنتقب المرأة المحرمة ولا تلبس القفازين
A woman in ihram should wear neither a veil nor gloves
The Hikmah for this is not mentioned in any hadith, rather it is simply a ritual like many others. For example the following are also forbidden in ihram while being permissible or even recommended outside of it:
- wearing sewn clothes (shirts, trousers, socks etc.) or turban \ cap for men — Bukhari 1842
- use of perfume — Bukhari 1842 , Bukhari 1839
- shaving or trimming hair and nails — Quran 2:196
- hunting — Quran 5:96
- marriage, sexual intercourse and other intimate acts — Quran 2:197, Muslim 1409
So it is a very weak argument to think that niqab is undesirable in daily life just because it is not permitted in Ihram.
Further in Ihram the use of a niqab is forbidden (i.e. touching the face with cloth) but it is still permissible for women to hide their face from men using other methods. This is virtually agreed upon by the jurists (Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah: وإذا أرادت أن تحتجب بستر وجهها عن الرجال جاز لها ذلك اتفاقا بين العلماء ) and there are traditions that some of the Sahabiyat practiced it:
عن عائشة، قالت كان الركبان يمرون بنا ونحن مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم محرمات فإذا حاذوا بنا سدلت إحدانا جلبابها من رأسها إلى وجهها فإذا جاوزونا كشفناه
Narrated Aisha: Riders would pass us when we accompanied the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) while we were in the sacred state (wearing ihram). When they came by us, one of us would let down her outer garment from her head over her face, and when they had passed on, we would uncover our faces.
المحرمة ... ولا تتلثم وتسدل الثوب على وجهها إن شاءت
Aisha said: A lady in Ihram ... can not wrap a veil but if she wishes she can lower part of her garment over her face.
عن أسماء بنت أبي بكر، رضي الله عنهما قالت: كنا نغطي وجوهنا من الرجال، وكنا نتمشط قبل ذلك في الإحرام
Asma bint Abi Bakr said: We used to hide our faces from men in the state of Ihram
عن فاطمة بنت المنذر، أنها قالت كنا نخمر وجوهنا ونحن محرمات ونحن مع أسماء بنت أبي بكر الصديق
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."
In the narrations, not going under the shadows and not covering the face - both for men and women - is justified with this view:
- Abdullah Ibn Mughirah asked Imam Kadhim (AS) about the shadow for Muharram. Imam (AS) in response considered it forbidden. He said: I am heat and the heat is unbearable for me. Are there any solutions for me? Imam (AS) said: “Did you not know that the sun sets due to the sins of the Muharram?”That is, do you not know that the sun erases the sins of those who have become Muharrams?
- Imam Baqir (AS) said: “A woman in ihram should not wear a niqab or veil; Because a woman's ihram is on her face and a man's ihram is on her head. "
- Regarding the wisdom of a woman's open face, Imam Sadegh (AS) said to a woman: “If you dug in, your color would not change.” Indeed, if you wear a mask and veil, the color of your face will not change. Therefore, the secret that the shadow and the canopy and the covering of the face are forbidden for the Muharram is that the scorching sun shines on his head and body to cleanse him of his sins and melt him.  . Kelini, Muhammad ibn Yaqoub, al-Kafi, investigator, corrected, Ghafari, Ali Akbar, Akhundi, Muhammad, vol. 4, p. 350, Tehran, Islamic Book House, Chap Chaharm, 1407 BC. . Hmann, p. 346. . Hmann, p. 344. . Darbarah Asrar Rituals and Rulings of Hajj Manand: Faali, Muhammad Taqi, Asrar Irfani Hajj, Tehran, Mash'ar Publishing, Tehran, 1386 A.M.; Rahbar, Muhammad Taqi, Ethics and Etiquette, Dar Hajj and Ziarat, Tehran, Mash’ar Publishing, 1383 st.