In my view niqab is not obligatory as far as i know of. and i know there is difference of opinions about niqab being obligatory. And i know most of the hadith indicate that at the time of prophet Muhammad woman's face wear uncoverd and prophet did not command them to cover them.

However i found some evidence that may contradicts with the hadiths that proves niqab is not obligatory. They are

`Aisha 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 heads and faces with those cut pieces of cloth."

Sahih al-Bukhari 4759

And from fath al bari

2.2 Sayyidah `Āishah (May Allah be pleased with her) said, “A woman would lower her jilbāb over her head onto her face.”

(Fatú al-Bārī3:406)

The hadith from Bukhari can be said that it is not saying that niqab is obligatory. But however the quote from fath al bari is quite clear that how a woman has to wear a jilbab and jilbab is obligatory for woman. And it shows that the face should be covered when wearing jilbab.

So my question is that this hadith and quote from fath al bari contradicts with other hadith that shows niqab is not obligatory. Or maybe i am not understanding the hadiths correctly. Can someone explain?

(also i already have seen this post)


1 Answer 1


No there's no contradiction. First of all in the chapter of Fath al-Bari border lines for the allowed clothes while wearing Ihraam are discussed. While the hadith from Sahih al-Bukhari is an explanation how the women interpreted the verse 24:31. And the addition leaving the impression that they covered their faces hardly goes along with the wording of the Arabic original text and statements of tafsir scholars. I'd like to address that later.

Deep dive into the quote from Fath al-Bari

So the quote from Fath al-Bary is a special case, not a general case, it will neither be regarded as a proof by those who consider niqab as obligatory nor by those disagreeing with this view.

Ibn Hajar in his comments added that hiding the mouth or lips is not considered as permissible and quoted many evidences for that -see here-:
In the following I'm translating from Arabic language, as these translations are of my own take them carefully!

وفي مصنف بن أبي شيبة عن عبد الأعلى عن هشام عن الحسن وعطاء قالا لا تلبس المحرمة القفازين والسراويل ولا تبرقع ولا تلثم وتلبس ما شاءت من الثياب إلا ثوبا ينفض عليها ورسا أو زعفرانا
And in Musannaf bin abi Shaybah on the authority of 'Abd al-A'la on the authority of Hisham on the authority of al-Hasan and 'Ataa', they (both) said: The woman wearing Ihraam should not wear gloves and trousers, nor veil or a mouth veil and she wears whatever clothes she wants, except for a garment that is dyed with wars and a dress or saffron

This basically is also quoted in Sahih al-Bukhari in his introduction for "(23)Chapter: What kind of clothes a Muhrim should wear" in the book of Hajj however as usual this is not translated by sunnah.com:

وَلَبِسَتْ عَائِشَةُ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا الثِّيَابَ الْمُعَصْفَرَةَ وَهْيَ مُحْرِمَةٌ وَقَالَتْ لاَ تَلَثَّمْ وَلاَ تَتَبَرْقَعْ وَلاَ تَلْبَسْ ثَوْبًا بِوَرْسٍ وَلاَ زَعْفَرَانٍ.
And 'Aishah may Allah be pleased with her, wore yellow clothes, while she was in Ihraam, and she said, “do not cover the lips, do not hide your face, or wear a garment dyed with wars or saffron.”

These kinds of introduction quotes in Sahih al-Bukhari are regarded as of high authenticity level, even if they don't reach the level of the following ahadith (in the corresponding chapter) nor are they quoted by full chain. Else al-Bukhari wouldn't mention them as evidence s beside verses if the qur'an and scholarly views.

So they loosely hide their faces or rather pull their jilbab more on their faces, like people do with their hoods when it is raining.

A look into the hadith from Sahih al-Bukhari from hadith commentaries and tafsir books

To be continued...

  • I understand about fath al bari. So to be clear about the hadith from bukhari is the interpretation of the ladies when the verse came down. So they misunderstood that verse at that moment?
    – Yusha
    Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 15:08
  • @Yusha No they did what was to do, the verse is not about face nor head coverage. The translation however says what is not mentioned in the hadith.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 15:10
  • then why did they covered their faces if the verse doesn't tell that
    – Yusha
    Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 15:12
  • 1
    @Yusha this is not evident from the hadith rather than the translation. Let me check that and update my post when I have time.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 16:53
  • Sure. Jajakallahu khair for your time
    – Yusha
    Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 16:55

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