Question: Assalamu Aliakum,
I would like to find out why women are not allowed to wear the niqaab during Hajj?
Answer: Assalamu Alaikum,
The Prophet (s.a.w) has prohibited a woman from covering her face (wearing the Niqaab) while she is in the state of Ihram. In this regard, it is narrated in a tradition from Abdullah bin Umar (R.A) that the messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: ‘A woman in Ihram must not wear the niqaab and must not wear gloves’ (Tirmidhi who said it was Saheeh (sound)).
In the hadith of Sahih Al Bukhari, it is narrated by Abdullah bin Umar (R.A) that the Prophet (s.a.w) said, ‘A woman in the state of Ihram must not put the Niqaab on her face’. (Sahih Al Bukhari).
In another tradition narrated by Aishah (R.A) it is mentioned that she said, ‘The riders (performing Hajj) used to pass by us while we were with the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) in the state of Ihram. When they passed in front of us, one of us would lower her Jilbaab (overgarment) from her head over her face, and when they went away, we uncovered the face. (Ahmad;Abu Dawood; Ibn Majah).
Based upon this tradition, the scholars have explained that women will not cover their face while in Ihram. However, when strangers (ghair Mahram-non blood relatives) pass in front of them, they can lower their Jilbaab (overgarment/sheets) over their faces, in a manner that the cloth does not touch the face.
And Allah Knows Best.
Mufti Waseem Khan.