The word niqabi is commonly used in English[ by whom? In addition, the Greek geographer Strabo , writing in the first century AD, refers to some Median women veiling their faces;  and the early third-century Christian writer Tertullian clearly refers in his treatise The Veiling of Virgins to some "pagan" women of "Arabia" wearing a veil that covers not only their head but also the entire face. In the case of Tamar, the Biblical text, 'When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a harlot; because she had covered her face' indicates customary, if not sacral, use of the face veil to accentuate rather than disguise her sexuality.
These fall into three different general interpretations, one held by a majority and two held by a minority. The first interpretation, which is an opinion held by the overwhelming majority of Islamic scholars, states that the niqab is optional at most, though even among these there are disagreements as to when niqab-wearing does become prohibited even for those who would otherwise choose to wear it at other times of their own free will.
The second interpretation, which is an opinion held by a small minority of Islamic scholars, states that the niqab is outright obligatory fard to wear at all times when in the presence of non- mahram males.
Moreover, even in some Hadith, it is clearly stated that the Prophet Muhammad himself taught women, in the example of his companion Abu Bakr 's daughter Asma' bint Abu Bakr , that they need not veil niqab neither their face nor their hands: Due to the minority legal opinion of some Muslim scholars and the doctrine of at least one Islamic school of thought which rules niqab as being obligatory, most other Muslim scholars and Islamic schools of thought, in deference to that minority opinion, have ruled that the preference is not to outright rule niqab as bid'ah say'iah which would entail a prohibition of niqab , but as 'urf which would entail mere discouragement of niqab.
A renowned scholar and head of the Islamic world's preeminent religious institute, Tantawy has stated that "the niqab is a cultural tradition and has nothing to do with Islam. Tantawy's decision stems from his views that younger Muslims have lost touch with traditional Islamic scholarship and have come under the influence of imams from the Salafi Wahhabi branch in Saudi Arabia. The niqabi is also required to refrain from forcing or propagating her niqab wearing practice upon others, especially against their will.
Then, a niqabi shall also not be criticized for her wearing the niqab because she thought it was obligatory, or because she had been taught it was obligatory, or because she wishes to err on the side of caution in an incorrect but good faith gesture of extreme modesty.
Sunni[ edit ] The opinions of the four traditional mainstream Sunni schools of jurisprudence are as follows: In the Maliki madhhab , the face and the hands of a woman are not awrah ; therefore covering the face is not obligatory. However, Maliki scholars have stated that it is highly recommended mustahabb for women to cover their faces. The Hanafi school does not consider a woman's face to be awrah; however it is still obligatory wajib for a woman to cover her face. While the Hanafi school has not completely forbidden a male's gaze towards a female's face when there exists absolutely no fear of attraction, the woman has no way of knowing whether the gazes directed towards her are free of desire or not, especially when she is out in public.
The Hanafi school has thus obliged women to cover their faces in front of strangers. The Shafi'i school has had two well-known positions on this issue. The first view is that covering of the face is not obligatory fard. According to the Hanbali school, there are two differing views on whether a woman's whole body is awrah or not.
Hence, covering the face would not be obligatory fard in this madhhab. There is a dispensation though that allows a woman to expose her face and hands, e.
His opponents within the Saudi establishment ensured that his contract with the university was allowed to lapse without renewal. For example, Ayatollah Abu al-Qasim al-Khoei was among the learned who, based upon the Quran and the hadith, believed that women should wear the niqab as per "obligatory precaution Ihtiyat wujubi.
It was known that the wives of the Prophet Muhammad covered themselves around non-mahram men. However the Quran explicitly states that the wives of the Prophet are held to a different standard.
It is also argued by some Muslims that the reasons for the niqab are to keep Muslim women from worrying about their appearances and to conceal their looks. In France specifically, although the niqab is not individually targeted, it falls within the scope of legislation which bans the wearing of any religious items Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or other in certain public areas. In , the French Parliament passed a law to regulate "the wearing of symbols indicating religious affiliation in public educational establishments".
This act outlawed the wearing of clothing that covers one's face in any public space. Sarkozy further explained that the French government sees these enactments as a way to successfully ease Muslims into French society and to promote gender equality.
The two most common forms are the half niqab and the gulf-style or full niqab. The half niqab is a simple length of fabric with elastic or ties and is worn around the face. This garment typically leaves the eyes and part of the forehead visible. The gulf-style or full niqab completely covers the face. It consists of an upper band that is tied around the forehead, together with a long wide piece of fabric which covers the face, leaving an opening for the eyes.
Many full niqab have two or more sheer layers attached to the upper band, which can be worn flipped down to cover the eyes or left over the top of the head. While a person looking at a woman wearing a niqab with an eyeveil would not be able to see her eyes, the woman wearing the niqab would be able to see out through the thin fabric.
Other less common and more cultural or national forms of niqab include the Afghan style burqa, a long pleated gown that extends from the head to the feet with a small crocheted grille over the face. The Pak Chador is a relatively new style from Pakistan, which consists of a large triangular scarf with two additional pieces.
A khimar is usually bust-level or longer, and can also be worn without the niqab. It is considered a fairly easy form of headscarf to wear, as there are no pins or fasteners; it is simply pulled over the head. Discuss Proposed since December On 8 October , Egypt's top Islamic school and the world's leading school of Sunni Islam, Al-Azhar, banned the wearing of the niqab in classrooms and dormitories of all its affiliate schools and educational institutes.
There were many regional variations of niqab, which were also called ruband or pushiye. Traditionally, Iranian women wore chadors long before Islam arrived.
Reza Shah ordered the police to arrest women who wore the niqab and to remove their face veils by force.
This policy outraged the clerics who believed it was obligatory for women to cover their faces. Many women gathered at the Goharshad Mosque in Mashhad with their faces covered to show their objection to the niqab ban. Fashionable hotels and restaurants refused to admit women wearing niqabs. High schools and universities actively discouraged or even banned the niqab, though the headscarf was tolerated.
In modern Iran, the wearing of niqab is not common and is only worn by certain ethnic minorities and a minority of Arab Muslims in the southern Iranian coastal cities, such as Bandar Abbas, Minab and Bushehr.
Some women in the Arab-populated province of Khuzestan still wear niqab. Pakistan[ edit ] In , the constitutional Council of Islamic Ideology issued the fatwa that women are not required to wear niqab or cover their hands or feet under Shariah.
However, the niqab is an important part of Saudi culture and in most Saudi cities including Riyadh , Mecca, Medina , Abha , etc. The Saudi niqab usually leaves a long open slot for the eyes; the slot is held together by a string or narrow strip of cloth. The ban was associated with a move by the Syrian government to re-affirm Syria's traditional secular atmosphere. Senior member of the Al-Islah political party, Tawakel Karman , removed her niqab at a human rights conference in and since then has called for "other women and female activists to take theirs off".
Niqabi women, just like women wearing hijab, cannot work as public servants, neither can they continue studies at schools, including the private schools.
Although there is no single law banning niqab at private companies, it would be nearly impossible for a niqabi woman to find work. The woman had worn a niqab on the occasions that the couple had met prior to the wedding. The ambassador informed the Sharia court that he had been deliberately deceived by the bride's mother, who had shown him photographs of the bride's sister. He only discovered this when he lifted the niqab to kiss his bride. The court annulled the marriage, but refused a claim for compensation.
Since Hamas seized control of Gaza from Fatah during the Battle of Gaza , Muslim women in Gaza have been wearing, or were mandated to wear, niqabs in increasingly large numbers   Cameroon[ edit ] In July , Cameroon banned the face veil including the burqa after two women dressed in the religious garments completed a suicide attack killing The letters indicated the "sale, production and import" or the garment were prohibited and businesses were expected to clear their stock within 48 hours.
Islamic dress in Europe Woman in Bosnia and Herzegovina wearing a niqab, c. Up until now, niqabs and burqas are not banned in the Netherlands.