Hijab or Niqab ?


This has been a matter of discussion amongst Muslims for ages, ulama supporting any of the 2 have concrete proofs, however the times we live in, the Ladies (especially modernist girls/women) are more inclined towards wearing Hijab rather than going for Niqab (If they are ready at first place) , the western mind set looks down upon noble women wearing Jilbab in its true sense (i.e. Niqab).

Note: Technically even Hijab refers to Proper covering from top to bottom, but here It will be referred for those who are not convinced with Face covering.

Some scholars have tried to reconcile between both viewpoints by offering choice to women whether they like to go for Hijab or Niqab (though Niqab is recommended), some like Nasir ud-din Albani have even gone to the extent of justifying that ruling on Hijab supercedes that of Niqaab, this according to us is a wrong conclusion, especially for our sisters in sub-continent where men are often seen preying at women (so in any given condition, anywhere in the world where the women may become easy targets of men satisfying their inner lustful desires, then the ruling of Niqab from merely recommended changes to Wajib and there indeed is proof of it rather a dominant one)



                                    In Light of Quran and Hadith

وَقُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ

Quran states: And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; 
that they should draw their veils over their bosoms (24:31)


Hadith #1 

Narrated Safiya bint Shaiba:

'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 faces with the cut pieces."


Volume 6, Book 60, Number 282: (Sahih Bukhari)


The wording for veil in the ayah of Surah Al-Nur is “Bi-Khumorihina” (and according to lexicographers it denotes to covering the bosoms from top in a way that face is covered too) the wording used in hadith is also similar i.e.”ikhtamarna bi ha”, those who oppose Niqab consider the above translation of Muhsin-Khan to be wrong, they claim that Khimar means veil or head scarf and covering the face is a separate issue, However Khimar in arabic also includes covering the face, although Muhsin Khan is indeed known for his forgeries to English translation of Sahih Bukhari but over here he is not wrong. 

Still if someone is aggressive in disagreeing then Quran has explained it in another fashion too i.e. Jalabeeb which is mentioned in Surah al-Ahzaab

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُلْ لِأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَنْ يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ

Quran states: O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers 
to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed.(Al-Quran 33:59)

In this case too it refers to covering the face along with rest of the body, as a matter of fact the ruling attached in relevance to this ayah is more strict than just covering the face (i.e. Ulama explained through ahadith that It refers to even showing 1 eye to see.. Allahu Akbar, Note: This is not to insult women in any way but to strengthen the viewpoint of covering face)


                                 Expanation of Eminent Mufasireen


1. “Imam Ibn Jarir at-Tabri (Rahimuhullah) and Imam al Hafidh Ibn Kathir (Rahimuhullah) mention under 33:59”

حدثنـي علـيّ، قال: ثنا أبو صالـح، قال: ثنـي معاوية، عن علـيّ، عن ابن عبـاس، قوله: { يا أيُّها النَّبِـيُّ قُلْ لأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَناتِكَ وَنِساءِ الـمُؤْمِنِـينَ يُدْنِـينَ عَلَـيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلابِـيبِهِنَّ } أمر الله نساء الـمؤمنـين إذا خرجن من بـيوتهنّ فـي حاجة أن يغطين وجوههنّ من فوق رؤوسهنّ بـالـجلابـيب، ويبدين عيناً واحدة

Translation: Ibn Abbas(RA) narrated regarding (Allah’s) order [O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them…] 
that Allah commanded the believing women, when they went out of their houses for some need, to cover their faces from above their heads with the Jilbab, leaving only one eye showing



2. Imam Ibn Kathir (rahimuhullah) also adds after narrating the above:

وقال محمد بن سيرين: سألت عبيدة السلماني عن قول الله عز وجل: { يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَـٰبِيبِهِنَّ } فغطى وجهه ورأسه، وأبرز عينه اليسرى

 Muhammad bin Sirin said: "I asked `Ubaydah As-Salmani about the Ayah:(to draw their Jalabib over their bodies.) 
He covered his face and head, with just his left eye showing.''[Tafsir al Quran al Azim]

Note: Ibn Abbas (RA) holds the highest rank amongst Sahaba in exegesis of Quran



3. “Imam Qurtubi (Rahimuhullah) under 33:59”

فقال ابن عباس وعَبيدة السَّلْمانيّ: ذلك أن تلوِيه المرأة حتى لا يظهر منها إلا عين واحدة تُبصر بها

Ibn Abbas (RA) and Ubaida as Salmaani(RA) said: 
It (Jilbab) should fully cover the body of woman and nothing should appear but one eye with which she can see."


4. ”Imam Jalal ud din Suyuti (Rahimuhullah) under 33:59”

يَا أَيّهَا النَّبِيّ قُلْ لِأَزْوَاجِك وَبَنَاتك وَنِسَاء الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلَابِيبهنَّ" جَمْع جِلْبَاب وَهِيَ الْمُلَاءَة الَّتِي تَشْتَمِل بِهَا الْمَرْأَة أَيْ يُرْخِينَ بَعْضهَا عَلَى الْوُجُوه إذَا خَرَجْنَ لِحَاجَتِهِنَّ إلَّا عَيْنًا وَاحِدَة "ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى" أَقْرَب إلَى "أَنْ يُعْرَفْنَ" بِأَنَّهُنَّ حَرَائِر "فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ" بِالتَّعَرُّضِ لَهُنَّ بِخِلَافِ الْإِمَاء فَلَا يُغَطِّينَ وُجُوههنَّ فَكَانَ الْمُنَافِقُونَ يَتَعَرَّضُونَ لَهُنَّ "وَكَانَ اللَّه غَفُورًا" لِمَا سَلَفَ مِنْهُنَّ مِنْ تَرْك السِّتْر "رَحِيمًا" بِهِنَّ إذْ سَتَرَهُنَّ

Translation: O Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks closely over themselves (jalābīb is the plural of jilbāb, 
which is a wrap that covers a woman totally) - in other words, let them pull part of it [also] over their faces, leaving one eye [visible], when they need to leave [the house] for something. That makes it likelier that they will be known, to be free women, and not be molested, by being approached. In contrast, slavegirls did not use to cover their faces and so the disbelievers used to pester them. And God is Forgiving, of any occasion in the past when they may have neglected to cover themselves, Merciful, to them in His veiling them.[Tafsir al Jalalyn]



5. ”Allama Syed Mahmood Al-Aloosi (Rahimuhullah) under 33:59”

وقال ابن عباس. وقتادة: تلوى الجلباب فوق الجبين وتشده ثم تعطفه على الألف وإن ظهرت عيناها لكن تستر الصدر ومعظم الوجه

Imam al-Alusi (rah) tells the procedure from Ibn Abbas (RA) and Qatada(rah): 
The cloak should be worn from top (in a way that it covers) the forehead then face should be covered by cloak from one side below the eyes so that most of the face and upper bossom is covered, thus both the eyes will remain uncovered [Al-Alusi in Ruh al Ma’ani]

Thus Jamhoor of the leading Mufasireen have proven that Veil includes covering of Face.

Now let us turn towards Ahadith which prove Niqaab to be Wajib!

Hadith No. 1

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: “The riders used to pass by us when we were with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in ihraam. 
When they came near, each of us would lower her jilbaab from her head over her face, and when they passed by we would uncover (our faces).” [Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1833; Ahmad, 24067]

This hadith has decisive proof that Niqab is Wajib, because the blessed wives of Prophet (salallaho alaihi wasalam) kept extreme care of covering themselves and did not reveal their faces infront of strangers, however when women are with their husbands and those with whom their Nikah is impermissible (being single that is) they can take off the face veil.


Hadith No.2

Volume 1, Book 8, Number 368: (Sahih Bukhari)

Narrated 'Aisha:

Allah's Apostle used to offer the Fajr prayer and 
some believing women covered with their veiling sheets used to attend the Fajr prayer with him and then they would return to their homes UNRECOGNIZED.

Even a child would know that If a woman returns home unrecognized (by being amongst men) then she must have covered her face!


Hadith No.3

Book 14, Number 2482: (Sunnan Abi Dawud)

Narrated Thabit ibn Qays:

A woman called Umm Khallad came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) while she was veiled. She was searching for her son who had been killed (in the battle) Some of the Companions of the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said to her: 
You have come here asking for your son while veiling your face? She said: If I am afflicted with the loss of my son, I shall not suffer the loss of my modesty. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: You will get the reward of two martyrs for your son. She asked: Why is that so, Apostle of Allah? He replied: Because the people of the Book have killed him.

The Blessed women companions of Prophet (salallaho alaihi wasalam) did not even consider taking off their face veils in most painful situations (i.e. even at death of their children)


Hadith No.4

Aisha (RA) mentioned the women of Ansar, praised them and said good words about them. She then said: "When Surat an-Nur came down, 
they took the curtains, tore them and and made veils from them." [Sunann Abi Dawud Hadith No. 3577]

Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani (Rahimuhullah) in his Fath al Bari says that 
making veils here refers to covering the face!

There are many more ahadith on this, however now let’s turn towards ahadith which Pro-Hijab use as their biggest proofs for Niqab to be merely recommended but not Wajib

Hadith No.1

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: Asma, daughter of AbuBakr, entered upon the Apostle of Allah wearing thin clothes. The Apostle of Allah turned his attention from her. He said:
 O Asma', when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this, and he pointed to her face and hands. (Narrated by Abu Dawood # 4092).

They assert from this hadith that Prophet (salallaho alaihi wasalam) has himself ordered to reveal the face and hands’ therefore wearing Niqab is not Wajib.

Imam Abu Dawud (rahimuhullah) after mentioning this hadith said:

‏قال ‏أبو داود ‏هذا مرسل ‏خالد بن دريك ‏لم يدرك ‏عائشة ‏رضي الله عنها

Translation: Abu Dawud said: This is Mursal (i.e. Tabi'i narrating directly from the Prophet - Peace be upon him due to missing link from sahabi inbetween), 
Khalid bin Dareek did not see Aisha (ra) [Sunnan Abu Dawud # 4104]

However the hadith is justified by Pro-Hijab Ulama and they should be given benefit of the doubt in authenticating the hadith itself because Maraseel are accepted by many great scholars as valid proofs, an example of Mursal hadith to be Hassan/Sahih is the hadith of prayer of woman being different from that of man (It is also corroborated from other ahadith), that is a separate issue but we just gave an example so that It is clear that Maraseel are accepted by eminent scholars, But in this case (and with Capital B) that will be of no use either because same Asma Bint Abi Bakr (RA) is proven to have followed the opinion of covering the face.
Proof for it is this:

Book 20, Number 20.5.16: (Muwatta Imam Malik)

Yahya related to me from Malik from Hisham ibn Urwa that 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."

Therefore no doubt is left behind, Had Asma Bint Abi Bakr (RA) known otherwise she would have disapproved the above action and that too during Ihram when women are given most relaxation in covering themselves.



Hadith No.2

Volume 8, Book 74, Number 247: (Sahih Bukhari)

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas:

Al-Fadl bin 'Abbas rode behind the Prophet as his companion rider on the back portion of his she camel on the Day of Nahr (slaughtering of sacrifice, 10th Dhul-Hijja) and Al-Fadl was a handsome man. The Prophet stopped to give the people verdicts. In the meantime, 
a beautiful woman From the tribe of Khath'am came, asking the verdict of Allah's Apostle. Al-Fadl started looking at her as her beauty attracted him. The Prophet looked behind while Al-Fadl was looking at her; so the Prophet held out his hand backwards and caught the chin of Al-Fadl and turned his face (to the owner sides in order that he should not gaze at her. She said, "O Allah's Apostle! The obligation of Performing Hajj enjoined by Allah on His worshipers, has become due (compulsory) on my father who is an old man and who cannot sit firmly on the riding animal. Will it be sufficient that I perform Hajj on his behalf?" He said, "Yes."

From this hadith those who are Pro-Hijab (only) say that had Niqab been enforced by Prophet (salallaho alaihi wasalam) then he would have ordered this woman to cover her face first, but even after Al-Fadl(RA) started to stare at her beauty, the Prophet (saw) only punished Al-Fadl rather than asking the woman to cover her face

This is all speculation because:

A)The hadith says nowhere that her face was uncovered

B) Beauty of women is at times known to others, this does not mean she hangs out without Niqaab

C) Even if this hadith proves that she was not wearing Niqab then It is abrogated with other overwhelming ahadith as shown above.



The sayings of (recent) of their scholars also constitutes Ijma


Shabir Ahmed Usmani in Tafsir e Usmani writes under 33:59

It means together with covering the body
 they should also draw some part of the sheet (chadar) over the face below the head. It is given in the traditions that at the revelation of this verse the Muslim women hiding their bodies and faces went out in such a way that only the eyes were left open to see. From this it is proved that in the time of Fitnah even a free woman should hide her face.[English Translation of Tafsir e Usmani by Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed, Volume 3, Page No. 1860]


 Karam Shah al-Azhari in his great Tafsir Zia Ul Quran writes under 33:59

Jalabeeb is a plural, Its singular is Jilbab, Jilbab is that lengthy (big) sheet (chadar) which covers whole of the body, al-Zamakhshari [revered highly as Lexicographer and Logician only] explains “Yudneen (i.e. to draw upon) as: To put their sheets upon themselves
 in a way that their Faces and shoulders are hidden, From this Qawl of Allama Zamakhshari it is known that even in Lughwi sense “Yudneena Aalayhinn” means to put sheets upon in a way that whole body is covered and not even face and shoulders are left exposed. Allama Abu Hayyan (rahimuhullah) wrote that at his palce Andulus, the Muslim women used to cover themselves in such a fashion that their whole faces became covered and only space for 1 eye was left (i.e. to see) [Hadrat Karam Shah al-Azhari, Tafsir Zia Ul Quran Volume 4, Page No. 95]



ahle sunnat wal jamaat (sunni)

nar e takbeer,

allahu akbar


nar e risaalat,

ya rasool allah


nar e tehkeek,

haq char yaar


shaan e siddiq e akbar,




shaan e ahle bayt, zindabad


Sahabi E Rasool, zindabad


maslak e ala hazrat, zindabad


shadpur sharif, zindabad


faizan e madina, salyal sharif

This video`s is dedicated to the most excellent and exalt of creation, The mercy unto creation, sayyiduna wa maulana wa habeebuna, ahmad e mujtaba, muhammad mustafa (Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam)

his respected parents, ahle bait, azwaaj e mutaharaat, righteous khulafaa, illustrious sahaaba, blessed children

as well as to the shuhadaa, taabi`een, taba tabi`een

mujtahid imams, siraajul A`imma, hazrat imam e azam abu hanifa (r.a), imam shaafi (r.a), imam maaliki (r.a), imam hambaili (r.a)

to all mashaaikh of the naqshbandi, qadri, chishti, suharwardi, rifaa`i, shaazliya & all other salaasil e tareeqah

imam e ahle sunnat, shaykh e tareeqat
mufti e azam, qutb al alam,
ghawth e azam, taj al awliya,
arif al marifah, badr al foqaha,
the fountain of knowledge,
the symbol of love, wali al kabir,
mujaddid of the 14 th century,

imam ahmad raza khan Fazil e Barelvi

also dedicate to my master and murshid al kamil,
the ocean of haqqiqah, the nightingale of madina,
the rose of naqshband, the fragrance of mujaddid alf thani,
the power of hazrat khawaja sufi nawaab uddin r.a (mohri sharif) 

hazrat khawaja sufi muhammad aslam naqshbandi mujaddidi (r.a) shadpur sharif

also dedicate to my master & khilafah of sultan al awliya,
khawaja sufi muhammad aslam, fana fish shaykh,
fana fir rasul(Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam), fana fi allah

hazrat khawaja sufi arshad mahmood naqshbandi aslami (salyal sharif)