Ihram and Niqab

Figure 1A: An example of a ghita', a face veil used for women in ihram on `umrah or hajj before the state of hall.

Figure 1A: An example of a ghita’, a face veil used for women in ihram on `umrah or hajj before the state of hall.

The following was a wonderful question that a brother asked regarding his witnessing women wearing niqab while making tawaf around the Ka`bah – May Allah always ennoble it – and the ruling surrounding it.
Sent: Thursday, 9 August 2012, 1:40

Wa alaykum Assalaam wa Rahmatullah Akhee Al-Hajj Al-Kareem,

wa `Alaikum us-Salaamu wa Rahmatullah,

You mentioned them on Sunday, i.e. for tawaf and sa’ee, and especially seeing the Ka’ba for the first time. Then there are the women that are wearing the niqab.

As for the statement regarding women in the Haram sanctuary wearing niqab, people witnessing this are seeing the following,

1) Women wearing what appears to be a visor and then a veil that is attached to that which hangs over the face without touching it. This is called a ghita’. This is worn by women who are in ihram as they have been commanded not to wear burqa` or niqab in the hadith in Al-Bukhari’s collection but being commanded not to wear the former two and covering the face are two different things (and rulings as well).

If you read the Shafi`ii text by the woman that you mentioned under the ihram and such I am sure you will find rulings related to the ghita’ and the difference between an overhanging veil (which is permissible in Ihram) and an attached veil (which is not permissible in ihram).

This has been discussed and duly noted by Imams Baha’ ud-Din al-Maqdisi (cf. Al-`Uddah Sharh ul-`Umdah, pp. 234-239; Mansur ibn Yunus al-Buhuti (cf. Ar-Rawd ul-Murbi`, pp. 213-214) `Abdul Qadir at-Taghlabi (cf. Nail ul-Maarib bi-Sharhi Dalil it-Talib, pp. 132-133) and also `Abdul Ghani al-Lubadi (cf. Hashiyat ul-Lubadi, pp. 147-149).

2) Women actually wearing niqab and making tawaf around the Ka`bah. The reason for this is that these women are now out of their hajj or `umrah and are in a state of hall. In that case there is no harm for them to make tawaf in niqab outside of the `umrah.

This is something reported by Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah (cf. al-Mughni wash-Sharh ul-Kabir, vol.3, mas’alah 2371) in a statement from our Mother, `A’ishah as-Siddiqah and others.

3) Women wearing a niqab while in a state of hall and doing ziyarah which would mean more than 2/3 of their hajj is done and they only have the remaining two days so the only thing they are forbidden from at that time is sexual intercourse with their spouses and all the other restrictions no longer apply.

Again this information has been reported by the aforementioned authorities so there should be no doubt in the matter.


brother in Islam,

al-Hajj Abu Ja`far al-Hanbali

One response to “Ihram and Niqab

  1. Very important and useful discussion here – thank you and may Allah reward you with good in both worlds aameen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s