Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Brief Comments on Riyaadh al-Saaliheen #64

The Obligation of Covering the Face.

بـسـم الله والحـمـد لله والـصلاة والـسـلام عــلى رسـول الله، وبـعـد

Narrated Ibn `Umar رضي الله عنهما: The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “Whoever arrogantly drags his garment, Allaah will not look at him on the Day of Judgment.” So Umm Salamah رضي الله عنها said: “What should the women do with the hem of their clothes?” He صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “They should lower them a hand’s span.” So she said: “Their feet will still be uncovered.” He صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “Then they should lower them a forearm’s length and do not add to that.”

[Sunan al-Tirmidhee (1731), Sunan al-Nasaa’ee (5336) and graded as “Saheeh” by Shaikh al-Albaanee]

Shaikh al-`Uthaymeen رحمه الله said:

As for the Hadeeth of Umm Salamah رضي الله عنها, then the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم permitted the women to lower the hem - meaning, the hem of their lower garments to a hand’s span. So she said: “then their feet will still be exposed.” So he صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “Then they should lower them a forearm’s length and not to add to that.”, because the feet of a woman are `Awrah (that which should be concealed). So if her feet are exposed and are seen by the people, then that will be a source of temptation for the people. Therefore she should lower her clothes so that she can walk with her feet covered.

In this Hadeeth: there is evidence for the obligation of covering the face; because if the covering of the feet is obligatory – (knowing that) the temptations in seeing the feet is lower as compared to the face – then the (obligation of) covering of the face takes precedence. And it is not possible for the Sharee`ah – which was revealed by the One (Allaah), Who is All-Wise and Well-Acquainted (with all things) – to command the women to cover their feet and not to cover their face; for this is contradictory. Rather, this is like giving a ruling on a (secondary) issue while hiding the ruling about a thing more important than that – this is unimaginable (and not possible) in the Sharee`ah, which is justly balanced. Therefore, the opinion of those scholars is not correct, who say that it is obligatory (for the women) to cover the feet but not obligatory to cover the face and the eyes. The correct opinion with us – about which there is no doubt – is that it is not permissible for a woman to uncover her face except in front of her husband or her Mahaarim (those whom she cannot marry).

[Sharh Riyaadh al-Saaliheen (4/314-315) of Shaikh al-`Uthaymeen رحمه الله]

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