Thursday, 6 October 2011

His wife does not think that niqaab is obligatory; should he force her to wear it?


I read many fatwas regarding niqab, and that it is obligatory according to the better opinion of the scholars. My wife is convinced that it is preferable, taking other scholars’ opinions. She says that she might wear it in the future if Allah wills. My wife is religiously committed Alhamdulillah. My question is: Do I have to force her to wear it now or shall I let her choose and just keep advising her?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Women have to cover their
faces in front of non-mahram men according to the more correct of the two
scholarly opinions, because of evidence that has been explained in the
answer to question no. 11774. 

Many of the fuqaha’ who do
not think that the face is ‘awrah are of the view that it must be covered if
there is the fear of fitnah, and when there is a great deal of corruption. 

The husband is enjoined to
protect his family and warn them against haraam things. Hence he should
strive to convince his wife to cover her face, and if she refuses he should
force her to do so and she is required to obey him, because he is telling
her to do something that is permissible in her view, and it has to do with
his right to protect his honour and she does not think it is haraam. 

In the answer to question
no. 97125, we explained how couples should deal with issues concerning which
there is a difference of scholarly opinion. Among the things that we said
there was: With regard to everything that is permissible for her, he has the
right to prevent her from doing it or make her follow his opinion if he
thinks it is haraam, and she must accept that if her doing it will cause
harm to her husband and expose him to humiliation or disrespect. For
example, covering the face is an issue concerning which the scholars
differed, but there is no one who says that it is haraam to cover the face.
If she thinks that it is acceptable to uncover the face, he has the right to
prevent her from showing it before non-mahrams, and he has the right to make
her follow his opinion, which is that it is obligatory to cover the face –
which is the more correct view – and she does not have the right to go
against him. She will be rewarded for doing that if she seeks reward for
obeying her Lord by obeying her husband and does that which is more

Moreover we say: what is
preventing the wife from covering her face and protecting herself from the
gaze of those who would stare at her? It is well known that the face is the
focus of beauty and the source of fitnah, and the first thing that attracts
the gaze. If she thinks that it is mustahabb and not obligatory, there is
nothing wrong with doing what is mustahabb and brings one closer to one’s
Lord and pleases the husband, and makes her more like the believing women
such as the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) and the wives of the Sahaabah. 

Every believing woman
should be keen to cover in this manner, and should hasten to do it, and to
praise Allaah for having caused her husband to tell her and encourage her to
do it.

We ask Allaah to enable us
all to do that which He loves and is pleased with.

And Allaah knows best.

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