What is the Islamic Hijab?
The Islamic Hijab is for the women to cover everything that is forbidden for her to expose. That is, she covers everything that she must cover.
The first of those bodily parts that she must cover is her
face. It is the source of temptation and the source of people desiring her.
Therefore, the woman must cover her face in front of those men that are not Mahram
(those that she is forbidden to marry).
As for those who claim that the Islamic Hijab is to cover
the head, shoulders, back, feet, sin and forearms whilst allowing her to
uncover her face and hands, this is a very amazing claim. This is because it is
well known that the source of temptation and looking is the face. How can one
say that the Shari’ah does not allow the exposure of the foot of
the woman while it allows her to uncover her face? It is not possible that
there could be in the esteemed, wise and noble Shari’ah a contradiction.
Yet everyone knows that the temptation from uncovering the face is much greater than the temptation that results from uncovering of the feet. Everyone also knows that the most sought-after aspect of the woman for men is the face. If you told a prospective groom that a woman’s face is ugly but her feet are beautiful, he would not propose to such a woman. However, if you told him that her face was beautiful but her hands, palms, or shins were less than beautiful, her would still propose to her. From this, one can conclude that the face is the first thing that must be covered.
There are also evidences from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah
of our Prophet صل الله عليه و سلم. There are also statements from the
Companions, the leading Imams and the great scholars of Islam that indicate that
it is obligatory for the woman to cover all of her body in the presence of
non-Mahram men. This obviously indicates that it is obligatory upon the woman
to cover her face in front of such men. Hover, this is not the best place to
quote all those authorities. And Allah knows best.
Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen رحيمه الله
Translation taken from the book “Islamic Dress Code for Women” by Mahmoud Ridha Murad, Darussalam