Q 3: A man performed `Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) with his wife who was in a state of Ihram and unveiling her face. When she entered the Haram (the Sacred Mosque), a security officer insisted that she should cover her face or she would not be allowed in and she complied. Is there any liability upon her? Should she repeat the `Umrah, and what is the shaykh's opinion regarding a woman uncovering her face during Ihram?

A: A woman should uncover her face while performing the rituals of Hajj or `Umrah unless Ajanib (men who are not permanently unlawful for the woman to marry) pass in front of her or she was in a place that is full of them, and she feared they might see her face. In this case, she is entitled to lower her Khimar (head cover that goes down to the waist) over her face so that none of them can see it. This is based on the report from `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said, "Riders would pass by us when we accompanied the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) while we were in the state of Ihram. When they came by us, one of us would let down her outer garment from her head over her face, and when they had passed on, we would uncover our faces." Related by Abu Dawud. The security officer might have ordered her to cover her face upon entering the Haram because of the presence of many Ajanib inside.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta'
Member Member Deputy Chairman Chairman
`Abdullah ibn Qa`ud `Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz