Q 5: I have read in a Fatwa (legal opinion) issued by you that a woman should cover her face and hands even if she performs Hajj or `Umrah. However, it is known that the Messenger (peace be upon him) said that a woman in Ihram (ritual state for Hajj and `Umrah) should not wear niqab (face veil) or gloves. How should she cover her face and hands in Ihram? May she wear the Niqab and gloves? It is also known that the place of Hajj is very crowded and it is difficult for women to separate themselves from men. Please clarify this matter.

A: The female Muhrim (pilgrim in the ritual state for Hajj and `Umrah) should not wear Niqab or gloves until she completes the first stage of Tahalul (removal of the ritual state for Hajj and `Umrah). She may let down her Khimar (veil covering to the waist) from her head over her face if she fears being seen by the Ajanib (men lawful for the woman to marry). Some women can be alone with their Mahram (spouse or unmarriageable relative) and separate themselves from the Ajanib. If they can not do this, she should continue letting down her Khimar over her face during this time and there will be no harm. She can cover her hands with anything other than gloves such as `Aba'ah (a loose outer garment).

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings of Allah 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