< Answer ftwa >
A: Scholars are divided to two teams: one saying that wearing it is virtuous & the others say it is dutiful. Those who say that the face veil is haram (impermissible) could not be scholars at all, because this is a view that no one who studied this issue in Islam would ever adopt. If you are perplexed in choosing between the two views of scholars, what to do? When you are a common person who is not very much into the sciences of religion, you should be a follower to those who are (scholars). However, your choice to which scholars to follow should be on scientific bases. You should have a ranking for the scholars you attend to. Then, you would follow the ruling of scholar number one on your list. However, if you hear something from a scholar with a lower ranking that has more appealing evidence to you & that does not go along with the fatwa (ruling) of scholar number one, you are free to follow that fatwa so long that you are convinced that such evidence are true. Still, if you cannot differentiate between this & that, follow the ranking. However, you are not to take from each scholar what you like & discard what you don’t saying that they are all virtuous. This is forbidden, as you choice here is not on scientific bases but is rather based on your fondness & personal interest.
I remember one occasion in which some brothers have contacted me saying that their sister refuses to wear the niqab according to Sheikh Albany (the number one scholar on her list) who ruled that wearing the face veil is desirable rather than dutiful. So I asked them if she was wearing gold bracelets & rings. When they affirmed that, I told them: let her take them off as the same Sheikh Albany prohibits wearing such jewelry. If she is a follower of Sheikh Albany, then she should adhere to all his rulings unless she has convincing evidence of otherwise (which she would not being a common person not delved into religious sciences). Here, she is following her whims.
For myself, I rule that in our times putting on the face veil is dutiful. We all agree that we live a chaotic era full of temptations. We look around & see raping, pedophilia, kidnapping, sexual aberrations,etc. The world around us is not as safe as it used to be. It is then dutiful to put on this sign of virtuosity following the good example of the Prophet’s wives “O you the Prophet: Tell your wives and your daughters and all Muslim women to dress in flowing outer garments which cover them over. This makes it less likely to be identified and be assaulted.” (33:59).
This veil is not only the covering of the face, but it also points to the veil of invisibility (staying at home away from the eyes of intruders) which is an attribute of the women of Paradise [ 55:72 “Beauties with eyes radiating splendor restrained to those whom they accompany (their husbands), and abiding in pearly tent-like pavilions” ; and 55:56 “Therein are women with unconcealed beauties and modest gleaming eyes radiating splendor; virgins, in a state of inviolate chastity, whom no man or Jinn has ever touched”].
Hence, we urge our Muslim sisters to wear the veil immediately as there is no need to postpone or delay that to Ramadan, for after all one may not live until then. Procrastination is one of the traps of Satan. I urge all believing women to cover their faces as this is the theme of chastity.