What is the verdict on removing the niqāb in foreign countries because it creates some difficulties for some of the women over here. What is your verdict, may Allāh bless you, if the sister believes that wearing the face veil is obligatory but sometimes she is subjected to abuse from these unbelievers?
Shaykh Muḥammad Bāzmūl:
I say that this scenario is one of the scenarios of insecurity, insecurity and the lack of ability to openly practise the religion. In a situation like this, therefore, she is obliged to emigrate if she is able.
And here I will make something clear about the niqāb. If what is meant by “removing the niqāb” is for her to reveal just her face, I say that it is permissible for her to reveal her face, and this is the verdict of the majority of scholars.
Shaykh al-Albānī also backed this opinion in his writings, so my hope is that there is no crime for her to do it, on the condition that her face is unadorned. She must also always try to avoid, in her attire and her jilbāb, anything that will arouse temptation by paying attention to the requirements of the jilbāb laid out in Islamic law, such as it being loose and non-revealing, that it must not reveal what is underneath, and such as it not bearing any semblance to male attire or the attire of sinful people and unbelievers.
That it must be loose-fitting and cover the entire body, revealing nothing but the face and the palms, as most of the scholars have said, for they have chosen the verdict that the face and palms are not nudity, and they permit a woman to leave them uncovered like she does during her daily ritual prayer.
Al-Albānī supported this verdict, the verdict of the majority, and authored a book on the subject called Jilbāb ul-Mar’at ul-Muslimah (The Muslim Woman’s Jilbāb), and he also authored another book in which he rebuts those who oblige a woman to cover her face. He named it aṛ-Ṛadd ul-Mufḥim `alā Man Khālaf al-`Ulamā’a wa Tashaddada wa Ta`aṣaba wa Alzam al-Mar’ah an Tastura Wajhahā (The Irrefutable Rebuttal against the One Who Opposed the Scholars, Exaggerated, Clung Stubbornly to His Views and Obliged the Woman to Cover Her Face…” till the end of the title.
As for the other meaning of “removing the niqāb” – if what is intended is for her to uncover her face and her hair and not wear the Jilbāb and so on, to this we say: this is forbidden, not permitted, and there should be no obedience to any creature if it means disobedience to the creator.
This woman is urgently required to emigrate from the land of the unbelievers if she is able to. Otherwise, she should stay in her house and not leave it until she finds a way to emigrate – and from Allāh alone is help sought – unless absolutely necessary. An absolute necessity is measured accordingly and each case is specific and based on each woman’s circumstances. Verdicts are issued as needed, and Allah knows best.