Al-Albany's view on Hijab

Q: A book called, "Hijab Al-Mar'ah Al-Muslimah fi Al-Kitab wa As-Sunnah" (Hijab of Muslim Woman in the Book and the Sunnah) written by Muhammad Nasir Al-Din Al-Albany became a source of Fitnah (sedition) to those whose wives were covering their faces before reading the book, as they took off the Niqab (face veil) of their wives, taking the book as evidence. My name is Muhammad Ibrahim Sisy and I have given them proofs from the Qur'an and the Sunnah and told them that Al-Albany's evidence is weak. I added that Muslim women must cover themselves before Ajanib (men other than a husband or permanently unmarriageable male relatives) even in their own houses. They should not display their adornments except before the twelve male relatives mentioned in Surah Al-Nur and the other five categories mentioned in Surah Al-Ahzab. Allah says (Exalted be He), Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts). That is purer for them. Verily, Allâh is All-Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like palms of hands or one eye or both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husband's sons, their brothers or their brother's sons, or their sister's sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islâm), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. (Part No. 17; Page No. 159) I also mentioned the benefits of wearing Niqab (face veil) as the best and the invaluable clothing. It does not make women go out of their houses a lot and makes them unknown to others and protects them. It is a means of following the orders of Allah (Glorified be He) and His Messenger. It screens women from non-Mahrams (not a spouse or an unmarriageable relative). It also differentiates between free and slave women, those who follow the Sunnah and the innovators, and believing women and disbelievers. It makes women, who put it on, humble. In addition, it is the dress of Hajar the wife of Isma'il (peace be upon him as well as on our Prophet). It intimidates the ignorant who want to commit major sins with non-Mahram women. Allah says (Exalted be He), ...that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. (Part No. 17; Page No. 160) Your Eminence, this is what I have mainly told them but not exclusively. Some people are convinced with Al-Albany's evidence and therefore took off the Niqab. I would like Your Eminence to write to them and call them to Hijab (veil) and Niqab. As-salamu `alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allah's Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you.)

A: It is obligatory upon a Muslim woman to cover her face and hands before marriageable men and it is Haram (prohibited) to display them to other than her Mahram (spouse or permanently unmarriageable relative). May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.