Q. If a woman covers her face wearing the Niqaab in the state of Ihraam during Hajj for 6 hours, then she removes it for one hour and wears it again for 6 hours, does she count it as 12 hours collectively or does she count it separately? Does she have to pay a penalty?
A. It is part of a woman’s Ihraam to expose her face whilst in the state of Ihraam. However, in these times of evil and vice being widespread and prevalent even in the Holy lands, it is advisable for a woman in Ihraam to cover her face in a way that the Niqaab/cloth/cap etc. does not touch the face.
In any event, if the Niqaab/cloth/cap etc. is worn in a way that it touches the face for a full day or a full night (12 hours) or more, then it will be necessary (Waajib) upon a woman to compensate for it by offering a penalty (Damm) of one animal (sheep or goat). If on the other hand, it touches the face for less than a full day or a full night (less than 12 hours), she will compensate for it by offering charity (Sadaqah/Sadaqatul-Fitr).
The calculation of 12 hours will be taken into account if the Niqaab/cloth/cap etc. had been worn continuously without any interruption. If the Niqaab/cloth/cap etc. had been removed for Wudhu etc, and then worn again, the calculation of 12 hours will commence again.
Hence, in the enquired case, if a woman wore a Niqaab/cloth/cap etc. that touched the face for 6 hours and thereafter, she removed the Niqaab/cloth/cap etc. for 1 hour and then wore the Niqaab/cloth/cap etc. again for 6 hours, it would have been considered that she had worn the Niqaab/cloth/cap etc. for 6 hours and not 12 hours. In such a case, she will compensate for it by offering 2 charities (Sadaqah/Sadaqatul-Fitr), one each for wearing the Niqaab/cloth/cap etc. for 6 hours, within the boundaries of the Haram or outside the boundaries of the Haram or at home. (Al-Asl 2/482 – Shaami 2/558)
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa