Can a Muslim Woman Show her face in Public?

No. A Muslim woman cannot, according to Mainstream Islamic teaching, show her face in public. Some less senior scholars say it is optional. However, all scholars agree it is preferred a Muslim women cover her face. However, a prepubescents female that has not yet bled her first mensuration can show her face in public.

Face is completely covered Traditional bourka mesh allows for some vision
Traditional bourka mesh allows for some vision

When is it permissible for a woman to uncover her face?


We know that the most correct opinion among the scholars is that women should cover their faces, but there are many situations where women cannot cover their faces. Could you shed more light on this topic?


The most correct opinion, which is supported by evidence, is that it is obligatory to cover the face, therefore young women are forbidden to uncover their faces in public or in front of non-marham men.

Rules have exemptions for special situations

Small girl 5 years old. wears a pink Muslim head scarf covers her shoulders. her face is visible
Non Menstruating female Muslim exposing face Toronto 2008
  1. Proposal of marriage. It is permitted for a woman to uncover her face and hands in front of a man who wants to propose to her, so that he may see the face and hands, without being alone and without touching her. The face gives an indication of ugliness or beauty, and the hands whether the body is slender give an impression of fertility.


Is it permissible for a woman to uncover her eyes unnecessarily?

Women must wear niqab, but they can leave their eyes uncovered so that they can see where they are going. Is it obligatory for women to cover our eyes if we re not walking and there is no need to see where we are going?

Orthodox Muslim couple man wearing white gown woman wears complete black even gloves small slit for vision
Traditional Muslim couple Toronto Summer 2008


Scholars said that it is permissible for a woman to wear niqab [in stead of bourka], but that is on condition that she does not go to extremes in uncovering the eye socket or show too much of the cheeks.

There is nothing wrong with a woman wearing a niqab from which only her eyes appear through a narrow opening which does not uncover anything more than what is needed in order to see her surroundings even if it is not necessary for her to see her surroundings .

Can an Elderly woman uncover her face in public or before non-mahrams?

Allaah has permitted elderly women to uncover their faces before non-mahram men.

Designer orange bourka face is completely covered mesh covering the eyes
Fashion bourka new colour for summer 2018

Abu Bakr al-Jassaas (may Allaah have mercy on him) and [al-Noor 24:60], Ibn Mas’ood and Mujaahid said: With regard to the words of Allaah, “women past childbearing who do not expect wedlock and because they have grown old and are not desirable.

Then he said: There is no dispute that the hair of an elderly woman is ‘awrah and it is not permissible for a non-mahram to look at it, as is the case with the hair of a young woman. If she prays with her head uncovered, then like a young woman (in the same situation), her prayer is invalid.

To further you understanding of female face covering read the following.

Colorado Imam Karim abuZaid Endorses Taliban policy on Muslim women face covering policy

Muslim women face coverings

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