Colorado Imam Karim abu Zaid in 2020 clarified for two callers the ruling regarding the female face. Below are excerpts from his answers. Below that we learn a more progressive opinion from Canadian Imam Ahmed Kutty. That will be followed with Islamic rulings for the female face provided by Islam Q&A. All answers from Islam Q&A are based on evidence from religious texts and supervised by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid.
One eye is enough to see were you walk.
Sheikh in Abbas illustrated how the hijab should be done. Only exposing one eye. And the niqab is to be worn so that you can see not so that people can see you… When women show this area from the temple this is not permissible to show. Link
Females must stay incognito.
… this is total segregation. You cannot see the faces of the prophet wives…. Command your wives, your daughters, and the women of the Muslim’s… This is more befitting that they are not recognized so that they are not harassed…. The face of a woman, as they say, is her identity. If her identity is open to all, this is what includes features of beauty, this is when she smiles, or frowns. This is where expressions happen. And if this is exposed then those with illness in their heart will be tempted. It is safer for a woman to hide her identity, her beauty so she is not harassed. Link
Shaikh Ahmad Kutty issued a legal Ruling Permitting Female Face
Hijab in the sense of modest attire for woman that covers the whole body excluding face and hands is ordained by Allah in the Qur’an. This is the understanding of the Muslims from the time of the Companions (the first addressees of the Qur’an) down through the centuries. There is not a single scholar or mufassir (interpreter of the Qur’an) of the past that I know who has questioned this ordinance.
Once it has been proven to be the order of Allah, no Muslim or Muslimah can reject it on the ground that I am an adult, and I can decide for myself. Allah says: “When Allah and His Messenger have decided on a matter that concerns them, it is not fitting for any believing man or woman to claim the freedom of choice in that matter: whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger is far astray.” (Qur’an: 33: 36). May Allah inspire us to see the truth as truth and follow it, and to see the error as error and shun it—aameen. Link
Islam Question & Answer about Mandatory Female Face Covering
It is permissible for a woman to show her eyes. That is so that she will be able to see. But it is not permissible for men to look at the eyes of a woman.
If the burqa’ [a kind of face veil] covers the entire face, leaving only the eyes uncovered, there is nothing wrong with that. But if it does not cover the entire face, rather it covers the mouth and leaves the rest of the face uncovered, that is not permissible,
The entire face must be covered, but the eyes may be left uncovered so that the woman can see where she is going. Link
Women should keep themselves completely covered except the eyes or one eye to see the way. Link
Female Face Cover Mandatory