Assalaamu alaikum ya Sayyidi,
I am hoping to perform hajj this year Insha Allah, I know that there is a hadith that states women should not cover their faces while in ihram, but most of the women from my country (South Africa) do, and then pay a penalty. Is this right? Please advise.
A woman in Hajj should not cover her face or wear gloves, just as a male should not cover his head. There is no difference of opinion on this issue, based on the clear statement of the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him), “The Muhrimah (a female in Ihram) should not cover her face, nor should she wear gloves.”
Having said that, it is permissible for her to cover her face if she fears the gaze of non-Mahram men upon her.
It was narrated that Umm Al-Mu’minin `Ayeshah said, “The riders would pass by us while we were with the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) in a state of Ihram. When one of them would ride next to us, we would take our Jilbab and cover (coming down with the cloth from our heads) our face. When the rider would pass, we would uncover once again.”
Scholars have used this Hadith to show that if a woman is in need of covering her face then it is permissible for her to do so.