In Recent times, it has become commonplace among women to wear what is known as the niqaab. But the strange thing is not wearing of the niqaab, but the manner in which women wear it. At first, nothing of the face could be seen except the eyes. Then the eyeholes in the niqab began to get wider, little by little, so part of the face could be seen along with the eyes, which attracts fitnah, especially since may women apply kohl to their eyes when they wear it. When they are questioned about this matter, they cite it has justification that fact that Your Eminence has ruled that the fundamental principle in this matter is permissibility . We would appreciate clarification of this matter in a detailed manner.
There is no doubt that the niqab was commonly used by the women during the time of the Prophet , as made clear by the hadeeth of the Prophet regarding the women inn a state of Ihram, in which he said,
"She should not wear the niqaab..." (Bukhari in His Saheeh 1838)
This proves that it was their custom to wear the niqab, But in our time, we do not rule it to be permissible; on the contrary, we consider that it is forbidden. This is because it has become a means, by widening the eyeholes, to expose part of the face, in a manner which is not permissible. This is something that is commonly seen. For this reason we do not permit any women to wear the niqab in our time; on the contrary , we consider that it is absolutely forbidden and that a women should fear Lord in this matter and avoid wearing the niqab, because this is a means of opening up a door to wickedness, which cannot be closed once it has opened.
Questions Pertaining to Family Matters In His Book The Treatise On Hijab (p.84/85)