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Azhar Imam Orders Niqab off, Wants Ban‏


This is interesting topic to read. please let me know ur views on this subject.

CAIRO – Al-Azhar, the highest seat of religious learning in the Sunni world, decided on Thursday, October 8, to ban niqab in all its affiliate girls-only schools, educational institutes and dormitories.

"The Supreme Council of Al-Azhar has decided to ban students and teachers from wearing the niqab inside female-only classrooms," said Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Mohamed Sayyed Tantawi.

Reading out from a written statement, he said niqab would not be allowed in schools where both the students and teachers are females.

Tantawi added that the same rules would apply in university dormitories where the residents and the supervisors are also all females.

During a visit to a school earlier this week, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Mohamed Sayyed Tantawi ordered a school girl to remove her niqab, telling her the face-veil is “a tradition and has nothing to do with Islam.”

The Muslim-majority country’s top religious authority also vowed to ban the niqab all schools linked to Al-Azhar.

stablished in 359 AH (971 CE), Al-Azhar mosque drew scholars from across the Muslim world and grew into a university, predating similar developments at Oxford University in London by more than a century.

Al-Azhar, which means the "most flourishing and resplendent," was named after Fatima Al-Zahraa, daughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The first courses at Al-Azhar were given in 975 CE and the first college was built 13 years later.

Al-Azhar first admitted women students in 1961, albeit in separate classes.

Also in 1961, subjects in engineering and medicine were added to classes on Shari`ah, the Noble Qur’an and the intricacies of Arabic language.

Not Anti-Niqab

The Supreme Council asserted that Al-Azhar does not oppose the niqab in the homes, streets or the work place.

But Tantawi asserted that they are against over exaggerations.

“Women cover their faces so as not to be seen by stranger men. But it makes no sense to use niqab in a women-only environment,” he contended.

“Insistence on covering the face in the presence of women only is a form of extremism which Islam opposes.”

Tantawi told the state television Tuesday that although he considers the niqab as a tradition, he does not oppose it and deals normally with women who cover their faces.

The majority of Muslim scholars believe that a woman is not obliged to cover her face or hands.

They believe that it is up to every woman to decide whether to take on the face-cover or not.

Most Muslim women in Egypt wear the hijab, which is an obligatory code of dress in Islam, but an increase in women putting on the niqab has apparently alarmed the government.

The ministry of religious endowments has recently distributed booklets in mosques against the practice.

The Education Ministry has reportedly banned students who wear the niqab from being accepted in state-run Cairo University’s dormitory.


I am always so amazed how the niqab throws the muslims into such a tizzy.

Even if we were to assume that the niqab really is from culture, and doesnt have anything to do with Islam, so what? What difference does it make? We dont have a right to dress the way we want to?

I remember attending Jummah about a year ago here in USA. During the Khutba, he was talking about how the American government offered some millions in funding to Azhar if they propagate the image of Islam that THEY want propagated. It's all part of "the war on terror" lol. So is this really a such a surprise??

I seem to remember they also made a fatwa about women being permitted to wear trousers. Maybe in the future we will be able to count on Azhar to tell us that hijab isnt necessary either, its whats on the inside that is important. Dont be surprised.



As Salam alaikum

Unfortunately, billions of U.S. dollars in aid goes to Egypt every year. If you're on someone's payroll, you are going to have to at least entertain suggestions. To support Sis J's statement, I don't understand why women cannot CHOOSE to dress with a niqab if they so desire.

Isn't that what the Western propagadists pump into muslims' heads? That democracy is the "right to choose?" Unlike Islam which is so "intolerant?"

It is only going to get worse...

As Salam alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu



Allahul mosta`an, I can not even comment, because there is so much on my mind for my fingers to be able to type.

Allahum la hawala wala qowata ila billah.


RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - The opening of Saudi Arabia's new multibillion-dollar, first-ever fully integrated coed university on Wednesday is a pivotal step forward in the oil-rich kingdom's quest to strengthen its economic base, said Oil Minister Ali Naimi.

"With all the natural resources that God has endowed us, the kingdom is keen to diversify its sources of income for the future," Naimi said at the institution's inauguration outside the coastal city of Jeddah in remarks carried by the state press.

The university breaks many of the conservative country's social taboos by allowing, for the first time, men and women to take classes together.

The King Abdullah Science and Technology University, or KAUST, boasts state-of-the-art labs, the world's 14th-fastest supercomputer and one of the biggest endowments in the world.

Saudi officials have envisaged the postgraduate institution as a key part of the kingdom's plans to transform itself into a global scientific hub -- its latest efforts to diversify its oil-reliant economy.

So far 817 students from 61 countries are enrolled, with 314 beginning classes this month; the rest are scheduled to start in early 2010. The aim is to expand to 2,000 students within eight to 10 years.

Of that total, 15 percent are Saudi, say university officials.

The university's financial backing will allow all the students to receive full scholarships covering their tuition plus a stipend.

Naimi said environmental research will be a priority at the university where more than 70 international faculty are on board. In a bid to recruit distinguished researchers, KAUST has tossed generous salary packages to prospective hires from around the world.

The university is being launched at a time when the OPEC powerhouse has been upping its push to focus on education and development programs aimed at boosting economic growth.

Officials say KAUST's embrace of scientific freedom marks Saudi Arabia's determination to not be left behind as technology increasingly drives global development.

The hope is that KAUST will succeed in promoting scientific freedom in a country where strict implementation of Islamic teachings has often been blamed for stifling innovation.



While I am not muslim and don't have a personal opinion on how muslimah cover or don't cover their faces. I would be interested in knowing if any of the members of this group wear the niqab and their reasons for choosing to do so. I was under the impression that what the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Mohamed Sayyed Tantawi stated was correct, that the wearing of niqab was a cultural tradition and not a precept in Islamic I wrong in this impression?


Hello Shamms,

I have been wearing niqab since 2004. I personally believe there is sufficient evidence from Quran, Sunnah, and just plain logic that point to the fact that covering the face should be part of the muslim womans standard dress. There is an existing thread that you can check if you like that presents that information:



Ok, checked out the other post and it appears to me the evidence for wearing niqab depends on a certain interpretation of the evidence. For instance I notice the Qur'anic verses have an interpretation in parenthesis and the Hadith also depends on one's viewpoint. What I'm saying is, there doesn't appear to be one verse or Hadith that specifically says "cover the face". The Hadith says when the women heard they should cover their bosom and necks they covered their me that says they covered the face in order to cover the neck and bosom, not that they were supposed to cover the face also.


Just keep in mind that you are reading a translation, hence the need to explain words that are in from our language. In any case Shamms, if you dont want to cover your face, you dont have to. :P

ha ha ha...funny. :lol:

But seriously, this seems to be an issue among the muslims and a clear answer would satisfy my curiosity. Is it obligatory or a suggestion for muslimah to cover their faces, ie; wear the niqab? :conf06:

The point had even been raised that this ruling (is that what it's called?) that women shouldn't wear it among other women is a plot from "the West". :unsure:


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