Must we cover the chin?

As I’m sure you all have already noticed by now…i always cover my chin-like the underside and the sides of my cheeks when out and about, wearing hejab (the entire modest attire ensemble) and personally I’ve always felt that the chin must be part of the awrah because when we wear hejab we should cover as much as possible except for the hands and the face. Ofcourse I know many sisters who read my blog follow the rulings that state that the face is awrah and hence niqab is fard. I won’t argue with that as it boils down to which scholars one follows. According to the scholars I follow its a not fard, although can and should be done for extra barakah-if possible. Since its not necessary I prefer to just cover as best I can.

Anyway…this lead me on a quest recently to find out where in both Sunni and Shia sources it states that the underside of the chin is considered awrah and must be covered. As you can imagine its a contentious issue! Many Sunni Muslims think only Shia women cover their chin and so wearing ones hejab covering the chin automatically labels you as a Shia. Yet, many Shia women do not cover their chin and others say it’s not necessary and then what about all the North African  and Turkish women I see who do cover their chin and who are either Hanafi or Maliki or Shaifi? What about the telekung, the SE Asian prayer dresses that usually come with a chin-cover?

This search for scholarly rulings about this lead me to a few sources which I found quite interesting.

For Sunnis…the Sunni madhabs that I could find in which the underside of the chin is considered awrah, part of the neck and should be covered is Hanafiyyah and Shafiyyah…but…not every Hanafi or Shaifi scholar says it is required. Some do and some do not. Most say its not exactly required as it would be considered a “hardship” while a handful say its required or should be done. I guess this explains why I sometimes see North African and Turkish sisters wearing their hejabs in such a fashion.

Here is one such link about this from the Hanafi perspective.

Then what about Shia sources? I kept going around and around when searching for scholarly rulings about this. I had always heard for the longest time that for women who are Shia that the chin is considered part of the neck and hence awrah and must be covered but now suiddently I read that no longer do most Shia Marja feel that covering the chin is necessary!

In a more recent ruling, Ayatollah Sistani states that the underside of the chin is considered part of the face and does not need to be covere, yet in another ruling also by Ayatollah Sistani…namely his Code of Ethics he states that it is important for a Muslim woman who observes hejab to cover the underside of the chin and that it is considered awrah!  I can only speculate that maybe his views changed over time. I don’t know. I read elsewhere that the rulings from his “ethics” must be taken as supplemental.

Anyway, in conclusion…for Sunnis…its recommended to cover the chin if you are Hanafi or Shaifi. Although most likely in the other madhabs there are similar strains of thought but its not required by most, it would be more like a recommendable action. For Shia sisters it seems like its generally considered required but not mandatory, although again, each Shia scholar will have his own viewpoint so personally in that matter, one should follow the majority…right?

I’m not writing this to en’shallah upset anyone or to pretend to be a scholar or some wise educated person in the deen…I’m learning like everyone else. But I did want to share this as sometimes I get tired of explaining to sisters WHY I wear my hejab the way I do! Also I chose to include both references to Sunni AND Shia scholarly opinions because my blog is aimed at Muslim sisters in general…not Muslim sisters of one sole islamic viewpint and I have readers who are Sunni, Shia and Salafi along with non-Muslims…



18 thoughts on “Must we cover the chin?

  1. A friend of mine had the opportunity to ask Ayat. Sistani personally on this about a decade ago, and it was confirmed that according to him it is not required to cover the chin. This friend also said that his book of rulings for people in the West supersedes all others for people in the West; if there is any conflict between books that have been issued, it is the most accurate and up-to-date.

    That being said of course there’s nothing wrong with covering the chin and if one prefers it, should do so. One reason I like amiras is that it is easy to cover the chin with them, but some people think they are not long enough in the chest area – my personal take is it depends on what you’re wearing and what your body type is.

  2. Jazak Allah khair for writing this. I have worn my scarf to cover my chin almost since I have been wearing hijab. I never really looked into it from a scholarly perspective, I just knew that after I had worn it that way once…I felt weird going out with my chin exposed, kind of like it was supposed to be covered up. It was very interesting reading about the scholarly opinions on this subject. Once again, jazak Allah khair for a great post!

  3. I just saw loads of Amirahs today with an added-in chin piece at an Afghani fabric store that also sells a small selection of hijabs and abayas, maybe this is a new style that is becoming more mainstream (they were Amirahs made by the usual brands from Syria etc-just with added chin piece)

      • NB-That isn’t including the original ‘Al-Amirah’ brand though but the other brands you typically see around. They had a few in another store as well but not as wide a selection. These were the one piece ones, as well as your typical spandex-y ones they had some in an embroidered cotton blend crinkle crepe type fabric

  4. Agreed, it’s an interesting issue! Personally, I cover my chin… only because I do feel that best fulfills hijab requirements in terms of the scarf, but you’re right that we do have so many different opinions by scholars so I’d say in this one that either form of wearing the scarf is OK as long as you are following the scholar/madhab you feel is right. In short, I agree haha!

    • I agree but its still okay to discuss rulings and what people do with them, as long as your not issuing rulings then thats different, unless your a scholar.

  5. as salaamu alaikum

    i follow shafi’i school. and my sheiks i study under didn’t mention covering the chin on a daily basis. but that the chin has to be covered for salat to be valid. because the chin is part of the neck. and not the face, but this is probably also why women cover their chin daily.

    • asalaamu alaikum…first off, this is a slightly asignine comment. I suggest you read the daleel that I posted…secondly…it varies between madhabs whether the chin is considered awrah OR face (non-awrah)…so if you are a sister who follows a madhab which says the chin is awrah then its considered necessary as part of hejab to cover it. Thirdly…you can indeed smile even in niqab! I have many friends who wear niqab and when they are cheesin’ wa’Allahi you can tell as their eyes light up and children understand, they dont have brain blocks like ignorant adults…I cover my chin always as in my madhab its considered a part of the awrah and I have no problems smiling at my son or my family or my female friends…alhamdullah. I suggest you think before you speak as you know zilch about what you are talking about save ignorance! auzhoobillahi min ash-shaytan ir-rajeem.

      • How can you talk about thinking before speaking? After you finsh pulling both of your feet out of your mouth, consider how that your rudeness speaks louder then her ignorance.

      • asalaamu alaikum. Ms Chi-town Muslimah…actually I can choose to be rude on my own blog as much as I like, I generally refrain unless someone leaves an extremely asinine & ignorant remark. If you dont like it, you are free to peruse other blogs. Unfortunately there is the mindset that if one is wearing proper hejab they must be idiots or unable to do something like…uh, smile @ their own children! This is not true and when someone leaves a rude, thoughtless comment, then I am free to call it out. Its my own blog and has been around for like 3-4 years now and has been going fine. And no, I did not …as you say “stick my foot in my mouth”…LOL. This is like saying its OK for someone to say something ignorant and asinine to me in public because of my hejab yet heavens forbid I reply back? Uh…no…I am free to reply back as much as I like and more! Food for thought…

      • You are so right, I don’t have to like your comments or continue to subcribe to your – ? – what ever YOU want to call it. So here is my requst to be taken off you list

      • asalaamu alaikum. Sister you do realize this is a blog…right? I cant unsubscribe you. You need to go look around wordpress and look up how to unsubscribe yourself from a blog feed or whatever you have. I dont control that. I dont use those features for the blogs I follow either. Best of luck! I’m sorry you cant handle someone telling you something the way it is. but thats your life and your choice, and I dont mince words because thats not my personality. en’sha’Allah you find a blog you enjoy better and find more in tune with your rudeness meter. Fi aman Allah.

  6. asalam waliykum,

    i cover my chin becuase i dislike the underside of my chin, round face and all. And i feel its more modest. i never heard anything about it being awrah so it really is my personal choice. But jazakallah khier for the research, this has lead me to want to research it. inshallah what i findill post on my blog too. thank you sis, very intreresting 😀

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