Covering Face in Shafi Math-hab

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Q: I am a Shafi Math-hab Muslim. I understand that in that Math-hab for ladies niqaab (covering the face) is not mandatory. Can I force my wife to wear niqaab?

A: In the Shaafi math-hab it is also waajib or mandatory for a woman to cover her face with a niqaab or jilbaab in front of strangers. This is mentioned in all the famous Shaafi works on Fiqah. So you have the right to ask your wife to do so, but do not force her, for this may lead to disharmony among yourselves. Try and persuade her with wisdom and remind her gently every while.
Mufti Siraj Desai