Are these narrations sahih?
(1) Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu ‘anha) said:
‘We were with Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) while in the state of ihram, and whenever riders would pass by us, we would drape down a cloth from above our heads, and once they passed by we would raise it up.’
(2) Fatimah bintil Mundhir (rahimahallah) said:
‘We would cover our faces while in the state of ihram, while in the company of Sayyidah Asma bint Abi Bakr As-Siddiq.’
1. This narration is recorded in the following Hadith sources:
Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 1829, Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 2935, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Hadith: 14446, Musnad Ahmad, vol. 6 pg. 30 and others.
Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has declared the chain slightly weak.
(Fathul Bari, before Hadith: 1545)
However, there is another authentic narration in which Sayyidatuna ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu’anha) states:
‘A woman may hang her head-scarf over her face.’ [i.e, in ihram]
(Fathul Bari, Hadith: 1545, from Sunan Sa’id ibn Mansur)
Also see Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Hadith: 14539 for a similar ruling from Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu’anhu).
2. This narration is authentic as it is recorded by Imam Malik (rahimahullah) in his Muwatta, Hadith: 819.
a) The Fuqaha generally allow what Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu’anha) had done, as it is -technically- not a violation of the ihram to merely drape a cloth over the face without it actually touching the face.
Furthermore, this was not done continuously, but only when strangers passed by.
b) The second narration states that Fatimah bintil Mundhir (rahimahallah) actually covered her face. Fatimah bintil Mundhir was a Tabi’iyyah (rahimahallah).
Although this could mean that she permanently had a cloth over her face – as Muslim women generally do when not in the state of ihram- but Imam Ibnul Mindhir (rahimahullah) has explained that Fatimah bintil Mundhir probably did as Sayyidatunan ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu’anhu) did; i.e, She draped the cloth, and did not have it touching her face. Neither was it done perpetually. Rather only when there was a need for her to veil herself from strange men.
However, if Fatimah bintil Mundhir (rahimahallah) actually permanently had a cloth touching her face, then this would be viewed as an isolated incident and not a practice worth emulating since it violates the rules of ihram.
For further details, refer to: Fatul Bari, Hadith: 1545.
I have merely commented on what was presented to me in your question. Kindly refer to a reliable Mufti/Darul ifta for a specific ruling (fatwa).
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar