This question is for my aunt who has hot flashes due to thyroid and other hormonal problems. I think she's pre menopause. So she works in a cafeteria where she has to use really hot water to clean and stand hours to serve the students. She sweats too much uncontrollably so can she leave the neck uncovered while under these circumstances? She can still cover her head and ears with a hijab hat.
Wa'alaikumussalam wr wb,
Thank you for your question. There is much evidence in the Qur'an and Sunnah that proves that covering the whole body is compulsory.
Some of them are as follows:
1 -Allah Says (Interpretation of meaning): (O Prophet tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies. That will be better that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed).[33:59].
Most commentators of the Holy Qur'an established that this Ayah (verse) shows that covering the face is compulsory because the "Jilbab" means a loose garment which is used to cover the head, and covers the face when it is lowered.
It is also said that Jilbab means the garment, which covers the whole body. This was also confirmed by Imam Qurtubi.
As regards the Ayah in Surah al-Noor : ( And not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent).[ 24:31].
It means the external garment and this is the most correct opinion. This is narrated also from Ibn Masood. Or it means what becomes uncovered without any intention. For example, what is caused by wind or the like.
2 -The Ayah (verse) of Hijab: (And when you ask (his wives) for any thing you want, ask them from behind a screen that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts).[33:53].
The purity, which is mentioned in this Ayah is not peculiar to the mothers of believers. But every Muslim woman is in need of it. In fact, Muslims women are more in need for this order than the wives of the Prophet.
3 -Allah Says in Surah al-Noor (Interpretation of meaning): (And tell the (believing women) to draw their veils over their bosoms).[24:31].
There is no disagreement among the Muslim scholars that the neck is part of the Awrah, so a woman must cover it.
However, if there is any pressing need that is valid in Shari'a such as covering it may cause unbearable harm - which is very rare - and she cannot wear any kind of clothes like silk, etc., in this case it is permissible for her to uncover her neck only for the extent of dire necessity.
Know that uncovering it in front of alien men should be restricted only to the limits of dire necessity.
Allah knows best.