If you chose to follow the opinion that the face is a part of the awrah (the parts of the body that should be kept covered), you usually cover it with what is known as a Niqab, and you must wear it the correct way which is to cover everything except the eyes based on evidences from the Qu’ran and the Sunnah.
This is not correct to show the forehead, the eyebrows or the nose. Only the eyes should be uncovered as the purpose of showing them is by necessity as to see the road or other important things.
Proofs from the Qur’an and the Sunnah
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, headcover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)…”
Ibn Katheer said: “Muhammad bin Sireen said: ‘I asked ‘Ubaydah As-Salmaanee about Allaah’s statement: ‘to cast their jalaabeeb over themselves’ so he covered his face and (only) exposed his left eye.’”
It is reported that Imaam As-Suddee said: “She should cover one of her eyes, her forehead and the other (lower) portion of her face, except one eye.”
When Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) was asked about the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies”
He covered his face, leaving only one eye showing. This indicates that what was meant by the aayah was covering the face. This was the interpretation of Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) of this aayah, as narrated from him by ‘Ubaydah al-Salmaani when he asked him about it.
(Tafseer Ibn Katheer)
Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, put his hand on my shoulder and he said, “O Allah, give him understanding in religion and teach him the interpretation of the Quran.”
Source: Musnad Aḥmad 2874
In the Sunnah there are many ahaadeeth, such as: the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The woman in ihraam is forbidden to veil her face (wear niqaab) or to wear the burqa’.” This indicates that when women were not in ihraam, women used to cover their faces.
This does not mean that if a woman takes off her niqaab or burqa’ in the state of ihraam that she should leave her face uncovered in the presence of non-mahram men. Rather she is obliged to cover it with something other than the niqaab or burqa’, on the evidence of the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) who said: “We were with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in ihraam, and when men passed by us, we would lower the khimaar on our heads over our faces, and when they moved on we would lift it again.”
Women in ihraam and otherwise are obliged to cover their faces in front of non-mahram men, because the face is the center of beauty and it is the place that men look at… and Allaah knows best.
Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, 1/396, 397
Abu Ubaidah Salmani (Radhiallaahu Ánhu), an other well known Sahabi is quoted saying “Jilbaab should fully cover the women’s body, so that nothing appears but one eye with which she can see.” (Tafseer Al-Qurtubi)
And In the time of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) “The women used to don their cloaks (Jilbaabs) over their heads in such a manner that only the eyes were revealed in order to see the road.” (The Book “Hijaab” page # 9)
Imam Muhammad bin Sirin (Rahimahullah) One of the most knowledgeable tabi’een) said “When I asked Ubaida bin Sufyan bin al-Harith (Radhiallaahu An’) how the jilbabb was to be worn, he demonstrated it to me by pulling a sheet of cloth over his head to cover his entire body, leaving the left eye uncovered. ”
(Commentary by Ibn Jarir and Ahkam-ul-Quran, Vol.3, p.457 also in “hijaab wa Safur” quoted by Shaikh AbdulAziz Bin Bazz under the chapter of his fatwaa on hijab on page #54)
It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah: With regard to the niqaab: Abu ‘Ubayd said, describing the niqab according to the Arabs: it is that from which the eye appears. It was known by other names, including “burqa‘”. As for the ruling on it, it is permissible.
The source for that is the hadeeth narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), according to which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The woman in ihram should not wear niqab or gloves.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari. The fact that he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) forbade the woman in ihram to wear niqab indicates that it is permissible when not in ihram. End quote from Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah (vol. 1, 17/171).
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baz, Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Razaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abdullah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh ‘Abdullah ibn Qa‘ood.
Sheikh al Fawzan said:
It is OK to cover the face with the niqaab or burqa’ which has two openings for the eyes only, because this was known at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and because of necessity. If nothing but the eyes show, this is fine, especially if this is customarily worn by women in her society.
Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, 1/399