What’s the difference between a Hijab, Niqab and Burka?

What’s the difference between a hijab, a niqab and a burka? Here’s all you need to know.

What’s the difference between a Hijab, Niqab and Burka?

Hijab, niqab, burka – there are lots of different kinds of coverings worn by Muslim women all over the world. Some wear a headscarf to cover their head and hair, while others wear a burka or niqab, which also covers up their face.

Headscarves are seen as a sign of modesty, and a symbol of religious faith. But how can you tell which one is which? Check out our guide to the various different types.

WHAT IS HIJAB?



The word hijab describes the act of covering up generally but is often used to describe the headscarves worn by Muslim women. These scarves come in many styles and colours. The type most commonly worn in the West covers the head and neck but leaves the face clear.

WHAT IS BURKA?



The burka is the most concealing of all Islamic veils. It is a one-piece veil that covers the face and body, often leaving just a mesh screen to see through.

WHAT IS CHADOR?



The chador, worn by many Iranian women when outside the house, is a full-body cloak. It is often accompanied by a smaller headscarf underneath.

WHAT IS KHIMAR?



The khimar is a long, cape-like veil that hangs down to just above the waist. It covers the hair, neck and shoulders completely, but leaves the face clear.

WHAT IS SHAYLA?



The shayla is a long, rectangular scarf popular in the Gulf region. It is wrapped around the head and tucked or pinned in place at the shoulders.

WHAT IS NIQAB?



The niqab is a veil for the face that leaves the area around the eyes clear. However, it may be worn with a separate eye veil. It is worn with an accompanying headscarf.

WHAT IS AL-AMIRA?


The al-amira is a two-piece veil. It consists of a close fitting cap, usually made from cotton or polyester, and a tube-like scarf.

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