Hijab, niqab, burqa: what are the different types of Islamic headscarf

Hijab, niqab, burqa: what are the different types of Islamic headscarf

There are different types of veil, what is each used for?

Photo: NIELS WENSTEDT / AFP / Getty Images

Hijab, niqab, burqa – there are many types of veils that Muslim women wear around the world.

Some women wear a headscarf to cover their heads and cover their hair, while others wear a burqa or niqab, which also covers their face.

This is one guide to the different types of scarves in the head:

The 7 types of veils

The word hijab describes the act of covering up in general, but it is often used to describe the headscarves worn by Muslim women.

These come in many styles and colors.

The type most commonly used in the West covers the head and neck, but leaves the face clear.

A woman with a hijab.
A woman with a hijab. (Photo: Getty Images)

The niqab is a veil for the face that clears the area around the eyes. However, it can be worn with a separate eye veil. It is worn with a headscarf.

A woman wearing Niqab

The al-amira is a veil of two pieces. It consists of a fitted cap, usually made of cotton or polyester, and a tube-shaped scarf.

The shayla is a long scarf and rectangular popular in the Gulf region. It wraps around the head and is worn or pinned at the shoulders.

The burqa is the that more hiddento of all Islamic veils. It is a one-piece veil that covers the face and body, often leaving only a mesh screen to see through.

Woman wearing a Burka

The khimar is a long veil in the form of a cape that hangs just above the waist. It completely covers the hair, neck and shoulders, but leaves the face clear.

The chador, worn by many Iranian women when they are out of the house, it is a full body coat. It is often accompanied by a smaller scarf underneath.

Headscarves are seen as a sign of modesty by the people who wear them, and a symbol of religious faith.

But not everyone agrees with them and in some countries, such as France and Denmark, there is a ban on wearing clothing that covers the face in public.

They do so for the sake of national security, arguing that these garments “make it difficult to identify” the person.

Supporters of the measure say it is vital to public safety and encourages assimilation among ethnic and religious minorities.

But civil rights advocates believe this ban discriminates against Muslim women, some of whom see these garments as a religious obligation.

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