What do we know about Muslim women’s dress?

There are different types of garments depending on the areas of the body.

Burqa, niqab, chador, hijab: in the Islamic world there is a variety of veils that differ, among other characteristics, because they cover the bodies, heads, and faces of women to different extents. Here, a guide to know how to identify each one.

Burqa: This is a full-length garment that covers from head to toe, including the face. The eyes are covered by a mesh that limits side vision, according to research by Eva Pascual Llanos published by the journal ‘Ilu. de Ciencias de las Religiones de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 2015.

Niqab: this is a complete facial veil that only exposes the eyes. It is used in Arab countries of the Persian Gulf and can also be found in countries in West Asia and in Africa, as well as in India.

Chador: This black garment covers the entire body, but leaves the face exposed. It is in traditional use in Iran.

Khimar: The khimar is a veil that covers the head and body of the woman at least up to the waist. It exposes your face. It can be considered an intermediate between the different types of garments that are used.

Al-Amira: it has two pieces, on the one hand, a kind of cap that covers the head and hair, and on the other, a long rectangular piece that covers the shoulders. The neck is covered, but the face is visible.

Hijab: it is the most widespread Islamic veil. It is a tight handkerchief that surrounds the head and neck but does not cover the face.

While the wearing of the veil by women predates Muslim culture in regions such as Mediterranean countries and is still used in other cultures, the term hijab specifically identifies this type of veil and refers to the dress code of women in Islam.

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