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Not All Headscarves Are Burqas: Decoding The Different Types of Veils in Islam

Lifestyle | Reuters | May 2, 2019, 1:13 pm
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 A burqa is not the same as Hijab and Hijab is not the same as Niqab – the words are back in circulation, for all the curiosity the veil evoked after the Sri Lanka ban on face coverings. The law came into force on Monday but has not specifically mentioned: “burqas, niqabs or hijab” that are traditionally worn by Muslim women. <br /><br />The decision came after terror attacks killed more than 250 people on Easter Sunday, and has got mixed reactions from the women in the Muslim community.<br /><br /><em>Burqa</em>: This kind of veil is different from others – as it covers the whole body from the top of the head to the ground. It covers the entire face, including the eyes and women can see through the mesh cloth. (Image: Reuters)

A burqa is not the same as Hijab and Hijab is not the same as Niqab – the words are back in circulation, for all the curiosity the veil evoked after the Sri Lanka ban on face coverings. The law came into force on Monday but has not specifically mentioned: “burqas, niqabs or hijab” that are traditionally worn by Muslim women.

The decision came after terror attacks killed more than 250 people on Easter Sunday, and has got mixed reactions from the women in the Muslim community.

Burqa: This kind of veil is different from others – as it covers the whole body from the top of the head to the ground. It covers the entire face, including the eyes and women can see through the mesh cloth. (Image: Reuters)

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 <em>Jilbab/Abaya</em>: These are long, loosely fitted garments worn like an overcoat by Muslim women in the Middle East, South Asia and North America. They are often worn in combination with the hijab or niqab. The jilbab is a dress by itself worn in black or neutral colours. (Image: Reuters)

Jilbab/Abaya: These are long, loosely fitted garments worn like an overcoat by Muslim women in the Middle East, South Asia and North America. They are often worn in combination with the hijab or niqab. The jilbab is a dress by itself worn in black or neutral colours. (Image: Reuters)

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 <em>Al Amira</em>: Muslim women wear al-amira, which is a two-piece veil and is worn with a close-fitting cap and a tube-like scarf. The material used for this kind of veil is usually made from cotton or polyester. (Image: Reuters)

Al Amira: Muslim women wear al-amira, which is a two-piece veil and is worn with a close-fitting cap and a tube-like scarf. The material used for this kind of veil is usually made from cotton or polyester. (Image: Reuters)

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 <em>Al Shayla</em>: The Muslim women specifically in the Gulf region cover their head with an elegant Shayla, which is a long, rectangular scarf. It runs from the head and is elegantly pinned on shoulders. (Image: Reuters)

Al Shayla: The Muslim women specifically in the Gulf region cover their head with an elegant Shayla, which is a long, rectangular scarf. It runs from the head and is elegantly pinned on shoulders. (Image: Reuters)

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 <em>Burkini</em>: The burkini is a swimming garment designed by Lebanese-Australian designer Aheda Zanetti. It is an Islamic version of a swimming suit. Just that this one covers the body from head to foot leaving openings for the face, hands, and feet. The fabric of the burkini, according to Zanetti, is not supposed to stick to the body after the plunge in the sea. (Image: Reuters)

Burkini: The burkini is a swimming garment designed by Lebanese-Australian designer Aheda Zanetti. It is an Islamic version of a swimming suit. Just that this one covers the body from head to foot leaving openings for the face, hands, and feet. The fabric of the burkini, according to Zanetti, is not supposed to stick to the body after the plunge in the sea. (Image: Reuters)

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 <em>Chador</em>: Muslim women in Iran wear the chador, which is a full-body cloak. It is worn with by a smaller headscarf. It is basically as a large semi-circular piece of cloth that covers the head and drapes the body to the feet. Women hold it together with their hands. (Image: Reuters)

Chador: Muslim women in Iran wear the chador, which is a full-body cloak. It is worn with by a smaller headscarf. It is basically as a large semi-circular piece of cloth that covers the head and drapes the body to the feet. Women hold it together with their hands. (Image: Reuters)

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 <em>Hijab</em>: The origin of the word hijab is Arabic. It is used to define scarves worn by Muslim women to cover their heads. Some of the distinctive features of the hijab are that it does not cover the face, it is used to cover the head and neck and comes in many colours and styles. (Image: Reuters)

Hijab: The origin of the word hijab is Arabic. It is used to define scarves worn by Muslim women to cover their heads. Some of the distinctive features of the hijab are that it does not cover the face, it is used to cover the head and neck and comes in many colours and styles. (Image: Reuters)

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 <em>Khimar</em>: The khimar is a long, cape-like veil. It hangs down to just above the waist and hands. Leaving the face clear, the veil covers the hair, neck and shoulders completely. Often worn by Muslim women at the time of prayers or for the Hajj pilgrimage. (Image: Reuters)

Khimar: The khimar is a long, cape-like veil. It hangs down to just above the waist and hands. Leaving the face clear, the veil covers the hair, neck and shoulders completely. Often worn by Muslim women at the time of prayers or for the Hajj pilgrimage. (Image: Reuters)

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 <em>Niqab</em>: In this kind of covering women cover their face except for the eyes. Muslim women in Arab countries wear the cover that flows down to the mid-back and covers the mid-chest in the front. Hair is completely covered. (Image: Reuters)

Niqab: In this kind of covering women cover their face except for the eyes. Muslim women in Arab countries wear the cover that flows down to the mid-back and covers the mid-chest in the front. Hair is completely covered. (Image: Reuters)

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