Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between a Hijab and a Burqa

Hijab vs Burqa

In Islamic culture, women have a particular way of dressing, and the dressing is based on the principle of female modesty. The hijab and burqa are the two modest dresses that Islamic culture insists for women to wear. In the Muslim world, wearing a burqa is compulsory. But with the advent of modernization or westernization, most women prefer the hijab.

A hijab is a headscarf worn over the head which covers the head and the hair. With a hijab, the face is seen. No other body part is covered. The hijab is now widely preferred by modern Muslim women.

A burqa is a loose dress that covers the whole body from the head to the foot. It is worn over the normal dress when going out of their hom, and is taken off when they get back to their homes. As the whole body is covered, there is a face veil which is usually a rectangle and made of semi-translucent cloth. This veil is stitched to the topside of the headscarf of the burqa which makes it loose from the headscarf. This helps the women to lift the veil.

Some hardcore Muslims want the burqa to be made compulsory as part of Sharia law. They believe that the face of a woman is a source of corruption and, hence, it should be covered. In the Muslim countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, the burqa is compulsory. In Afghanistan, the Taliban has made the burqa compulsory.

‘Hijab’ is an Arabic word meaning ‘cover’ or ‘curtain.’ It also has a wider meaning like ‘modesty, morality, and privacy.’

Summary:

1. The hijab is a headscarf worn over the head which covers the head and the hair. With the hijab, the face is seen.
2. The burqa is a loose dress that covers the whole body from the head to the foot. It is worn over the normal dress when going out of their home and is taken off when they get back to their homes.
3. Some hardcore Muslims want the burqa to be made compulsory as part of Sharia law. They believe that the face of a woman is a source of corruption and, hence, it should be covered.
4. ‘Hijab’ is an Arabic word meaning ‘cover’ or ‘curtain.’ It also has a wider meaning like ‘modesty, morality and privacy.’
5. In the Muslim countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, the burqa is compulsory. In Afghanistan, the Taliban has made the burqa compulsory.


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6 Comments

  1. The burqa is not compulsory in Saudi Arabia, and neither is the abaya. The abaya is just a cultural and social expectation. Women do not have to cover their whole face in Saudi Arabia or in Iran, for that matter. The majority of women in Saudi Arabia don’t cover their face, some don’t even cover their hair. In Iran, many women do cover their face because it has become more a matter of safety and not attracting negative and unwanted attention.
    But it was compulsory in Afghanistan, only in the time of the Taliban. Not anymore.
    Choosing between the hijab and the burqa is mainly a choice made by the family, and it depends on what that family prefers. It has nothing to do with governments.

  2. also the burqa is not compulsory in Iran

  3. I wish non-Muslims wouls stop using the word burqa. This word is a indian/pakistani/afgani term. You said Muslims started out (in the begining) wearing the burqa. The correct term for the face cover is niqaab. The correct term for the full body cover is abaya or khimar. Since in the begining of Islam the Indians and Afganis were not muslim how could women be wearing a burqa (a indian/afgani/paki term)? Plus the abaya, khimar and niqaab look totally diferent from the so called burqa.

  4. Abaya/burqa, whatever you call it, should be made compulsory in the Indian subcontinent.

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