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Chador, Niqab, Abaya, Burqa, Hijab and Options
Posted: Sunday, April 1, 2018 12:04:59 PM

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Joined: 10/2/2015
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Location: Haddington, Scotland, United Kingdom

The article talks about outrage over a political candidate wearing a hijab in campaign poster, but I was drawn to the definitions of several pieces of clothing that I didn't know existed.

The chador, which is usually black, is a body-length outer garmet often worn in Iran and among modern-minded women in the Gulf States, as here in Saudi Arabia. It is not fastened with clasps or buttons and therefore has to be held closed by the wearer.

A niqab is a veil and scarf that covers the entire face yet leaves the eyes free. It covers a woman's hair as it falls to the middle of her back and some are also half-length in the front so as to cover her chest. Here it is being worn by women attending a rally by Salafi radicals in Germany.

The burqa is the most extensive of all Muslim garments, covering the entire body from head to toe. It traditionally has a woven mesh area around the eyes to allow women to see. In this case enabling them to cast their ballots in Pakistani parliamentary elections.

An abaya is a loose-fitting, full-length garment designed to cover the body. It may come in many different styles, as seen here at an Arab fashion show, and is often worn in combination with hijab or niqab.

I see women in hijabs every day where I live and work, but I just realized I've also seen quite a few women wearing the abaya and chador (I think). I also didn't realize there was a difference between a niqab and a burqa.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Posted: Monday, April 2, 2018 3:27:52 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/29/2009
Posts: 7,465
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Yes, there are differences. And more orthodox or radical a person is, more particular he is about the veils. In my part of the world, the chador (or chadar), hijab, niqab (or naqab) and burqa are quite common. In urban and some modern segments, the muslim ladies and girls can also be easily seen without any veil.

We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. ~ Swami Vivekanand
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