What is the difference between a Burqa and a Niqab ?
Non muslims and people who mix the two words often use both terms to describe a single piece of clothing covering the face of a woman.
However, we will see how the two veils are different when it comes to what they do and how different they are in their styles.
What is a Niqab ?
A Niqab is a piece of clothing, known as a face veil, that can be tied around the head to cover the face also leaving two small openings for the eyes. You can find many different styles with one, two or three layers, different lengths and shapes, with or without a nose string. It is not limited to black, and can be found in various colours. In terms of fabrics, the most popular is the the Chiffon Fabric as it is breathable and lightweight, very convenient as it covers the face.
The Niqab has been very well known in the history of Islam and was worn by the women at the time of The Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
You can find the proofs in our previous article : Proof of Niqab
It is usually paired to complete a full coverage in addition to the Jilbab, and it’s also used with the Hijab and the Khimar as they don’t usually cover the face. Even though nowadays, some techniques have been developed with a two-in-one design with straps integrated. When worn with a Abaya, it is better to wear the widest styles to cover the shoulders.
You can read our article about : Differences between Jilbab, Hijab, Khimar and Abaya
What is a Burqa/Burka ?
A Burqa is a specific style of Hijab, which can be as long as the full body, with a mesh like grid for the eyes to allow visibility. So the Burqa also fulfils the conditions of the Niqab and is like a two-in-one design as it covers the whole body and the face with one piece of clothing.
The Burqa/Burka is a more of a traditional Hijab worn by Muslim Women in Central Asia like Afghanistan and West Pakistan.
The Burqa/Burka and Niqab are two different styles, often associated because they both have one thing in common which is covering the face. The Burqa is more traditional and found in particular cultures, and does more than only covering the face. In opposition to that the Niqab serves only one purpose which is to cover the face and is not restricted to some cultures but widespread.
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