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Basic Styles of Muslim Women Headwear Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


Covering of hair for the woman is considered essential to modesty of her attire, even in the Bible. This is the reason that nuns and orthodox Jewish women also cover their hair. It is the outer dress of Muslim women which includes the head covering that is usually referred to as hijab.

Hajib (Veil)

The word hijab comes from the Arabic for veil and is used to describe the headsc­arves worn by Muslim women. These scarves come in a myriad of styles and colours. The type most commonly worn in the West is a square scarf that covers the head and neck but leaves the face clear.

Almira & Shayla

The al-amira is a two-piece veil. It consists of a close fitting cap, usually made from cotton or polyester, and an accomp­anying tube-like scarf. The shayla is a long, rectan­gular scarf popular in the Gulf region. It is wrapped around the head and tucked or pinned in place at the shoulders.

Khimar & Chador

The khimar is a long, cape-like veil that hangs down to just above the waist. It covers the hair, neck and shoulders comple­tely, but leaves the face clear. The chador, worn by many Iranian women when outside the house, is a full-body cloak. It is often accomp­anied by a smaller headscarf undern­eath.

Niqab & Burka

The niqab is a veil for the face that leaves the area around the eyes clear. However, it may be worn with a separate eye veil. It is worn with an accomp­anying headscarf. The burka is the most concealing of all Islamic veils. It covers the entire face and body, leaving just a mesh screen to see through.