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Women > Veiling > What is the Hijab and Why do Women Wear it?

Hijab is referred to by various names, some of the most common of which are a veil or a headscarf. Most Muslims who wear the covering call it a hijab (ﺏﺎﺠﺣ), an Arabic word meaning "cover." However, there are various forms of hijab that are referred to by different names. While hijab is commonly associated with women, Muslim men also sometimes wear a head covering as a means of showing modesty. Additionally, Christian and Jewish women in some traditions wear a headscarf as a cultural practice or commitment to modesty or piety.


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What are the various kind of hijab?


Hijab ( ﺏﺎﺠﺣ): The first type of hijab that is most commonly worn by women in the West is a square scarf that covers the head and neck, but leaves the face clear. This form of hijab is most commonly referred to as hijab.


Shayla: The shayla is a long, rectangular scarf that is wrapped loosely around the head and tucked or pinned at the shoulders. Like the hijab and al-amira, this form of hijab covers the head but often leaves the neck and face clear.


Khimar ( ﺭﺎﻤﺧ): The khimar is a long, cape-like scarf that is wrapped around the head and hangs to the middle of the back. This type of hijab covers the head, neck, and shoulders, but leaves the face clear.


Chador ( ﺭﺩﺎﺸﺗ): The chador is a long cloak that covers a woman's entire body. Like the khimar, the chador wraps around the head, but instead of hanging just to the middle of back, the chador drapes to a woman's feet.


Niqāb ( ﺏﺎﻘﻧ): The niqab is a face-covering that covers the mouth and nose, but leaves the eyes clear. It is worn with an accompanying khimar or other form of head scarf.


Burqa ( ﻊﻗﺮﺑ ): The burqa covers the entire face and body, leaving a small mesh screen through which the woman can see through. Why do women wear hijab? Muslim women choose to wear the hijab or other coverings for a variety of reasons.


Some women wear the hijab because they believe that God has instructed women to wear it as a means of fulfilling His commandment for modesty. For these women, wearing hijab is a personal choice that is made after puberty and is intended to reflect one's personal devotion to God. In many cases, the wearing of a headscarf is often accompanied by the wearing of loose-fitting, non-revealing clothing, also referred to as hijab.