Did you know that Muslim women have at least 7 different headdresses to cover their heads? Each piece has unique features and is used in certain situations. Some of them are comfier (they can be used even for sports), others are stricter (cover the female body absolutely); a few headgears have a religious purpose (are used for ceremonies and praying), but most pieces are worn by women in day-to-day life. They’re a part of a female everyday attire.
It is a long rectangular scarf that is loosely wrapped around the head and left on the shoulders. Usually, it is made from black silk but sheilas can be of any color. This headdress is popular in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf (Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates).
This word has 2 meanings: any proper cover-up for the head (according to the Shariah principles) and a certain headdress. This headdress is a kerchief that covers the hair, ears, the neck, and a small part of shoulders. The female face is left open. There are many ways of draping a hijab; for example like an ordinary kerchief tied under the chin. The hijab is usually worn with the clothing that covers the shoulders, arms, and legs. This piece is the most widespread and is worn in many countries around the world.
Al-Amira hijab (Amira hijab, princess hijab)
The word “amira” in Arabic means “princess”. That’s why there are several names for this headdress. The garment usually consists of 2 separate pieces: a kind of a bonnet cap or skull cap and a sleeve-like scarf. The scarf covers the head, neck, shoulders, and the upper part of the chest. Amira hijab is very comfy and easy to wear, so it is often preferred to a classic one by young girls, women who are new to wearing a hijab, and many Muslim women during sports activities. This kind of hijab doesn’t need a special pin to keep it in place; it doesn’t fall down when you move; and women don’t need any special skills to put it on.
It is a headscarf that covers the hair, ears, neck, shoulders, and the upper part of the women’s body. The face is left open. The length of the khimar is usually to the waist. This headdress is popular in the Middle East and Turkey.
Chador is a full cloak that covers the head and the entire body of a female. It doesn’t have any buttons or fastenings; is held in place by the woman’s hands. This garment doesn’t cover the face but if needed the female can hide her face by the edge of the cloak. Chador is popular in Iran.
This headdress is always black. The veil covers the women’s head and face leaving only the eyes uncovered – there is a small opening for the eyes. It is worn with other traditional Muslim clothes (such as abaya, different robes, etc.). Niqab is popular in Gulf countries, Yemen, and Pakistan.
It covers the head and the body fully. Only palms are visible, sometimes not even them. There is a grille that hides the eyes of a woman; it is called “chachvan”. Burka is used in the Middle East and Afghanistan.