Difference between Burqa and Abaya
Key difference: Burqa and abaya are two different kinds of clothing that are available to Islamic women. An abaya can be described as a long robe or cloak, usually black in color. It is worn over the clothing and tends to cover the whole body. Similarly, a burqa is also a loose outer garment that covers the whole body; however a burqa is head-to-toe. In addition to the body, the burqa also covers the head and face.
Burqa and abaya are two different kinds of clothing that are available to Islamic women. Islamic women wear these cloths as a form of protection. They also act as a sign of modesty. Many claim that this clothing is decreed by the Islamic religion, culture and norms. Hence, many are times women are forced to wear these clothing in front of men by the social norms, elders and peers. However, many women choose to wear these clothing to represent their own belief in their religion and culture. They are worn by Muslim women as a symbol of modesty, privacy, and morality.
An abaya can be described as a long robe or cloak, usually black in color. It is worn over the clothing and tends to cover the whole body. The styles of abaya vary, many often contain embroidery of some sort, while some may or may not include a hood. It can be said that an abaya is a type of a traditional hijab. Hijab here refers to the Islamic rules of covering up.
The abaya is usually made of georgette or other soft, flowing polyester fabrics. It has a front crossover opening and can be just pulled over regular clothing. It is often paired with a hijab and a niqab. Hijab here is the scarf which covers the head. The abaya is most common in the Islamic cultures on the Arabian Peninsula; however it has been readily adopted in other parts of the world.
Similarly, a burqa is also a loose outer garment that covers the whole body; however a burqa is head-to-toe. The aim of the burqa is to cover the shape of the body in front of males outside of the family. In addition to the body, the burqa also covers the head and face. It can be a one-piece or a two-piece garment. One piece is the loose frock type garment that covers the body, while the second piece is a skirt or pant like garment that aims to cover the legs. The frock-type garment is usually just draped over the head and not adjusted or fastened to the woman’s body.
The face-veil portion is usually a rectangular piece of semi-transparent cloth whose top side is sewn to corresponding portion of the head-scarf. The veil hangs down loose from the scarf or is side-attached to the scarf, and it can be turned up if the woman wishes to reveal her face. The burqa contains a small opening for the eyes which may or may not be covered with a mesh panel.
‘The name burqa’ is an Arabized Persian word of purda or parda, which means curtain and/or veil. Burqa can also be written as burkha, burka or burqu.
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