The burqa and niqab have become a topic of much controversy and heated debate. A number of countries have banned the wearing of these religious garments, while others have considered banning or limiting their use.
Many arguments have been made against the wearing of the burqa and niqab, claiming they are anti-social, backward, oppressive, and not part of Islam. This pamphlet discusses the burqa and niqab from an Islamic viewpoint and addresses the many concerns and allegations made against the wearing of these garments.
Types of Islamic Dress
There are three main types of Islamic dress relating to women when in public:
- Hijab: This is the most common type of Islamic dress, which covers the woman’s body, leaving only her face and hands visible.
- Niqab: This type is like the hijab, except it also covers part of the face, leaving only the eyes visible.
- Burqa: This type is the least common, and involves covering the whole body as well as covering the face with mesh, so that the eyes are not visible.
The hijab can generally be found amongst Muslim women all over the world, while the niqab and burqa are more common in specific regions.
It is not obligatory for a Muslim woman to dress in one of the above fashions in front of other women. It is only obligatory in the presence of men who are not closely related to her, as prescribed in Islam.
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