Hijab Vs Abaya

What Is The Difference Between A Burka And A Hijab?

Every religion has a beautiful culture. From the clothing style to the traditions, it depicts their individual stories. Islam, which is the second-largest religion in the world, has its own beliefs and customs that Muslims need to follow.

What is that one aspect that can easily help somebody spot a particular person? It is their attire or clothing. Muslims have a distinctive covering for women that is often known as a burka. However, there are many other types of veils like the Hijab, which is often used interchangeably with the burka.

Most of the non-Muslim or new Muslims are confused between the two when it comes to shopping. If you are going through something similar and wish to gain a better perspective about the difference between a burka and a hijab, read along.


What is a Burka?


It is imperative to understand the meaning of both types of attires.

Burka is the most concealing veils in the Islamic tradition. It a long piece of clothing that covers the entire body- from the head to the toe. It has a small grill near the eyes for ease of looking.

It is a common sight in Asian countries.

The mesh panel allows the wearer to see her surroundings but at the same time, it keeps the eyes hidden from the view.


What is Hijab?


Hijab is a type of headscarf that covers the head, ears, shoulders, and chest. It leaves the face uncovered. Unlike a burka, a hijab does not cover the entire body.

It can either be wrapped around loosely around the head or tightly. The women are given the liberty to style it according to their preferences.

Hijab is mostly worn by women in Saudi Arabia.


When Do Girls Start Wearing a Hijab or a Burka?


There is no particular age limit after which it is mandated for Muslim women to wear a hijab or burka. However, girls should start practising Islam which includes covering themselves, praying, and fasting after they have received their first period.

Till that age, they are not obligated to wear a hijab or burka.


Similarities Between Burka and Hijab

Hijab and Burka are both distinctive types of coverings that allow Muslim women to dress modestly. Before going ahead with the differences, the similarity between the two is that they are used to protect the women from the gaze of non-mahram (man apart from the immediate family).

Quran has mentioned the need for women to cover up themselves. It is not just a way to symbolize their devotion to the Almighty, but also for their protection.

It is seen that women have actively been participating in male-dominated fields. As much as this is appreciated, this makes them more susceptible to harassment at work. However, having a veil- either a burka or hijab, can help them cover up their private parts. This can potentially save them from the foul gaze of unknown men.

Besides protection, both the type of veils allow women to be distinguishable in a crowd.


Points of Difference Between Burka and Hijab

The following are some of the main points of differences between burka and hijab:


Burka is a full-length attire to reaches up to the ground. It covers the entire body, along with the face.

On the other hand, a hijab only covers the head, shoulder, and chest.


Face Covering

Burka covers the entire body while also covering the face with a veil. There is a mesh panel provided that allows the women to be aware of their surroundings.

Hijab leaves the face uncovered. It only covers the head, shoulder, neck, and chest, There is no veil kept over the face.



Even though most Muslim women wear the black-coloured burka, they are also available in other dark colours.

But a more amount of variety is seen when it comes to the choices in hijabs.



Burka is a simple attire with little to no scope for styling. There are limited colour variants available and it is the simplest form of veil clothing in Islam.

However, a hijab can be styled modestly in several ways. It is available in many colours, giving you the liberty to style it according to the outfit.



The veils used by Muslim women are diverse in terms of pattern, coverage, and style. But they all serve the same purpose of dressing modestly to either please the Creator or for mental peace or both.

As there are so many varied options, people tend to get confused. However, we hope that you are in a better position to differentiate between a burka and a hijab. This can help you get a more appropriate attire for yourself.

Always remember that such veils are not the results of oppression, but rather a way of depicting loyalty towards the religion.

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