SARTORIAL hijab is a phrase used to denote garments (typically female) associated with the modest dress of Muslims. It is merely one aspect of hijab that every Muslim is called to have.

The link has image and description of some of its forms

Veils worn primarily by Muslim women


In some Arabic-speaking countries and Western countries, the word hijab primarily refers to a headscarf worn by many Muslim women. But in Islamic scholarship, hijab is usually taken to mean modest dress and demeanour in general. The word used in the Qu’ran for a headscarf or veil is khumūr


A burqa (also burka or burqua) is a type of opaque veil sometimes worn in addition to a headscarf by Muslim women observing purdah.

Similar to a niqab, the burqa covers the wearer’s entire face except for a small region about the eyes. A full burqa or Afghan burqa is a garment that conceals the entire body. The full burqa includes a “net curtain”, which also hides the wearer’s eyes. During the Taliban‘s reign in Afghanistan, women were required to wear a full burqa.

Women in some Muslim societies or subcultures wear burqa because of exegetic interpretations of the hijab. Standards for modest dress (sartorial hijab) for Muslim women and men vary greatly depending on the cultural context.


The abaya is an overgarment worn by some Muslim women. It is the traditional form of hijab, or Islamic modest dress, for many countries of the Arabian peninsula. It is sometimes adopted in other parts of Islamic world. Traditional abaya are black, and may be either a large square of fabric draped from the shoulders or head, or a long black caftan. The abaya should cover the whole body save face, feet, and hands. It can be worn with the niqab, a face veil covering all but the eyes.

Saudi Arabia requires women to wear abaya in public; the niqab is optional. Abaya-wearing is enforced by the religious police, the mutaween.

Contemporary abaya are usually caftans, cut from light, flowing fabrics like crepe, georgette, and chiffon. They are now made in colors other than black.

In Iran the abaya is often referred to as an “Arab chador“.


In modern day usage, jilbāb (Arabic جلباب) refers to a long, flowing, baggy overgarment worn by some Muslim women. They believe that this fulfills the Islamic demands for modesty, or hijab.

The modern jilbāb covers the entire body, except for hands, feet, face, and head. The head is then covered by a scarf or wrap. Some women will also cover the hands, feet, and face. In Indonesia, the word jilbab is used for a headscarf rather than a long baggy overgarment (Geertz).


A niqāb (Arabic نِقاب) is a veil which covers the face, worn by some Muslim women as a part of sartorial hijāb. It is popular in the Middle East but it can also be found in North Africa, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

There are innumerable styles of niqāb and other facial veils worn by Muslim women around the world. There are two very common forms which are found all over the world:

The “half niqāb” is a simple length of fabric with elastic or ties and is worn around the head. This typically leaves the eyes, and occasionally the forehead, visible.

The “full” or “gulf-style niqāb” is a total face cover. It has a upper band that is tied around the forehead and then had a long wide piece attached which covers the face and an opening for the eyes. Many also have a second or more sheer covers that are attached to the upper band and worn flipped down to cover the eyes.

Other less common and more cultural or national forms of niqāb are as follows:

The “Afghani” style burqa, a long pleated gown that goes from the head to the feet with a small crocheted grill over the face. Contrary to popular belief, the burqa is limited solely to Afghanistan and certain areas of Pakistan, although there are modified forms in Kashmir and amongst Afghani refugees; the vast majority of munaqabāt do not wear this item.

The Pak Chadar, a unique innovation from Pakistan that is a triangle scarf with two additional pieces. A thin band on one edge is tied behind the head so as to keep the chadar on, and then another larger rectangular piece is attached to one end of the triangle and this is worn over the face.

The simple hijāb wrapped, pinned or tied in a certain way so as to also cover the wearer’s face.

Other common styles of clothing popularly worn with a niqāb in Western countries include:

The khimar, a semi-circular flair of fabric with an opening for the face, usually bust-level or longer worn with the niqāb. It is considered a fairly easy form of headscarf to wear as there are no pins or fasteners; it is simply pulled over the head.

Gloves. Many munaqabāt feel that gloves are a necessity when wearing niqāb so no part of the skin is visible.