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Jilbab vs. Hijab — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on September 23, 2023
Jilbab is a loose-fitting, full-length garment that covers the entire body except the face, hands, and feet. Hijab primarily refers to a headscarf that covers the hair, neck, and often shoulders, but not the face.
Jilbab vs. Hijab — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Jilbab and Hijab

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Key Differences

Jilbab and Hijab are both garments worn by Muslim women for the purpose of modesty, but they are distinct in terms of their design and the body parts they cover. A Jilbab is a loose, full-length garment that covers the entire body except for the face, hands, and feet. In contrast, a Hijab is primarily a headscarf that covers the hair, neck, and often the shoulders, but leaves the face exposed.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023
The Jilbab is usually worn over regular clothes and resembles a long robe or a cloak. It is designed to conceal the shape of the body and is often accompanied by a headscarf or a Hijab. On the other hand, the Hijab focuses on covering the head and is worn in various styles and fabrics, depending on individual preference and cultural influences.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023
In terms of cultural and regional variations, the Jilbab is more commonly seen in certain Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian countries. The Hijab has broader global adoption and is more versatile, often seen in various styles across different Muslim communities worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023
The terms Jilbab and Hijab are sometimes used interchangeably, but this is not technically correct. While a Jilbab could be worn with a Hijab, they serve different purposes and offer different levels of coverage. The Hijab is more focused on modesty of the head and upper body, while the Jilbab aims for full-body modesty.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023

Comparison Chart

Body Parts Covered

Entire body except face, hands, feet
Head, neck, sometimes shoulders
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Sep 23, 2023
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Garment Type

Full-length, robe-like
Headscarf
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Sep 23, 2023

Versatility

Less versatile, specific design
More versatile, various styles
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Sep 23, 2023

Regional Adoption

More common in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian countries
Broader global adoption
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023

Accompanies

Often worn with a headscarf or Hijab
Can be worn alone or with other modest garments
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Sep 23, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Jilbab

Covers the entire body except the face, hands, and feet.
The Jilbab provided complete coverage, complying with her religious beliefs.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023

Hijab

A headscarf worn by Muslim women.
She chose a colorful Hijab to wear for the day.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023

Jilbab

Often worn over regular clothes.
She put on a Jilbab before leaving the house.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023

Hijab

Broadly adopted globally in Muslim communities.
Hijabs are worn by Muslim women worldwide.
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Sep 23, 2023

Jilbab

A full-length, loose-fitting Islamic garment.
She wore a Jilbab over her everyday clothes for modesty.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023

Hijab

Worn in various styles and fabrics.
She liked experimenting with different Hijab styles.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023

Jilbab

Common in certain Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian countries.
Jilbabs are a common sight in many Muslim-majority countries.
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Sep 23, 2023

Hijab

Focuses on modesty of the head and upper body.
The Hijab is an important part of her modest attire.
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Sep 23, 2023

Jilbab

Frequently paired with a headscarf or Hijab.
She wore a matching Hijab with her Jilbab.
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Sep 23, 2023

Hijab

Covers the hair, neck, and sometimes shoulders.
Her Hijab was wrapped tightly, covering her hair and neck.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023

Jilbab

A loose, long-sleeved, full-length overgarment worn by Muslim women.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 04, 2021

Hijab

A hijab (; Arabic: حجاب‎, romanized: ḥijāb, pronounced [ħɪˈdʒaːb] in common English usage) is a religious veil worn by Muslim women in the presence of any male outside of their immediate family, which usually covers the hair, head and chest. The term can refer to any hair, head, face, or body covering worn by Muslim women that conforms to Islamic standards of modesty.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 04, 2021

Jilbab

A long, loose-fitting coat or similar garment worn by some Muslim women to fulfil hijab.
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Aug 04, 2021

Hijab

Any of several cloth head coverings worn by Muslim women.
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Aug 04, 2021

Hijab

The veiling of women in some Islamic societies, customarily practiced in order to maintain standards of modesty.
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Aug 04, 2021

Hijab

The practice, among Muslim women, of covering the body after the age of puberty in front of non-related adult males.
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Aug 04, 2021

Hijab

(countable) A traditional headscarf worn by Muslim women, covering the hair and neck.
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Aug 04, 2021

Hijab

A headscarf worn by Muslim women; conceals the hair and neck and usually has a face veil that covers the face
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 04, 2021

Hijab

The custom in some Islamic societies of women dressing modestly outside the home;
She observes the hijab and does not wear tight clothing
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 04, 2021

Common Curiosities

What is a Jilbab?

A Jilbab is a loose, full-length Islamic garment covering the body except for the face, hands, and feet.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023

Are there different styles of Hijabs?

Yes, Hijabs come in various styles, fabrics, and colors.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023

Can men wear a Jilbab or Hijab?

Traditionally, these garments are worn by Muslim women for the purpose of modesty.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023

What is a Hijab?

A Hijab is a headscarf that covers the hair, neck, and sometimes the shoulders, but leaves the face exposed.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023

Can a Jilbab be worn with a Hijab?

Yes, a Jilbab is often worn with a Hijab or another type of headscarf.
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Sep 23, 2023

Are Hijabs worn in non-Muslim countries?

Yes, Hijabs are worn by Muslim women worldwide, including in non-Muslim countries.
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Sep 23, 2023

What do you wear under a Jilbab?

Regular clothes are typically worn under a Jilbab.
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Sep 23, 2023

Do both Jilbab and Hijab serve the same purpose?

Both are worn for modesty in Islamic tradition, but they differ in design and the body parts they cover.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023

Is wearing a Hijab mandatory in all Muslim countries?

No, wearing a Hijab depends on individual choice and specific cultural or legal mandates.
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Sep 23, 2023

Are Jilbabs and Hijabs only black?

No, they come in various colors, although black is commonly worn in some regions.
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Sep 23, 2023

Is a Jilbab versatile in style?

Jilbabs are generally less versatile in style compared to Hijabs.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023

Which garment provides more coverage?

A Jilbab provides more full-body coverage compared to a Hijab.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023

Can Jilbabs be stylish?

Yes, modern Jilbabs come in various fabrics and patterns, allowing for a stylish yet modest look.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023

Is it disrespectful for non-Muslims to wear a Hijab?

Opinions vary, but wearing a Hijab respectfully and with understanding of its cultural significance is generally considered acceptable.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023

What is the cultural significance of a Jilbab?

The Jilbab is often worn for religious reasons and is rooted in Islamic traditions of modesty.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 23, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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