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Khimar vs. Hijab: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 11, 2023
"Khimar" refers to a specific type of headscarf that covers the head and chest, while "hijab" is a broader term encompassing modest dress in Islam, often including a headscarf.

Key Differences

A "khimar" is a type of head covering traditionally worn by Muslim women, specifically designed to cover the head and chest. The "hijab," in contrast, is a more general term that refers to the concept of modesty in Islam and often includes the practice of wearing a headscarf.
The khimar is known for its specific style, draping over the head and often extending to cover the upper body. While, the hijab can refer to any headscarf worn by Muslim women that fulfills the requirements of Islamic modesty, not necessarily specific in style.
In traditional Islamic terminology, khimar has a more specific connotation, relating directly to a piece of clothing. Hijab, while popularly used to denote a headscarf, actually encompasses a broader range of modest clothing practices and behaviors in Islam.
The choice of wearing a khimar is a specific preference within the wider range of options provided by the concept of hijab. However, the hijab symbolizes modesty, privacy, and morality, and its implementation in clothing can vary widely, including but not limited to the wearing of a khimar.
In essence, while all khimars can be considered a form of hijab, not all hijabs are khimars. The khimar is a particular style of hijab with more defined characteristics.

Comparison Chart


A specific type of headscarf covering head and chest
A broader term encompassing modest dress and behavior in Islam


Specific style, covering head and chest
Can vary in style, generally refers to head covering


Directly refers to a piece of clothing
Represents a broader concept of modesty


Specific in form and use
Offers a range of modest clothing options

Cultural Significance

Traditional head covering with specific cultural roots
Symbol of modesty, privacy, and morality in Islam

Khimar and Hijab Definitions


A traditional headscarf worn by Muslim women, covering the head and chest.
She chose a beautifully embroidered khimar for the occasion.


The Islamic practice of dressing modestly, often including a headscarf.
Observing hijab, she chooses to dress modestly in all settings.


A type of Islamic head covering that drapes over the head and upper body.
Her khimar was made of a light, flowing fabric.


A broader concept in Islam referring to modest behavior and attire.
The hijab is about more than just clothing; it's about conduct and demeanor as well.


A veil or scarf that is designed to cover the head and the chest area.
She wore a khimar as a part of her daily attire.


A head covering worn in public by some Muslim women as a symbol of modesty.
She wears a hijab as a part of her religious practice.


A specific garment in Islamic attire for women, distinct in its coverage.
The khimar she wore was a symbol of her faith and modesty.


A term used to describe both the act of covering and the garment itself.
Hijab is an important aspect of her cultural and religious identity.


A traditional form of hijab specifically designed for head and chest coverage.
Her khimar complemented her outfit while adhering to her religious beliefs.


A scarf that covers the hair and neck, commonly worn by Muslim women.
Her hijab collection includes a variety of colors and fabrics.


A long headscarf worn by Muslim women, typically gathered or fastened under the chin and covering the body to a variable length.


Any of several cloth head coverings worn by Muslim women.


A long veil worn by Muslim women as part of hijab.


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


A headscarf worn by observant Muslim women that hangs down to just above the waist


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


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


A headscarf worn by Muslim women; conceals the hair and neck and usually has a face veil that covers the face


The custom in some Islamic societies of women dressing modestly outside the home;
She observes the hijab and does not wear tight clothing


How does a khimar differ from a hijab?

A khimar typically covers the head, neck, and shoulders, while a hijab primarily covers the head and neck.

Is wearing a khimar mandatory in Islam?

The requirement varies based on interpretation; some consider it obligatory, others a personal choice.

Can khimars be styled differently?

Yes, they can be styled in various ways depending on personal preference and cultural practices.

Are khimars only worn for religious reasons?

Primarily, yes, but they may also be worn for cultural reasons.

Do all Muslim women wear khimars?

No, wearing a khimar is a personal choice and cultural practice varies.

Are hijabs mandatory in all Islamic countries?

This varies; some countries mandate it, while others leave it as a personal choice.

What is a khimar?

A khimar is a traditional Islamic head covering worn by Muslim women.

Can khimars be worn with Western clothes?

Yes, they can be styled to complement both traditional and Western attire.

Why do Muslim women wear hijabs?

For modesty, religious reasons, and sometimes as a cultural practice.

What fabrics are used for khimars?

Common fabrics include cotton, chiffon, and silk.

Can hijabs be fashionable?

Yes, they come in various styles, colors, and designs.

Are khimars available in different colors?

Yes, khimars come in a variety of colors and patterns.

What is a hijab?

Hijab is a term for modest dressing and also specifically refers to a headscarf worn by many Muslim women.

Do non-Muslims ever wear hijabs?

Yes, sometimes for cultural experiences, solidarity, or fashion.

Can men wear hijabs?

Traditionally, hijab is a garment for women, but modest dress codes apply to men in different ways.

Is a khimar the same as a niqab?

No, a niqab covers the face except for the eyes, while a khimar covers the head and shoulders.

Is hijab just a headscarf?

The term can refer to general modest dressing, but it commonly means a headscarf.

What materials are hijabs made from?

Common materials include cotton, polyester, and silk.

How is a hijab different from a burqa?

A burqa covers the entire body and face, while a hijab covers only the head and neck.

Is a hijab worn at all times?

It's typically worn in public or in the presence of non-family men, but practices vary.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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