Abaya are robes like dresses that Muslim women wear on top of regular clothing. The primary purpose of wearing an abaya is to completely cover oneself so as not to expose any bodily attributes or beauty as Islam instructs women to guard their beauty from all men except those who are specifically allowed.

Head abaya

Certain religious interpretations require a women to dress in clothing that should not expose any body formations whatsoever. In such cases, Muslim women wear abaya dresses that rest on top of their heads and extend below the ankles. This ensures that a women’s body formations stay hidden from men who are not lawful to a woman. Many Saudi Abaya fall in this category.

Black abaya

Black abaya are more commonly worn in black in most middle eastern countries, especially those in the Gulf region. These countries include Saudi-Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and other neighboring countries.

White abaya

These abayas are populary worn in Far Eastern muslim countries.

Colored abaya

As Muslim women buy abaya of various styles, abaya designers have created new abaya fashions and have designed embroidered and colored abaya. These abaya are popularly worn in Jordan, western countries and are also now being worn in Middle Eastern countries.

Abaya dresses come in many types of fabrics. However, Rayon/Polyester and Crepe material is the most common fabric used in their manufacture. Other fabrics used include cotton, chiffone and georgette.

  Abaya / Jilbab / Burqa FAQ


  1. What is Abaya / Jilbab ?

  2. What are the differences in these Islamic clothing: Abaya, hijab, khimar, niqab, jilbab, and burqa?

  3. Are there different types of Abaya?

  4. Why do some Muslim women wear Abaya while others don�t?

  5. Are Muslim women forced to wear Abaya for propriety�s sake?

  6. Why do Muslim women dress the wear they do and wear the Abaya?

  7. Does the Abaya help women be seen as a person?

  8. Don�t people wearing Abaya feel hot?

  9. Does the color of the Abaya mean anything?

  10. Why does the Abaya, and other Muslim clothing, had different styles?

  11. Are Muslim men required to wear modest clothes, similar to the laws surrounding Abaya?

  12. Are there legal issues surrounding Abaya?

  13. Should non-Muslim stewardesses flying to Saudi Arabia be required to wear the Abaya?

  14. Why did British Midland Airways require female stewardesses to wear the Abaya?

  15. Did the British Midway Airways policy requiring stewardesses to wear Abaya encounter oppositions?

  16. What Western companies encountered opposition when they required non-Muslim women to wear the Abaya?

  17. Saudi columnist Maha Al�Hujailan is very controversial for saying that the Abaya is used to restrict their behavior. Are her statements true?

  18. Why do a lot of people say that the Abaya is more than just a garment?

  19. Why does the Abaya garner too much attention among foreigners?

  20. Did the Muslim women of the past deal with the same restrictions imposed on Muslim women today?

  21. Did Allah specifically mandate all Muslim women to wear the abaya?

  22. How does the abaya become a personal statement of a Muslim woman?

  23. Are Muslim women allowed to wear Abaya sleeves that of the same color as their skin?

  24. Why did Allah require women to don Abaya?

  25. Does a believing woman become a good example if she chooses to dress in Abaya?

  26. Is it permitted to be in the company of business clients even if a woman wears Abaya?

  27. What are the Islamic laws about a woman being alone with other men even if she is already dressed in Abaya?

  28. Should the families of Abaya-wearing women, especially in non-Muslim countries be careful about the women who wear abaya?

  29. Are there verses that that directly says that the Abaya is obligatory?

  30. What are parts of the body that can be seen using Abaya?

  31. Muslims are very concerned with modesty to the point of asking women to wear hijab and abaya, why is that?

  32. Are old women allowed to discard their Abaya?

  33. Are the rules surrounding Abaya created to protect Muslim women?

  34. Can Muslim women appear before their fathers, brothers, and women servants without Abaya?

  35. How can a man propose marriage to a woman if he does not know what she looks like because of the abaya and hijab?

  36. Can non-Muslim women wear the Abaya?

  37. Are there superficial distinctions between the types of Abaya worn in Muslim countries?

  38. All Abaya pretty much look the same for Western eyes, do they look similar on the eyes of Muslim women?

  39. What kinds of embellishments can be done on the Abaya?

  40. What is the main difference between the Abaya of Muslim and non-Muslim women?

  41. Why did French President Nicolas Sarkozy ban the abaya / burqa in his country?

  42. Why do certain parties want the Burqa and Abaya banned in the United States and Europe?

  43. What are the controversies surrounding the French ban on the burqa? Why didn�t they ban the Abaya?

  44. France has received a lot of criticisms for banning the burqa and some are worried that the Abaya might also be banned, do they deserve these criticisms?

  Abaya Videos

Abaya on BBC


Abaya - Dubai Collection


Khaleeji Abayas

Abaya from UAE

External Abaya Links

Abaya description on Wikipedia

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