Why is the burqa black?

Why is the burqa black?

This question was put to me by a foreign guest when he saw many burqa-clad women in line to buy tickets at the office of an airline. He said that since black absorbs heat, it must be awfully uncomfortable for these women in the hot, sweltering Pakistani summer. So I began to think of a reason for the burqa being black, and a couple of explanations came to mind. The first is that black is associated with the devil in all cultures and religions, and it is well known that the first woman (Eve) was persuaded by Satan to eat the forbidden fruit, after which Adam also did likewise. And among people who are illiterate, women are almost always regarded as agents of the devil, ever ready to persuade men to break the divine laws, like when a woman forces her husband to take bribes to support her extravagant lifestyle. This could be one reason why women in Islamic countries have to wear black burqas.

The other explanation is that black is the colour of mourning. Whenever someone dies, his or her relatives wear black for a number of days, even if they are Europeans or Americans. Widows in western countries also wear black, sometimes for four and half months, similar to Muslim widows observing the period of “iddat”. In Islam of course, we are aware of the wearing of black clothes during Muharram, when Muslims mourn the deaths of the grandson of the holy Prophet (pbuh).

Maybe I’m wrong, and there is another reason for the burqa being black. Perhaps someone who knows can enlighten me on this subject. I eagerly await comments.

34 thoughts on “Why is the burqa black?”

  1. Just a follow up, black does absorb light. Think about that one, as well. “She is to take the light into herself, where it is honored and protected.” Her husband who wears white offers to her, his light.

  2. Please remember that burqas in Afghanistan *are* a beautiful blue. I believe that the black spoken of here is a concealing, protective color, especially if you think about the mother’s womb. That is one example. To the comments about it being meant to hide dirt and blood stains. Well, quite honestly, navy blue does this much better. That is why ninjas wore this color and not black. I believe that one needs to step outside of the usual understanding of “black and white” to truly comprehend this one. Many blessings to all.

  3. To make the women as miserable as is possible and to hide their bruises, broken noses etc. Blood is more likely to show up if the burqa is white.

  4. I am Yunus Khan. I read the above comments by Shakir Lakhani. I am totally unsatisfied with his explanation. Whatever the reason he gave about Black Burqa is quite complicated, which can create complexion in other’s mind.

    I am also not sure, but as I know it is quite simple to understand that :-

    1. Muslim women wear Black Burqa because, it is a dark color and not a transparent one.

    2. Black color being dark is not an attractive one. Other colors looks attractive while women wear it.

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