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chador  - (Persian) A full-body cloak worn especially in Iran by
Muslim women in fulfillment of the modesty prescription of a Hadith of Bukhari (as opposed to the Hijab, Niqab and the Burqa.) It is a single toga-like piece of cloth that is held together by an arm or even in the teeth, and is often worn by women in Iran over western style clothing, as shown, in order to satisfy the requirements of the religious police. A chador does not necessarily include a facial veil.

The wearing of the chador and other such garments was banned in 1935 by the Shah in connection with his modernization program, angering the Shi'a clergy. Following the Islamist revolution in 1979, the wearing of the Chador was reinstated and made compulsory in public places.

Muslim religious authorities differ on what sort of garments are required to fulfill the various requirements of the Quran and Hadith  traditions. 

Surah XXXIII, Verse 59 of the Qur'an is most often cited in support of these practices. It states "O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close around them. that will be better, so that they may be recognized and not annoyed. Allah is ever forgiving, merciful...."

Bukhari states, "My Lord agreed with me ('Umar) in three things... (2) And as regards the veiling of women, I said 'O Allah's Apostle!  I wish you ordered your wives to cover themselves from the men because good and bad ones talk to them.' So the verse of the veiling of the women was revealed" (Bukhari, v1, bk 8, sunnah 395).

Synonyms and alternate spellings:

Further Information:  See also Hijab, Niqab, Burqa, Abaya, Jilbab, Jalabiya

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Encyclopedia of the Middle East

Note - This encyclopedia is a work in progress. It is far from complete and is being constructed and improved all the time. If you would like to contribute articles or expansions of existing articles, please contact news (at) mideastweb.org.  Suggestions and corrections are welcome. The concise version of this dictionary is at our Middle East Glossary.

Spelling - Spelling of words in Middle-Eastern languages is often arbitrary. There may be many variants of the same name or word such as Hezbollah, Hizbolla, Hisbolla or Husayn and Hussein. There are some conventions for converting words from Semitic languages such as Arabic and Hebrew There are numerous variant renderings of the same Arabic or Hebrew words, such as "Hizbollah," "Hisbulla" etc. It is not possible to find exact equivalents for several letters. 

Pronunciation - Arabic and Hebrew vowels are pronounced differently than in English. "o" is very short. The "a" is usually pronounced like the "a" in market, sometimes as the "a" in "Arafat."  The " 'A " is guttural.  " 'H "- the 'het ('Hirbeh, 'Hebron, 'Hisbollah') designates a sound somewhat similar to the ch in "loch" in Scots pronunciation, but made by touching the back of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. The CH should be pronounced like Loch, a more assertive consonant than 'het.

The "Gh" combination, and sometimes the "G," designate a deep guttural sound that Westerners may hear approximately as "r." The "r" sound is always formed with the back of the tongue, and is not like the English "r."

More information: Hebrew, Arabic

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