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.

  1. Anonymous January 07, 2008 10:04 pm  

    In the sweltering heat of Arabia what better colour to torture a woman with heat absorbing black colour, and white colour robe for those macho arab men who try to ward off the heat of the desert. One more sign that Islam is a religion full of misogyny.

    Why is a woman made out to be a mobile prisoner if not walking trash bags under Islam? why is she degraded to such a low level? why there are no injunctions in kuran for men to be totally covered as women? Men get aroused when they see a revealing women, but same is the case for opposite sex. Hijab only for women is unscientific and unexplained practice which should be abolished.