Prayer Time

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Why do Muslim women wear scarves?  There are a myriad of reasons why, but the easy, one sentence answer is, because they believe God has made it an obligation for believing women.  In the Qur'an God tells the believing men and women to lower their gaze and to dress modestly.  He (God) specifically addresses women when He asks them not to show off their adornment, except that which is apparent, and draw their veils over their bodies.  (Qur'an 24:30-31). God requires Muslim women to dress modestly and to wear the hijab in public and in the presence of men who are not close relatives. 




Although the English word scarf and the Arabic term hijab have become interchangeable, it is worth noting that hijab is more than just a scarf.  It is a term that covers a variety of clothing including scarves, but also a variety of different dress styles from around the world.  Many have cultural connotations such as the Pakistani shalwar khamis or the Afghani burqa, but whenever a Muslim woman covers “her adornment”, she is said to be wearing hijab.




The literal meaning of hijab is to veil, to cover, or to screen.  Islam is known as a religion concerned with community cohesion and moral boundaries, and therefore hijab is a way of ensuring that the moral boundaries between unrelated men and women are respected.  In this sense, the term hijab encompasses more than a scarf and more then a dress code.  It is a term that denotes modest dressing and modest behaviour.  For instance, if a Muslim woman was wearing a scarf but at the same time using bad language, she would not be fulfilling the requirements of hijab.




The majority of Muslim women wear hijab, to obey God, and to be known as respectable. Hijab frees them from being thought of as sexual objects of desire or from being valued for their looks, or body shape rather then their minds and intellect. Women wearing hijab have expressed that dressing modestly and covering their hair, minimize sexual harassment in the workplace. The aura of privacy created by hijab is indicative of the great value Islam places upon women.




Hijab can be a symbol of piety and it can be a sign of great inner strength and fortitude.  A woman wearing hijab becomes a very visible sign of Islam.  While Muslim men can blend easily into any society, Muslim women are often put on the line, and forced to defend not only their decision to cover, but also their religion. 




Taken From Why Muslim Women Wear the Veil


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