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6 Reasons Why Muslim Women Wear Headscarves

Ashmeet Bagga Mar 18, 2020
Although headscarves are a common garment adorned by women across the globe, though Muslim women are conspicuous by their strict adherence to wearing the headscarf at all times. With so much controversy surrounding it, Read ahead to know reasons why Muslim women wear headscarves.

Did You Know?

It is mandatory for Tuareg Muslims of the Algerian Sahara to cover their faces with an indigo veil in public. The main reason behind this is to hide their thoughts from enemies.
Of late, a small piece of clothing or apparel has made a lot of headlines in the Western world. The headscarf or hijab, commonly associated with Muslim women, is creating a lot of controversy and conflict in various countries across the globe, with France and other European nations banning it from public schools.
Moreover, certain Islamic nations like Tunisia and Turkey have also imposed a ban on the wearing of the headscarf in certain government buildings.

While it is quite surprising that such a common garment would stir up a controversy in different countries, wouldn't it be much easier if women removed it or didn't wear it altogether?
At the outset, the issue seems fairly simple with a straightforward resolution. But it is not as easy as it may sound as there are various reasons why Muslim women all across the globe cover their head.
If one has to distill the various reasons into one sentence, then the primary reason is Muslim women wear headscarves because God (Allah) wanted them to do so.
Specific verses in the Quran mention wearing of the hijab as mandatory; an act of obedience to God. The Quran also contains verses where God addresses women and men and asks them to cover themselves and dress modestly. The Quran verses instruct women to not display their beauty and ornaments except what appear ordinarily.
Now, parts of the body that need to be covered and those which one need not, are open to interpretation and personal preference. Hence, there are various styles of hijab in use throughout the world.
From the simple hijab or headscarf that covers the head and neck but leaves the face open, to the most concealing of all Islamic veils the burqa, which covers the entire body from head to toe, barring a mesh screen across the eyes to enables the woman to see.
As mentioned earlier, since the verses from the Quran are open to interpretation and preference, we come across instances in the Islamic world itself where certain women wear the hijab, while some don't. If a woman is free to choose, then one may wonder as to why Muslim women choose to wear the hijab? Let us try to find out.

Personal Preference

Some women like to wear the hijab as a form of worship toward God, as an opportunity to get closer to the Almighty. Another reason could be to personally identify with their faith and depicting an outward statement of their religious notions. For these women embracing their Islamic culture is more important.

Legal Enforcement

Some governments in the Islamic world have enforced the Islamic legal system or sharia, which makes it mandatory for women to wear a hijab, particularly countries like Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Sudan mandate women to wear the niqab. Moral police are appointed by these governments to make sure that female citizens follow the rules laid by sharia.

Respect From Others

Many women believe that by wearing a hijab, people pay attention to their speech, thoughts, and what they are actually trying to say. A hijab draws attention away from other parts of the body, and the person is kind of forced to focus more on the real personality of the woman.

Establishing Identity

Another reason, most women choose to cover their heads is because of their affinity toward Islam, also it helps them to identify themselves as Muslim. It also helps other non-Muslims identify them easily, resulting in further potential benefits of not having to explain certain dos and don'ts (don't drink, pray five times a day, etc.) about being a Muslim.

Family Compulsions

Many practicing Muslim families across the globe adhere to the religious obligation and want female members of their family to start covering their head right after puberty. Though to wear the hijab is entirely a personal preference, many sectors of society throughout the Muslim world have enforced wearing of the hijab.
Some other slightly less dramatic and mundane reasons include that it is a beautiful religious fashion statement, it promotes feminism in the way that a woman decides how and when she wants to wear it. It also symbolize piety and godliness. The ultimate aim of wearing a hijab or headscarf is to maintain societal stability and to please God.