Different religions have different beliefs, practices and symbols. Many Christians go to church on Sundays, for example, and some wear crosses to show their beliefs.
Many Jews go to synagogue on Saturday. Jewish men may wear a small cap called a yarmulke and some married Orthodox Jewish women may wear a headscarf, similar to the hijab.
For Muslims, the followers of Islam, in addition to daily prayers in homes and Mosques around the world, Friday is a special day when many go to the Mosque. Many Muslim women cover their heads with a head scarf and Muslim men often cover their heads with skull caps, scarves or turbans; these have a number of different names.
What is hijab? Why do people wear a headscarf?
Hijab is a word referring to the Islamic principle of modesty – which is encouraged in Islam for both men and women. The hijab is commonly used as a word for the head scarf worn by many Muslim women and older girls. For many women this is an important symbol of their Islamic faith.
When do girls start wearing a headscarf?
This can differ between different individuals, families and cultures. Some girls will start wearing a headscarf when they go to secondary school or become a teenager. Some will begin wearing it earlier or later – or not at all. According to Islamic teachings, children who have not reached adolescence are not required to observe hijab (modesty).
Why do women have to wear the hijab?
It is widely accepted that Hijab or modesty is a religious requirement under Islam teachings for both Muslim men and women. However, no-one is compelled or forced to wear it. It should be a choice and one that the individual makes. This is why you will see many different dress and styles followed by Muslims across the world, including many who do not wear the hijab. A headscarf is a religious symbol which some women choose to wear to show their faith. The hijab for Muslim men is to avoid tight clothes, and wear long modest clothing.
Wearing the hijab is a personal choice. The hijab is a symbol of choice just as much as faith. No one should be forced to wear it and nor should it be seen as a symbol of oppression. Every person should be able to choose what they wear.
Do all Muslim women wear a headscarf?
No not all Muslim women and older girls choose to wear the hijab – it is an individual’s choice. Some women decide to, and some women do not; that doesn’t mean they are more or less religious than each other.