General Question

timothykinney's avatar

Why do some people wear turbans?

Asked by timothykinney (2743points) March 6th, 2009

I’m not trying to be ignorant. I heard that nomadic people wear their burial garments on their heads (because there is no wood or stone around in the desert where they might die) as the primary reason for wearing a turban. Is this true? Is there any religious significance to turbans?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

7 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

Sikhs wear turbans as one of the principles of their faith. They never cut their hair and ussually keep it covered with a turban.

Never heard of your burial theory.

dynamicduo's avatar

I’ve never heard of your burial theory before.

As @Lightlyseared notes, Sikhs do not cut their hair, thus keeping it in a turban protects it from getting full of dust and sand. There is also another religious significance, from Wikipedia’s article: In Shi’a Islam, wearing a black head wrap, around a small white cap is a claim to status as a descendant of Muhammad.

Turbans were also used as a class signifier in some places.

laureth's avatar

This long quotation is from here.

“Islam wants the human dress to be free from all those symbols of idolatory and polytheism which have been adopted by any religious sect. These would include the Cross, the Hindu cross thread, pictures, and other un-Islamic emblems. Besides introducing these ethical and cultural reforms, Islam thinks it necessary that the Muslim’s dress should have some distinguishing mark so that they do not get mixed up with non-Muslims, are able to recognize fellow Muslims easily, and succeed in cementing the bonds of their social life. No specific mark or symbol has been recommended for this purpose by Islam. The matter has been left to be determined by the people themselves. When the Islamic Movement got under way in Arabia, the Prophet and the other Muslims used to wear the customary national dress of Arabia. But the Prophet wanted the Muslims to be distinguished in appearance from non-Muslims, so he instructed them to wear turbans along with caps (Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, and Mustadrik contain the following tradition; “That which sets us off from polytheists is caps with turbans”. This tradition has led some to suppose that wearing caps with turbans is a sunnah and so constitutes a permanent law to be universally observed by Muslims. But this is a misunderstanding. The sunnah simply is that the Muslims, when they are living amidst a nation consisting chiefly of non-Muslims, should in some way distinguish their dress.)”

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@dynamicduo and laureth – very interesting!!
(Tim, the turban of the man I mentioned to you did happen to be black)

Darwin's avatar

Some people wear turbans for religious reasons, but some people wear turbans because their hair is wet, they are having a bad hair day, or chemotherapy has left them vulnerable to heat loss and/or sunburn. And some people wear turbans just because they can. gives many examples of turbans from all over the world. SOme of them are quite spectacular.

xoxjessxox's avatar

Because it makes them look sexy.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther