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head covering in mosques

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florida
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head covering in mosques

Wondering how completely a woman's head needs to be covered. E.g. quite completely, as with Orthodox Jewish woman, or just a "symbolic" covering, as with Orthodox Jewish men. In short, will a token scarf be ok for me, or does all my hair want to be hidden? Thank you.

Perrysburg, Ohio
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1. Re: head covering in mosques

Actually, if you're not a Muslim going in to pray, your head doesn't need to be covered. In the Blue Mosque, I covered my head and my scarf was gently tugged down by an employee who told me it wasn't necessary...and many Turks who post on this forum have verified that head covering does not apply to non-Muslim women visitors. That said, however, there are some smaller mosques that require women who enter to cover their heads. So to be on the safe side, bring a scarf that covers your hair...a "yamulke" type covering is not enough...and then just do what the rest of the folks are doing.

Mount Dora, Florida
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2. Re: head covering in mosques

Customs regarding a woman covering her head seem to differ from mosque to mosque. Generally I carry a light weight pashmina in my purse so I can throw it over my hair if we see a mosque that looks interesting. If you are visiting a mosque that is occasionally visited by tourists, and you do not have a scarf, they will often lend you one. Less popular mosques, or those off the beaten tourist path may not have scarves to lend, and may not appreciate your bare head in the mosque.

The Blue Mosque seems to relax the rule about covering the head, at least during the height of tourist season. I still wear a scarf in any mosque I enter. I would rather do this than suggest that I do not respect the mosque or the religious principles.

When I travel it is important to me that I demonstrate my sensitivity to the cultural standards of the area I am visiting.

I did see tourists in the Blue Mosque with heads that were not covered, and if this is the only mosque you visit you would likely be fine without a scarf there. It is not something I am personally comfortable doing, but many women do not feel any conflict about failing to cover their hair. Unlike osumom, I have never had anyone indicate that I should remove my scarf.

One other thing I do is to stick a plastic grocery bag in my purse so I can remove my shoes and carry them with me. I am sure it is perfectly safe to leave your shoes outside the mosque, but I like to carry mine with me.

Rosehearty, United...
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3. Re: head covering in mosques

Thats a very sensible reply from Busy-retired

Most locals in every country appreciate when a tourist makes an effort to comply with their customs.

Bursa, Turkey
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4. Re: head covering in mosques

mosques are places of prayer and might have some old men in their garden 1 or 2 hrs before or after the prayer. even if you do not go at the time of pryare, there will be people around, sometimes to read the qouran, sometimes to study, sometimes to pray for a special cause. even if nobody says anything to you about your un-scarfed hair, i think you should cover up out of respect to those men's beliefs. when i visit monastries and churches, i wear long skirts on my shorts just for this reason.

florida
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5. Re: head covering in mosques

Ok: I get the (somewhat conflicted) picture. Of course I want to always try to do what's right and proper, just not always easy to garner what that is. (E.g. on questions like tipping in various cultures-- so many varying opinions)

Thanks for input. All makes sense.

Istanbul, Turkey
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6. Re: head covering in mosques

İ agree entirely with what Pnar wrote.Whatever mosque one is visiting'touristic'or not it is still a place of worship and as such it is a sign of respect that a lady covers her head. İf the front of your hair is exposed thats okay but cover your head.

Not to make any attempt is,to me the equivalent of walking around St.Pauls Cathedral in a strapless top-disrespectful.Earlier this year her Majesty Queen Elizabeth made a state visit to Turkey and during a visit to a mosque removed her shoes and covered her head.When told this was not necessary for her to do she replied"but this is the custom here so İ shall do it".Even if others don't do it your conscience and heart will be comfortable and the local people will appreciate your courtesy and respect.

Chicago
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7. Re: head covering in mosques

Many of us cover our heads with a scarf. Some hair is exposed. Keep a scarf in your bag in case you walk by a mosque and want to stop in.

Globe

Mount Dora, Florida
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8. Re: head covering in mosques

Sarikanyara, Your example of Queen Elizabeth was excellent, but your single sentence "Even if others don't do it your conscience and heart will be comfortable and the local people will appreciate your courtesy and respect." is a perfect summary of why I always cover my head. Thank you for such a succinct and honest explanation.

Perrysburg, Ohio
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9. Re: head covering in mosques

We've had some really interesting discussions on the forum on this topic, as the following link will show. What I found so surprising in the previous thread was that it was the Muslim Turks who were insisting that it wasn't necessary for women tourists to cover their heads in mosques and we tourists who were insisting that it was. Even though the thread veers off for a page or so into customs at funerals, it's an interesting read for anybody going to Istanbul.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293974-i368-k1292…

Jo

10. Re: head covering in mosques

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