Do Muslim women have to wear hijab (cover their hair)?

The answer to this question depends on whom you’re talking to.

Some Muslim women accept an interpretation of the Qur’an established in the formative period of Islam that references Quranic verses and hadith (prophetic sayings) as obligating women to cover their hair and much of their body for the sake of modesty.

The wearing of hijab is, however, a matter of free choice by women in most of the Muslim world. Women who choose to wear it do so for a variety of reasons: as a sign of identity, as an act of devotion to their faith, or to indicate that they do not want to be judged by their physical characteristics.

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