Sikh Articles of Faith & Identity

What is the significance of the Sikh Turban?

For the Sikhs, the turban is an Article of Faith. The turban is a mark of visual identity, which conveys royalty, grace and uniqueness. The turban represents complete commitment. It is made up of cotton fabric and is usually 3-6 meters long. Practising Sikh men and women both wear the turban. It is a spiritual crown reminding a Sikh that he or she sits on the throne of consciousness, committed to higher principles.

Practically, it keeps the hair clean and protects the head and ‘Dasam Duaar’ (spiritual energy gate on top of the head). The turban is not a hat and should not be referred to as one. It cannot be casually taken on and off. It must be carefully retied each time it is removed. It is considered a grave insult to touch or forcefully remove the turban.

ਕਾਇਆ ਕਿਰਦਾਰ ਅਉਰਤ ਯਕੀਨਾ ॥ ਰੰਗ ਤਮਾਸੇ ਮਾਣਿ ਹਕੀਨਾ ॥
ਨਾਪਾਕ ਪਾਕੁ ਕਰਿ ਹਦੂਰਿ ਹਦੀਸਾ ਸਾਬਤ ਸੂਰਤਿ ਦਸਤਾਰ ਸਿਰਾ ॥ 12 ॥
“O person of God! Let good deeds be your body, and faith your bride. (Instead having enjoyment of immoral deeds) Play and enjoy in God’s love and delight. O person of God! Purify the mind what is impure (with bad thoughts) “this is the religious tradition through which you can experience the Lord’s Presence. (Abandoning circumcision, mutilation and deferment of the body etc) preserve a complete appearance with a turban on your head” this becomes the way to maintain respect and honour. ||12||”
(Ang 1084)

ਕੰਘਾ ਦੋਨੋ ਵਕਤ ਕਰ ਪਾਗ ਚੁਨੈ ਕਰ ਬਾਂਧਈ ॥
ਦਾਤਨ ਨੀਤ ਕਰੇਇ ਨਾ ਦੁਖ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਲਾਲ ਜੀ ॥
“Comb your hair twice a daily and retie your turban each time your wear it.
Clean your teeth daily and this way you will not suffer pain.”
(Rehatnama Bhai Nand Lal Singh Ji)

ਖਾਲਸਾ ਮੇਰੋ ਰੂਪ ਹੈ ਖਾਸ ॥ ਖਾਲਸੇ ਮਹਿ ਹੌ ਕਰੋ ਨਿਵਾਸ ॥
“The Khalsa is my image. Within the Khalsa I reside.”
(Guru Gobind Singh Ji)

੩੫. ਦਸਤਾਰ ਬਿਨਾਂ ਨਹੀਂ ਰਿਹਣਾ, ਕੇਸ ਨੰਗੇ ਨਹੀਂ ਰੱਖਣੇ ॥
“Do not stay without a turban, do not keep your hair uncovered.”
(Guru Gobind Singh Ji – 52 Hukams of the Tenth Master recorded by Baba Ram Koher Ji at Hazoor Sahib)