Hijab is an Arabic word meaning cover or partition. It is a principle of modesty that includes both behavior and styles of dress for men and women, yet it is in relation to specific items of clothing worn by some Muslim women that the word is most commonly used. What is often referred to as a hijab is a garment which must be worn by a woman in the presence of any man who could potentially marry her. This is to preserve the woman's modesty.
The principle of hijab can manifest itself in many different forms of clothing, and there is great variety in how Muslim women can preserve their modesty. Some women choose a simple headscarf, whereas others opt for a full-length garment that leaves everything covered up except the eyes. Although the principle of hijab is set out in the Quran, its manifestation is largely determined by culture. So in some parts of the Muslim world, the full-length covering will predominate, whereas in others the simple head-scarf will be more common.