Traditionally, Muslim women wear a cloth, called a hajib, to cover the head and neck and a cloak that loosely covers the body. The Quran, the word of Allah, and the Hadith, or traditions that have been passed down from the prophet Muhammad, provide guidelines for women's clothing.
According to the Quran and the Hadith, Muslim clothing should follow some specific rules. Certain body parts must be covered. Clothing must be loose, modest and a certain thickness so as not to be revealing. Clothing should express individuality, and no one should copy anyone else's style.
The hijab, which literally translates as "screen" or curtain” in Arabic, is meant to hide or separate the Muslim woman from men, non-Muslim people and the world in general outside the woman's home. Women are supposed to don full Muslim dress after puberty.
In some Muslim countries, women must wear a burqa, which is a combination of hijab and cloak in the same piece. The upper part that covers the face is usually a rectangular piece of semi-transparent cloth that allows for breathing and talking. The rectangular cloth can be turned up when the woman wants to reveal her face at home or to another woman. The niqab is another type of veil that covers the nose and mouth so the woman's eyes are revealed.