The Hijab (Headscarf)
What is it?
In Arabic, hijab means "barrier" or "cover." For non-Muslims, it's synonymous with the headscarf, but it can be used to describe total modesty. Those who cover up do so because of passages in the Qur'an and other Muslim scripture. A woman doesn't have to cover up in front of her husband, father, son, or other relatives she cannot marry.
How, why, and where it's worn.
The hijab (as a headscarf) is any piece of cloth pinned around the head so as to cover the hair, ears, neck and (usually) bosom. Women the world over don the hijab on top of their other clothing, which extends to their hands and feet.
The purpose of modest Muslim dress is just that--to be modest. In the strictest definition, this means loose clothing that hides the shape of one's body. Some argue that just wearing a headscarf with tight-fitting outfits is not modest.