In modern usage, hijab (حجاب), generally refers to customary headcoverings worn by Muslim women. Many Muslims believe it is obligatory for every female Muslim who has reached the age of puberty to wear a head covering. While such headcoverings can come in many forms, hijab often specifically refers to a cloth wrapped around the head, neck and chest, covering the hair and neck but leaving the face visible.

The Qur’an instructs Muslim women and men to dress modestly and for some, the hijab is worn by Muslim girls and women to maintain modesty and privacy from unrelated males.

According to hadith a woman must cover her full body along with face and hands, but it is permissible for a woman to keep her hands and face uncovered.

By the 21st century this meaning had become more familiar in Muslim-minority societies than the broader concept of hijab as a practice observed by both Muslim men and women of wearing conservative clothing.

Yet veiling could also be perceived as a symbol of piety, freedom of religious expression, privacy, or cultural tradition.

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