What is Hijab?
Many Muslims around the world practice hijab, which is Arabic for cover, but is extended to mean modesty and privacy. For non-Muslims, hijab is most often associated with the modest clothing that Muslim women wear. In actuality, hijab is practiced by both men and women, and includes other requirements of modest behavior. Muslims follow the rules of hijab to show their submission to and love for God.
The rules for hijab are discussed in the Hadith, an oral tradition which accompanies the Qur'an and helps proscribe the ways of Muslim life. According to the Hadith, men and women should behave modestly in situations where they meet each other. Modest behavior includes averting your eyes from someone of the opposite sex, speaking with respect to one another, and not touching members of the opposite sex.
The Hadith also includes rules for dressing. Both men and women are directed to cover themselves when they are in public areas. For men, following hijab means that the body should be covered at a minimum from the navel to the knees in loose, thick clothing. Some interpretations of the Hadith suggest that the covering should be longer, from the navel to the ankles. All agree that the modest covering should be worn at all times, including prayer.