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The word hijab in Arabic means a barrier, cover or veil, and it's main purpose is to reduce potential agitation, desire and attraction between men and women who are not partners or not intending to be partners. There is also an inner hijab which relates to modesty, lowering of the eyes and being conscious not to arouse the interest of the opposite sex. When inner hijab is accompanied by outer hijab then the purpose is complete. As with all matters it is necessary to refer to the laws of your Mujthahid for the detailed rulings regarding clothing and hijab please Click here to go to the 'Following a Mujthahid Page'. You need to be aware that there are Islamic laws regarding many aspects of this topic, including what parts of the body should be covered, material that can and cannot be used for making garments, rules regarding a garment made from an animal that was killed in a non-Islamic way etc etc. This web page will inshaAllah help you to learn the basics. Then from here you will be able to make your own investigations into the detailed rulings. A Man's Hijab All Muslims, men and women, must cover themselves and avoid revealing clothes which are designed to accentuate and enhance the contours of the body and emphasise it's physical beauty. Men are not allowed to expose any part of their body between the navel and the knee. A man is not allowed to wear any items of gold. 'White gold' is permissable. A man is not allowed to wear pure and natural silk. Note that in certain circumstances the rules can change for detailed information please  refer to the law book of your Mujthahid. A Woman's Hijab In the presence of non-mahrams a woman should cover her entire body, with the exception of her hands and face which may remain uncovered. Please refer to the laws of your Mujthahid for detailed rulings. A non-mahram is a man who does not fit into any of the catagories listed in the ayat below (24:31). "And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or those whom their right hand possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known; and turn to Allah (swt) all of you, O believers! so that you may be successful." Quran (24:31)  Islam pays much attention to the protection of women and caring for women's specific needs. This special consideration honours her and makes secure her position in life. The rules on clothing placed on a muslim woman ensure that she is guarded against all types of corruption that may result if her beauty becomes a dazzling display for all to see. If your family are Christians you may like to consider the similarity between the dress of a muslim woman and that of a nun. Alhumdalillah that Islam protects women in this most loving respectful way. Conditions of Hijab There are some conditions with regards to the hijab, which are really all common sense if you consider the purpose of the hijab. Please see below:- The hijab must cover the necessary areas of the body The hijab must not in itself be a display that attracts attention The hijab must not be transparent The hijab must not be tight over the body, the hijab must not give away the shape of the body The hijab must not be perfumed for purposes of attracting attention The hijab should not resemble the dress of the opposite sex The hijab should not be a garment of fame Please see below some Quranic ayats regarding hijab: "And (as for) women in advanced years who do not hope for a marriage, it is no sin for them if they put off their clothes without displaying their ornaments; and if they restrain themselves it is better for them; and Allah (swt) is Hearing, Knowing." (Quran 24:60)   "O Prophet (saaw)! say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they let down upon them their over-garments; this will be more proper, that they may be known, and thus they will not be given trouble; and Allah (swt) is Forgiving, Merciful." (Quran 33:59)