The Arabic word literally means curtain or cover (noun). Most Islamic legal systems define this type of modest dressing as covering everything except the face and hands in public. According to Islamic scholarship, hijab is given the wider meaning of modesty, privacy, and morality the words for a headscarf or veil used in the Qur'an are khimār (خمار) and jilbaab (جلباب), not hijab. Still another definition is metaphysical, where al-hijab refers to "the veil which separates man or the world from God."
Muslims differ as to whether the hijab should be required on women in public, as it is in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia; whether it should be banned in schools, as it is in France and Turkey; or whether it should be left for the women to decide, as it is in the United State.