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Women’s role in the establishment of an Islamic society


Question: What does a return to Qur’anic laws mean for women? To what extent will entertainment (alcohol, films, etc.) be available to the people?

 

Reply: In an Islamic system, women, in their role as human beings, can work alongside men to establish the Islamic society, but not if they wish to act as mere objects. Women do not have the right to lower themselves to such a level, nor do men have the right to think of them as such. As to those things known as entertainment, Islam opposes anything that tends to lead human beings towards acquiring a frivolous nature or towards self-estrangement. The consumption of alcohol is forbidden in Islam, as are films, which pervert the exalted nature of the human being. (69)

 

9 November 1978 (18 Aban 1357 AHS)

 

Question: In Islam, to what extent are women permitted to participate in the establishment of an Islamic government?

 

Reply: In Islam, women have a sensitive role to play in the establishment of the Islamic society. Islam elevates women to the extent that they can regain their human status in society and leave that woman-as-object level. In proportion with such growth, she can assume responsibilities in an Islamic government. (70)

 

10 November 1978 (19 Aban 1357 AHS)

 

Women like men have a part to play in building the Islamic society of tomorrow. They enjoy the right to vote and be voted for. Iranian women participate in Iran’s current struggle just as the men do. (71)

 

23 January 1979 (3 Bahman 1357 AHS)

 

Islam grants woman a say in all affairs just as it grants man a say. All the people of Iran, men and women alike, must repair the ruins that the previous regime has left us; the hands of men alone will not suffice to accomplish the task. Men and women must collaborate in this respect. (72)

 

6 March 1979 (15 Isfand 1357 AHS)

 

Women must have a say in the fundamental destiny of the country. Just as you have participated in our revolutionary movement, indeed played a basic role in it, now you must also participate in its triumph, and must not fail to rise up again whenever it is necessary. The country belongs to you and, God willing, you will rebuild it. (73)

 

6 March 1979 (15 Isfand 1357 AHS)

 

You and we together, the government and nation together, must right this chaos, for neither can do it alone. If the ladies think they can leave it up to the men to do, who in turn think they can leave it up to the ladies, or both think the government can do it or all three think the clergymen can do it, then they are all sadly mistaken. For the situation is so chaotic, the problems so many that it is up to each individual to do his duty and rebuild wherever he is to the best of his ability. (74)

 

13 September 1979 (22 Shahrivar 1358 AHS)

 

Women have the right to participate in politics; indeed it is their duty to do so. The clergymen too have a right to concern themselves with politics, and it is their duty to do so. The Islamic religion is a political religion; everything in it has a political dimension, even its acts of worship. (75)

 

16 September 1979 (25 Shahrivar 1358 AHS)

 

Greetings to you great women who through your counsel wish to lead us to the right path. (76)

 

16 March 1981 (25 Isfand 1359 AHS)

 

It is hoped that the community of women will cease being indifferent and will awaken from the unnatural stupor the plunderers have forced them into, and that together, shoulder-to-shoulder, they will help those who have been deceived and guide them to the lofty station which is theirs.

 

It is also hoped that women in the other Islamic countries will take lessons from the miraculous change that has occurred in the Iranian women as a result of the great Islamic revolution, and will strive to reform their society and bring freedom and independence to their countries. (77)

 

24 April 1981 (4 Urdibihisht 1360 AHS)

 

The role of women in the world enjoys certain special characteristics. The rectitude or immorality of a society stems from the rectitude or immorality of the women in that society. Women are the only creatures who can bestow upon society individuals raised in their care whose deeds can be a blessing to communities and can inspire perseverance and lofty human values, or can have the opposite effect. (78)

 

14 April 1982 (25 Farvardin 1361 AHS)

 

 

Adapted from: “The Position of Women from the Viewpoint of Imam Khomeini (r.a.)”

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