In Presence of the Sun (95)
In this episode we are going to continue discussing the status of Muslim woman with elaborations of Ayatollah Khamenei on the issue.
After the victory of the Islamic Revolution the issue of woman was seriously taken into account. The Islamic Revolution triumphed at a juncture when miscellaneous secular ideologies maintained their particular view on woman. This revolution put forward a novel view and approach toward the issue of woman. Once this view materialized, as the Leader of the Islamic Revolution put it, “the third model of woman” materialized; a model which is “neither eastern nor western”.
The Iranian women, both in the course of the Revolution and during the 8 year war, proved that there is a third model. This third model is “the Iranian Muslim woman” who has ushered in a new history before the eyes of the world women and proved that a woman can maintain her hijab, chastity and dignity while she is in the center of important issues. In view of the Leader, while the Iranian Muslim woman safeguards chastity and cleanness of the trench of family she is active in the socio-political arenas and gains great victories in such arenas.
Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei believes that woman, in the eastern definition, is a marginalized element with no role in history-making; and in the western definition, she is like a being whose sexuality surpasses her humanity and is a sexual tool for men and at the service of the modern capitalism. But in the real and genuine Islam woman is not an insignificant being on the margin or a tool for pleasure and exploitation of others.
The west pushes woman toward exploitation but Islam leads her toward recognition of herself, preservation of her chastity and fulfillment of the responsibilities that can be afforded just by women.
Ayatollah Khamenei is of the opinion that the Islamic Revolution has presented a new definition of woman that is universal and can break the stalemates of women in the modern era.
According to the Leader, in the Muslim female role model which is based on the divine cognizance, a woman combines her female strong points with “belief and chastity” and such a combination will be able to play unique roles; hence her value and personality gains meaning. Meanwhile, “chastity” is the most important element for a woman’s personality and is the source of her respect and dignity. Ayatollah Khamenei believes that the west has grabbed chastity and cleanness from women and has indeed dragged women out of their original structure; and in this way has humiliated woman and oppressed her human character. The Leader says, “Woman, with her female strong points, that have been entrusted in her being and are special to woman, coupled with deep belief, coupled with serenity stemming from reliance on God, and coupled with chastity and cleanness- which illuminates her surrounding- can play an exceptional role in the society.”
The view of the Islamic Revolution to woman is the opposite of the western view. The western culture has practically turned women into the means of pleasure and various exploitations. In this paradigm one side, including immoral men, owners of companies and tycoon, gains profit while the other side (woman) gives profit. This is a totally one-sided exploitation. Leader of the Islamic Revolution elaborates that this sinister view was slowly, gradually and with various methods propagated during decades first in the western communities and then it was institutionalized in other communities and the social status of woman was introduced falsely.
Ayatollah Khamenei opines that, although the issues of climate change, energy, warming of the earth are named today as the main issues of mankind; none of these issues is the main problem of mankind. He says, “Most of the things that are the main problems of mankind are related to the human spirituality, human morality, human social behavior one of which is the issue of woman and man, status of woman, the issue of woman and her position in the society. This is really a crisis.”
While the west has failed to introduce a correct model for women and has just tried to force them to resemble men and imitate male characteristics; Islam has presented great role models. These women, besides female delicacy and affection are full of spirituality. In addition to being chaste and pious, they have impacted the social and political arenas to the extent that the history bows down before their greatness and glory.
One of the great women in the history of Islam was Lady Zainab (Peace upon her), the elder daughter of Imam Ali and Hazrat Fatema (Peace upon them) and the sister of Imam Hassan and Imam Hussein (Peace upon them). Ayatollah Khamenei, describing this venerable lady, says, “Zainab Kubra has a multi-dimensional character. She is knowing, aware and with high cognizance and is an outstanding human so that anyone who faces with this great figure feels humble against the greatness of her knowledge and spirit and her cognizance.”
The Leader describes this great lady as an everlasting role model for every Muslim woman and man.
Ayatollah Khamenei describes lady Zainab with lofty merits, saying, “An event like Ashura cannot crush Zainab Kubra. The outward glory and pomp of the tyrannical oppressive apparatus of Yazd and Obaidullah ibn Ziyad cannot humiliate Zainab Kubra. Zainab Kubra in Medina- which is the place of establishment of her grand personality- and in Karbala- which is the center of her hardships- and in the palaces of the tyrants such as Yazid and Obaidullah ibn Ziyad preserves the same spiritual magnificence and glory and other personalities are humiliated before her. Yazid and Obaidullah ibn Ziyad, these oppressive arrogant of the time, are humiliated before this captivated and handcuffed woman. Zainab Kubra has combined the emotional female fervor with magnificence, stability and firmness of heart of a faithful, an eloquent and expressive tongue of a struggler in the way of God and the fresh cognizance that emanates from her tongue and heart bewildering the audience. Her female magnificence humiliates and trivializes the superficial fake nobles before her. Female magnificence means this; a combination of human fervor and emotion- which cannot be found in any man- coupled with firmness of character and stability of spirit so that it digests all grave events in herself and steps on and crosses bravely over blazing fires; yet she teaches and enlightens people; assuages and alleviates the Imam of her age- Imam Sajjad- like a kind mother; like a robust dam creates security, calm and tranquility for her brother’s children and the orphaned children of that grave event amidst that great storm. Therefore, Zainab Kubra was a perfect personality in all spheres of life. Islam leads woman to this direction.”
Thanks to the blessing of belief and sticking to the divine mercy and greatness, the character of a Muslim woman becomes so great and lofty that all events and hardships are humiliated and trivial before her. According to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei women can keep their dignity and chastity while they trying to alleviate hardships and creating granting comfort and affection to the bereaved and the grief-stricken. Women can make home a place of love and mercy while participating in the social and political scenes with dignity and chastity. Islam never allows a woman to expose herself to the libertine men to satisfy their carnal desires. Leader of the Islamic Revolution believes that those who lack spirituality and religion cannot be expected to understand the magnificence of lady Zainab and the unique role models of the history of Islam. Those who consider woman as the plaything in the hand of man can never realize the true female identity expounded in Islam.