In Presence of the Sun (94)
If you remember for a couple of weeks we have been discussing the issues related to women and their rights with elaborations of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. Following is the continuation of the discussion.
One of the rights of women in view of Islam is the right to participate in social, political, scientific and economic activities. Ayatollah Khamenei believes that the grounds are open for women’s participation and activity in different domains in society. He maintains that women and girls should acquire knowledge. He stresses that reading books and familiarity with religious and human sciences is very useful for women as it makes their mind very powerful and dynamic.
After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the magnanimous view of Imam Khomeini on women led the Islamic system to create safe and proper spaces for education and activity of this part of community. Therefore, the Islamic Iran now enjoys a great number of female scientists in every field of knowledge especially in medicine pharmacology. Islam maintains that women can be economically active in safe places. This divine religion stresses that the economic earnings of a woman belong to her and her husband has no right to ask for them. In addition, a woman is not forced to make money for the family and it is the husband who is the breadwinner and has to secure his wife and children financially. That’s why Islam strictly reprimands the man who sits idly at home. On the contrary, labor and endeavour has been described as the essence of a man’s being. The value of labor is equal to striving in the way of God. In view of this whenever Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) came across a youth he would ask him of his job.
Ayatollah Khamenei is of the opinion that if women intend to work they had better choose a job which complies with their female delicateness and grace. Heavy works which require much physical power and weary women are not suitable for them. The first and foremost attribute of a woman is to spread kindness and love at home. Hence, preservation of a woman’s liveliness is of top priority. Hazrat Fatema Zahra (Peace upon her) and the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS), after their marriage, went to the Prophet to ask him about division of responsibilities in the marital life.
The Messenger of Mercy, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) ceded the outdoor works to Imam Ali and the indoor jobs to Hazrat Fatema. The Prophet’s daughter and son-in-law were so glad and Hazrat Fatema said, “I was so happy that the Messenger of God exempted me from dealing with men.”
From then on Imam Ali would do the things like bringing water, food supply, firewood, buying goods from the market and so on; while Lady Fatema would do the housework like grindinf wheat and barley, making food, cleaning the house etc. However, whenever Imam Ali had time he would help his wife at home. Of course, Hazrat Fatema would take part in social activities, too.
In view of Ayatollah Khamenei, the west does not have an appropriate understanding of the issue of woman’s innate nature; hence it has forcible pushed her toward masculinity. Criticizing the false western view that tries to distance women from their natural characteristics and turn them into the copy of men, the Leader says, “This view is indeed below the dignity of women for ‘being a prefect woman’ is at times superior and more valuable than ‘being a perfect man’.”
In this regard, the Leader discloses the great lie that the west has fabricated as its motto; while it does the worst kinds of oppression against women under the guise of this motto. Ayatollah Khamenei says that “freedom of women” is the self-fabricated motto of the west. He elaborates, “Freedom includes a broad meaning: freedom from captivity, freedom from morality- since morality is a bond - freedom from influence based on exploitation by the employer who has drawn the woman to the workshop, and freedom from the laws that make a woman committed before her husband. Freedom can have all these meanings; just as in the mottos pertaining to woman there is a vast scope of demands and requests some of which are quite opposite each other. So what is the meaning of this freedom? Unfortunately, in the west most of the meanings adopted from freedom are the false and harmful one - namely, freedom from familial bonds, freedom from the man’s absolute influence, even freedom from marriage and formation of family and training of children where it opposes with the short-lived carnal goal – and not freedom in the correct sense of it. Therefore you see that among the words expressed in the west there is the issue of freedom of abortion which is a very important point; and unlike its simple and tiny outward there is a very dangerous and horrendous inward in it.”
Ayatollah Khamenei describes “masculinity” of woman and “sexual exploitation of woman” as two main parts of the western discourse on woman and says that the westerners, with the motto of freedom of women, are pursuing to generalize the jobs that are compatible with the physical and psychological conditions of men for women and display them as an honour for women. Leader of the Islamic Revolution stresses that the correct view on woman is the one which looks at her within her own gender and lofty values and creates necessary grounds and opportunities for her spiritual and human uplift.
The Leader views the hedonistic look at woman as the grave catastrophe created by the west. He maintains that the phenomenon like homosexuality is the outcome of this look which will lead the west to its doom. To get rid of the false views, the Leader mentions some solutions, saying, “First of all the thought of spiritual and moral growth should be a prevalent thought among women themselves. Women themselves should think of this issue. They themselves should turn toward cognizance, knowledge, studying and basic issues of life.”
The Leader refers to the false training in the west which encourages women to expose their beauties as much as they can. He says, “One of the sings of the western male rule is that they want woman for the sake of man. Hence, they tell woman to use make-up so that man takes delight! This is male rule. This is not freedom of woman. This is indeed freedom of man. They want man to be free even in visual pleasure. That’s why they encourage woman to unveil, use make-up and display herself before man! Of course, many men, in the communities which didn’t enjoy divine religion, have had this selfishness since old times and even today they have it. The westerners have been the ultimate symbol of this. Therefore, the issue that woman should march toward cognizance, knowledge, studying, awareness, acquisition of knowledge and teachings must be taken very seriously among ladies themselves and they should attach importance to it.”