A lecture by the wife of the former PM of Iran on the beauty of concealment. The movement to abolish the Hijab, and the message of Hijab.
Hijab in a society has its roots in the culture of that society, a culture comprising the manner of apprehension and the type of views of the society about man and life. It is on the basis of these apprehensions and types of views that culture delineates the human existence in general and the position of women in particular. In the Islamic hijab culture, a human being occupies an honourable and dignified position in whose body, made of clay, God has breathed His soul, and therefore he possesses the innate capability of acquiring the divine qualities in the course of his evolutionary journey.
Naturally this holds good even in case of woman, being half of the mankind. However, Islam believes that the Creator of man and the world, in order to regulate the human affairs and the society, has created man and woman in two different forms, and has assigned basically different roles to each of them in the society. It is these differences based on divine Wisdom, which are responsible for the mutual attraction in both the sexes, which also guarantee companionship, playing the role of a complement to each other and lastly the continuation of the human life on earth.
What is important and valuable for a man and a woman from Islamic point of view is the occupation of their respective positions and the proper fulfillment of their own roles with the help of their existential capacities. In the Islamic hijab culture one can easily find the elements of realism, kindness, truth and perfection. This culture relies upon realities in its dealing with man and the problems relating to him, and keeps itself away from indulgence in fanciful whims, idealism and aberrant thinking current these days, assigns the roles carefully and delicately and does not neglect the tender sides of human character particularly in dealing with woman.
It does not utter a word irresponsibly or unrealistically, and takes into account the respective qualities of man and woman and saves them from degeneration, degradation and deviation in thoughts and deeds. In such an intellectual system, hijab has some meanings. Hijab is meant for covering and concealing the attractive and delicate parts of the body and controlling the undue exposure of the sex-appeal (in a woman) in the society.
Islam recognizes man and woman on the basis of existing realities and the laws governing the human existence, and is fully cognizant of the fact that they possess appeal and attraction for each other. Although this appeal and attraction applies to all the existential dimensions of the two sexes, yet their most superficial manifestation is their outward attraction for each other.
From the Islamic viewpoint, woman occupies a number of delicate and attractive qualities which, if exposed in a vast and unlimited manner in the society, may not only cause sexual, emotional, intellectual and psychological disorders and ruin the very foundations of the society, but may also lose its healthy and useful effects within that framework.
When sex is allowed an unlimited and uncontrolled sway in the society, it destroys its very foundations based on human relations in a reasonable and solemn manner. So also when it wields its adverse effects on the family that is based on profound spiritual and emotional relations, it shall also ruin its foundations. This would be the greatest tragedy one can imagine in a society, since most of the social crises in the West that have led to the unrestricted and free sexual activity in all the fields and departments of human life emanate from the same source.
It is possible for some people to conclude that the best solution for this problem is to remove woman from the sphere of social activity so that the society may be cured of the plague of her sex-appeal and attraction. Another group holds the view that we should basically fight against sex-appeal itself, since it is the source of all sufferings and disturbances.
Both these views, the former being forwarded by the dry and fossilized minds throughout the past centuries and the latter held by Christianity, are the product of aberrant thinking and indulgence in fanciful whims, and have tread the wrong path in dealing with woman and the sexual instincts, and, due to superficial and aberrant thinking, have tried to rely on wrong solutions.
Islam repudiates both the above viewpoints, and finds the solution of this problem in the adoption of hijab system by woman, and thus brings woman to society in the most active and best manner without allowing her to be a source of sexual disturbances and disorders. In fact, woman enters the field of social activity sans sexuality, so that firstly she may have the opportunity to utilize and manifest her capabilities and creative faculties as a human being, and secondly, society may be allowed to benefit itself from her energies and useful qualities.
Of course, Islam has not been heedless to the priorities and necessities. It considers woman as the only person competent to bring up children, and as such it has assigned some particular role to her. From the Islamic viewpoint, woman, in the position of a mother, has to play a very important and delicate role in the proper functioning of her society, since due to a special emotional texture she happens to possess a great collection of capacities and energies for the physical, intellectual, spiritual and religious training of the children, which, if and when fully realized and properly utilized, can bring about a great change in the society. However, even this important factor does not prevent her from participating in the general social life.
This is why we find that in the Islamic civilization, woman occupies the highest peak in the human values, and enjoys the most beautiful and delicate manifestations of human life. From the Islamic point of view, all the importance and value is attached to this very active and evolutionary role of woman in the human society, and nothing else.
Here is "The Message of Hijab from a Muslim Woman" one of the most valuable works of Sister Zahra Rahnavard. It carries a message in all the domestic, social, political, cultural and other fields for you, O woman! For you who form half of the body of the human society. For you who possess the capability and capacity to move towards the achievement of a supreme and sublime objective. Such movement may turn you into an unparalleled innocent person, in the same way as it did with Fatimah, the venerable daughter of the holy Prophet, peace be upon him.
The Islamic Republic of Iran,
Islamabad, Pakistan July, 1987
It is now about 18 years when sister Zahra Rahnavard started her political career with the teachers' strike against the pro-American regime of the ex-Shah. Subsequent to her dismissal from the government service in education department due to her political activities, she took up the cudgels against the Shah's regime with a semi-underground life by writing with the same nom de plume.
During this period she wrote a number of books, which were either published clandestinely or could not see the light of the day due to their protracted detention by the regime's censor. They included the books entitled: "The Emigration of Joseph", "The Revolt of Moses" delineating the Qur'anic philosophy of history, "The Social Strata from Qur'anic Point of View", a politico-sociological study of the holy Qur'an and the short stories entitled "Ali and Mash Madina".
While still under prosecution, she succeeded in leaving for abroad. Several of her lectures to the foreign students were compiled in the form of books: "The Message of Hijab from a Muslim Woman" and "The Rise of a Muslim Woman" which were smuggled and published in Iran. In the last days of the Satanic regime of the Shah, when the state's sensitivity towards such activities subsided, she returned to Iran.
She produced her anthology: "Tempests and the Tulips of Shahrivar" under the nom de plume of Zaynab Boroujerdi after the bloody massacre of 17th Shahrivar (8th September) by the pro-American regime of the ex-Shah, and dedicated it to Imam Khomeini (RA). After the state authorities came to know of the real identity behind her pen name, she was again forced to return to an underground life. Throughout the Islamic revolution she took herself to delivering lectures in most of the towns and universities, thereby exposing the regime of those days, until at last the revolution was blessed with success.
After the revolution, she wrote "Imperialist Roots of the Abolition of Hijab". She soon assumed the position of the Chief Editor of the magazine "Rahe Zaynab", (The Pathway of Zaynab). During the turbulent days of the Cultural Revolution, she was the only lady who had the honour to teach at the first Faculty of Anthropology founded on the basis of Islamic guidelines. Subsequently she gave a wider perspective to her University activities and started teaching at the Tehran University, where she produced several works including "Aesthetics", "Insight into the Qur'anic Verses", "Philosophy of the Islamic Art" and "A Hero from the Qur'anic Viewpoint", the last one being in the press.
Sister Rahnavard is a graduate from the Faculty of Fine Arts, and is presently a Professor at the University. She has finalized the stage of writing her Doctoral Dissertation in the Department of Political Science. She is the wife of the present Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the mother of three children. Following are the excerpts from an Interview with Madam Rahnavard, published in "Shahide Banowan", No.107 dated 1st Ordibehesht 1325/21st April 1986.
Q: Sister Rahnavard, why have you cut down your social activities after Mr. Musavi has assumed the position of the Prime Minister of Iran?
A: In fact, when Mr. Musavi accepted such a big responsibility, it added to my responsibilities at home. It is because his heavy official engagements and the vast expanse of his service to the people did not leave any time for him to shoulder his responsibility at home fully. Therefore I had to cut down my (social) activities, pay greater attention to my home and confine myself to teaching at the University and writing books. During this period I have produced my research works in the fields of "Aesthetics in Islam", "Insight into the Qur'anic Verses" and "The Philosophy of Islamic Art".
Now that my children have grown up, and my presence at home is not as necessary as before, I think I should devote myself more to the social work I used to perform during the tumultuous days of the Islamic Revolution. I hope, by the Grace of God, I shall always be successful in the performance of my service to the community of Hezbollah (The Faction of Allah's Believers).
Q. Some people believe that the Prime Minister has prevented you from social activities
A. No, it is not so. They are a bit inconsiderate. Like every other Muslim, Mr. Musavi also believes that the most honourable and dignified duty of a woman is her role as a mother. But at the same time, he is of the opinion that a woman must certainly have some activity in the society and should shoulder some important and fundamental responsibilities. I think, it would be injustice to Mr. Musavi to say that he has prevented his wife from social activities.
We are first indebted to our Leader for the Islamic Revolution, and then to the mothers who have produced men who laid down their lives for the sake of the Revolution. The Leader of the Community has also said:
"It is the lap of the mother from where man ascends the highest peaks of glory."
This is the great role of mothers which is acknowledged by all the Muslims, including Mr. Musavi himself, who is most willing to see all the ladies, including myself, undertaking various social activities in the society.
The Seminar for Studying Hijab was held on Sunday, 16th Dey 1364 (5th January 1986) at Farhang Hall. It was attended by some Members of the Majlis (Iranian Parliament), experts and officials of the Educational Affairs Section, Sector 11, Department of Education, Tehran. At this Seminar Sister Zahra Rahnavard gave a speech on "Zeebaiye Hijab va Hijabe Zibayi" (Beauty of Concealment and Concealment of Beauty). In view of the unique views, beautiful approach and deep study of the problem, full text of the address is given below.
Hijab is like a scenery, a panorama or a garden, a garden full of fruits of different colours. You can select anyone of the thousands of rooms with thousands of windows, and from its frame look at the garden, stretch your hand and pick off a fruit. You can pick off the entire garden at one and the same time like a single fruit, satisfy with its flavour your heart and soul, and make the garden, the hijab, a solace for your (disturbed) inner self.
Of all the myriad windows through which one can look into the garden, let us have a look at Hijab through the window of beauty, a deep window, a window made of the wood of Sidra (the Lote Tree in the Seventh Heaven) with the scent of eternal memories, a latticed window with variegated glass, illumining your soul with multicolour lustre, a window of beauty of age-long human civilization, a window of centuries old human presence on the earth, or even older, a window dating back to the very age of creation or existence itself, a window of beauty!
The garden and the window, the concealment and the beauty often come close to merge in each other, and sometimes withdraw from each other.
Innumerable mysterious and esoteric windows open before this garden. So why should we study Hijab (or concealment) from the angle of beauty? ...Really, why?
For example, we can look at Hijab through the window of Imperialism, and sit down and analyze it. Due to the strategic importance and the immense mineral resources, our dear motherland has ever been subjected to invasion by the super-criminals who have always been interested in getting hold of this politico-geographically sensitive area and through the most intricate conspiracies for eroding our Islamic identity have endeavoured to deprive our nation of all the vestiges of self-defence.
Fifty years ago it was on the 17th Dey (7 January) that, in servile obedience to the orders of the British and Americans, Reza Khan the accursed, ordered the abolition of hijab for women in Iran. In fact, he pulled down the national flag which was a symbol of independence and honour of Iran, and this served as a prologue to the future tragic drama of the loss of identity and the encroachment of foreign culture on the country.
We may look at the hijab from the window of economy, and then construe the abolition of hijab as an Imperialist plot for the inflow of the putrefied surplus products of the Western Capitalist countries like the readymade garments, cosmetics and even the attractive bodies of women for the publicity of the surplus commodities manufactured in their factories.
We may look at the abolition of hijab from the angle of the Imperialist morality which throws women before the eyes of the young as something pretty, snatching from them their senses and reason so that, subsequent to the loss of the sensible minds and firm resolution of the youth, the imperialists could plunder the natural wealth and resources of our country.
We may also look at the abolition of hijab from the cultural strategy of Imperialism, and then find the woman exploited as a stronghold of the western cultural domination and Occidentosis, and through the agency of "la belle dame" the Imperialists have not only bombarded our religious and national bases, but have even manouvred the complete devastation and annihilation of the sublime values like the pious feelings of love and affection, honour, dignity and sacrifice.
Today, however, we are not going to took through any of these windows. Beauty in a psychological perspective and in direct relation with hijab has kept so many persons mentally and psychologically occupied persons who, in Iran or elsewhere, are connected with this concealment or have a problem with' its content or form.
The addressee of this discourse is not a lady who is a principal, teacher, official, worker, doctor, specialist, housewife, or a school or college student. The addressees are rather the pious souls of all the women of the country striving for the elevation of the women's position.
I firmly believe that they are all noble persons, possessing gentle souls and have drunk deep from the pure spring of "the Eternal Being", and in this material world are waiting to receive the illuminating radiance of Truth.
They are noble, modest and peerless, except, indeed, a very small group of those women politically attached with the former regime who, by their heart and deeds, are still linked with the Western political and economic imperialism and receive their guidance and propaganda instructions from the foreign radios and centres of crime like CIA and Mossad in order to pollute and corrupt our Islamic society with full knowledge and intention.
Such elements form hardly one per cent of the aggregate in our society. I sit beside the clean souls of women, while I am fully confident that once the necessary economic reforms, so eagerly awaited by all of us, are introduced, most of the cultural losses of deviation including the issues relating to hijab and the relevant excesses and shortcomings on the subject shall also be restrained. Let us go back to "the frame of beauty".
Today most of the young women and girls, who have adopted hijab in toto and have been completely enamoured by it, have reached the truth that concealment in entirety is beautiful. What kind of beauty is this?
On the other hand, those who have adopted hijab halfheartedly, or have tolerated it under duress, in spite of possessing clean and spotless frames, try to conceal their beauty by myriad forms, fashions, hues and dyes and cosmetics, as they feel that hijab shall bring down the standard of their beauty. What a strange meaning of beauty!
What is beauty? Where is its realm? But, O Woman, the character of the society is strangeness. The society itself breeds concealment. What type of concealment? In your own environment. your own society, there are innumerable curtains, which have been drawn on the beauty of your being. Why don't you see these curtains? Who are you?
In the society, you adapt yourself according to the judgements of the society. With in your work environs, you accept the behaviour, the type of dress, the conditions of concealment prevalent in your environment. Throughout your life, each place, every moment, each incident, every event throws a new curtain on your personality the curtain of class, the curtain of shape, the curtain of status, the curtain of reputation and the curtain of respectability. But who are you? What are you? The countless curtains lead you to the loss of your identity your own being.
After all we are not like the Marxists who believe that man's identity is nothing but what is determined by the economic class to which he belongs. On the contrary, we believe that every person is "something", is a reality in himself, greater than what is granted by the society, history, class, relations or connections. The subject of self-alienation which is propounded in connection with hijab has also been alluded to in the various ideologies. For example, a Marxist believes that the exploitation and the presence of the worker in the Capitalist production within an industrialized society which takes place through profiteering have led to the worker's self-estrangement. This is an economic interpretation of self-alienation.
Existentialism explains self-alienation in a different way. According to it the presence of man as a sole voluntary, conscious being in an inert, unconscious world and also in a society where the system and its conventions are quite foreign to his internal inclinations, gives birth to self-estrangement.
According to the explanation forwarded at this point by us, a woman in. all other systems, in whatever conditions and environs, wraps her real beauty into the curtains of a variety of relations and connections. The Islamic hijab, in our connotation, is by itself a source of drawing all these curtains aside and providing her the possibility of uniting with the real beauty of her being and rediscovering her own self. This social harmony proves to be an introduction through close affinity and sincerity to her real self for the attainment of the sublime origin and supreme source of her own self or Allah, and this is the gnostic unity.
Man has not a mere economic and historic nature. These are mere curtains, intertwined, curtains over a pure and clean beauty of being. All the social positions are mere curtains drawn over the real beauty of human essence. There is inside yourself a being which, in all-earnest and anxiety, expects that you will discover it, will be sincere to it, will come to its rescue, will be in unison with it, will be all one with it, will hold it and it will hold you, so that you may return to your original source.
But you have kept distance from it through innumerable curtains, have completely estranged yourself from it and have left it alone. Or perhaps, you have missed it. The entire beauty of concealment lies here. As soon as you own it, all the false identities of probability shall be gone, and your mundane status, pomp and show and material acquisitions shall disappear. You will give up the symbol of your individualism, and will become like all the others, like me, like him, like all of us, a worker, an official, a teacher, a doctor or a student.
You will give up all the ostentatious distinctions and will be able to reach the estranged, real self, the self having a sublime and beautiful origin, a divine origin, and a manifestation of the divinity of God, God, who is Beautiful. In other words, now that you have attained unity at the level of the society, you may also reach unity at the level of existence.
Like the leaf of a tree, a spring, mountain, or a flower in a blowing wind or the flight of a bird, you step into the unique society of existence where all are occupied in His obeisance and prostration in His adoration. Isn't such a concealment really beautiful even more beautiful than the one you may ever run after the one which you may decorate with hues and colours in order to give yourself a prettier look but which, in fact, may drown you into you, into your own individualism, take you away from the real Beauty and would prove to be a curtain between you and Beauty .
On the one hand, beauty, the physical beauty, the visual beauty of the stature and outward appearance is itself an obstruction. The body is a curtain, (as the poet says)
"The dust of my body becomes an obstruction for the face of my soul. How happy will be the moment when I shall draw this curtain aside from the face"
The Western Renaissance was the revival of the Greek values that attached utmost importance to the value of matter and body. In their belief beauty was virtue. Thus every beautiful person was virtuous and popular.
Venus, the goddess of Love and Beauty and Helen, the famous demigoddess of Troy, both were at the same time heroines of corruption, debauchery and perfidy, but how strange that they were worshipped by the Western Imperialist people whose values take roots from the Greek civilization.
These people always endeavoured to prove everywhere, particularly in their colonies, that physical beauty is the foundation of virtue. It is the body where lie beauty and virtue. As it is so, it must be exposed to the public eyes and judgement. The whole image of a woman in an Imperialist regime suffering from a cultural Imperialism is that of a beautiful being, and not the image of a mother or a source of an epic or great sacrifice. Thank God, our society has succeeded in giving birth to such great values. (Elsewhere) the idea of physical beauty is so strong that woman is also governed by it, and she finds satisfaction with herself only when she finds herself beautiful and her beauty a subject of public judgement.
This image of woman, a beautiful woman, also takes its roots as an established value in the minds of men, to the extent that even at the time of making the most important decision (in life), namely, marriage they are after finding a spouse possessing such physical qualities.
The demand of the society from a woman, the demand of a woman from herself and the demand of man from a woman all revolve round the physical beauty. But the real beauty lies in the moment the society, man and woman herself should demand from woman the beauty of the soul and the spirit and the human qualities and talents. The body which is destined to decay, to be mingled with the dust and produce (and be eaten by) worms, even at the pinnacle of its beauty is but an obstruction in the way to real beauty. The beauty of concealment, therefore, lies in the elimination of the physical values in order to revive the values of the real self of a woman in the mind of the society of man and woman.
The Islamic Revolution of Iran, before being a political revolution for getting hold of the power, or an economic revolution dealing with the economic and class relationships, is a cultural revolution possessing a moral and spiritual value in the depth of the being of the individual and society as well as the heroes of the Muslim community of Iran.
It is a gift of Allah's angels to the people which has been showered through the Imam of the Community from the hidden divine treasures to the land of the oppressed, and clean-washed the souls addicted to the hunger for power and position, the greed for amassing wealth, adoration for beauty, Occidentosis and Orientosis.
In relation to the woman too, like its relationships and connections with so many other sections of the society, it brought into vogue some new values, values which have their roots ingrained in the nature of all human beings which had since been buried, in our land during the 2500 years of despotic rule, under the dust of the tyrannical breeding, etiquettes, affronts at the hands of autocracy, and which have languished in a distorted form among all the other Muslim people too throughout the period of Imperialist domination.
Under this shower of divine benediction and in such favourable background, the Muslim woman discovered the mysteries of her being and came to realize that her existence was not confined to her body and sex, but was primarily a divine and celestial substance which was to be exalted and elevated in order that it may be salvaged and may achieve communion with its sublime, divine origin, (as promised by Allah)
"Indeed he attains deliverance who purifies his soul". (Surah al-Shams: 91:9)
Even the men of our society came to understand that woman is not a mere "beautiful and sexual thing", but is, in fact, a divine substance about which Imam Khomeini (RA) has very aptly said:
"From women's lap man ascends to the skies".
The person whom the Western Imperialism had convinced and said: "You are the sole source of pleasure! You are the ladder for the achievement of political power by the (Super) powers, kings, cartels, trusts and multinational companies"
The person who, through centuries and ages, had been a manifestation of intellectual deficiency, foolishness, intrigues and temptation;
And on whose bosom would descend abjectness and disgrace of mankind and human values;
All of a sudden became the pinnacle of human glory, the ladder that leads man to the acme of dignity. The woman, however, has attained this value and honourable position after undergoing lot of hardships. It is because, at the summit of the Islamic revolution, this gift of Allah's angels has been bestowed upon the women who have qualified themselves for it after the sacrifice of their own dear ones, their children and husbands, in the way of defending Islam, women who carried in their bosoms their dear ones wallowing in blood after they had been martyred at the torture centres of CIA and MOSSAD executioners and dismembered after they had been killed by the firing squads of the pro-American Shah; women who had valiantly fought in the battlefield of life against the Satanic regime which was responsible for engendering the unbalanced mental, psychological and educational traits hitherto ingrained in her being. In this battle of internal and external forces they had come out with flying colours, pure and clean, with their laps being the perching places of the sublime values.
Alas! When you look back into the distant past the disgraceful life of the woman, and find the first steps dragging her into the quagmire of dishonour, on the way to the erosion of the values of her Godly essence and the noble origin of her being in order to establish and bring into prominence her physical and sexual values, and go through the history of' the woman in the decadent societies particularly in the contemporary Imperialist systems; you will come across a history full of sexual display.
It will not be astonishing when, in its wake, we find intellectual slavery, because Western Imperialism with its bestial, profit-oriented and power-seeking motives used the abolition of hijab as the most powerful weapon for degrading and dishonouring woman, because Imperialism fully realized that one of the mechanisms for the decadence, downfall or elevation of a people lies hidden in the person of woman. It was the first step towards enervating or distorting the potentialities and faculties of woman a leap more forward than taken by all the other despots and power-seekers of history, so that by the display of her physical features and replacing the Islamic breeding and behaviour by the Western habits and character, Western Imperialism may drag the Muslim people to gradual annihilation and ultimately lead the Muslim men and women to cultural, followed by, political and economic subjugation.
Now, let us study the inauspicious course of the abolition of hijab in the Muslim countries, particularly in Iran, and see how the enemy started his evil designs.
The roots of the effacement of Muslims' self go back to the past, a distant past, to the Crusades, when the West during the Crusades learnt a large number of sciences and arts from Muslims, and within a very short span of time, with the help of these sciences and arts, the Western people succeeded in developing their own techniques and equipments, but, instead of being grateful to us, most shamefully and ungratefully they used the same weapons against us which they had borrowed from us. Travelling around the world, which took place very sparsely, became very frequent. The world travellers or tourists of yore turned into greedy traders whose voracious appetite for ownership could not be satiated by any amount of wealth.
Travelling from one place to another brings maturity in man's outlook. He can see every image, as far as he can, in the mirror of original moulds. The travellers of yesterday, who had turned into avaricious traders through penetrating eyes and long experience, entered the depths of the earth beneath its heavy surface and, in the heart of the warm and ancient lands of the Orient, they discovered untouched pearls, springs of oil and mines of gold, silver and copper.
With what sort of eyes and with what type of equipments did they do it? With the eyes of greed and the equipments of covetousness and the insatiable desire for more and more.
Henceforth they were not content with dealing in spices or cloth alone or stealing away (the gold and diamonds from) the tombs of the saints or rings and seals (of kings and princes).
They had now turned all their attention to unearthing the hidden treasures of these lands. But it required the riches of Croesus to buy the contents of these underground treasures. Thus, it has been through robbery and intrusion that these traders succeeded in their filthy designs. It was here that they had to face an unexpectedly tough resistance from the Eastern people.
They thought and thought, how to get over this obstacle and reach their cherished goal. At last they were supported by their instinctive intelligence and specialized skill of a robber, intruder and plunderer. They came to realize that the Eastern people are endowed with a very precious object more precious than all the riches the West wanted to steal, an object which, unlike the mines, was not created by Nature and was not the product of the geological survey, an object which could not be seen by the visual eye and which could not be touched by the feeling hand.
It is the precious gem produced by the teeming millions through many a millenium with their beliefs, with their sorrows and joys, with their culture and religion, with their ancient history. This precious, exquisite and inaccessible gem is the "Self". Man can work wonders through science and technology. He can break atom. He can melt steel. He can reach the depth of the oceans. He can discover the stars and planets and can even land himself there. He can make cloth, chocolates and candies with petroleum. But he cannot have access to this "Self" through science and technology. The West knew well that unless it succeeds in getting hold of this "Self" and annihilate it, it cannot reach the depth of the warm lands of the Orient and their hidden treasures.
How could the West break this "Self" and exterminate it. Its people pondered and pondered, and chalked out plans. At first they specified their general target that they must extirpate this "Self" which was the secret behind the force and resistance of the East or must bring about the "Effacement of the Self" of the East, and breathe into its body their own soul or the soul they so much wanted to see in its body.
Now, in order to achieve this object, they used the following two methods:
The first method is the one adopted by all the despots and dictators of history. The holy Qur'an refers to the story of Pharoah in (almost) the following words:
"The Pharoah assembled the people of his land and said to them:
'O People, behold what gardens full of fruits I have! What cool and roaring rivers are under my control! How precious bracelets and earrings I have! (Now decide) whether I am better or this Moses who is penniless and is in tatters, and does not even know how to talk," (Derived though not literally from Surah al-Zukhruf: 43: 51-52)
The Qur'an concludes the story thus:
"Then Pharoah debased his people, and they obeyed him." (Surah al-Zukhruf: 43:54)
So the West adopted, the method of humbling "the Oriental Self" and showing itself as great, important, powerful and wealthy.
The second method adopted by the West was the obliteration of the manifestation of this "Self", or, in other words, destruction of whatever is the outward exponent or external display of this "Self" or its nature, or according to the famous saying, destroying the form in the hope of putting an end to the content, or ruining the exterior for destroying the interior. Of course, later the West adopted some more subtle ways.
Initially the West exploited a psychological peculiarity of human being which has also been emphasized by the holy Qur'an, where it says:
"But man wishes to explode his advance (ment)." (Surah al-Qiyamah: 57:51)
What is meant by man's advancement. The Qur'an emphasizes the aversion to love for what is old and advocates the love for whatever is new and novel, the desire to eat fresh fruits and the desire to experience newer and newer phenomena not experienced before. Now, the West came to the East and told its people.
"Whatever you have is old, and belongs to the past, to the bygones. It is the product of lack of civilization. Whatever we have is new, fresh and modern. If you have culture, customs, laws, dress, architecture, art, literature, language or whatever else, let you know that it is all out of date. In our stock lies a lot of fresh and modern commodity. Come and take away this commodity," At first the West did all this through its traders, and then it also used force and at last it fulfilled its designs through the Westernised intellectuals and thinkers.
They were followed by their successors who are still there, and whatever troubles we have experienced in the post-Revolution period had been at the hands of these very persons.
At last one day the Eastern people came to hate themselves. The West had so much propagated that "the Oriental Self" is rotten and out-of-date. Consequently, the Eastern people felt an aversion to their "Self". They felt ashamed to think of their "Self".
This was the best ground for the growth of Occidentosis. This was the beginning of the cultural Imperialism of the West, which later led to the tragic plunder of the Eastern mines and other resources. Now that the Eastern people had obliterated their "Self", they would easily fall prey to the insinuation of adopting what was superior from the West, the occidentosis, to give up their aversion to and estrangement from the West (and bring it to their own land, and hand over their own control and domination in its hands. It was all accepted very easily and with pleasure. This process was accomplished rapidly with the help of the 'Westernised intellectuals and indigenous rulers of the land.
Let us mention here that in every corner of the world this "Self" has its own type. It is in one form in the Far East and in another in the Middle East. The Muslim East for the last one thousand and four hundred years has experienced all its sorrows, joys, heroes, history, art, literature, marriage ceremonies, mournings, births and deaths under the shade of Islam.
Therefore the Self of this part of the East is an "Islamic Self". In the Lexicon of the plunderer West, the "Effacement of the Self" of this part of the East is an exact synonym for "Obliteration of Islam". In other words, the "Self" which the West has been keenly busy destroying in this part of the world is the Islamic character of these people.
The West has an extreme aversion to this "Islamic Self". It is for the following reasons.
1. The Islamic Self is a source of unity and force for a great part of the people of the world who are by themselves a "Superpower", and if this unity persists, it would lead to rapid annihilation of the Western 3 powers.
2. The Islamic Self means a Self demanding justice, opposed to the amassed force and wealth and against atheism and infidelity.
3. The Islamic Self is basically one seeking God and demanding justice and stands to assemble the whole world around this centre.
4. The Islamic Self, in view of its relationship and common affinity with human nature and being, has its roots in the depth of human psychology, and therefore it possesses a strong power of resistance to the blows of its opponents. We have observed how in spite of all the hostile machinations (by the West) from the Safavid period, particularly during the last half century, aimed at the effacement of our dear people, with the success of our Islamic Revolution under the able leadership of Imam Khomeini, the power of resistance of this "Islamic Self" has been fully realized by all the enemies and how the latter were thrown into the abyss of defeat and despair.
As already mentioned, the second method adopted by the West for Effacement of the Islamic Self has been the obliteration of the manifestation (of this Self). In their view whatever is a manifestation, sign, expression or product of this "Self' must be obliterated. So the Algerian language must be changed from Arabic to French, the Indian language from Urdu to Hindi 4 and local dialects to English. The Turkish script must be replaced by Latin, our architecture must be replaced by Western architecture, our art by Nihilism and our local dress by Western dress.
The most important of all these, and the most living manifestation (of this Self) is woman, the Muslim woman. If they succeed in changing this manifestation of our Self, this Lap bringing up our Self, if this can be changed, the enemies would succeed in striking the biggest blow on "the Islamic Self."
Of course, the Eastern woman has an external self and an internal self. She has an intellect and a soul and a peculiar feminine character. The Muslim woman occupies the most distinct place among the Eastern women. Her pecularities are greater and her relationship with the identity and Self of her people is deeper and she has stronger roots than the rest of the Eastern women. Now, what should the West do to change her? What should be the plan of the West, and which of her weak points should be exploited? Is Muslims' bias 5 in encountering women a weak point? If it is so, how is it to be tackled?
Imperialist Tactics, Weakness of Muslims' Bias and Treacheries Perpetrated by the Satanic Regime
In order to execute their nasty plans against woman as a manifestation and exponent of Islamic Self, there were two internal factors which had been effective and paved the way for it.
On the one hand, it was long since Islam had been divorced from the field of social activity, and what was left of it was nothing more than its outward appearance and shell. On the other, the usurping tyrant powers had prevented the religious leaders and intellectuals from discovering and disclosing the Islamic practical solutions for the vexing problems of the society.
This was why as a general mental attitude of Islam, particularly in regard to its relationship with woman, conditions had been created which were responsible for the opinion that not only Islam did not provide any support to woman, but it had also plenty of laws which were directed against the womenfolk and granted right of domination to man, and thus brought the shelterless Muslim woman under the yoke of heavy pressure. But they realized that if the womenfolk who find no supporter among the so-called Muslims come to have even an iota of information about their real rights and the power (granted to them by Islam) they would throwaway this yoke and release themselves from it.
This propaganda that Islam is against the womenfolk has been carried on by the Imperialists, under one pretext or the other, through their mass media in the East and the West, their news imperialism and groups associated with the Americans and the USSR as well as the other anti-revolution members of SAVAK and pro-monarchy groups, and every now and then they are raising a hue and cry against Islam and the Muslims. At one time they raise the question of inequality of man and woman in Islam, and at another they harp on the issue of hijab, and so on.
In fact, however, (under the illuminating and guiding leadership of Imam Khomeini), millions of common womenfolk have returned to their divine nature, to the dignity of their own Self, and under the loving patronage and protection of the Islamic Republic of Iran we are advancing towards preparing the ground for new legislation, so that on the basis of the Islamic laws and precepts suitable laws may be framed for this period of time for the rights and true worth of the womenfolk in order that all the oppressed women of the world may come to realize that the only way of their deliverance is the path of Islam and not the Capitalist, humanist or Communist ideologies, and that the only guarantee for materializing this objective is the Islamic revolution.
B. The other internal factor has been the multidimensional enervation of woman for the last over two thousand years. The Satanic regimes, which attached importance to woman from the sexual point of view, kept women in a state of extreme ignorance and lack of information and awareness. They had put woman's mind so much in inertia that with the least analysis she could take the most relentless foes for good and reliable friends and most deceitful hell for a paradise of kindness and favour, as all the plans for corrupting women implemented by the Imperialists have been misunderstood by a large number of women as friendly acts.
It was with this background that the Imperialist enemy turned towards the Muslim women and, in order to annihilate the Islamic identity of our people, he took up the mission of breaking the Muslim woman into pieces. He thought out the way to obliterate' the identity of the Muslim woman. He tried to find out the common factor between the identity of the Muslim woman and the Muslim community. He made "hijab" his target, as it was the manifestation of the Islamic character of a Muslim woman as well as the symbol of Islamic nature of Muslim community's self.
Reza Khan, the founder of modern Iran on the foundations of three pillars: Occidentosis, Infidelity and subservience to Imperialism, first brought his own wife and daughter without observing hijab in the official functions, and later through a decree made it compulsory for women to appear without the conventional head-cover but wearing a Western chapeau in all gatherings and functions.
How Surprising it is that this obnoxious practice which was started by the Occidentosis-stricken and the stooges of the British Imperialists in the beginning was later recognized as a true movement for advancement and emancipation and progress of women by the American Imperialism in the later Pahlavi period, and the nonobservance of hijab was considered to be a synonym for women lib!
Although at first the brave Muslim people of Iran opposed this Imperialist conspiracy due to the just and proper religious orthodoxy, but they soon came to realize that behind this so called movement for abolition of hijab, the ban on the use of the special dress of the clergy and the disuse of the traditional dress of men was hidden nothing but a dangerous conspiracy of eroding the Islamic identity and Self of the Iranian people and handing over the country to the foreigners.
They came to understand that this anti-Islamic movement was, in fact, a movement against the political, cultural and economic independence of the country. This was why they sought refuge in the shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in the holy city of Meshed and took sanctuary in that holy shrine. At the time of the brutal attack on the shrine of Imam Reza (AS) by the agents of Reza Khan, a Western stooge, they took themselves to defend their Islamic identity, beliefs and self, and soaked the floor of the Gowharshad Mosque of Meshed with their own blood.
Whatever the nature of the tragedy of abolition of hijab might be, at first it had to face a strong resistance from the noble Muslim men and women spearheaded by the clergy and the students of religious institutions. The genera! massacre at the Gowharshad Mosque in Meshed was but a part of the bloody defence of the holy dress and this manifestation of the Islamic and divine Self of our oppressed people.
For our Islamic Self there has not been a greater tragedy than the abolition of hijab. Likewise, on the body of Islamic identity of our people one could not think of a deadlier blow than the separation of this divine symbol from the Iranian belief and this most penetrating and effective Islamic message from the hearts of the people.
As soon as this lofty and exalted flag of Islam and nobility fell down from the hands of the people, it was replaced by ignominy, dishonour, unlimited freedom, villainy, cruelty, ostentation, depravity, debauchery and loss of complete freedom and independence. May God break the hand of the Western and Eastern system of oppression that has thrown us for the fast fifty years in the abyss of ignominy of the isolation from our exalted Islamic Self!
The Islamic Revolution of Iran has in practice been a crucible in whose burning flame all beliefs, schools, groups and factions have been put to test:
How better it would be if persons are tested on the anvil of experience so that everyone who has an alloy may suffer disgrace. The Marxists, the Capitalists, those suffering from Orientosis and those suffering from Occidentosis and the gleaners in spite of their apparently different theories are unanimous, united and supporters of one another in opposing Islam, fundamentals of Islamic Revolution and the spiritual values of women including the observation of hijab by Muslim women. They have been in unison with the Western Imperialism, particularly the American Imperialists, in their hue and cry against hijab.
Now, that we have come to understand the methodology of the Imperialists regarding the abolition of hijab, it would not be out of place if we also analyze hijab in the opinion of the Marxists (those having Orientosis) as well as those suffering from Occidentosis.
However, before we continue the analytical study of the Imperialist roots of the abolition of hijab, let me point out two explanations of these phenomena at which I have arrived recently. Hijab is like a gate of a green garden, a wooden gate whose colour has faded, which is not so pretty that whenever you open it you may come across a pleasant garden of spring on whose branches you would find the illumination of divine light. In this respect, hijab is a prologue to gnosis. If you dare come close to this gate and open it, enter its threshold, you shall explore that green and pleasant garden of spring and that eternal light.
The other explanation is that hijab for a woman is what fire was for Abraham, so that when among the rising flames of fire he surrendered himself to the Almighty One, every flame turned into a bough and every amber into a flower, till at last the burning fire turned into a cool garden for Abraham.
A woman who accepts hijab and surrenders her heart to its hidden laws succeeds gradually in exploring the spiritual garden, and becomes so much habituated to it that whenever she is away from that garden her heart starts singing sad songs like a nightingale (away from its flower}.
Thus the enemy started with the intrigues for damaging and eroding the "Self" of the Muslim women through taking her away from hijab. If we have time we shall try to analyze the attitude of every school towards hijab.
As regards the Imperialist roots of the abolition of hijab to which brief reference has already been made, we have to discontinue that discussion in order to go deep into the matter, and refer briefly to the analysis of the hijab by the Marxists. They analyze hijab in two ways, both of which as usual have economic roots.
The first of their analyses about the Imperialist roots of the abolition of hijab is that they believe that during the days of Reza Khan, the accursed, which coincided with the unlimited growth of capitalism and its transformation into Imperialism, abundance of capital and piling up of surplus products, the Western Imperialism, in order to save itself from insolvency which was the natural outcome of such economic conditions, found it indispensable to export its capital as well as its products to other countries, so that it could invest its capital in their industries and also sell its products to the unfortunate people of these countries, and thus protect it from lying in the god owns and going waste and rotten.
For this purpose, Reza Khan, who was a stooge of the West, took himself to abolish hijab by force, so that firstly women who, as a result of their dress, which had been an obstacle in their easy movement, had become inactive should be free to work in the factories run by Western capital, and secondly by the abolition of hijab there could be some activity in the consumption of the commodities exported by the West, and at the same time the women through their beauty and sex-appeal could be used for the publicity of the Western commodities. So Reza Khan, the accursed, resorted to the abolition of hijab more than forty years ago, so that he could save the Western capitalists who were on the verge of insolvency.
According to the second analysis of the Marxists, as Islam is a feudal religion, hijab is also based on a feudal system of dress. As during the historical stages of evolution feudalism is replaced by capitalism, a system higher and more advanced than feudalism, we may conclude that when society has passed the stage of feudalism and entered the stage of capitalism, it is said to have attained capitalist stage.
In the view of the Marxists, Reza Khan's time was a period of progress of the bourgeoisie, non-enlightenment and decline of feudalism. So according to the above conclusion, the abolition of hijab, which is one of the characteristics of the feudal age, manifests advancement, and is, in fact, a historical evolution in the dress of women. This is the reason why the Marxists have very delightfully welcomed this glorious evolution in their writings of that period as well as of the present period, because, according to their analysis, the dress of a Muslim woman (as worn by the Iranian ladies) is a reactionary dress.
In view of the above two analyses by the Marxists, you may notice that, in their consideration of the hijab in both the ways, they have one thing in common with Reza Khan and Imperialism, namely, that the present dress of the Muslim (Iranian) women is not worth wearing.
The difference, however, is that the Capitalists say that the reason for their opposition of the present dress of Muslim women is that the abolition of the present dress has an economic utility for the Capitalists, while the Marxists assert that the abolition of the Islamic dress is a sign of evolution and advancement from the stage of feudalism to the Bourgeois stage and a proof of progress and development. They link the end of the so-called discussion about reaction and advancement with the summit of hijab.
As regards the opinion about hijab of those suffering from Occidentosis, being at the same time a class-analysis too, according to their view whatever is Western or has a Western brand is a sign of advancement, and whatever has an Eastern brand, particularly the Eastern Islamic one, is reactionary. The dress of the Muslim women, which has no prototype or pattern in the West is a reactionary dress as compared to the dress of the latest Western fashions. Reza Khan himself believed that he wanted to guide Islam towards the gates of advancement. One of such gates was the abolition of hijab and civilizing and modernizing the women!
This is why you may find that in the opinion of the nobles and aristocrats of Reza Khan's time, the majority of whom consisted of Western educated persons and intellectuals or those suffering from Occidentosis, the dress of the Muslim women is the dress of illiterates, the lower classes and the maidservants.
In the words of Dr. Shari'ati:
"The wife of a Europe returned graduate does not observe hijab! while his maidservant and illiterate mother observe hijab."
According to the above opinion, hijab is a sign of illiteracy, poverty and backwardness, because according to the view of such persons, suffering from Occidentosis, and patronized by Reza Khan, human beings are either advanced, fashionable, a la mode and in the Western style, or the reactionary men, growing beards, or women wearing chador and observing hijab in the style of Muslims.
Meanwhile, the roots of reaction and advancement in our country, as well as in other Imperialist colonies, are exactly linked with this problem that everything which is imported from the West and is based on a new and latest fashion is advanced, and on the contrary, whatever has come down from the past, and belongs to the East, particularly to the Muslim East, is reactionary.
It is astonishing to note that the Marxists and those suffering from Occidenteosis have reached the same conclusion in their final analysis of the dress of the Muslim women. It is not only with the Marxists and those suffering from Occidentosis, but the Imperialist West, who is the mother of all Occidentosis, also sees eye to eye with the Marxists as regards this analysis.
In our study of the Imperialist roots of the abolition of hijab, we have reached the following conclusions:
1. Effacement of Self is an Imperialist method. In order to impose their own culture on the oppressed country, the Imperialists first degrade its identity and Self in its own eyes and then give another identity to it according to what they like.
2. The Self in the Muslim East is the Islamic Self, and so the effacement of Self here is identical with the effacement of Islam.
3. The Muslim woman is the manifestation of the Islamic Self of her own people.
4. The dress of the Muslim women is the common factor between 1the Islamic Self of the Muslim people and the Self of the Muslim women.
5. The Marxists believe that the abolition of hijab had a sole economic objective, and its final aim was to benefit the capitalists. At the same time they believe that the hijab-oriented dress is a feudal dress, and with the evolution of the society and its entering the stage of Capitalism, this dress will automatically become extinct. In other words, the abolition of hijab will take place parallel with the evolution and advancement.
6. Those suffering from Occidentosis believe that hijab is a symbol of reaction, while the nonobservance of hijab, being a Western phenomenon, and that too modern and progressive, is a symbol of evolution and advancement.
Now the important problem is that, in principle, every explanation which is formed without taking into consideration the indigenous mechanism and on the basis of merely dry theories shall be deficient and shall lack the capacity of analysis and appraisal of the problems.
In the East, particularly in our own country, and that too especially during the period of Islamic protection of the Muslim countries, there existed the indigenous mechanism that "Woman is the manifestation of the collective honour of a people". Well, if this manifestation were subjected to disgrace and dishonour, it would naturally lead to shattering the morale of those people. You may have noticed that in war countries that overpower the enemy in the battle as the first step violate the honour and chastity of the enemy's women. Apart from it's being good or bad, such mechanism after all exists.
The Imperialists with the program of forcible abolition of hijab have, in fact, implemented the same old method of victorious countries in the countries falling under this program, though in different manner, in the manner compatible with the twentieth century. This act was an exact violation of our national honour. In other words, while they implemented the abolition of hijab with the aim of effacement of Self and the effacement of Islam, at the same time they also implemented it with the object of injuring and violating our national honour through dishonouring women.
Now, you can notice how superficial it is to study the problem of this horrible! tragedy on the basis of economic analyses or on the basis of the idea of advancement, and how much source of joy it is for Imperialism that with a few flimsy and high-sounding analyses we should most pathetically fail to dig deep into the causes and effects of these violations, look to the other side of the picture and try to find out their solutions.
It is because if the abolition of hijab has solely an economic content and on the other hand if the hijab oriented dress is a feudal dress, we may reach the conclusion that although the abolition of hijab has some economic and exploitative causes, yet as the non-observation of hijab itself belongs to the period of human evolution, it would be better to abolish exploitation, and also to put an end to the economic domination of Imperialism in Iran, and never return to this reactionary dress. In view of the analysis made by us, out non-reversion to this dress would mean the non-reversion to our national Self, namely, the Islamic Self and secession from our Self, or, in other words, willingness to undergo the Imperialist domination and acquisition of an artificial and Western Self of cultural Imperialism and surrendering before an artificial and Western Self, or acceptance of economic as well as political subjugation.
In view of the explanation of the Indigenous mechanisms, it is not necessary that the dress according to the hijab system in the period of the "Tragedy of the Abolition of Hijab" may have all the scholastic dimensions of Islam, which are now being discovered under the able leadership of Imam Khomeini and the favourable background of the Islamic Revolution.
Was the Muslim woman during that period exactly sacrificing, seeking justice and combating injustice? Although the history of the Islamic movements, during the last hundred years and even before, clearly shows that the Muslim women wearing this completely Islamic dress have been fighting Imperialism throughout the Muslim period, in this respect we are not idealist, but find that in the Islamic period the meaning of hijab system has been more developed and more profound.
Anyhow, whatever it might be, this hijab system was the manifestation of the honour, Islamic relation and identity of our people and protector of the supreme values and the symbol and manifestation of our Islamic character, and with its presence beside several Islamic and indigenous manifestations, it proved that the outward as well as inward and spiritual impenetrable appearance of the society was self-dependent.
In this way the Western Imperialists who, after the experience of sending the tourists and traders with the double-faced personality of tourists and traders had not succeeded by forcible penetration of their ideas through the intellectuals suffering from Occidentosis in dissipating the Islamic Self, by abolishing hijab from among the Muslim women, found the first signs of their success, in the wake of which lay their control of the warm waters of Persian Gulf and the valuable underground wealth of the East as well as the conquest of this strategically important region of the globe.
This is why when we study the abolition of hijab from solely political point of view (apart from the scholastic content of the hijab which must be dealt with separately), we find it to be a conspiracy of the Imperialists, which was undertaken in order to get hold of our land and its resources. Therefore, are we not justified in adopting this dress as the supreme stronghold for our struggle against Imperialism in order to recapture our property and regain our honour, identity and Self?
Of course, we can use hijab as a weapon against the Imperialist plunderers. It was exactly why the Mohammad Reza Shah regime would not allow the women and girls observing hijab to enter the universities and offices. This is also why the revival of this dress as an anti-Imperialist dress excites antipathy among the organizations associated with the USA, so that they oppose this dress in order to appease their lords.
This opposition is actually an opposition from the US quarters, which is being raised by the American stooges. This is why now whosoever opposes this dress, and this opposition be aimed against the ideological principle of adopting the Islamic dress, whether it is expressed through demonstrations or other channels, whether it is inadvertently or advertently in pursuance of the American orders, and whether it is raised by the Marxists in accordance with their own ideological reasons, their words and deeds are considered to be in line with the American wishes. It is because as the abolition of hijab was an Imperialist plan, opposition of the adoption of hijab is in fact an Imperialist act. Is it justified for our indigenous forces to be in harmony with Imperialism?
During our search for the Imperialistic roots of the abolition of hijab, we have noticed that the first aim of the abolition of hijab from the Imperialist point of view has been the dissipation of the Islamic Self, or in other words, our "National Self". According to another analysis, this act was aimed at the conquest of the Muslim woman and getting hold of her as a stronghold, a stronghold through which the Imperialists could bombard and aim at the most distant and most important targets. Is it not a fact that the Imperialist West has bases in all the regions under its control, the air, naval, military and even cultural bases?
But which base can be more effective than the Eastern woman? From inside this base, the Imperialist West made the most heinous incursions into the divine values. As already mentioned in the preceding pages, the conquest of woman by the Imperialists had also some indigenous backgrounds. Of these, two main reasons were the ignorance of the women in consequence of their age long strangulation and enervation and the existence of indigenous laws and Muslim beliefs which not only failed to support women but were also against them and at the same time in favour of the male domination.
Anyhow, the Imperialist West with these two favourable backgrounds, coincident with the forcible abolition of hijab, presented the ideas of woman's lib, education and activity along with the so. called support of the cause of women and equality of man and woman as the antidote for the religious beliefs and the indigenous laws accompanied by the material for makeup, jewellery, attractive dresses, entertaining programs of broadcasting as well as other modern Western articles and gifts as the initial traps for hunting the Eastern woman.
The Eastern woman fell a prey to this trap quickly and of her own accord, firstly from the upper class, then the middle class and so on. Now the Eastern woman is at the disposal of the Imperialists who can exploit her in whatever way they like. We cannot realize the various types and kinds of their exploitation unless we come to find out the Imperialists' final aim, namely, controlling all the Eastern regions, exploiting and plundering the natural and mineral resources.
The most important problem for the Imperialists, after the effacement of the Self and conquest of (Eastern) woman, was how to change the position of ambiguous, mysterious and legendary modesty and innocent piety of the Eastern woman into a sex-oriented atmosphere. The Imperialists know fully well that when sex overpowers a person, it kills in no time his or her faith, reason, intellectual faculty, awakening, myth, legend, the power of protest and revolt, honour and conscience.
The Imperialists fully realized that the great mystics propagating (human) love, the brave heroes, the legendary women known for modesty and freedom, noble men believing in human dignity, profound feelings, souls having fathomless depth and high intellectual faculties considered their glory to be indebted to the milleniums full of their national and historically ancient teachings, culture and civilization, and in the Islamic countries they considered themselves indebted to the Islamic precepts, precepts that present the highest virtues to mankind. This is why when sex fills the atmosphere of the society, intelligence, power of revolt and awakening all disappear.
The youth, men and women, unaware of the plunder, robbery and enslavement were happy with this opium, while the Imperialists in order to add to the sex-orientation of this atmosphere enhanced The sex-appeal in women through various types and kinds of scents, cosmetics, dresses and coquetry which were the result of long researches and designings by psychologists and sociologists.
Of course, they adopted all these methods in order to add to the sex-appeal in women, and sex came to be the strongest driving force among the Eastern people. There was a time when in the Eastern society (the excessive lust for) sex was found in any person, it was considered to be a kind of disease, a malady of the, type of leprosy or a satanic and despicable ailment. But now under the spell of the Imperialists those who lacked attachment with sex in the society were considered to be abnormal and sick.
Now, that the Imperialists have presented sex as the best source of entertainment for the brains of those falling a prey to Imperialism, they can exploit it to their highest benefit. You know that side-by-side with the development of technique, growth of capitalism and the birth of multinationals (or cartels) the malady of surplus production also takes place.
Now, what should they do with the surplus products? The capitalists supply a lot of such junk to the naive customers of their own countries. But what can they do with the large quantity of the products lying in surplus in their godowns. How can they get rid of the evil of the surplus commodities. They export them to the colonies and neocolonies of the East.
How can they sell these articles in these countries? Through the women. They intensify the sex-appeal of women by the use of cosmetics and jewellery. Then they exploit this sex-appeal for the publicity of their commodities. A washing machine is advertised along with a (half) naked woman. The choppers, mattresses, blankets, carpets, garments, furniture are all advertised through women, that too for a society, where the best mental entertainment of a large number of its individuals constitutes sexual entertainment.
This is not the only economic exploitation of the Eastern woman by the Imperialist West. In another respect, woman, besides being a source of publicity for the commodities, is also herself the highest customer of these commodities, as she always buys these commodities for her own use. She is the one who is always buying dresses and cosmetics in order to appear more attractive and beautiful. She is the one who buys and uses the commodities, and thus saves the capitalists from insolvency.
It is here that our pure and fighting women succeeded in finding out exactly the Imperialistic roots of abolition of hijab, and in its wake they also realized the Imperialistic roots of the fashions and cosmetics and adopted for themselves the pure, simple and unostentatious dress, the dress of the Islamic school, as the most powerful stronghold for the struggle against Imperialism.
O Woman! This jingle jangle is the clink of your chains!
What an old and rusty clink!
As if it has continued to ring for thousand of years of history till
this day. under the dominance of the systems devouring the blood of humanity,
Throughout the decadent society in which you live,
In the depth of your thoughts, wishes and tastes, and even your decisions, These chains, which have pierced from your skin into your flesh, Have gone deep into your brain and soul and bruised your Self, Behold! Hearken to their sound!
In the continuous whispers from morn till dark, around the house, (busy) with cooking pots, sweeping the floor, Amidst the factory wheels turning by your laborious hands, In the fields developed by your hands bound in tatters, and stooped back, There, in the office where you work and are consumed, Even where you learn or teach, Under that stinking layer of rouge which you rub on your face, In the side of the multi-coloured garments you put on as a means of ostentation, In your thought, while you are thinking.
Throughout your life, in your destiny, if you look truly, you have never been the one really deciding about it.
Beside the insults, discriminations which you have to bear in different ways in this decadent system, How should I tell you that these chains have not only deprived you for soaring to heights, but also crushed all the people of your land under their pressure, Of course, all the people of your land, your countrymen, the oppressed creatures, who suffer and are tormented, robbed and plundered, yet their human wants are not supplied.
Of course, O Woman!
Whom thousands of years of decadent history have kept in chains,
Whose self has been wounded by the scourges of oppression of prevailing systems, Who throughout the history, in one way or the other, has been the slave of the economic powers;
O Woman! whom the religious despotism of several thousand years, in every age has, in one form or the other, kept in black claws of superstitions and groundless fears, Who has always been subdued by man;
Now at this height of awakening and freedom when the people of the world are straightening their backs from under the bloodstained boots of oppressors, are revolting and are. triumphant:
Wait a bit! Wait a bit!
And from the depth of this dark night,
Which is nearing the dawn,
From beyond the cries of the deprived, the hungry and those in debt, From beyond the chains fastened round the feet of the seekers of truth, Of course, and also from the depth of history, one thousand and four hundred years ago, From the depth of the long night which had brought the whole world under the cover of its darkness, You have linked (the people) with God.
And now that you have accepted Islam as a system of life and an Ideology,
Also accept hijab,
And under its vitalizing dress recreate yourself and get a new life.
With this bold negation have no fears.
What do you possess which you are afraid to lose,
Except a personality crushed under the load of thousands of years of contempt and chains which have hindered your movement, your journey, your flight to new heights?
It's nothing! It's nothing!
The legacy of this history made of rogues,
The corrupt and cruel regimes of two thousand and five hundred years with autocratic and bloodthirsty leaders and enslaving economic systems, And thousands Of years of religious despotism swayed by the traders of faith, How all these elements have changed you, your sex quality, your culture, your feminine character and your capacity to work!
You are nothing ! Your are nothing!
But a woman who adds passion to bed,
A doll which through its characteristics weakens determination, A commodity found in abundance in the private chambers of rulers and the common street harems, A domestic prisoner who from morn till night is put to drudgery in the isolated portions of the house and busies herself toiling, A slave who in lieu of minimum wages by her labour brings maximum profits to the landlords and mill-owners, Or rots in the expanse of the bureaucratic establishments, And lastly in every institution of a decadent society, in one form or the other, is despised and exploited.
Of course, this is what has been imposed on you.
The dirty culture they have framed for you,
The income they have fixed for you,
As if throughout the history all its autocrats and rogues, with hundreds of sabres drawn, have made you their target. Come and seek shelter in Islam and be safe, be strong, be armed.
With what ? With its laws, its universal outlook, its anthropology.
Yes, with Islam in toto, including indeed, its hijab system. Now that you have accepted Islam, also accept its dress, and throw away this cultural yoke of female exploitation imposed on you. Which dress ? What type of dress ?
Do we mean the dress which has been imposed on Islam by feudalism or Capital ism with the help of the tyrant rulers, With all those restrictions, contempts, but of course with an Islamic form Or a prison, a cloth which alludes to the large prison of house, society and your history ?
What difference does it make, whether it is a (head) kerchief, a loose garment or a chador, under which you may suffer unlimited contempt ?
Where you may be free to do whatever you like, dress yourself as you like, think as you like, even be more anti-Islamic than any infidel, be devoid of belief in God, or be without any cover ? No, never!
The free and unrestrained dress of the imperialist, capitalist or colonial systems, which places you uncovered before the eyes of the people, stupefying the brains, weakening the intentions and negating the higher values,
Or the Marxian dress whose limits are so much indefinite and incomplete that it cannot change into a protector of your total features, into a complete revolutionary base against the decadent systems and values of atheism, sex, beauty and pleasure.
No, no! None of these dresses, but only the Islamic dress to the extent it Is prescribed by the Islamic ideology which humanizes and liberates man.
It has no special form, no particular colour, neither black, nor yellow, brown, blue, red or orange, No, all these details are to be determined by the requirements of time, even social, economic, political conditions and specially the indigenous culture and tradition of your own land.
It is not a prison ?
Then, what is it ?
It is a sanctuary of concealment and chastity.
It is a message.
It is a weapon, or a stronghold.
A sanctuary of concealment and chastity which not only shields you in its cover and hides your physical features and bestows upon them perfection.
Your characteristic features, after all, are not confined to body and sex alone.
But it also covers the divine substance of your being a woman, The substance which bestows upon you the capability of being a mother, a sister, a beloved spouse, The substance in whose bosom the most admirable values are produced and become meaningful, A sanctuary which protects you from all sorts of disgrace, contempt and exploitation, Disgrace and contempt which are sometimes contained in the covers of praise and admiration in the verses of poets and pieces of vain artists, and sometimes on the tongue of the street vagabonds, while at times they are expressed and analyzed with the help of the capitalistic and imperialistic sociology, But how naively you have pleased yourself with such disgrace! Islam, however, introduces with this dress for you some other criteria for your identity.
After all Islam does not demand beauty from a woman.
It does not ask for an illusive appearance.
In the society, it does not demand the physical, sensual and feminine features.
It rather demands from you belief in God, trust in Islamic identity, truthfulness, search for truth, pure human feelings, in short, faith, noble deeds and piety.
Islam demands from you your existential value, and not sensual value.
It is your faith, your practice which brings about and establishes a progressive society based on the belief in One God, and not the physical and sensual features which are the elements of a decadent, pollute and Satanic society, or a society whose political, economic and social system as well as its leadership is opposed to the form liked by God, where a few men and women, young and old. are devouring one another, and considering themselves to be beasts wriggle with each other with the least human feelings and sentimental attachments, and from above, in the words of Qur'an, a few "satiated and opulent", bloodthirsty people watch with pleasure, and by sucking their blood, the juice of their youth and life. give perpetuity to their power and pelf. Their examples are most of the societies of today, including your own.
Now, that you have come to recognize Islam, come to believe in it, also accept its dress. But beware, your hijab alone is nothing. It can be a shell without a kernel. When you come to face the Islamic teachings in a superficial manner without paying due attention to its depth and content and have a shallow and merely a reactionary approach in accepting every word of it, every precept and every political social and economic consideration, your hijab would be nothing more than affectation.
''When you adopt a series of Islamic rituals through your intellect, without a belief in the depth of your heart, you follow some claims without actually translating them into conscious and persistent practice, although at the same time from head to toe you are governed by all the frailties you have suffered throughout history, in other words, the same lack of self-confidence, lack of vigilance and lack of decision about yourself and your society. the same submissiveness before falsehood and oppression. the same self-defeatedness, indetermination and thoughtlessness vis-à-vis the man, with the same feminine, deviating ostentation of the dark ages (of pre-Islamic period), but somewhat in the intellectual way and this time you appear wearing the holy Islamic dress.
Your hijab may be something you have inherited from your family, when this dress has been conventional in your family as a custom, habit or uniform, without your having an iota of thinking about the responsibilities of wearing this holy dress. In its shelter you may think whatever you like, you may attire yourself in whatever way you like, adorn yourself and at the same time carry under it all the feminine weaknesses imposed on you.
Lastly, your hijab may be something forcible, an act against your own will, when you have been compelled to adopt it by your father, your husband or your brother, and you may have accepted it without being aware of the responsibility of wearing this vitalizing dress, without having endeavoured to realize the aims and message of this dress, without ever having tried to refine and reform yourself in order to deserve this dress, this attire.
In all such circumstances, your hijab can never be Islam personified, identicalized. It shall never be a revolutionary stronghold against tyranny, despotism and decadent values and systems. It shall never bring a glad tiding of liberty for the people of your land, except when you should have learnt Islam as a deen (a system of life), a comprehensive ideology, recognized it as such, and linked it truly and boldly with all your existence, your being, your life, your traits of character, your aims and objects as well as your ambitions.
It is only then that your hijab would serve as a shield for protecting your piety and chastity. It is then that your hijab would be a message, a weapon. It is then that your hijab is so much developed, so much advanced that all of a sudden it transforms itself into an ideology personified. Your hijab becomes Islam altogether, another side of your belief in God and faith in Islam, in the same way as Islam negates all other powers except God, the Peerless, as it allows fear for and submission before only and only God, as Tawhid, the belief in oneness of God; is the message which gives new life to the society, a message which is enjoyed by all, according to which all the human beings are equal like the teeth of a comb, as it is the elevator of ideas, souls, society and with the same extent as it attains freedom for the weak, in the same way as it knocks down the (evil) powers, with all its ideals and its love for the creatures of God, and with all its wrath against the enemies of God and His people.
Of course, your hijab shall then become an Islamic hijab, and you shall adopt it only when you have recognized the true Islam and have linked your very being with it and its ideals. As you proceed with all these heights, your hijab shall comprehend all these dimensions and shall incorporate them in itself. In other words, it shall assume the position of Islam personified. Now, you, a Muslim woman, with your hijab, which has risen to the position of a deen, an ideology, an ideal, a desire identified with truth, send a message to your people, the people of your land, to the oppressed people of the world in the following words:
My sisters! My brothers! People of my land, my deprived and toiling people! My people under debt! People entangled in countless problems and issues! People brainwashed by mass media of communication and disinformation programs! People duped by consumption (of consumer goods), loans and installments (of loans)!
Oppressed people whose heroic bodies have been bruised by the beat of prickly scourges and bloodstained boots of the rogues of history! O people of my land! O toiling and deprived people of the world! O oppressed people of history from its dawn to this day, and from this day to the auspicious moment of the rising of (Imam) Mahdi, (peace be upon him), do not consider my hijab to be something small and negligible, as it is a glad tiding and a guide to your freedom and salvation. It is a signal for the Ideology of Islam, which, in fact, is a theory of revolution and freedom of all the oppressed and deprived people.
Of course, O people of my land! My sisters! My brothers! All oppressed people of my land! Look at my hijab and beside it the revolt against the false systems, against all the dirty and atheistic values, power, wealth and (so-called) beauty, against all the inhuman considerations based on selfish motives and treating women and human beings as commodities, against the suffering at the hands of atheism, exploitation, debts, decadent and soporific propaganda, a revolt against the oppressive classes, against the bloodthirsty governing regimes, against the autocrats, against godlessness and religious despotism, against the solely material-oriented and materialistic standards, ideals and world views.
O oppressed people of my land! O oppressed people of the world! My hijab is a unit of Islamic ideology, and gives glad tidings of a society proclaimed by Islam, a society in which all its members in the form of a single community turn towards God, not dollars, money, without there being any head, without any position, wealth, prestige, so-called beauty, sex, lust, (filthy) enjoyment. Nay, it gives the glad tidings of a society based on Tawhid, belief in the Oneness of God, where the classes would be abolished and the control of all and untruth, the forces of political, economic and religious oppression would be lifted.
Of course, it gives the glad tidings of a society in which there are no cries of the deprived, the hungry and the tears of the orphans. In that society there is no mother suffering the pain of her ailing child left without food or medicine, or a father ashamed of his inability to support his family.
There is no disgraced woman rotting in her house, in the offices, exploited in the working place, or a woman who displays her feminine features in the streets and is thus despised to the extent of inhumanity.
There is no single-dimensional effort for production and consumption for the sake of production and consumption. There is no dictatorship, whether having an autocrat at the helm of affairs, or the dictatorship of a group of capitalists, whether it is the dictatorship of the proletariat or the Communist party. What difference does it make? They are all different forms of despotism.
It gives the glad tidings of a society presented by Islam, for whose attainment all the Muslim fighters are making efforts and struggle, offering sacrifices of their own life and achieving martyrdom. Praise be to the pure souls of those sacrificing their lives in the way of Allah.
O my people! How long and how far, all this shame, disgrace, contempt and insult, all this plunder of the natural resources at the hands of the Eastern and Western imperialists, the regimes of the oppressors and the savage plunderers?
How long shall we tolerate the opulence of the few and the abject poverty of the majority ? How long shall we see our beliefs, culture, ideals and values trampled by the oppressors of the time and the dominant cultures? How long shall we hear the cries and laments from all the four Corners of our land and from all the deprived people of the world? How long shall we see our sisters as the prostitutes selling their bodies, persecuted women and source of profit and entertainment of the capitalists?
No more. It's enough. I give the message of my hijab. I invite all to the true Islam. I appeal for a revolt and struggle, and give the sole glad tidings of achieving truth, justice, equality and perfection by turning towards God.
This is the message of a Muslim to all the people.
Here I have also a message for you, O sister, O Woman. I do not know to which section of the! class. to which religion and culture you belong, what occupation you have, what degree you hold. But I know that you belong to half of the bruised body of the group of the oppressed people of my land.
I know, I fully know how difficult it is for you to recognize and believe in Islam.
Now, what do you see in Islam? What do you know about it? In the words of Hazrat Ali (AS): (The corrupt Islam consists of) a skin-coat turned inside out, incantations on the tongues of the peers (or the so-called mystic saints) and the Qur'an placed at the cornices of the tombs!
What do you know of a Muslim woman? A poor woman sitting within the four walls of her house who has throughout her life received orders from her father, husband, son or brother, suffering different afflictions, whose life is governed by the slogan. "The jihad of a woman is looking after her house and her children and striving for the pleasure and satisfaction of her husband," but without paying due attention to its deep meanings.
Of course, my sister, it is a big job to bring up children, and it is a valuable job. But Islam expects you to be a mother fighting against falsehood, injustice and tyranny, and at the same time a chaste mother bringing up faithful and justice-loving sons and daughters, a kind wife for the husband, and also a woman sensitive to all the social problems, and responsible before God, her conscience and the people of her land, in other words, a complete woman, a Muslim woman, and not a domestic slave, nor a slave of the bourgeoisie, nor a slave of the Marxian type.
On the contrary, the present Muslim woman is an obedient woman in a modern form, a pampered person whose sole social occupation is attending the parties or talks at the religious functions, expressing pride on possession of wealth, gold, jewellery and exercising coquetry.
No, this is not Islam. It is the influence of feudalism, capitalism and imperialism, which, through the ruling regimes, has besmeared Islam, and the appearance of a Muslim woman. But I am one observing hijab, which is Islam personified. I remind you of the days of the advent of Islam, when all of a sudden, like a spring of light, it came out of the womb of dark and fearful night which had enshrouded the whole world. I give you the glad tidings of the dawn of Islam, which would give you freedom.
There is a violent agitation in your mind. How had they introduced Islam to you? What is it that you hear now? What is it that you see now?
I know how difficult it is for you to accept and believe what I am telling you.
I know how difficult it is to nullify the pictures drawn before you by the ruling regimes throughout history; how difficult it is to trample the values, ideals, objectives and tastes which have been imposed on you. But what is the aim of these autocratic powers. (Nothing but) greater benefits, more lasting power and more enduring pleasures, or spreading their political and economic control and culture to all the people of the world.
Is it not a fact that in order to achieve this dirty goal, they have chalked out plans for all the sections and classes of the people of your land? So they have also prepared most sinister plans for you, women who comprise half of the population, and this they have done with the help of sociologists, designers, and hired technicians, and have transformed you into a base, a base for the fulfillment of their nasty designs, bits by bits, step by step. Yes, a woman of my land, they have fully conquered you, and you are a base at their disposal. How inauspicious conquest it is (for you) and how great a conquest it is (for them) !
(You are) a base for getting more profits, a base for crushing and corrupting the supreme divine values, a base for stupefying and deviating another half of the population, namely the men, through you, and eventually they want to wield greater control over the people, plunder, disgrace, exploit and colonize them and get hold of the rule and domination over all of them.
What do they want from you? What standards have they imposed on you? (Nothing but) beauty, exciting lust, attractive, dressed in fashionable clothes, stripping you of clothes, so that you may continue to be a prostitute, a doll having no brain, a scarecrow! You too have surrendered unwittingly. You waste all your nights and days in thinking about all these values and endeavouring to achieve them, with multicolour garments, with fashion journals, with the filthy stuff for makeup, scents, rouges, etc.
After all these autocratic powers, sucking the blood of the people, need cheaper raw material for getting more profits from their factories. Which land is better than your land, with all its rich and plenty resources? But when the people are awakened, vigilant and careful, how can they be plundered, and how can their wealth be robbed? They should therefore be forced to sleep, stupefied and petrified. For this purpose which source is better, more effective than you for inducing the people to sleep and stupefying them?
Do you know what you have been doing with my land? Do you see, O Muslim woman, how you have changed into a plaything in their hands? If the surplus products of the factories of these bloodsuckers remain lying in the godowns even for a short time, it would paralyze them and their system completely, and will ultimately annihilate them. So what should they do, so that their surplus commodities, surplus to their needs, may not rot in their godowns? They need markets, new markets. But which market is better than your land, and such other lands?
Yes, they are in need of conquering new markets. This is why they use all your special qualities, your hair, your voice, your body, your tastes, your physical features for the publicity and sale of their waste products, the inferior quality products surplus to their own needs.
Do you see what profit they are accruing from you? They have not only made you a source of publicity for getting more profits and expansion of their markets, you with half-naked clothes, well-scented and coquettish, for the sale of their inferior quality products and consumer goods, but they have also at the same time changed you into a permanent customer and consumer of their commodities including means of decoration, garments, cosmetics, domestic goods, etc., a consumer having a bad taste, so that you like everything they produce and whatever they supply in the market.
You are ready to buy it, and thus you give manifold profit to these bloodsuckers. Yes, my sister, you have been serving these criminals through your blunders and your weak points. You are not only serving them, rather I must say that you are inadvertently abetting them in their crimes against the oppressed people of your land.
Now, lend your ear to my message. This is the message of hijab of a Muslim woman, a message of Islam, which openly negates all these values, these rogues, these systems, these deceitful machinations and such outlook about women.
My sister, profit is the god worshipped by all the rogues. It is the devil before whose irresistible temptations all the autocratic bloodsuckers lie in prostration. It has dictated another intrigue to its followers, the ruling regimes against you in order to suck your blood. At another front, through constant publicity among you, women of the toiling, labour class on the one hand, and by aggravating the material poverty on the other, they have dragged you from the house to the factories and farms, so that through your cheap labour power, they may get more profit at the cost of your lifeblood, at the cost of disturbing the whole system of your family and at the cost of depriving your children of your protection.
Woe and disaster be the companion of those,
Who are so much flourishing due to oppression (to others). You see how in order to get more profit and power they prepare plans for exploiting every section and class of the people. With my hijab, I invite you to the fold of Islam, the Islamic ideology, the Islamic hijab. Prepare yourself, destroy all their system of intrigues and plots. Nullify them.
With the type you are, a woman who is a mere plaything and a tool in the hands of the bloodsuckers, what an effective means you have become for spreading ignorance and unawareness among the minds, stupefying the youth, deviating from the right path half of the population consisting of men, so that they may be ignorant of the acute and basic problems of the society, unaware of the oppression, tyranny, poverty, plunder of the natural resources, annihilation of the faith, belief and the indigenous conventions.
You, a woman, unwittingly have surrendered before those corrupt values and depraved and oppressive system. You have been deceived by the publicity of the faces of the so-called worthy daughters, and have turned into a base, a stronghold for trampling morals, modesty, chastity, nobility, valour, rebellion and sacrifice. Know that wherever in the society there is prostitution, trespass against the honour of a woman or against human rights, wherever there is absence of gentlemanliness, willy-nilly you have also a hand in it. You are the one in whom values, reverence and morality used to pour forth, rather gush out not only from your faith, but also from your pure essence and your celestial origin. Wherever there was a woman, she was a mother, a sister and a wife, and in her side from her being would shower piety, veneration, modesty, chastity, fervour, pure love and holy devotion.
Now that those rogues have conquered you as a base for themselves and for the preservation of their system, they have also slaughtered all these supreme values on the altar of their interests.
O my sister, with my hijab I give you a message. A half of the body of the oppressed people, oppression and exploitation are your problems too, and not the problems of men only, This bruised land which has always been plundered by rogues, super-criminals and enemies is your land too and not a land of your father, brother or husband alone.
O you who have been humiliated, oppressed and exploited by the enemy, these tyrant powers in the most savage manner! Not the men alone, but you too have also been subjected to a more savage, more brutish and more rude behaviour.
O Woman all the sacred and revered things, values and culture of the people of your land have been trampled under the hooves of domination by the Eastern and Western enemies, and you notice all that carefreely and pass by it, and pull on with your daily routine of life. Nevertheless in all the countless days of your life you only do your domestic work. You busy yourself with your teaching or your school, sit on your table in your office or work in some factory, and are thus satisfied with the disgraceful feminine role imposed on you.
Now, listen to my message of hijab, believe it and accept it, and negate all these oppressions and this culture imposed on you, crush them, destroy them and throw them away.
Now, that you have accepted Islam and its dress and have entered the sanctuary of Islam, now these profiteering plunderers, capitalists and political powers, in one word, Imperialists of the Left and the Right are thinking how to make you, half of the population, a permanent customer of their dirty products, how to turn you into a base for crushing the supreme and elevating values, through your existence, your peculiarities, immodesty, unchastity, ostentation, obscenity and coquetry, now to turn the other half of the population, the men, the minds of the youth away from the basic problems of your land, and by turning your attention to sex, beauty and ostentation, how to make half of the population, namely, the womenfolk, paralyzed, worthless, senseless and careless, so that you may never be able to fight against falsehood, the autocratic regimes of oppression and their filthy standards and values. Of course, O my sister, O woman of my land, do you know that their conspiracy for destroying you and the people of your land is not only an economic conspiracy, but also a political and cultural one.
Now, that through your hijab and your Islam you have repudiated all the rogues and their false world systems, how can those bloodsucking tyrants go on sucking the blood of the people of your land carefreely and be busy in their nasty business? The whole beauty of your dauntless deeds, your belief and sincere faith lies in the fact that you have ruined their pleasant dreams of constantly grazing (in your land's pastures), and this blow you have struck with your faith and revolutionary piety on the inauspicious and fragile structure of their system and they have fully felt the pain of this blow.
Henceforth, in order that you may be a means of publicity for their commodities, in order that you may be a customer of their products, in order that you may stupefy the minds, and in order that you may be a source of destruction of the supreme values, what intrigue should they bring to use your hair, what market should they open and what commodities should they produce, of what colour, what lavender, what type of shampoo, what fixtures and what models should they prepare in order to turn your attention, the mind of men, to makeup and cosmetics? No, now it is enough as God has commanded:
"They should draw their veils...." 1
Now, how should they display your neck and your bosom? How can they use it as a means of publicity for their refrigerators, their fans or their washing machines, or a means for deviating the minds, which too God has placed in the shelter of Islamic dress, (where he says):
"They should draw their veils over their bosoms...."2
Of course, my sister, woman of my land, all oppressed women of the world who have been subjected to the tyranny of these powers in one way or the other, and your whole body has been a source of publicity for some shoes, some garments or some machines, how should they use the peculiarities of your feminine character as a tool for sex, lust, pleasure and profit and impose them on the society, while God has placed you within a safe enclosure in a nice garden, (as He commands):
"They should cast their outer garments over their persons."3
Now, how can they reject the values of your being through the decoration of your physical features and laying emphasis on your physical values, conceal your capabilities for development and perfection, in order to keep you in the lowest levels of knowledge and understanding, even if you happen to be educated, as education in such Satanic circumstances is not a proof of proper understanding.
Islam the deliverer, has snatched such opportunity too from all indulgence in lust along with hero-worship, dandyism, well-scented-rogues, profit-mongers and their followers, (as Allah says:)
"They should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof.”4
Now, how should they ruin the minds, deviate the brains and sell their products of inferior quality for high prices through the use of your eyes and looks, the eyes which should never be cast at what is forbidden to look at, whatever is forbidden. What difference does the futile knowledge which has no utility for the development of you and the people of your land, as well as the consumer goods including the garments, cosmetics and other means of living, whatever is unfruitful for the elevation of your persons and your character, whatever proves to be an impediment in your development and movement towards God.
Do you know, it is the eyes that must be cast on facts, on the ailments of the society, the distresses of the deprived, the plunder of the natural resources, culture, religious, communal and indigenous values, on the laws which give perfection to the being and on the facts of Islamic faith which bring salvation. It is the eyes that are answerable. Of course, (as Allah commands:)
"The women should lower (the gaze of) their eyes." 5
My sister, I give you the message through my hijab. I tell you the truth. I tread the path of development and elevation. Lend your ear to my message.
All the oppressors of history, and now their heirs and successors, the world imperialism and their stooges, who have deprived the people of a pleasant living and undisturbed sleep, have made the use of every peculiarity of yours for the benefit of themselves and the perpetuation of their rule as well as increasing their wealth. Islam has wittingly protected all these peculiarities through its all-pervading teachings in the shelter of its ideology from being exploited or harmed by the oppressors, and has changed them into a weapon against these people.
Do you see? Do you hear? (Is it) your own voice? They have regulated even your voice, by determining its frequencies, its higher and lower tones, in the different hours of the day, on various occasions, on the office table, in the bed, on the telephone, as to how you should behave, a prostitute from head to toe, so that you may have observed the training of the modern woman, in order that you may spoil the minds, weaken the willpowers and avert the brains from facts so that the Imperialists may sell more of their spoiled commodities by controlling the lower and higher tones of your voice.
They would make use of your tempting and lascivious voice for the publicity of a refrigerator or a juicer, or. ..Alas! How much they have degraded you, to the position of an article, a tool, an implement simply for making profit and perpetuating their control over the sleeping minds, the petrified brains, interested in sex, pleasure, consumption and grazing like cattle.
Islam has also taken away this base from them, (as Allah orders):
"Be not too complacent of speech."6
But speak, wherever the truth is to be expressed, redress is demanded, justice is implored, a pious society is to be formed. It is there that your speech shall serve as a weapon against them. It would be a call of truth that will fall on their heads. It shall be an arm that shall make the heart of their power its target, and shall invite the people of your land, the masses, to the heights of evolution and perfection.
"Speak a speech (that is) just."7
Then all of a sudden it throws all the weight on the forces preventing the masses from achieving elevation and perfection, and explains all the essence and philosophy of hijab, as to what it is. Woman has throughout history expressed a strong inclination towards ostentation and self-display. In every period it was there in one form or the other. Now under the sway of the most powerful empire of the world, the plundering West and the Imperialist East, this love for display has dragged woman to humiliation and has degraded her to the extent of becoming an article or an animal, so ,that "The most beautiful female animal of the world" is the title of one of the modern film advertisements.
Let us weep bitterly. Let us revolt through our deeds, words, acts and (sacrificing) our blood, so that we may destroy this decadent system from our society and throughout the world, wipe off these disgraceful stigmas and these filthy values from the human society and from the holy face of the woman. Praise be to the souls of those who took a step forward in the way of this sacred path by sacrificing their blood.
O Woman! O my sister! O prisoner of the ruling regime! O the one oppressed by the political and economic powers and religious despotism!
Is according to the analysis of Islamic Ideology this love for display and ostentation at the social level an innate trait of woman's character?
No, never! Islam that bestows salvation and elevation considers self-display as one of signs of conditions imposed by the Ignorance (period). What type of society is an Ignorant society? It is an atheistic or class-oriented society under the control of political or economic and, sometimes, pseudo-religious power with the criteria of beauty, sex, entertainment, womanizing, sensuality, indulgence in lust along with hero-worship, dandyism, well-scentedness and coquetry that the ruling regimes have imposed such conditions on a vast scale upon all the units and sections of the society including men, women and children.
A woman who places herself for display is inspired by such society. She has full faith in her physical and external features, as she lacks the internal and supreme human values. In the words of the Qur'anic explanation, the influence of the ignorant conditions brings down the knowledge of all the masses, the understanding of every individual including men and women about their responsibilities for the achievement of the gradual perfection of the society and in their own place in the course of the development of the phenomena of masses to the lowest and the most brutal level.
A woman who displays her feminine features and her special culture before the strangers is a woman, the influence of the ignorant society has so much over-powered her person that her understanding has declined to the level of an animal or her mere instinctive level, and has distorted her human character, social responsibility and the fervour of the original values bestowed in her divine essence under the hooves of brutish culture of Imperialism and exploitation imposed on her by the rogues.
Yes, O sister! O woman! This is why Islam through this command invites you to (achieve) self-understanding and knowledge of the society, its original needs, the principal cause of its corruption and depravity and at last to soar towards heights, or revolt for ransacking the ignorant conditions of the decadent society and the prevailing system, (as Allah commands:)
"And make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance." 8
In this manner Islam has blocked all the possibilities of deviation and profiteering. But it has not blocked your way. It has demolished the domination of the tyrant rulers that has come down through the course of thousands of years of history, since the last 2500 years, demolished the capitalists and the Imperialists and disarmed them. But it has not done so with you. Through this dress, it has bestowed upon you a garden, a green field the horizon of which is spread before you to infinity. You may achieve heights, rise and strive for the deliverance of yourself, your land, your religion, your culture and your oppressed masses, and fly high towards God, the Absolute Perfection.
Now, it is enough. O most oppressed among the oppressed of history! O woman! It is now enough. Now hark to the message of Islam, and receive it from the Qur'an, from the call of the truth-seekers, from the blood of the martyrs, and once for all with the hatchet of Tawhid break into pieces the tyrant powers, the whole corrupt systems and all the values imposed on you which have dragged you into such disgrace and humiliation, and raze their edifice to the ground.
Give a helping hand to those who have openly been defeated in the path of truth and to the masses.
Rise and revolt against the autocratic regimes, against the decadent societies and the dirty values imposed on you. Rise, and incite others against them, with the help of your Islam, with the help of your hijab, the depth of which you have now fully realized, which has bestowed upon you the infinite capacity of being human, and which has liberated you from all the criteria of Imperialism and exploitation.
Warn the people of your land to demand piety from you and not beauty; modesty and not immodesty and betrayal of secrets; chastity and honour and not prostitution, obscenity and coquetry, revolt and rebel, in and not passive submission to whatever is given to you, to whatever orders are issued to you by the regimes, rogues, capitalists, imperialists and even the rotten customs and traditions through which they compel you.
Let the people wish to find you like the magnificent and proud summits, a sister revolting against the ruling regimes, the ebullient rivulets springing from within the hearts of the lofty mountains. Let them long to see in you an indefatigable combatant against falsehood and untruth.
Let the people like to see in you a brave, chaste and responsible mother, a loving wife interested in the well-being of the family, the stronghold for the upbringing and stimulation of those who tread on the path of truth. Let them see in you a Khadijah, the first among all the women who embraced Islam before others, a woman who sacrificed her whole being at the altar of the growth and spread of Islam.
Let them wish to find in you a (Fatimah) Zahra who suffered a lot in saying what was true, who always spoke the truth and, due to the torture at the hands of untruth, she opted to die and be buried under the dust in the prime of her youth.
Let them long to see in you a Zaynab, the combatant, whose call for the awakening and search for truth still echoes and shall continue to echo until the end of the world in the mountains, plains and societies, and the human history shall sing the song of her ideal, her path, and call the people to emulate her.
Let them want to see you like the sisters who with their holy blood have given a response to this invitation, to this call. It is enough, now I have heard your message, Muslim woman, and have now come to understand Islam. I have adopted the hijab. Of course, I have responded to your call. My sister, I have adopted the hijab. I have achieved self-recognition. The old self, made by others, made by the family training, brought up by the political and economic powers, trained by the unfruitful conventions and useless customs of the community I have inherited, yes I have destroyed such Self, and have made another Self on the basis of the Islamic teachings. Now I am a Muslim woman. I am free. I am released. This is the real freedom, namely, being a Muslim.
My hijab is a weapon. It is a stronghold for war against oppressors. I make them a target of the volley of truth and wrath discharged from my hijab and send them to the graveyard of history.
O powerful people! O disobedient tyrants! O Pharoahs! Throughout the millenia of decadent history you have used me as a domestic servant, a tool for the bed and a source for enervating willpowers, stupefying the brains and destroying the supreme values and have turned me subservient to the whims of man.
You have closed on me from all sides all the channels of true knowledge and understanding of truth, the bitter facts of being and have nailed me in the lowest plane of thinking and meditation. O Croesuses of history, old and modern capitalists, you have been exploiting my labour power in the most savage manner in the factories and farms, and have persuaded me to serve the bureaucracy in the office so that I may rot and rot.
You have unclad me. You have employed me as a source for the sale of your stinking, low quality products.
You have diverted my mind, my ideal and my will towards sex, pleasure and self-display. You have prepared plans so that my father, my brother and my husband should like me only for the sake of my weaknesses, my fears, my submission and undue passivism, my devotion, my lack of self-confidence, my overindulgence with housekeeping, my self-display before strangers. Of course, you managed to make all these weaknesses of mine, and then for the sake of these weaknesses you made me lovable and wanted.
Now, let you know that in the shelter of modesty and chastity I have abandoned the display in streets and markets and the mass media of communication, the pieces of works of filthy and selfish poets and writers who by picturing my eyes, eyebrows and my body try to make good for their lack of aptitude.
I entrust my sex-appeal, feminine character and features solely to the limits of my family, so that throughout my life I may be pure and fresh like the morning dew, so that I may lend inspiration to my home and may be the sole beloved of my husband, so that my sex, my special features and my feminine culture may achieve perfection within the garden of my home, may grow and may bestow upon myself and my household stimulation, love and freshness.
I am myself a believer. With my Islam, with my hijab, with the heavy social responsibility of the commands to do what is good and forbid what is wrong, with which I am charged by the external ideology of Islam, I enter the stage of the society and conquer all its planes. I speak truth and seek after truth and tread the path of (God,) the One.
I have understood Islam. I have upheld hijab, You, bloodsucking Oppressors have lost an anti-people stronghold, namely, the woman of the type you had yourself forged, you had yourself trained, you had yourself taught the ideals, the way of walking, talking, laughing, wishing and longing. Of course you had yourself taught all these things to her. You have now lost such a woman, such a stronghold.
How sensitive a stronghold! Hence by the Grace of God and our efforts, this stronghold shall never fall into your hands. Myself and my people, women who form half of the population, and. men who form the other half of the population, have got hold of a stronghold against you and for crushing you. My hijab which is by itself now an Islam personified says that it will crush you.
It tells you that it is an avowed enemy of you, the ruling regimes, you the corrupt politicians, you the chosen of the strong, you Pharoahs, Croesuses, imperialists, and (their) stooges. It warns you that in this world you shall be punished by the weak masses and on the Day of Judgement shall be subjected to eternal torture of Hell.
I picture Islam with my hijab, give it a positive form. I revolt against you. With my Islam, my hijab, and my struggle every day I bring closer the death of you, of your class and of your system, (as God says:)
"Away with those who do wrong!".9
Now, we Muslim sisters with our hijab give a message to our Muslim brothers and to our Muslim sisters. How inspiring is the sight of truthful women and men! With one another, with our being, with our existence, with our possession, we send message to one another, give strength to one another, enforce one another and invite to perseverance and steadfastness.
We are the "balanced community"10, the best community, believing in God, in Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, in the World Hereafter. We are "the Party of Allah"11 and certainly we shall triumph over the oppressors.
We are those demanding to avenge the blood of the martyrs, obtaining the rights of the persons wronged and those forming an Islamic society based on the Oneness (of God) and enjoying growth, perfection and happiness in the future which is not very distant. We are ordered to command our oppressed people to the good deed, namely, fight against the oppressors, against the anti-God, anti-people and decadent systems and against their dirty values, and forbid to do everything wrong, namely, every type of conspiracy, abetting and surrendering before the system of oppressors, humiliations, disgrace and their criteria. 12
We are those who have responded to the call of God and his Messenger, when they called us to understand truth and fight for the annihilation of falsehood. Of course, it is we who have, through this response, achieved a real life in being a Muslim, in Islam.13
We have now started our war, war against the oppressors and the rogues so that all our people may achieve this life, this happy life in a pious, Islamic society.
Our strength is getting more and more, our number greater, our group more organized, our fists more clenched, our steps more firm, the storm of our wrath against the enemies of God and the people more crushing and implacable, and friendship and kindness towards the oppressed people of our land stronger and stronger.
Then our victory is also closer. The palaces of the oppressors would become desolate and their system shall be closer to annihilation, so that at the dawn, with our efforts and with the help of God, the support of Allah shall reach, and all and sundry, belonging to the various types, sections and groups shall enter the fold of God's faith in groups, and shall join their stormy wrath with our inexorable rage, so that we may be blessed with victory and triumph and may succeed in forming a society based on Oneness (of God) with the help of all the people of our land, and the oppressed, the tormented, those in debt, the toiling masses and those who are under the political, economic and cultural domination of the oppressors, and prisoners in chains of the tyrants may, by the Grace of God, take up their historical leadership in the society.
Here I have also a message for you, O atheists, those suffering from Orientosis and Communists! I also give a message with my Islam and my hijab which itself has become identified with Islam, to you O worshippers of matter in the system of creation, historical and class determinism, production in the society, tools in the history, the multitude in the Communist society, and to you the worshippers of the founding theoreticians and the great leaders and epoch-makers, Marx, Engels, Lenin and Mao!
Yes, to you who deny One God, but worship numerous gods. What can be done? It is a positive and scientific fact. One should think and analyze scientifically. After all man has been a worshipper throughout the course of history. Sometimes he worshipped stones, sometimes wood, individuals, things, matter, etc., which are all deviating forms of worship, a deviation from the original and actual worship of One God, a natural quality which has been inborn in the nature of man. Is it not a fact that in Qur'an, the lexicons of religion and polytheism, the meaning of worship is to submit oneself to the will of a thing, an individual, a matter, or anything else? You also submit before the laws of matter, growth of the factors of production, historical determinism, etc.
You must know that certainly victory and salvation are ours, provided that we possess the special belief, piety and vigilance of a believer.
Of course, victory is ours, as we worship One God, and are under the control of His power. We believe that, He is our Creator. We live for winning his favour, and travel to obtain closeness to him. We fight in his way, and against everything and every person other than Himself, whether an individual, a tool, production, class, historical determinism or any other thing. We are strong, superior, powerful and possessing free will and determination.
On the other hand, you, despite all the ideological weaknesses and blind alleys, in an open analysis in the West and Far East, on account of the weaknesses of Christianity and Budhism, are at present the most progressive school of thought and per force successful, but according to the same scientific and positive analysis while confronting Muslims in the East and Islam, this eternal ideology of all the phenomena of creation, including man, and vis-à-vis its economic and social solutions and moral laws, you are very deceitful, wicked and are striking blows on the Islamic movements.
Of course, the history of the battles of our land bears testimony to this fact. Now, I, in the capacity of a Muslim woman, have a message for you, with my hijab and my Islam. For you who have turned your back upon your indigenous and national traditions: For you who have never taken the trouble to understand Islam, a religion that gives life, with which the warp and woof of the mental and social life of your people is made, and then you cry hoarse claiming to be the supporters of the people. How strange! Which people do you talk of? You do not understand the people. You have never tried to obtain the true understanding of the background of their faith. Then, what do you say, and what do you want? How do you want to arrange their salvation?
I have also a message for you. You who have completely lost yourself, have sprung up lately as a branch of the Western culture in an ideological form. for you the consumers of the Western cultural commodity in an intellectual and truth-oriented form. Lend me your ear. This is a message of Islam. It is the wish of the people. You are those whose ultimate ideal with regard to woman and her freedom is confined to arranging her participation in the social production. Oh, only this much. Well, this is nothing new. The ideal of the bourgeois society has since long been the same, and even now its achievement is exactly according to the same ideal.
Most shamefully, however, you try to crush Islam whose ultimate ideal for woman in this world is that she must be armed with the weapon of the ideology of Islam. Not only the woman, half of the population but also men, the other half of the population too, and the active participation of these two halves, namely, women and men, shoulder to shoulder, in the socio-revolutionary mission of commanding others to do what is good and forbidding them from doing what is wrong, or their constant participation in the invitation to (service for) truth and justice, annihilation of the oppressors, obtaining the rights of the oppressed and the equal distribution of the divine gifts among all the people, each of the men and women performing this liability in their special respective way. Of course, this is Islam and the Islamic ideal for women!
This is the religion, which you, by your unscientific and dogmatistic analysis, call one of the feudal religions and its laws source of misery and backwardness of woman, and hijab an impediment in the way of her development and something bringing debasement to her.
You are those who have not yet found a complete, ideological and forceful dress for women, call the hijab of a Muslim woman, the hijab which humanizes and liberates woman and is a stronghold of woman against the rogues of history, the decadent feudalistic regimes and domination-oriented political systems reactionary and a source of trouble for women.
But you do not think at all. But it does not matter for you, the followers of the great leader, Lenin, the revolutionary, the annihilator of Russian Czarism, the huge idol, who was the founder of Marxism-Leninism and who, by a clear blow, laid the foundation of the open treachery against the deprived people of Iran.
Refer to history.14 It is he who crushed the armed revolt of the jungle (by Mirza Kucheck Jungali) for the sake of political and economic interests of USSR, for the sole reason that the Mirza was guided by the Islamic ideology and Lenin, therefore, arranged the so-called ideological coup d'etat against him.
It is he who kept the representatives of Mirza Kuchek, the monotheistic spiritual fighter, waiting for a long time to be granted an audience and eventually did not grant it, but on the other hand, granted an audience to the representatives of Reza Khan, the Oppressor, the then ruler of Iran, who had gone to USSR coincidentally with the representatives of the Mirza, and supported them, and in this way preferred a reactionary, brutal regime to a people's revolutionary government and that too for the sole offence (!) of being religious.15
Of course, it was a treachery against not only the people of Iran but against all the people of this region, because with the freedom of Iran, the Gordian knot of their salvation, deliverance and prosperity would also be untied.
Are you (not) the true followers of the same Lenin, the children suckled by the same materialist school?
You are those the theoretician founder of whose philosophy, Engels, called the occupation of Algiers by France and the exploitation of the deprived people of that country an epoch-making victory. (He wrote:) "The occupation of Algiers is an important and happy event in the progress of civilization. If we are sorry that the freedom of nomads (i.e. the people of Algiers) has been lost, we should not forget that these very nomads have been a nation of robbers, and a neo-bourgeoisie with civilization, industry and discipline, or at least their enlightenment enjoy advantage over a Khan, a feudal lord, a robber and a plunderer, a nation of robbers who belong to a society having barbaric government."16
These are the holy words written by him, according to which the Algerian people and Abdul Qadir, one of the greatest Muslim leaders, were robbers, feudalists, but one who endorses the imperialistic policies and paves the way for their success is called "epoch-making" (Mao), and the leader who considers such a treachery against the people as justified is called "Great". This is a new terminology. Let us read it, take a lesson from it and should not allow ourselves to be deceived by it.
Here for the present I leave you with your contradictions and entrust you to your rotten ideas, and turn to our chief enemy,17 as I know that in the process of the freedom of our Muslim people, such a school of thought, with the ever increasing weaknesses, countless headaches and ideological blind alleys and constant blows on the Islamic movements, with its illogical and single dimensional (materialistic) worldview, with lack of faithful, cultural and traditional base among the Muslim masses shall soon become worn out and obliterated.
Now I, a Muslim woman, with my hijab, which has become identical with Islam and an ideology personified, give you a message. Does human dignity not lie in understanding truth, in accepting it and following it?
So I invite you to study Marxism and its original evidence with a critical eye. Do study it. Find out its weaknesses and blind alleys, its inexorable blows, its inhuman perceptions (like the one of its founder) and its constant treacheries (like the treachery of its great (!) leader) against the Muslim masses.
Then, (I am sure) on account of the same human dignity you shall say goodbye to the (Marxian) school. Then look at the creation of the universe, the system of creation, the order of the phenomena, the wisdom behind the laws, relationships and objectives of the phenomena, certainly you will find God and (the truth behind the belief in) the next world.
Then if you think about the people, and the incessant torture of the people of your land incite your human feelings, if you want to realize the liberty of the oppressed people not only in your mind but also in the solid social and historical realities, understand the true Islam which is the very foundation of the faith and thinking of the people of our land.
Then you should also say, and say from the depth of your heart, that there is no God, but God, the One. There is no other Power (but He). Say this and achieve salvation, so that then we may all, with a united Godly front, destroy this world of polytheism, oppression and inequality and may send its Satans, the tyrant political and economic powers, to the graveyard of history, so that
"Faith in Allah may prevail altogether and everywhere"18 ;
only the faith in Allah may govern the society and then the history, and the oppressed and the deprived people under its radiation be relieved of torture, tyranny, exploitation, debt, deprivation and backwardness, may ascend the heights, and by the Grace of God, may take up their historical leadership throughout the (human) society.