The Attitude of Imam Khomeini towards Women at the Backdrop of Philosophy
No creation on earth is without a purpose; nor unnecessary. Some of the creations may apparently appear to us of having no purpose, but in essence behind every created being there lie unassailable reason and reality. In other words, a well-thought out and accurate planning is at the root of all these countless creations.
Man and Woman are two inseparable parts of a unified human society. These two parts are complimentary to each other. The human society cannot attain its full stature to the exclusion of any of the two. Allah has created Man and Woman with a mission to implement a great scheme. Woman has been created as a unique example towards execution of this flawless scheme. In the realm of creation the place and the role of woman are very important. From the inception of the earth, Woman has been playing her role resplendent in her own sphere. In order to meet the multi-faced needs of this strange and wonderful world the Creator created two species of opposite physical and mental characteristics. That is why, each of them was given the physical and mental capability as were required to fulfill his/her assigned role in their respective areas of necessities. Distinctiveness in the way of life and living has been made in order to maintain the differentiation in the physical and mental faculties of Man and Woman. Woman accounts for half of humanity, while Man represents the other half.
In fact, the real identity and role of a Woman are discernible in her accomplishing this task. The Great Creator in His ingenuity has endowed woman with the necessary limbs and nerves, physical and mental capabilities suited to this task. For the multiplication and continued existence of mankind, the Creator has delineated four successive stages: Conceiving, delivering, breast-feeding and rearing. Suffice it to say, each stage is very significant and a Woman has to pass the time of these stages very delicately and with a keen sense of responsibility. Admittedly, the up-keeping and rearing of children calls for special care, alertness and a code of conduct. A little lapse may cause serious consequence including fatality. It is known to all, the educated and the uneducated without any distinction that a mother has to pass a very critical chapter of her life while she crosses the first three of the four stages of her motherhood. Even at a certain juncture, she may have to give up her hope of survival.
After such sufferings fraught with danger, a Woman becomes a mother and again a new chapter of responsibility opens up before her. This chapter spans from the date of birth of a child to its attaining the stature of being able to independently taking care of itself when a mother can be relieved of her responsibility of rearing. During this growth period, a mother has to keep a sharp eye and look after the food and rest, the movement, the conduct - all aspects of a child’s life. Nothing is of more concern to a mother than a child’s golden future and whether the valuable moments are being properly utilized by the child towards building such a future. A mother’s role mission is to equip her child with the best character, excellent health and highest attributes of morality.
A Woman can create a social reformer. Likewise, good mothers can offer a good nation. A man hasn’t been given the mentality that a Woman possesses for the love and sacrifice for a child. Although there is no dearth of love and feeling in a father for his child, only the mother and none else can rear a child with love, affection and care.
In spite of her playing a very important role in the world of creation, woman has been subjected to torture, subjugation, maltreatment and neglect over a long period. Women forgot their womanhood and motherhood, busied themselves in the show of beauty and thus pleasing the men and hence became easily available commodities. True, women came out of the shackles of home; but they couldn’t confine themselves to be the rivals of men in the working field. They started quenching, rather unknowingly, the sexual thirst of men. The so-called slogan of “Liberation of Women” though could bring out the women in the name of self-reliance, from the four walls of the house in the open space, but failed to provide the women with an iota of security, honor and relief.
In establishing the women in their self-glorified positions, the Leader of the Age, Ayatollah Imam Khomeini (RA), says:
“Islam doesn’t want that women should be pawns or commodities at the hands of men. Islam wants to protect the personality of a woman and to see her as an important and active person.”
According to Imam Khomeini (RA), the duty of women of today is to perform their social and religious functions, to maintain the sanctity and chastity as individuals and to carry forward social and political movement based on public sanctity and congenial atmosphere. He has given forceful opinion about the appropriate position, role and respect of women in the modern world. Not only in the contemporary world, nay, in the history of 1000 years women were never found so progressive and dignified as the women of Iran of today.
In order to focus special attention to the upliftment and respect of women, Imam Khomeini (RA) has declared the Sacred Birthday of the mother of the Muslim world, Fatima Zahra (SA) as the Great Women Day. Through this declaration, Imam Khomeini (RA) has reinstated woman in their deserving positions and the women thus regained their lost respect and glory.
About the role and position of women in the world the great Imam (RA) says: “Women have a big role to play in the society. They are the symbols of hopes, aspirations and realizations of mankind.” He has designated the women as the guardians of mankind. He says: “ Only women from their laps can hand over to the society such human beings, because of whom, not only one society, but many such societies can acquire unfaltering fighting spirit and towering human values.” In identifying the position of women in the world of creation, the Imam opines, “Man has gone on Meraj from the lap of a woman.” He observes: “Woman’s role is higher than that of man in the society. It is due to the fact, the women besides being an active class by all its definitions, sustain in their domain, the other classes.”
He goes on to say: “I am observing amazing changes in the women’s societies which are far-reaching and wide compared to those of the societies of men. I feel proud of the respectable women of Iran; because such changes have come into the women of Iran which have nullified the devilish conspiracy hatched out, over 50 years, by the alien conspirators and their local boot-licker-collaborators, and despicable poets, writers and the hired publicity organizations.” He also says: “The rise and fall of a society depend on the rise and fall of women of that society.”
“Hazrat Fatima Zahra (SA) possessed an immutable personality and had profound knowledge on all aspects of Islam which she used to translate into her practical life and living. She wasn’t only the ideal of that age, she, too, is a Model to be imitated even in this age when science and technology have made great strides in human civilization.”