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Family Life

Imam’s address to a group of ladies from Dezful about Family

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

As you yourselves now say, you ladies are teachers. You have two noble occupations, two very noble jobs. One is to raise your children well, which is much more important than all other jobs. If you hand over one good individual to society, this is better for you than owning the whole world. I cannot describe how honourable it is for you to bring up your children to be virtuous human beings.

So one of your jobs is to bring up good children. It is in the laps of mothers that true human beings must be produced, for the first stage of their education is in the laps of their mothers. The affection a child feels for his mother is greater than any other, none can compare with the love that exists between a child and his mother.

Children learn better from their mothers; they are influenced more by their mothers than they are by their fathers, teachers or lecturers. While your children are in your laps give them an Islamic upbringing, teach them to be upright human beings so that when you send them to primary school you send sound, morally upright and well-behaved children.

So one of your jobs is to educate your children. Unfortunately, during the rule of the taghut, they tried to take this profession away from these mothers, so they propagated views that questioned the woman’s role as a mother, they disparaged this noble occupation and made it seem unimportant in the eyes of the mothers. For they wanted to distance the mothers from their children, they wanted the children to be brought up in nurseries and the mothers to go doing the things they wanted them to do.

A child brought up in a nursery is not the same as one raised in his mother’s lap. When a child is brought up in a nursery by strangers without his mother’s care and affection, he will develop a complex. Much of the corruption from which society suffers stems from these children who have grown up with a complex. Major complexes are created when a child is separated from his mother. A child needs his mother’s affection, therefore this profession, which was also the profession of the prophets, for they too came to make true human beings, is your primary one: to give your child his primary training.

Another honourable profession has also been assigned to you, for you are also teachers and the responsibility this job brings with it is as great as the honour. As teachers, your job is to develop man, the same task that the prophets were assigned. The prophets, from the first to the last, came to train and develop mankind; indeed this is the whole point of their coming.

The Most Noble Messenger was a teacher of man, as was Hazrat Amir (Imam `Ali, upon whom be peace) after him. Their teachings are meant for the whole of mankind whereas you teach only a portion, your profession is the same as theirs, only on a smaller scale, their teachings are far more extensive.

So this profession of yours is also a very honourable one, and the responsibility it carries with it is very great, in the same way as the responsibility of the prophets was very great in their task to develop man, a task which they accomplished. Your profession is the profession of the prophets, it is a very honourable one and your responsibilities the same.

You must be mindful of giving these children in your care a religious upbringing, a moral upbringing. If you hand over one committed, virtuous child to society you may see that one day he is the one who reforms society, for it is possible for one individual to reform society.

Likewise if, God forbid, this child leaves your laps an unscrupulous individual, if he leaves the care of you who are teachers an immoral person, then it is possible that he will corrupt society, and you will be the ones responsible. If you train your children properly, it will bring with it honour such that likens to that the prophets enjoyed. If, on the other hand, you bring your children up to be immoral, God forbid, they could possibly corrupt a whole society.

May God protect you and grant you happiness. May you be good teachers for your children and for the girls who come to you for training, God willing.
Peace be upon you and also the mercy and blessings of God. (250)

11 June 1979 (21 Khurdad 1358 AHS)

16 March 1981

Imam’s address to a group of ladies
 
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Greetings to you great women who through your counsel wish to lead us to the right path. Greetings to the ladies throughout the country who acted as teachers to the men during this noble movement, and who remain so today. Foreign hands tried to turn these esteemed members of society, in whose capable hands the sound structure of countries rest, to turn you ladies, who have the job of building Iran and building the men, into dolls and playthings in the hands of corrupt individuals.

However, praise be to God, they did not succeed. The plan was this: to induce these influential members of society, from whose laps spring influential men and women, to stop caring for their children themselves and to place them instead in nurseries and other such places, thus depriving these mothers of their right to exercise their motherly duties and love to the full, and keeping these children from their mothers’ supervision. In this way they could prevent children from being trained in their mothers’ laps and from becoming individuals who would act for their country and for beloved Islam.

Through the ignominious scheme for the unveiling of women devised during the reign of that dim-witted thug Riza Khan, they conspired to change this beloved segment of the population whose role it is to develop society, into one that would corrupt society. And their plan was not aimed only at you ladies. It also sought to corrupt the young men too by luring them into centres of corruption, and by training them in such a way that were their country to fall into the hands of others they would remain indifferent or even assist in its capitulation.

If this movement, this Islamic revolution, had achieved nothing other than the transformation that has taken place in our women and our youth, this alone would have been enough for our country. There are individuals around who like to tell people that this revolution has achieved nothing. They are people who sneer at this transformation, which has taken place in you because it is detrimental to them and to the plundering powers.

Through their malicious propaganda they try to make you believe that nothing has changed. But what better demonstrates that change than a gathering such as this where you ladies are present, than the moral agenda you have set yourselves or the unqualified trouble you go to for the needy and homeless? If this were the time of the former regime, then such gatherings would not take place, nor would the all-encompassing activities of the ladies who form one half of Iran’s population and who educate the other half.

The role of the women in society is much more important than that of the men, for in addition to being active members of society in all fields, the ladies also raise active members. A mother’s service to the community is much greater than that of a teacher, indeed of anyone else. And this is what the prophets wanted, they wanted women to be people who train society and bestow upon the community lion-hearted men and women.

Those who sought to deprive this country of all its gifts, of Islam, morals and good deeds, and drag the people into centres of corruption, now see as you enter society and serve society that their plans for you and the men have come to naught. For this reason, they are raising their voices, insisting that nothing has happened, that the situation is just as it was under the former regime and nothing has changed from the time of Riza Khan and his son.

This is mere propaganda, which contradicts what is evident to all the men and women throughout the country, that a change has occurred in the people and in the value systems prevalent in Islamic countries, particularly Iran. For whereas under the former regime one’s consequence and standing were measured by obnoxious make-up, by what one wore and in what kind of house one lived, the values found today in Islamic countries, particularly in Iran, are human, moral values.

These values have come about because of the change that has taken place in the ladies. Those who once liked to show off amongst the female community with their costly clothes and pernicious make-up are now condemned and stand shamefaced. In those days, our Muslim ladies were embarrassed wearing Islamic dress, and the deprived classes who observed the Islamic dress code felt ashamed of the way they dressed before the affluent, but corrupt, classes. Today the opposite is true, and now one of those people who once put on such corrupt displays of make-up and dress would be ashamed in your midst.

This transformation is the greatest to take place in our society. Those of our women who were typical of the Muhammad Riza and Riza Khan era have now returned to being Zaynab-like women and followers of Fatima. In those days, they were followers of European fashion waiting for the latest designs to arrive; today they are followers of a school of thought and accept that which Islam approves of.

This is the greatest transformation to take place in our society, make sure it lasts. Be alert so that corrupt hands, corrupt pens and corrupt words cannot deceive you and return you to your former state. Pursue this path, all of you, you millions of men and women, pursue this path as you are doing and do not pay any attention to what they say or write.

Think for yourselves; don’t simply bow to the ideas of others. Try to be useful for your country, guide the men and counsel the statesmen. Be good mothers for your children, good advisers to society and hard workers for the needy, as, praise God, you already are. You are already active throughout the country doing things that need doing. You are taking care of children who have no refuge, helping the needy and homeless, comforting them and showing them kindness. This is a great service, which carries much merit before God, the Blessed and Exalted.

May God guide all the ladies and men to this straight path, which you ladies are now following. May the other segments of Iran’s population also follow that same right path which you are now treading sincerely and without a thought to self-indulgence. The nation must realise that this kind of talk and the mistakes government officials sometimes make are not significant enough to harm our Islamic Republic.

I ask God, the Blessed and Exalted, to quickly bring an end to these disagreements which exist among people in the different echelons of society, from the country’s officials down to the ordinary people, so that everyone together can work towards leading this country to the straight path, to making it flourish and to promoting Islamic and human morals in all segments of the population.

My advice to all sections of society, whether the ladies, the youth or the men, is that they must not think they have to differ with one another over the issues which arise in Iran. The differences that arise among those in the upper echelons will be solved, God willing, but if you start fanning the flames of this dissension, you may actually be preventing a solution from being found.

You, the masses, must remain united and not pay any attention to these problems, which arise among the officials. Always be mindful of the fact that it is your ideological unity which can bring happiness and well-being to this society, and that disunity can perhaps, God forbid, lead to the special favour God has bestowed upon you being taken away and your country becoming once again that which it was and which for so many long years you had to suffer.

If disagreements arise among the people which lead, God forbid, to us being defeated in the war or to it being prolonged, the blame will lie with those who fan the flames of these disagreements and who create unrest in the streets and the bazaar. Muslims, believers and those committed to God the Blessed and Exalted should pay no heed to these elements in society who are the remnants of the former regime, or to corrupt individuals among the people, for they simply want to push you into the arms of the West or East. Be vigilant and take pains to solve the differences yourselves. Urge the quarrelling parties to settle their disputes.

I ask God, the Blessed and Exalted, for the happiness and well being of the Islamic nations, for you ladies, for all the Muslim women and all segments of the population. I beseech God the Blessed and Exalted to grant victory to the armies of Islam over the forces of unbelief. May God grant you all happiness and success in helping your fellow man.
Peace be upon you and also the mercy and blessings of God. (251)

16 March 1981 (25 Isfand 1359 AHS)

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