Rafed English

Imam’s address to a gathering of ladies from the families of scholars at the theological school in Qum

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

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
"O Apostle! Sufficient unto thee is God and those who follow thee among the believers,” (Qur’an 8:64).
Such pride this verse evokes in the believers, such a responsibility it brings for them. It evokes pride because although God the Blessed and Exalted alone is sufficient and one in His omnipotence, everyone else being insignificant compared to Him, He gave the believers, and this includes the women, the honour of mentioning their name alongside His own blessed name and telling the Prophet that He and the believers, those who follow him, both male and female, are enough for him: “Sufficient unto thee is God and those who follow thee among the believers.”
What an honour this is for us, for the believers, for you devout ladies, to be mentioned in the same line as God, and what a responsibility this brings for us all. In this verse, God the Blessed and Exalted is telling us that we must protect Islam, the Noble Prophet of Islam and all those associated with him, and we must uphold the laws and aims of Islam. We have been commissioned to protect God’s religion, to uphold divine aims.
You believing women, who are from the families of religious scholars, who are from the household of prophecy, you more than anyone else have a fundamental role to play in upholding the aims of Islam. God has favoured us by saying that along with Him, we should protect the religion of Islam. “Sufficient unto thee is God and those who follow thee among the believers.”
Respected ladies! You are all responsible; we are all responsible. You are responsible for the upbringing of the children; you have the duty of nurturing virtuous children in your care to hand over to society. We all have this duty, but it is in your care that they receive a better upbringing. A mother’s lap is the best school for a child. You have a responsibility towards your children, towards your country; you can train your children so that one day they make the country flourish. You can train children to uphold the aims of the prophets.
You yourselves must be both guardians and the trainers of guardians, for your children are the next custodians. Train them well. Your homes must be places where children are given both religious instruction and formal learning, where they are taught moral edification. The future of these children is the responsibility of the mothers and fathers, but that of the mothers is greater. They are honoured more than the fathers, the mother’s influence on the child’s psychology is greater than the father’s.
You are responsible; we are all responsible; God, the Blessed and Exalted, has made us all responsible and has said in this noble verse: “Sufficient unto thee is God and those who follow thee among the believers.” Those among the believers who follow Islam, who follow the Messenger of Islam, these are the people who are sufficient for the Messenger.
This is a great responsibility which all the people, all the followers, all those who follow the Messenger must undertake. This mark “Sufficient unto thee is God and those who follow thee among the believers,” must be on their foreheads. They must protect God’s religion, Islam and the Most Noble Qur’an.
They must not tremble in the face of these impotent insurrections that these inhuman elements create in Iran, nor fear these feeble insurrectionists who assassinate people thinking they can terrorise the nation. Our nation will never be intimidated by such tactics and our movement will never be assassinated.
By assassinating individuals they will not be able to assassinate the movement. Our movement is rooted even without such personalities as the late Mutahhari,12 Mr. Hashemi13 and others. God the Blessed and Exalted and those who follow the Prophet from among the believers are sufficient, the nation is sufficient. Our nation has found its way, there is no fear, we will never allow these assassinations to intimidate us, nor will we return to the past or permit the East or West to ever again interfere in the affairs of our country.
May God keep you believing women who participated greatly in the Islamic movement and who are now helping the needy. Your help is very valuable. The ladies’ help is several times more valuable than that of men.
May God protect you, may He keep you so that you may carry on your job of training human beings, a job that the prophets were also assigned.
May God’s peace be upon you all, and also His mercy. (249)
26 May 1979 (5 Khurdad 1358 AHS)


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