The Official Website of G. A. Makarem Shirazi's Office Offers Its Congratulations on the Auspicious Birthday Anniversary of Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (a) and The Women’s Day and Releases His Eminences Views on the Role of Women in Society.

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Birthday Anniversary of Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra (a) and Women’s Day

The Official Website of G. A. Makarem Shirazi's Office Offers Its Congratulations on the Auspicious Birthday Anniversary of Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (a) and The Women’s Day and Releases His Eminences Views on the Role of Women in Society.

It is most unfortunate that the concept of nakedness which has been widely promoted and facilitated in the west has only led to the pervasion of illicit relations, degrading the woman, who was herself the creator of human culture by introducing the Hijab initiative, to the level of a worthless “sex object”.

The Role of Women in building a Dynamic Society

From the Viewpoint of G. A. Makarem Shirazi

Contents

Introduction

Woman as Man’s Partner in Facilitating Social Development

The Woman and Excellence in Social Skills

Woman, the Vanguard of Culture Making

Conclusion: the Substitution of Civilization for Culture, the Initiative of Modernism for the Elimination of true Feminine Identity and Culture

 

Introduction

Human society is much like human body; it is made up of different members with different abilities and talents. Just as human body cannot live with merely the brain and the heart and without muscles and bones, or vice versa, the human society cannot continue to exist without members with great intellectual abilities or without members with great physical abilities.[1] 

Given this fact, it is clear that both men and women have significant roles to play in developing and sustaining human societies, despite their physical and psychological differences. This is because Allah (swt) has given different members of the community different physical and mental powers in order to join and complete one another in order to further develop their societies.[2]

Therefore, developments in societies are not merely the result of the efforts of man; women also have always made enormous contributions to the development of human societies.[3] These past contributions are living proof that women can make significant contributions to the establishment of a fair social system which is free of problems which societies face today.[4]

Despite their great contributions to the human society throughout history, women’s role in the society has been, rather unkindly, largely neglected. Therefore, it seems necessary to conduct a thorough study of the significant role of women in building and sustaining a dynamic society.[5]

 

Woman as Man’s Partner in Facilitating Social Development

Within the framework of this world, the man and woman are like the two halves of a single body, both being equal with respect to human blessings and faculties such as willpower and soul. These blessings help women along with men to progress toward perfection.[6]

According to the religious teachings, Allah (swt) created Eve, Adam’s wife, as a human like him and not from another species of being.[7] This was done in order to make them both sexually attractive to the other and so the family bond would be established between them.[8]

The powerful sexual and emotional attraction of men and women to one another causes them to enter into marriage, forming the smallest unit and the building block of the society, the family.[9] In a traditional family, the woman is man’s closest partner and she helps form half of man’s personality.[10]

Marriage is a mutual contract between the man and woman and it is meant to join the two couples in a union where each of the couples will complete the other.[11] Due to their very special relationship, the man and woman will turn into their partner’s complementing half, much like the two eyes, the two ears, and the two arms in human body which can only function the best when both of them work together.

However, as long as the man and the woman are not married, this bond is not present between them and they operate only at their half capacity. In this sense, the bond of marriage is virtually incomparable to any other human contracts, as it is the most deep rooted and powerful bond between two human beings.[12]

Yet, in order to better understand the significance of the institution of marriage, one needs to study the philosophy behind it. Marriage is not meant merely as a guarantee for the survival of human race; it is a means for the creation of a safe haven for mankind where they can be nurtured, educated, and find self-awareness.[13]

It should be noted that the blessings of the marriage bond between the man and the woman are not restricted only to the ones seen within the family; marriage has great implications for the society, one of which is the ensuring of the psychological heath of the society as a whole.[14]  

Neglecting the complementing effect of marriage on both the man and woman will have numerous adverse social consequences; it can disturb the peaceful atmosphere of the society and the social order.[15]

The social deviations which are now present in human societies mostly result from the kind of extreme views which have always existed about the woman.[16] On the one hand, at some points in history, women were degraded to a subhuman level and were treated as though they are deficient in their humanity.[17]

These extremist views regarding women have given rise to such social problems as matriarchy, the undermining of the institution of marriage, an increase in violence against women, and sexual harassment of women.[18]

On the other hand, during the postmodern era, the feminist movements began depicting the woman as the superior sex, which led to such social disorders as matriarchy, the undermining of the role of the man in the family and destroying the foundations of the society.[19]   

Feminism is also at the root of the current devaluation of the institution of marriage in many communities as well as the abandonment of the familial role of women as wife and mother. These problems have, in turn, led to other secondary social disorders including the permanent celibacy of many people in various countries, a serious decline in family emotions, the pervasion of extramarital sexual relations, illicit relations of boys and girls, and homosexuality.

Additionally, the prevalence of sexual aspects of the woman in all of her social undertakings as well as the growth of the sex industry are other adverse consequences of feminism for the society.[20]  

This is all while the legislation of a law which would fairly delineate the best course for the man and the woman’s social life requires a careful consideration of their natural and innate needs. Such a law would be based on a constructive interaction between a man and a woman within the framework of traditional family.

Any law which is drafted without taking this important point into account would be an injustice done to both the man and the woman. This is because such a law would lead the woman away from the route to her true development and would deprive the man of his natural and legitimate rights.[21] 

 

The Woman and Excellence in Social Skills   

It should be kept in mind that no matter how much technology advances or what developments transform human societies, human beings will always remain “social” beings. This means that the laws which are put in place in order to ensure that the human societies will always remain dynamic and thriving will never change.[22] 

There are some certain laws pertaining to the nature of human being which regulate and govern man’s social development and they are constant and unchanging.

Such general laws indicate, among other things, that man is a social being created for a collective life.[23] They further indicate that man is in need of marriage-based family as they cannot have a normal social life without first being a part of its building block, the family. Therefore, the desire to be part of the “lesser society”, i.e. the family, and the “greater society” is a natural and inborn drive of mankind which will forever be a part of their nature.[24]

As it was discussed above, the greater society is made up of smaller constituents called the family; this means that in order to reform the greater society, one only needs to reform its building blocks, a responsibility which rests with the women.[25] 

In order to carry out this responsibility, the women need to properly teach their children the necessary social skills which form the basis for much of their later moral training.

Furthermore, the general atmosphere of the family can have a significant effect on the development of moral and human virtues in the children, or the decline of morality in them, leading to the spread of either moral virtues or moral corruption in the society. Therefore, the foundation of ethics is first laid in the family.[26]  

The reason behind importance attached to the proper family upbringing of the children is that children are very easily affected by their environment and the kind of upbringing they are given in young age is likely to become a permanent part of their personality.[27]   

One of the factors which makes the family so important is that it is the first environment that the children are exposed to. It is also the place where the children are taught the first, most important lessons of their lives, lessons which will most probably lay the foundation of their adult personality.[28]

Meanwhile, woman as the mother of the children and the person who has actually brought them to this world has a vital role in the upbringing and training of the children.[29] It should be noted that, just as the woman has been endowed with the necessary physical characteristics for bearing, nursing, and taking care of the children, she has also been equipped with much more sophisticated emotions in order to take care of her responsibilities toward her children in the best way.[30]

This is, in fact, what has turned the mother into a symbol of self-sacrifice and love. She is an angel who loves her children unconditionally and takes great satisfaction in so doing, and who would be tortured if prevented from helping her children or caring for them.[31]  

It is, therefore, the responsibility of the mother to bring up her children and cultivate in them a spirit of piety, morality, and human virtues in order to turn them into capable individuals who can further develop the society.[32] It is therefore the mothers who have the ability to form the greater society based on human and moral virtues.[33]

This was a view of the significance and the role of the woman based on her innate and natural inclinations and drives. Feminist movements, nevertheless, strive to force the women to engage in social undertakings in an excessive way at the cost of discarding their family roles as mothers and wives. In order to do so, they have aggressively pursued to promote the idea of the equality of men and women.[34]

One of the reason behind this destructive pursuit is that the feminist are negligent of the pivotal role of the woman in the creation of a safe and thriving society.[35] They believe that, in order for the woman to be considered an effective member of the society, she needs to go to work outside the house, like the man, and leave her children to be brought up in daycare centers or at home by babysitters.

However, they neglect the fact that this way the children, who are the future generation, will be brought up without receiving their mother’s caring love, something which is vital for their intellectual and emotional development and growth.[36]  

Furthermore, the feminists also neglect the fact that by encouraging the women to work like men outside the house, they cause an irreparable damage to their feminine identity something which will be a source of suffering for both the women and their children. Children who are brought up without their mother’s love or with mothers who were stripped of their feminine identity will naturally grow up into insensitive and soulless adults who will be more of a threat than help to their society.[37]

Therefore, in order to build a society where the people enjoy human virtues the children must be given a proper upbringing by their mothers in order to turn into responsible and virtuous adults.[38]

 

Woman, the Vanguard of the Process of Culture Making

Culture, at the personal level, is defined as the words and deeds of the people which are a reflection of their thoughts and knowledge.[39] The social concept of culture, however, is defined as the beliefs, religion, moral principles, customs, history, and the social and political viewpoints of the people in any given community.

The culture of a society is, more than anything else, a product of the set of beliefs held by that society, because as long as a society does not have a strong set of beliefs to base its culture on, it will not be able to form or reform ideologies and behaviors.[40]

Furthermore, any human being who is freed from the shackles of materialism and is not affected by any factors outside his original nature will wholeheartedly believe in the existence of God. Man’s reliance on his deepest understanding, i.e. that God does exist, is the first step toward culture making.[41]   

One of the innate inclinations within women, who make up half of the society, is that of Hijab; part of the original nature of women makes them like to have a cover when appearing in the society. They also admit that modest clothing and Hijab does not make them isolated in the society, but gives them a chance to grow culturally and intellectually. This is a fact which has been substantiated over and over in various arenas and historical eras.[42]

During various eras in history, women were able to take on active roles in their societies, gaining recognition for their character qualities, knowledge, and wisdom.[43] Although these women observed proper Hijab, they were by no means isolated; on the contrary, they were active members of the society who made enormous contributions to it.

It should be noted that it is the underlying culture of human being which determines the code of dressing; as the most basic and fundamental rule, human culture dictates that the private parts be covered. Therefore, the Freudian concept of nakedness is in sharp contrast with the most fundamental principles of human culture.[44]   

Women have been pioneers in innovation and development; it was the women who developed agriculture as well as the human culture; they also tamed various animals to facilitate farming. Therefore, women can be considered the pioneers who changed human lifestyle from nomadic to sedentism.[45]

History of mankind shows that, unlike men who were fond of hunting and preferred a nomadic lifestyle, women felt sedentism better served their families’ interests. This was why they invented farming and showed that they could do much more than men in many respects.[46]

Furthermore, the fact that all throughout history men would work outside the house[47] and the housework would usually be done by women suggests, more than anything else, the fact that there is an inherent inclination in women to be in charge of their house and their children.[48]

This natural feminine interest in being in charge of the housework and the upbringing of the children is a guarantee for the protection of the order and integrity of the family, as the most fundamental social institution. Women have always attended to their families and children in the best way and, when necessity has arisen, they have also played important roles in jobs outside the house.[49]

Today, however, modernism has forced women to handle jobs in the society which are inconsistent with their feminine identity. Today, women are working in jobs which must naturally be done by men, something which is in contrast with the innate nature of both men and women.[50]

One of the international conventions which, despite its beautiful name, aims at the destruction of the feminine identity of women and the destruction of the institution of marriage is the UN “Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women”. This convention calls for gender equality in an absolute form, something which will eventually eliminate the traditional family and replace it with the free sexual relations between men and women.

The American psychologist Toni Grant[51] has depicted the new conditions of women, created by this convention, as follows: “Under the new conditions, women are married to their job instead of a man whom they used to call their husband.[52] [53]

 

Conclusion: the Substitution of Civilization for Culture, the Initiative of Modernism for the Elimination of Feminine Identity and Culture 

Women have always been the greatest proponents of Hijab and the promoters of true human culture. However, the promoters of instrumental rationality in materialistic communities have never tolerated Hijab and have tried to reject it on the grounds that it is inconsistent with social activities, particularly in the contemporary era. They have then went on to replace the family-oriented human culture with a civilization created based on nakedness and hedonism.[54]

Relying on so called radical rationalism which is a product of civilizations and a means of satisfying personal desires, modernism has rejected the institution of marriage and the traditional family and has spread hedonism based on the motto “why buy a cow when you can get milk for free?”[55]

The promoters of nakedness and hedonism believe that there is no reason to accept the heavy responsibilities of marriage and family merely because of needing a woman to satisfy their sexual and emotional needs. They believe that they can easily satisfy their needs with not one but a lot of women without taking on the responsibilities of marriage![56]

As a result of these destructive views, the natural form of human social life, which should be family-oriented, has been ruined, transforming into an irresponsible lifestyle where the natural human bonds, both social and cultural, have been severed.[57]

It is most unfortunate that the concept of nakedness which has been widely promoted and facilitated in the west has only led to the pervasion of illicit relations, degrading the woman, who was herself the creator of human culture by introducing the Hijab initiative, to the level of a worthless “sex object”.[58]   

This was how the woman lost her former dignity and she was no longer regarded as a valuable person worthy enough to fight for and win her love. This was because she was now very easily accessible in every way and so she was no longer considered a valuable love to fight for by men.[59]

Moreover, there was no very little trace of the pure and deep love that used to blossom between men and women, culminating in a very strong bond between them, i.e. marriage.[60]

Official statistics indicate that the more nakedness is promoted and spread in the world, the more marriages fall apart, ending in divorce. This is because with the commodification of the woman as sex objects, which is the result of legalizing nakedness, the institution of marriage and the cultural role of the woman in the family have been undermined.[61]

It should be noted that the freedom of nakedness was promoted in order to eliminate the true feminine identity, consolidate humanism, and create a dominant masculine civilization. Obviously, this is the exact opposite of what the women expected! The inclination of women toward Hijab, marriage, traditional family, and the culture which is based on these concepts are an inseparable part of their nature.[62]

The humanistic civilization of the west was constructed based on the natural inclination of the woman toward marriage and traditional family. This was done by preventing opposing ideas from being put forward, stripping the traditional social culture from its true meaning and function, changing social values, and drawing attention away from important social issues to insignificant issues.

These attempts ultimately confused the woman’s sense of values and she was no longer able to recognize what was rightfully hers and what was considered an honor for her. Therefore, she accepted and embraced a role in the society which was either totally worthless in nature or was way below in worth than what she had given up.[63]

This was how modernism successfully lured the women into a constant race with one another for showing off their naked bodies to see which of them is more sexually attractive to men.[64] So how can a woman actualize her great potentials in a society where only her sexual aspects are truly valued?![65]

Today, the modern western civilization has gained full dominance over women by marginalizing their natural feminine qualities and emotions and is now using them as tools.

This, as discussed earlier, was done primarily by spreading the freedom of nakedness which then allowed the sexual aspects of women to heavily overshadow their true spiritual, intellectual, and emotional potentials. Finally, the western civilization was able to completely distort the social identity of the woman[66], seriously endangering marital life and the dynamic nature of social life.[67]

 

Researched and edited by: the news editorial of the website of G. A. Makarem Shirazi’s office.

 

www.makarem.ir

 

 

[1] Tafsīr Nemūneh, vol. 3, p. 366.

[2] Ibid, p. 365.

[3] The Worldwide Government of the Mahdī (‘a), p. 66.

[4] Ibid, p. 67.

[5] Tafsīr Nemūneh, vol. 2, p. 160.

[6] Tafsīr Nemūneh, vol. 2, p. 178.

[7] One Hundred and Eighty Religious Q&As, p. 461.

[8] The Message of the Quran, vol. 2, p. 449.

[9] Ibid, p. 447.

[10] A Selection of Tafsīr Nemūneh, vol. 1, p. 200.

[11] The Message of the Quran, vol. 2, p. 444.

[12] Our Creed [Aṣl Al Shi’a], p. 249.

[13] The Message of the Quran, vol. 2, p. 446.

[14] Tafsīr Nemūneh, vol. 2, p. 133.

[15] Ibid, vol. 15, p. 508.

[16] The Message of Imam Amir Al Mu’minīn (‘a), vol. 3, p. 288.

[17] Ibid.

[18] The Encyclopedia of Comparative Fiqh, vol. 1, p. 84.

[19] The Message of Imam Amir Al Mu’minīn (‘a), vol. 3, p. 288.

[20] The Encyclopedia of Comparative Fiqh, vol. 1, p. 86.

[21] The Creator of the World, p. 143.

[22] Answering Religious Questions, p. 101.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Tafsīr Nemūneh, vol. 24, p. 293.

[26] Ethics in the Quran, vol. 1, p. 164.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid, p. 171.

[29] One Hundred and Eighty Religious Q&As, p. 463.

[30] Tafsīr Nemūneh, vol. 2, p. 164.

[31] Answering Religious Questions, p. 621.

[32] Tafsīr Nemūneh, vol. 14, p. 448.

[33] Islam in a Glance, p. 105.

[34] The Encyclopedia of Comparative Fiqh, vol. 1, p. 89.

[35] Tafsīr Nemūneh, vol. 14, p. 448.

[36] Ibid.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Ethics in the Quran, vol. 1, p. 174.

[39] The Message of the Quran, vol. 10, p. 241.

[40] Ibid, p. 35.

[41] Tafsīr Nemūneh, vol. 14, p. 447.

[42] Tafsīr Nemūneh, vol. 14, p. 447.

[43] Ibid, p. 446.

[44] Ibid.

[45] Ibid.

[46] Ibid, p. 448.

[47] The New Religious Questions and their Answers, vol. 3, p. 630.

[48] Religious Rulings for the Family, p. 221.

[49] Answering Religious Questions, p. 418.

[50] The New Religious Questions and their Answers, vol. 3, p. 630.

[51] Toni Grant. Being a Woman: Fulfilling your Femininity and Finding Love.

[52] Being a Woman: Fulfilling your Femininity and Finding Love [Farsi Translation, p. 26].

[53] The Encyclopedia of Comparative Fiqh, vol. 1, p. 84.

[54] Tafsīr Nemūneh, vol. 14, p. 448.

[55] Ibid.

[56] Sexual Problems of the Youth, p. 32.

[57] Ibid, p. 30.

[58] Ibid, p. 31.

[59] Ibid.

[60] Ibid, p. 32.

[61] A Selection of Tafsīr Nemūneh, vol. 3, p. 292.

[62] The Sexual Problems of the Youth, p. 32.

[63] Guidelines of the Islamic Economy, p. 5.

[64] Ethics in the Quran, vol. 2, p. 319.

[65] Tafsīr Nemūneh, vol. 14, p. 446.

[66] Answering the New Religious Questions, vol. 3, p. 535.

[67] Ibid.


Published on: « 2019/2/25 »
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