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Women and the Islamic Revolution

  • Adele K. Ferdows (a1)
Extract

Defining the role of women in Islamic society has been an issue for debate in post-revolutionary Iran, particularly in light of recent rulings affecting women. This is not merely a theoretical debate but a crisis situation where some women who participated in the revolution alongside men now find themselves in a peculiarly difficult position in relation to society and the current government. Ali shariati (d. 1977), through his publihsed works and transcribed lectures during the 1960s and 1970s, has had a tremendous impact on the direction of this debate. Completely rejecting the role of women in both western and traditional societies, Shariati offers a third alternative: the figure of Fatima, daughter of the Prophet Mohammad and wife of Ali, the first Imam of the Shi'is as the personification of women's role.

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References
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NOTES

1 Shariati, Ali, The Islamic View of Man, trans. Rasti, A. A. (Bedford, Ohio: Free Islamic Literatures, 1978). p. 7.

2 Shariati, Ali, On the Sociology of Islam, trans. Algar, H. (Berkeley: Mizan Press, 1979). p. 61.

3 Shariati, Ali. Islam Shenasi (Knowing Islam), vol. 7 (Solon, Ohio: Muslim Students Association, 1979). p. 87.

4 Shariati, Ali, Zan dar cheshm va del-e imohammad ( Woman in the eye and heart of Mohammad) (Tehran: Hoseinieh Ershad, nd.). pp. 2324.

5 Pickthall, M. M., Cultural Side of Islam (Lahore: S. M. Ashraf, 1979). p. 156.

6 Shariati, Ali. Fatemeh Fatemeh Ast (Fatima is Fatima) (Tehran: Hoseinieh Ershad, 1971). p. 90.

7 Ibid., p. 79.

8 Ibid., p. 80.

9 Ibid., p. 80.

10 Ibid., p. 78.

11 Ibid., p. 77.

12 Ibid., pp. 57–58.

13 Ibid., pp. 61–62.

14 Ibid., p. 67.

15 Ibid., p. 72.

16 Ibid.,. pp. 91–101.

17 Ibid., p. 140 where he quotes a Dr. A'ishah Abdul Rahman Bint al-Shati, a professor at Ain Shams University for supportive hadith without further information on either the author or her work.

18 Ibid., p. 133.

19 Ibid., p. 187.

20 Khomaini, Rouhallah M., Ayatollah, Tauzih al-Masa'il (Explanation of Problems) (Tehran: Piruz, 1979). pp. 463–64.

21 In Shi'i Islam. a woman may, at the time of marriage, ask for and receive the right to divorce by her husband's delegating his right to divorce her as his representative. This is to be inserted in the marriage contract. However, this right may not be delegated absolutely and must be subject to a condition, such as immorality.

22 Keyhan, 17 May 1979.

23 Shabastari, Mujtahid, “Islamic hijab is not equal to oppression.” interview on Tehran television as reported in Kayhan. 11 March 1979.

24 Iran Times, 4 July 1980.

25 Ibid., 11 July 1980.

26 See series of articles by Qodsi Qazi-Nuri, Soraya Danesh, and Homa Nateq in Keyhan issues of March and May 1970.

27 For a more detailed discussion see my essay “The Position of Women in Ithna 'Ashari Shi'i Islam,” in Fathi, Asghar, ed., Women and the Family in Iran, (Calgary: International Sociological Association, forthcoming).

28 Tabataba'i, Shahin E., “Women in Islam,” Islamic Revolution, I, (1979), 1417.

29 Haines, Pamela, “Women in Today's Iran,” in Albert, David, ed.. Tell she Ameruan People, (Philadelphia: Movement for a New Society, 1980), p. 104.

30 New York Times, 15 July 1980.

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International Journal of Middle East Studies
  • ISSN: 0020-7438
  • EISSN: 1471-6380
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-middle-east-studies
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