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Expectations from the Muslim Woman
Part 2

Dr. Ali Shariati


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For example, we all know about the widespread international police network and the extensive intelligence services which observe even the minutest movement anywhere in the world. And yet, there are tons and tons of narcotics which are freely transferred from the East to the West. They are distributed and sold by huge international organizations and transferred through their factories, planes, ports, ships and offices. Why is it that the international police cannot prevent the distribution of narcotics among the younger generation of Europe and the U.S.A. Why? Because ruling powers prevent the young generation from understanding what is going on in Europe and the U.S.A.? Ruling powers prevent them from caring about who rules the destiny and fate of humanity. This is a the same ruling power which colonizes both West and East only its methods and relations differ. At any rate, in both East and West, human beings are victims of this anti-human worldwide power.

One of the most important means that has been created by this ruling power from the intellectual, social, economic and moral point of view, is Freudian sexualism. This has become the common social spirit of our age and has become the substitute for all values, virtues and liberties.

It is not accidental that Freud's view of sexuality came to prominence after the second world war and became the fundamental basis and foundation of art. Most motion pictures are based on only two elements: violence and sexuality. Both of these are legacies of the war. Motion pictures are one of the most important examples of the relationship of art to Western capitalism because film production is the only art which cannot exist and develop without the aid of capital. Thus it differs from the arts of painting, literature, poetry and music. A poor painter, writer, poet or musician can create the greatest work of art, but a film producer must have capital of millions of dollars to create a saleable film. Thus, this art is unconsciously supporting capitalism.

The pseudo-intellectuals and pseudo-scholars of the third and fourth worlds suppose that Freudism is really the science of the present age. Modern scholars research and record Freud's works in a special way.

It is interesting that in underdeveloped countries, under the guise of intellectuality and modern scientific psychology, scholars and scientists serve these universal powers free of charge. In the name of science, they freely propagate anti-human ideas among the intellectuals and younger generation. How miserable are these thinkers and intellectuals who serve the capitalistic ruling powers! They really believe that they are serving humanity, freedom, liberty and science!

Thus, in order for the superpowers of bourgeois scientism to dominate, both the East and the West must be sacrificed. They must become the victims of narcotics as well as Freudianism. >From scientism's point of view, every young person who is still human and who still shows sympathy and sensibility towards the destiny of his or her nation and other nations, must be caused to deviate, must be made indifferent to his or her destiny and the destiny of others. In order to accomplish this, any means is permissible and advisable whether it takes the form of science, art, sports, literature, history, tradition, or religion. It does not make any difference. One must be amused by any form. One must be removed from the scene so that one takes notice of nothing. The best way is scientific and mental stupefaction and the strongest factor, particularly among the younger generation, is sex!

Why sex? Because it can be logically explained. It is new. It can easily and freely be accepted. It is the most important point that can attract the young generation, who, in turn, are the most important victim of Freudianism.

Thus all of intellectual, human, artistic, social, political and financial investments must strengthen this school. It is not strange to see how rapidly it progresses and develops.

It must be noted that there is another group who cooperates, albeit unconsciously, in a most effective way with this worldwide power to achieve the aim of attracting the younger generation, particularly women, to Freudianism, and to sex. This group unskillfully fights Freud's innovations by relying on old, strict, illogical and anti-human traditions create restrictions and complexes in the young generation, particularly, women. You may want to know how they cooperate in this inauspicious endeavor. They cooperate by pushing the young generation towards pessimism.

While Freudianism invites woman out of the house, this old group tries to hold her inside by creating bonds, obligations, and restrictions and depriving her of all her human and religious rights thus unconsciously preparing the way for Freudianism. It is in this way that they cooperate with Freud. Statistics show that the insidious invitation of Freudianism has been most successful in traditional societies and countries where women have been most deprived. Thus we cannot fight and confront this universal illness and danger only by relying on ancient traditions, customs, restrictions, bonds, etc. which deny rights to women. There is only one solution: to give human and Islamic rights back to women.

Yes! This is the only way! If the human and Islamic rights of women are given back to her, you have armed her with the weapon whereby she can personally resist and confront Freudianism. But if you deprive her of her rights, you insure that this satanic invitation will capture her. You have pushed her towards it.

The essential and important problem which we have confused is the distinction between culture and religion. Culture and religion have mixed with each other throughout history They make up the collection of ideas, tastes, behaviors, feelings; customs and legal relations which are sacred and honorable to a society.

For example, in Islamic societies, Islamic rights, values, precepts and laws relating to the economy, the family, the community and even the social system have been mixed with local and tribal traditions formed over the centuries. These are certainly not related to Islam. They are only ancient tribal and local traditions and customs supported and protected by society. Thus an intellectual wishing to be released from such ancient and local, tribal traditions must fight a combination of religion and custom in order to be free of both.

Thus both groups (whether they defend religion or do not) must defend the mixture of ancient customs. Those who fight against traditions also confront the living and ascending values of Islam. None of these groups neither the progressive modern intellectuals nor the old traditional religious group can distinguish between religion and culture. Why should they be separate and distinct from each other? Because we Muslims believe Islamic rights and laws are derived from the essence of humanity and the essence of nature and are made by the Will of the Creator of the laws of nature. The laws of nature are stable and never grow old. Thus laws which are based on the general dignity of creation never grow old. On the contrary, social traditions based on production and consumption (on cultural systems which are not fixed laws) have to change.

Religion, a living, permanent phenomenon which could be effective in the present age, can no longer play an effective role in the social life of a community, a society or a generation because religion has been captured by ancient, declining, solidified, deviated traditions and thus can no longer effectively confront the danger of the superpowers.

An aware intellectual is a historian, traditionalist, Islamologist, chronologist and sociologist whose most important cultural mission and responsibility is to distinguish Islam as a living faith from the old traditional moulds which are not Islam but rather tribal customs and to put the real Islamic ideas and faith into new moulds matching the necessities of the present age. The everlasting, living, moving, progressive Islamic contents must be protected and put into new moulds which meet the challenges of each age.

Based on my own experience I have to announce that even the most progressive, intellectual, rebellious and revolutionary thinker when confronted by pure Islamic values and virtues (once these values have been separated from inherited, tribal, ancient, ignorant customs) will be attracted and submit easily to them.

The visage of Fatima the visage of the woman who existed, who spoke, who lived, who played a role in the mosque, in society, in the home training her children, in her family's social struggles and in Islam a woman whose role should be made clear in all its dimensions to the present generations (not only to Muslims but to any human being, man or woman who has human feelings, who believes in human values and who is faithful to real freedom) should be accepted as the best and most effective model to be followed by the present generation.

I myself have experienced this. I have seen so-called religious histories which lack religious feelings, which have no idea about religion, which even negate and oppose religion. When a proper picture of the Prophet's family, all of whom showed humility and submission, emerges we feel that they are really living personalities.

When I say that Islam is living, I mean it is a collection of living thoughts and ideas. It is alive because of its living social laws and rights. It is alive because model, living personalities have been trained by it.

When the beautiful image of Husayn is presented, which no human society (no matter what form of production it may have, no matter what social system it may use, no matter at what cultural stage it may be) can deny his unique and exceptional personality. No one can deny he is an eternal human symbol who should be followed, admired and praised. All accept him.

Remember Zaynab at Karbala! She had withstood the difficult task of seeing martyrdom after martyrdom in her captivity in the Kufa bazaar and in the courts of Ibn Ziyad and Yazid.

What woman of whatever class, at whatever stage of life in whatever system of particular tribal, religious and social ideas, who believes in the eternal values of womanhood and ascending values of the feminine, does not accept Zaynab as a permanent everlasting symbol of the social, human and progressive leadership of women?

Such people are living. They are symbols of Islam. To be alive means to be effective, to show the right way, to guide humanity in whatever stage it may be, in whatever land it may occupy, to whatever race it may belong.

But, unfortunately, customs and religion have been mixed together. This mixture of customs (which are changeable and vary from one social, tribal and local system to another and are related to and produced by economic and social relations and Islamic values which are unchangeable, eternal and related to inspiration, revelation and the prophetic mission) is defended in the name of religion.

The intellectual, seeing the deprivations and abuse of women on one hand and the appearance of social freedom, class advantages and sexual liberty on the other hand, becomes confused.

When the religious group of a community (who are acquainted with religion and believe it), are unable to distinguish between the religion and the local, tribal, cultural customs, how can we expect young, modern intellectuals (willing to fight against ancient customs) to make a distinction between religion and customs?

If the distinguished scholastics of Islam, who are acquainted with Islamic truths, do not perform this task, what organization, what power will do so?

The Prophet of Islam such an elevated personality one before whom history is humiliated when he entered his home was kind, lenient and gentle. When his wives quarreled with him, he left his home and made a place for himself in the storage area without showing any harsh reaction against them.

This behavior of the Prophet of Islam must be considered as an Islamic criterion rather than the behavior of a supposedly religious but really abusive man. Such un-Islamic, abusive behavior was based on an ethnic, cultural tradition. Therefore, distinctions should be drawn between ethnic, cultural custom and an Islamic religious command.

The Prophet's behavior was so human that it amazes us. For example, some of the young girls of Madinah showed interest in participating in the Battle of Hunayn, a place between Makkah and Jeddah. There is a distance of more than 600 kilometers between Madinah and Makkah and then an additional distance from Makkah to Hunayn. This journey took several months.

Nevertheless, the Prophet of Islam took a group of fifteen young girls along with the fighting caravan so that they could assist in the war effort.

In the Mosque of the Prophet in Madinah, there was a porch used for social affairs. Each corner of it was devoted to a social purpose. At one corner was the tent of Ruqiya who, according to the Prophet's command, had established a tent inside the Prophet's mosque Islam's place of prayer to hospitalize, care for, and nurse the war's wounded. Sad ibn Maaz (the Islamic chief officer wounded in the Battle of Khandaq with a spear) was hospitalized there. This tradition of looking after the sick patients and nursing them continued for many centuries afterwards in Islam.

I personally read about this in Ibn Yamin's book in which he praised Aladdin, the governor of Sabzevar, and mentioned that Aladdin built a hospital in a very large paradise like garden in a village near Sabzevar. Describing the hospital, Ibn Yamin says that there were beautiful girls, like angels, who looked after the patients and nursed them....


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