Speech of Ayatullah Professor Seyyed Mohammed Khamenei in the International Conference of Women’s Place in Iranian-Islamic Civilization



In the inauguration ceremony of the International Conference of Women’s Place in Iranian-Islamic Civilization, Ayatullah Professor Seyyed Mohammed Khamenei presented a speech, the most important parts of which are given below:

The purpose of holding this Conference is to investigate certain truths regarding Women’s place and genetic and social status in Iranian-Islamic civilization. In order to express and explore such scientific and religious truths, we must focus on the place and important responsibilities that God has chosen for them in the world of creation. The most important purpose behind the creation of women, which all existents attest to as a basic principle, is reproduction and training the perfect man.

However, most social responsibilities have been assigned to men. One of the most important responsibilities of them is to provide for the welfare of women so that they could perform their own responsibility in satisfactory conditions. That is why fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) has considered nafaqah or alimony for women. It means that all expenses of women and their welfare must be provided by men. In fact, all the important responsibilities regarding politics and war have been placed upon men’s shoulders so that they could secure the safety of society and the comfort of their families. In this way, women, who have been created for an important purpose and given a critical responsibility, could play their role in the best way possible. The first purpose of this Conference is to explore this responsibility.

The second purpose of the Iranology Foundation, as a scientific and research center, in this Conference is to acknowledge that one of the factors that distinguishes the Iranian civilization from others is granting more importance to women’s place in society. Women were always greatly respected in ancient Iran and sometimes even ruled the country as a queen. In fact, what we consider today to be a virtuous duty for women was also accepted in ancient Iran, and their virtue was carefully protected at that time.

The truth is that, in ancient Iran, there were some clergymen called the magi who dealt with country affairs alongside kings. They consisted of a number of distinguished philosophers, gnostics, and the people of ascetic practice and revelation at highest levels of scientific knowledge in different fields of natural, human, and rational sciences. Because of their political and social powers, they managed to gain control of the government, create a supreme culture in society, develop the Iranian civilization, and produce and disseminate knowledge.

We read in historical documents that a number of eminent Greek philosophers, such as Pythagoras and Thales studied Iranian magi’s philosophy. Some early Chinese philosophers, such as Confucius also learnt the Persian philosophy and exported it to other lands. Although some dynasties created Iranian empires in the world, their purpose was to spread the Iranian culture rather than seize other countries. That is why Greece, which is considered to be the holy mother of the West, was developed by Iran. It was the Persian knowledge and wisdom that could create such a high level of character and value for women in ancient periods and in the civilized society of old Iran.

After the rise of Islam some of the most profound and necessary problems and affairs in relation to human life were introduced and spread all over the world. Islam is the first religion that presented a declaration of freedom for women. In the light of Islam, women attained such a high status that the wives and daughters of the Prophet (s) and the Commander of the Faithful (a) are introduced as the light of their eyes. There are several instances among the hadiths of the People of the House advising men to treat their wives and daughters pleasantly and kindly at home so that they learn about their true place and station in society and do not accept and tolerate any kind of humiliation.

When women learn about their true nature, they will be able to enjoy their rights. Unfortunately, the true rights of women and their true character is unknown to the world. That is why the kind of freedom given to them directs them toward corruption. As a result, they sell their body, which Islam glorifies as a sacred entity that should be covered and protected against corrupt eyes, at a cheap price to anyone who desires it.

Islam founded the holiness of women and decreed that when a woman becomes a mother, she turns into a holy existent. In the house of Muslims, girls are more endeared than boys. We read in a hadith that when a father enters the house, he should offer what he has bought to his daughters and caress his wife and daughters.

Indeed, one of the important purposes of this conference is to introduce women and their true status in Iran during the periods before and after Islam and, particularly, after the Islam Revolution. Another purpose here is to persuade people to ignore some false approaches, such as feminism, to the problems of women. Unfortunately, every once in a while, we hear a number of deceptive voices from the West as to the violation of women’s rights; such outcries do not elevate women’s status. The value of a woman does not increase if she empowers her muscles and can hit and defeat a man in fights. Rather, she should develop such a status for herself that her husband considers it a duty for himself to be at her service. It is emphasized that certain official centers in Iran also issue some statements on supporting women which are neither consistent with Islamic, philosophical, and genetic rules nor conform to the rules of creation.

In Western countries, women are raped and oppressed easily, and the conditions for marriage and creating a family are not provided for them. As a result, there are a great number of illegitimate children who do not usually grow into healthy individuals in society and, thus, lead their community towards corruption. The true knowledge and training of men and women are necessary for administering a healthy family, which in turn results in the creation of a healthy society and a healthy world.

Finally, another purpose of this conference is to initiate a dialog with some of the great thinkers of the world, whether men or women, in order to define and devise a series of rules regarding the responsibilities and true place of women in the world. Moreover, we can develop and offer certain instructional courses both for men and women during their education and pre-and post-marriage periods in order to secure women’s status and character in society. Such courses could turn into continuous educational channels for learning about the responsibilities of family members and the spirituality of the family constitution so that people could act accordingly and follow them in both national and international media.

“Peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you.”


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